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The Afterthought - Musings and other things

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Okey dokey, first off, a link to The Afterbattles subforum where the battles are, and the Afterhub if you want to go right to a particular story. Through the hub. If you haven't taken a gander, you probably should. The stuff here might make more sense after. Or maybe not. I guess you can choose and stuff.


Anyway, sorry if what I say here isn't very organized, I'm mostly trying to get thoughts down, a lot of them probably being rants that I should've gotten down when they first crossed my mind, like, weeks ago. Guess I'll never learn. Anyway, I'll try to keep the likely-personal ranting condensed in a spoiler thing since it'll probably take up space. More so than normal, likely.


(I'm going to assume all this stuff I just typed probably fits the bill of said personal things)


So yeah, over a year ago, back during January of 2011, I made a post stating my dissatisfaction with BOTP9's conclusion, and my desire to do something about it. This post came over a year after BOTP9 was brought to an end, during 2009 when it started. It's nearly been 3 years. The passage of time is terrifying.


Eventually, I did get started on something... something that didn't get very far. I wrote a bit of an over the top intro, and got started on the first fight (which was the same pairing as it is now: Gilgamesh VS The Architect) which never even got to the fight part. I don't even think it even got three big paragraphs in. I basically made mention of this before in a reply to the same post, saying how my declaration of dissatisfaction seemed to give me satisfaction. I'm still a pretty big douche.


Time went on, I occasionally looked at what I did, occasionally thinking back. A few months ago from now, my old computer finally bites the big one, and I only have the forethought to backup my main stuff and some of the things I was holding onto for friends. Did it occur to me to go and back up what I had for BOTP? Including the little bit I made? Nope, nope, nope. I could probably beat myself up over a lot of the stuff that's still stuck on my old harddrive, but there is a silver lining to this. If things went on the way they had been, I probably never would've gotten around to doing what I've done. The Afterbattles, I mean.


The Afterbattles are what I wanted to do to try to do better justice to BOTP9. I always wanted to have a big hand in shaping a BOTP. When 9 came around and Sword Bearer and I were put in charge of setting it up, I'm pretty sure I was excited. Sword Bearer and I both worked to shape it up into something great (though I fear I might've been overbearing and selfish about it at times) and it seemed to get off to a good start. But... things happened, and participation screeched to a halt. It reminded me of how 7 dragged on, and how TOU fell into inactivity. I don't think I wanted that to happen... so I wrote a goofy end post where everyone got killed and Neko's joke character won banana cream pie mix and laxatives. Good going, me. Mind, being silly is part of BOTP, and the bit of humor can really help things along. 8 had some wacky characters in it, and that probably attributed to its greatness alongside the participation that occurred. I think that was something else I wanted. I wanted BOTP9 to be successful like its predecessor. 8 felt like one of the best BOTP turns outs since, hell, probably 2. It was probably better than that. But yeah, good start, sudden stop, possibly incredibly lame ending. I really did feel dissatisfied, and about over a month ago I finally started making battles after having a new intro ready for... well, probably a bit before that. I wanna say it was around for a while. My memory kinda blows.


While my original thought was to get them all done during April... that didn't happen. Being unmotivated, lazy, and easily distracted kinda sucks. It also made me even more aware of the charms of BOTP, and probably RPing in general. You don't really have to write whole stories, just little bits that people can follow up on. I think part of this dawned on me when I'd take looks at BOTP7's end post while working on The Afterbattles. I wrote big chunks, but I had others who also wrote big chunks to contribute to that sizable post. Barring some OOC crap I probably did, I also think I did pretty damn good myself. I kept looking back and thinking how much better a writer I was then than I am now. I seemed less wordy, more to the point. I suppose outside opinions would probably be better for that one.


But I managed to pull it off. Sixteen battles, fifteen being pairings that never occurred in the main game (hence why Gilgamesh only appears in three fights: the guy was popular during the main run), one being a special guest fight since I just kinda like bringing that character back. While it feels like a lot, I'm not sure if I really accomplished what I set out to do. I wanted to try and give more to BOTP9, but one of the reasons it ground to a halt was in part to my own overeagerness. Really, it seems like I always do something really dumb in a BOTP. I hardly posted anything in the first, the posts I did make meant to cover my character's ass, I posted too much in the second, annoying some of the posters (Simben I recall in particular), I didn't really do much for 3 and pulled off similar ass-covery, I overcompensated Ffej in 4 when he got ganged up on, I had a fit over part of Mecha Sonic's death in 5 (his original self being a bunny would have probably been the most ironic twist in BOTP, by the way, and I feel pretty dumb now for being a dick about it then), I... can't really recall doing anything particularly dumb in 6 and 7 at the moment, though I'm sure I must have done something, I was bugging one of the participants in 8 to join the fray which went kind of badly, and I posted so much in 9 that I think a rule was made about not posting within a 24 hour period of the last post. The last one bothers me more than the others because of how I had a hand in BOTP9. Wanting it to be good didn't stop me from acting stupid and essentially wrecking it all.


Then I think again of how this all went on nearly 3 years from now. BOTP9, that is. This makes me think of all the other BOTPs. The first started around 2001, right? 2002? I used to be an ace at remembering all this stuff, but that's been falling short now. If we had kept at the same pace, we might've had a BOTP11 by now, what with 9 of them happening between 2001/2002 - 2009. Things couldn't stay the same, though. Most of us were kids when it all started, a bunch of brats in middle and high school. We had the time to burn, to dedicate to making these wacky, exciting stories together. But then lives became bigger, folks had to work, seek out higher education. Regulars started falling away (Billy Chilly, Yamato, and All come to mind) and most newcomers wouldn't even post much, let alone be around for the next fight (exceptions, of course, and some odd ones, too, such as chris4rsox, I think, who participated well in 4 but didn't join in the next game :P). BOTP6 and 7 might've been the worst of this, particularly 7, as lack of participation caused large gaps between posts. As I said before, though, 8 went amazingly well since folks were around to take part. 9 had a similar start, and then, well... I noted it before. Lack of participation can really stop these things.


Discussions would usually come up about the BOTP at hand likely being the last... I was usually the first person to raise my voice against these claims, but I can't see myself doing that again. Back then... I don't know what it was now, but perhaps it was something I wanted? That feeling of being part of a team? Or maybe I felt there were others that cared? I usually wasn't by myself when I went against pessimism towards there being another BOTP. But like I said, things don't stay the same. They change. People develop other tastes and stances. Damnglitch has stated before that it's hard to write for these things because we all know each other better now and don't want to hurt each others' feelings (which I'm sure I've done with some of my portrayals, and I apologize for that, but learning where I go wrong might help me write these characters better, and in turn improve what I can do with my own). A recent talk with my friend and cousin, Sid (entered 8 with Aldrich Brinley), similarly supported this with hesitance to write other author's character out of fear of not doing justice to them (which I'm also sorry about being guilty of) and also how BOTP seemed to act oppositely towards standard RPs, where only the authors control what their own characters do and not others. While I generally like to hold on to hope, it wouldn't surprise me now if a BOTP10 never came. I certainly wouldn't have a tantrum over the notion like I would've five years ago, though having that passion for things again would be nice.


Anyway... I think that's enough reminiscing and regret. I should probably start stating my thoughts more on The Afterbattles now.




Part of what I had in mind with The Afterbattles is that it wouldn't end with the stories I made, but others might insert their own (I tried something similar with BOTP7, where the characters are in that base for two days before heading off to the last fights, and scenarios could be written that take place in that time frame where the characters are idling before the fight, maybe steeling themselves, maybe getting some relaxation in. I'd still like to see that, yo!). Rematches, special guest battles, heck, picnics where no fighting actually occur. This basically sounds very much the same as the Four Winds, only it would apply to BOTP9 here and thus occur somewhere on the Garden, where essentially ANYTHING is possible (as the arenas I have in the battles I made might indicate, yo). I might do one of the more relaxed things some time in the future (such as Heather and Vaughn enjoying some drinks), but I'm pretty sure I'm done with battles (though there is the one particular goof I would do well to right). But anyone else is free to give it a shot! I won't expect it to happen, but I'll be very much pleased if more battles show up, even if only one.


Now, I'm going to do something here that, thinking about it, would've been awesome if I had done the same since the very first BOTP. And, you know, participated more in that one. But after doing these battles, these guys are fresh on my minds, so I might as well get my thoughts down here.


||| Gilgamesh ||| While watching some Final Fantasy videos makes me wonder if I got his speech right, Gilgamesh was generally a fun character to write about. His chattiness could provide a number of silly situations, and the randomness of what weapon he would be stuck with for a fight really gave him options. When choosing who Gilgamesh would battle, I also had to choose what weapon he would use, so it was almost like having multiple characters in one since the sword he could have could really change how he would handle an opponent. Would he have the phenomenally sharp Zantetsuken, or be stuck with Excalipoor, a blade too dull to cut butter? His sidekick could also add to the chaos and hilarity, and his super technique fit the bill well. A very well rounded character for the battle.


||| Max ||| The combatant from Colatol! Max had an interesting trait in that his forte, long-range fighting, was not provided to him. The closest thing he had was his Shriek, which could fly through the air, though I imagine not as quickly as bullets and lasers. Because of this, it seemed like a good idea to have some fights where he would acquire a firearm. While I liked the character, he was a bit hard to write for given his tremendous agility, especially when armored, and his other statistics seemed lacking enough in comparison that he really came off as a frail character, so he really had to dodge a lot of the time since most attacks would hit him really hard. While his Shriek was a potent weapon, its size made it seem like a really close range armament, which sounds pretty risky given his defenses, and its performance in the air didn't help much against those with lengthier melee tools and better attacks for far-away fighting. That's what I came to surmise, though, and chances are that's far from what Sword Bearer was thinking. Sorry, dude.


||| Heather ||| The one character keeping 9's cast from being a total sausagefest. I might've made her a biiiiit too much of an addict in The Afterbattles, but she does supposedly enjoy such things more than she should. Just like Max, Heather has a skill that she can't readily tap into. It happens to be pretty much the same as Max's: she's better at fighting with firearms than in close-combat, though her profile narrowed her options down to lighter things such as handguns and pistols. Her main weapon, the BLOCKSabre, was an interesting piece that I probably wrote as being TOO brittle, although I think my logic there is that she was using the weapon against other armaments that are indestructible or almost as much. Making use of the broken blades (as well as probably mentioning them way too much) was something I'd usually do. Given her strength just being a bit above a normal person's, combined with her easily broken weapon, Heather came off to me as the most physically weak character in the battle, though her durability, which I probably didn't indicate too much given her frequent dodging, probably puts her a step above Max in terms of endurance.


||| Kane ||| I gotta be honest here... I did not like writing battles with Kane. Usually. Even while really being ISH, who I recall being great to write as his usual self, the act usually seemed enough to make him this incredibly heavy, incredibly resistant, incredibly hard to hit monster whose primary weapon can punch holes through military tanks. It isn't easy trying to make a fight against something like that believable (ahaha, believable) with characters like Max and Heather (thankfully, the latter fought Kane in the main run, so I didn't have to make it happen in The Afterbattles). It's entirely possible that I didn't have The Insane Space Hunter's wackiness shine through enough to offset all the advantages of the one he was imitating, but that still didn't stop him from being this huge tank. Disadvantageous quirks considered, Kane was probably the strongest character in this game given his defenses and the weapons he had at his disposal.


||| Sasuke ||| My character. Who never got into any fights in the main game. Likely because I would usually whisk him away from danger instead of putting him in its way, which may or may not have been intentional on my part (I think my aim was for him to win, instead of, you know, have fun, gah). I guess you could say he might've fought The Architect, but Nameless, that character's author, sort've made that event, and it's a pretty lame fight when all that happens is a guy getting frozen after a stupid, lengthy preach (I think I even knew how bad that post was, yet I posted it anyway like a moron). He was going to fight Kane and Mebius, but that was, like, one of the last posts before things stopped. I tried making him a fun character, too. I made his main attack random, gave him what's probably an annoying fighting style, and a weird super attack that could really go either way. And porn. He had porn. Still does, probably. That's all fun... right?


||| Mebius ||| This was an... interesting character. I assumed that he was strong, considering his weapon is a constant 125 pounds, and said weapon can assume any shape and size that doesn't break it into pieces since it can't be broken apart. He also has some god-like spandex that emits flashes, can make him go invisible, and can wrap around and stick to things. He isn't made out to be a force like Kane and The Architect, but the versatility and extent of his equipment makes him formidable. He was sort of hard to write for due to this, because all the stuff his MutaStone seemed capable of doing wouldn't always feel like what one would do with it to win. Basically brings up questions like "If the MutaStone can assume any shape, why doesn't he just change it into a mess of super thin slicing tentacles that cut his opponents into pulp?" Chances are I didn't get his whole fifth dimensional dilemma enough to better understand how it might hinder him, his forced emotionlessness almost seems more like something that'd work to his advantage. He's sort of a cool character, but all the extreme things his gear can do makes him seem a bit overpowered at times. His underwear is funny, though.


||| Vaughn ||| Good ol' flaming sword demon guy. I might've gone a bit overboard with his summoning, but making all those flame element monsters was kinda fun. In terms of performance, Vaughn comes off as another well rounded character like Gilgamesh, having a good spread of abilities and options at his disposal, though he seems to lean a bit more towards imbalance than the sword collector given his amplifiers and a rather fierce super attack. His primary element seems like it'd be disadvantageous against a few of the fighters, which probably seems apparent in some of the fights I made. A pretty spiffy character, though, looking at his profile, I wonder if Neko wanted the true Black Blade to show up in the battle? Something to think about, yo. Also, I think I'm still trying to get used to his main weapon's name. Kurohiarashi, I think. I'm never quite sure if I'm spelling it right. And not as hard to say five times fast as I thought. I'm probably pronouncing it wrong.


||| The Architect ||| Here's a character I wish I had a more open mind about when the game was going on, instead of being a fat asshole whenever I'd write about him. From a glance, The Architect can be the best character at ANYTHING. Strongest, smartest, smallest, biggest, sexiest. You know, since he's supposed to be the creator of EVERYTHING. Chances are part of me took all that as a queue to make him out as this arrogant, duty-obsessed deity instead of making full use of what restrained him: The Plan, which supposedly coordinates everything he does, and The Object, his name for the Unknown Garden, which can foul his omnipotence and thus mess around with The Plan. The former is where most of this is at, because what The Plan tells him to do could be either good, bad, or neither for him in battles. The Plan could tell him to lose and he would go through with it (unless The Object intervened). At least, this is what I came to think as I worked on these battles. It's really stupid that I couldn't have realized it years ago. That aside, he's still a strong character, possibly the strongest of all, though his hindrances can shift this. As far as this battle goes, he is probably close to Kane as being the strongest, though his downsides seem more liable to hold him back. That's how I presently feel, at least.


Huh... I imagined all those looking a lot smaller in my head.


But... I think that's it! For now, in case I remember something. I had to keep going back to correct my spelling when typing all this, so chances are wrapping up that last battle post and then coloring all the text has probably taken a bit of toll on me. Lack of proper sleep, also. Might still be some spelling goofs about as well.


So... yep. I hope The Afterbattles I wrote don't totally suck. Feel free to comment, though. Chances are I could do with some chewing out if anything I've said / done merits it, yo.

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