Hey there. I've placed the Plot Summary in its own page over here.
Plot AnalysisSo... where do I even begin? It's hard to really think on this season, for a bunch of reasons.
First, this season was an aberration. It was between Season 4 and 6, but had no real purpose to itself. It was nothing more than a bridge. And so you see bridges everywhere in this season, as that was seemingly all I thought about. That and a bunch of ruins, that have artifacts in them. And endless, mind-numbing traps and tombs and prisons and oh boy, it just never changes does it??? There was little of value in this season as far as eye candy. It's all drab, dirt encrusted wasteland with broken labs and nasty poison everywhere. It's a small wonder the tribes of Turion didn't all die off--they had it worse than people on Genetia, and Genetia sucked as a planet.
We're led to believe that Kales Brando is this helpful person, but early on it's clear he's not. He wants the artifacts, but the reveal on why takes so long that by the time it happens, everyone knows it--and not in the tension building way, but rather it's an obvious and anticlimactic thing. Heck, he has to force the issue because everyone was told by other NPCs to just ignore him and refuse to give him the artifacts. So why did I do that if giving him them was going to be forced to be done in the first place?
Kales Brando was, though, one of the few developed characters in the season. Only Moody Mandy had any other character development, and all that involved was him being insane. Well, there was Metal Man/Illian MacGregor, but the only thing that happened was him becoming so powerful nothing could possibly defeat him. So I'm not sure that really counts either. Oh, and SkyHigh was seen to be doubting Kuja's importance, I guess.
Some key non-GMing points involved a bunch of characters from new players. Specifically this guy named Kerian, who really sucked at roleplaying. He claimed to be of a thousand faces, but all he really was was a thousand blunders. He first played an evil Nazi Puppeteer named Faust, who was, predictably, never going to get along with the Questers (or be one), so he had to go. Next up there was Seer Kai, the Lizardman priest. That would have worked, except he had to make that character too important to the plot and then start BS-writing a bunch of fake stuff into my already convoluted backstory. That character went away (after they had a bizarre out of character change to become no longer reverent of the ruins) and Scott Kain/Azael showed up. An avowed atheist (why was this an important thing to mention again? It's not really something important in of itself) who somehow had no interest in anything except opening Pandora's Box when it showed up. What a waste of time that was! He then was never seen again, and basically the player went into overdrive trying to find ANYTHING that would work.
So he ran Rune Walsh of Phantasy Star IV (for the Sega Genesis/Megadrive), unaware that Nick Caligo, the other GM, was basically the world's biggest fan of PSIV. So essentially Rune Walsh was graded harshly and failed. An entire session I didn't log involved the big return of Nick's Zio and Rune Walsh was naturally to be a big part of it... but the GMing of Rune was so weird and incorrect it literally destroyed Nick's entire interest in roleplaying as Zio (to be fair though, Nick's Zio kinda sucked too and was wildly out of character with regards to his canon from Phantasy Star). With this, Kerian ended up banned, and the beat moved on.
One of the major things about this season is the way it makes me think, of how some things were never really meant to be that much, or all that much important. This season was full of impermanent things, slight changes that really didn't persist after all was said and done. And anything that had really been changed, had been changed before this season. So in the end, it was just a short lived thing, including many of the players who joined and then proceeded to leave or be banned.
So, in a nutshell, the Questers were exiled to Turion. They met up with Kales Brando, who was himself a hated outcast of his people. They worked with Kales Brando to obtain the relics inside the 'cursed' ruins that the Lizardmen were afraid of. Over time it became clear Kales was a nasty person. The Questers themselves had some new recruits who didn't pan out, during this time, and they did a lot of sparring. Ultimately the Questers discovered other people on the planet, who fully revealed that Kales was evil. The Questers collected the rest of the relics and hid the last couple from Kales while living on the other side of the planet, after having foiled a bunch of attacks from Kuja. This was in vain as they had to give the relics to Kales in order to see one last important ruin--that of their Stadium. Kales tried to kill them all and take the Stadium for themselves, but they defeated him and he was warped away into the past of Nintendus alongside The Void. And along all of this, the Melee Smashers Kuja had turned to stone were found, and then revived.
I guess the other thing that people wonder is how this Season does compared to the others. Well, it's better than Season 1, since it has the decency to change somewhat. But unlike Season 2, it's not fun to read. It gets really, really repetitive. In fact I put off this commentary for months because I couldn't bring myself to do the usually entertaining plot summary--it was just BORING. Season 3 was completely insane, but again, I actually enjoyed reading that one... and Season 6 obviously is much better than it. So in all reality, this season was pretty mediocre. In actual plot coherence, it should be really high up there, but a lot of single-use locations and unnamed things that are then thrown away go on, so it doesn't even really get that. I think I would actually rate it as worse than the other seasons, only really better than the insanely boring Season 1 (which out-bores this season by miles.) Since in the end, even the radioactive trainwreck that was Season 3 was still sorta entertaining. Also though I haven't finished reading/logging Season 4, it's definitely better than this season too.
And yeah, there isn't even any nifty alternate plotlines or anything. What you see is what you get--all that was missing was that dire session where Rune Walsh and Zio were roleplayed like emo teenagers, and I doubt you really want to read THAT.
An extra note, this was the prototype for Genetia, which in turn was the prototype for Alsa. As you can guess, a stage zero prototype like this doesn't have anywhere near the interesting things those have, so it's kind of understandable.
Word Map (Made by Wordle)
Okay, starting out, I'm gonna note something here. With my new log device, the old days of fumbling in the dark to get Wordle to not crash are gone. In fact I filtered it much more harshly this time around, because especially with Season 5, I was just getting a lot of noise.
So what did that result in? Well, Julian is so massive he fills the entire screen. That's what happens when you constantly refer to yourself in the third person like he does. Outside of that unneeded largeness, you can see Aetos mentioned a lot because he makes people angry. Charles does the same. Back in the normal people section is Metal Man, Aribar, Garrick, and anyone else is kinda in the background, like Azure and MrMonster are. Kales himself shows up, which is good. Digi is referred to as Digi for some bizarre reason--guess nobody wants to say his full name. Then we get into the other words.
Well, ruins, electric, weird, die, death, lightning, hell... hell? That's seriously a word that shows up here? Blue... control, evil... battle... red... Tridus... Phantom... basically there's a ton of evil ruins and constant death and destruction. Oh, and water, too. Fires... natural phenomena are rather popular in this season, to put it lightly.
I hope this Wordle looks interesting, because it took me forever. Good news is that I also got Season 4's--but it'd be spoiling it to link/post it now. Look forward to that one... probably much later. Blah. Oh yeah, there's Kuja in here, because you know--he's why the Questers are there. Also village... I mean, they're only in a village for 3/4 of the season, after all.
Top 10% Logs of this SeasonThis Season was really, really boring. Let's dig through the boringness and look for something interesting!
Number 3: Chapter 220: Dumb Dinged Dang Field
Rune acts like a moron, SkyHigh kills Rune with explosions. Kales got a hoagie wrapper stuck in his face. Kales throws an exploding coin bag at the Questers, causing Julian to go "AUGH!" like Charlie Brown. Earlier, Jinacereg tells people not to mock the power of sausages. It's all in all a bunch of slapstick weirdness, which is really needed in this otherwise dry and boring season. However, it doesn't really have the full amount, so it's not quite as good as it could be.
Number 2: Chapter 238: The Melee Move Mecha
This log is all about the mecha of Maxamillion's and how it's stupidly powerful. It violates all common sense and basically could kill Kales and/or Kuja single-handedly. It also brews coffee on demand! Maxamillion was just somewhat annoying earlier, but by this point he's become completely insane and his bizarre statements are more interesting than 90% of the plot in this direly repetitive season. It's really simple and stupid, I know, but at least it doesn't bore me to death to read. That said, it could have used even more explosions.
Number 1: Chapter 242: Kales Meets His Match
Pretty much all the plot development occurs in this one. Kales ends up getting the relics, and reveals they make a staff. He also uses his infamous sword of death to carve up lots of people, including Julian. Then godmode Illian appears and destroys Kales with psychotic amounts of damage, making me question why they needed to fight Kales when Illian could just kill ANYONE. Whatever the case, this log also reconnects the plot to Season 6 and thus, better plot than the one this season had, so, good riddance to boring plot. No more relics, no more ruins... all of it has been destroyed and as of this log, there's nothing like it to happen ever again.
Cast ListingChapter 156
Metal Man - Quester Leader - Illian MacGregor, Destroyer Of Souls And Worlds
Garrick Fy`aar - Quester - Perpetually Ticked Off Smith
Aribar - Quester - . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pausing All The Time
Charles Magellean - Quester - Doesn't Want To Be A Quester
Julian Sawyer - Quester - Julian Sawyer Julian Sawyer Julian Sawyer Julian Julian Julian Julian JJJJJJ
The Puppeteer AKA John Faust - Quester? - Probably Killed Offscreen
Saryu - Quester?'s Puppet - Stupid Puppet
Aetos - Quester - Stupider Than A Puppet
Kales Brando - Lizardman Leader - Psychotic Murdering Archaeologist Outcast
Moody Mandy - Lizardman Salesman - Selling Items to Monsters Since Forever
Koryuu - Quester?'s Puppet - Annoying Puppet
Digifanatic - Quester - The Digital Power-Refuser
MrMonster - Quester - Aribar's Less Whiny Cousin, Or Something
Wolfman - Former Quester Leader - Library Destroying Troublemaker
Azure - Quester - RIP Spirit Charms
VG - Former Quester and Super Smash Stadium Leader - Regrets Everything
Unreal Tournament Announcer - WTF - No clue
Lich Faust - Aetos Nightmare Hallucination - Probably the Spirit of Faust after he Died
Seer Kai - Quester? - Aetos Nightmare Halluc--er, I mean, Stupid Attempt To Godmode My Plot
Giallar - Quester? - Lasted 22 Seconds
Azael - Quester? - Lasted 2.2 Seconds
Ein - Quester? - Lasted 0.22 Seconds
Scott Kane - Quester? - Pandora's Box Opener
Terrordactyls - Ruin Monster - What, they Spoke?
Elder - Lizardman Elder - Wisely Stayed Out of The Way
Rune Walsh - Quester? - Impostor Who Also Probably Died Offscreen
PA - Underground Ruin Computer - All Underwater Systems Online
SkyHigh - Fallen Quester/Kuja Commander - A Taste of Hoagies To Come
Tridus - Quester - Master Of the Forbidden Cheap Electric Death Attack
Jinarcereg - Quester - Flake Who Never Returns
Zorn - Kuja Commander - Ineffective Obstacle
Thorn - Kuja Commander - Obstacle, Ineffective
Hologram - Solarian Defense Hologram - Magical Transforming Thing
Maxamillion - Kuja Commander - Solarian Mad Scientist
Computer Voice - Ruin Defense Device - KRSHHHHHH
S-001 - Defense Droid - Impressively Unbeatable
Traon - Quester - Red Blood Dude
Metal Sonic - Smasher - Expensive, Indestructable Sentient Item
Ztarhcs - Utopian Lizardman - Sometimes, Backwards is Better than Forwards
King - Utopian Lizardman Leader - Brain, what is a?
Voice - Ruin Defense Computer - Geez, how many evil AI voices do these ruins Need?
Chain Chomp - Kuja's Commander's Lackey - BOW WOW
Samus - Smasher - She of Few Lines
Mewthree - Professor Oak's Out Of Control Experiment - Spends More Time Denouncing Others As Insects Than Defending Himself
Deathguise - Kuja's Lackey - Failed Attempt To Enforce Death
RandomCitizen - Lizardman - Random Hapless Citizen Poked by Dea--er, Aribar
SIMBER - Stadium AI - Surprisingly Patient Despite Everything
Jacki - Lizardman - Garrick's Oft-Suffering Assistant
Smash Dex - Quester Tool - Barely Around Due To Technical Difficulties
Haunter - Pokemon - How'd one of THESE Get Here?
Kuja Picture - Haunted Thing - Mwa Ha Ha, Not In The Season!
Bowser Picture - Haunted Thing - Geez, Why Aren't I In More Things?
The Void Picture - Haunted Thing - Wait, How Does This Make Any Sense?
Deloth - Quester - Pre-Tower Annihilation Version
Phantom - Fallen Quester - Annoying Salesman for a Gun for Hire
Professor Oak - Stored Message - If You Are Hearing This, I Am Out Of A Job
Klumsy - Stored Message - Outdated Warning
Dr. Light - Stored Message - The Only Useful Message
BATTLE REPORT - Apocalypse Group Post-mortem - Oops, We're Too Evil To Live
Project 42 - Ruin Defense Monster - Digifanatic: "This is the only time I will hate you, Douglas Adams..."
Digivice - Digifanatic Support Tool - Debugs Enemies By Deleting Them
INTA - Crystal City AI - Weak Wannabe SIMBER
Ize - Kuja's Lackey - The Only Survivor
Fer - Kuja's Lackey - Burnt to the Ground
Elc - Kuja's Lackey - He Who Refuses
Mayor - Crystal City Leader - Poor, Lonely Person
Crump - Magellean Hallucination - Easily Taken Care Of
Grodus - Magellean Hallucination - Signal Transmitter
Mij - Magellean Hallucination - Jim Backwards? So Lame.
Packet - Magellean Hallucination - Similar to "Razagal of Starcraft"?
Butler - Magellean Hallucination - Only the Mayor Knows!
Dan - X-Zone Monstrosity - HEYLLO PIPPLE
Metal Man??? - X-Zone Monstrosity - Mechanized Elite Hunter From Another World
Mr. T - X-Zone Monstrosity - I Pity Da Foo Who Take Dis Seriously
Sephiroth - X-Zone Monstrosity - Much Weaker Than The Original
Daniel Hahn - X-Zone Monstrosity - Success Through Nothing
Smithy - Reformed Former Quester Enemy - Bitterly Avenging His lack of Screentime
SIMBER2.0 - Kuja's Commander - The Leader of the Turion Attack On Questers
Mortal Kombat Voice - WTF - CAT FATALITY!!!
Mewtwo - Smasher - CAT FATALI--oh.
ConclusionPhew... it took way too long to commentary-ize, due to its sheer boringness. How many more ruins are there? Why must there be so many? There were so many libraries that if they were the real Stadium library, we'd have 50 billion books. Some of them were holograms, but some of them were real! What's up with that??? And there were vastly more real ones than there were holograms even though there were hologram libraries!
And Wolfman didn't know there were hologram libraries even though ostensibly he was managing them based on what was in Season 4! In fact you could say the entire reason The Book came into existence is the only plot hole larger than the ones that created The Void were those book-related plot holes!!!!
So in short, this whole thing was just really boring, with few exceptions, and those exceptions were insanity-inducing. ...Too late though, you've read this... now YOU get to be insane too!