Plot SummaryRead the (probably somewhat long) plot summary here.
Plot AnalysisSo, a short jaunt instead of a long one like that Season 4 one. Hmmm...
It sorta analyzed itself, to be honest. It started out very generic and about facing off against evil, but then through multiple redemption arcs, proved that to be false. Instead it was merely on how the old good vs. evil framework of the past was an assumption. It showed how the complicated moral conundrums inherent in reality were meaningless, and on some level, we all have a reason to work together. Except for those who arbitrarily draw those lines. And use those lines to isolate people, and turn them against eachother.
The two worlds paradigm. Evil Wolfman's world of people who don't get along, can't get along. And the main universe, which more or less avoided that problem. Except for some people who didn't get the program.
Valentine. The tactless tactician. She ultimately only could end up leaving one way: completely cursed for her distaste for working with others.
And Garrick. The man without a soul. He could only see the world as poisoned by energy, energy that he didn't understand, energy he hated. Despite how obvious it was that there was a big 'There is no evil Smash Energy' message, he made certain to blot that out with his own theories, and then ham-fistedly ram his intended plot atop the actual one. And so the Smash Energy was removed, even though there was no proof that it was evil by nature. Instead this so-called cure failed to actually cure anything. Garrick remained insane, due to genetic problems unrelated to Smash Energy. And Xavier Ridgecrest got his revenge in the upcoming seasons in CONFRONTATION.
So... where does that leave us, after all of this?
Not much, just a rather simplistic season. I guess Captain N and some others showed up, as well as Metal Razor, but it was really just a show dominated by the Questers. The others kinda just were... there. The 40K Marine(s) Garrick brought in were handy backup, but in the end, the 40K setting didn't really have much to do with anything. The other quickly placed aspect was Autumnus and the Time Cops, who... mostly acted as a backup for the Questers, then were unexpectedly kneecapped by Panzer.
The Questers ultimately took over for the Brawlers, who were more or less secondary in their own season. My mistake: I never gave them any unique powers, so they basically were unable to do anything in their own game. Kinda sad really -- there was untapped ability that was never used. Meanwhile Garrick got way too much attention.
Red Text helped start off the season, but he too, was just the NPC of the moment. Not a lot in this season leaves a long lasting taste in one's mouth, so to speak. It's just a bland collection of personages, followed by the annihilation of Evil Wolfman. A bit of color appears at the end as we see the setup for a different game entirely, but I'll save analyzing that for last.
So... then what. What is there beyond that, you ask?
Not much actually, it was a rather short, semi-flavorless season. The closest one could get to reviving Season 1 again. Except it was me doing it. So it was a bit less bland, but... still. I wish more risks had been taken, and the Brawlers had gotten better chances to do things. This is no way to run a game. I agreed, of course--I stopped GMing altogether after this for a while. A lot of IRL problems were getting in the way, and I couldn't GM while under those stresses, so I had to let that blow over before I could GM again.
There was Tridux then, but that was a whole 'nother ball of wax... one that never went anywhere, so I may get the handful of sessions and do a post-mortem of it too, but for now, this blandese of a season is what you have to mull over. Now to further accentuate how one-dimensional aspects of this season were by doing the other parts of the summary-making.
One other bit of information comes to mind. The reason, why, everything happened in this season, and why the thought of 'evil Questers' and such.
It wasn't Smash Energy. It's players and their characters, who, when faced with a choice between trying to become something better, and becoming something worse... they actively and intentionally stagnate. A force separate from Smash Energy, that no magic potion can cure. You can't punch it down in a fight. You can't summon Hyper Trance Cream, Unsent Powers, the Giant of Bab-il, Madoka Plots or anything to try and get rid of it. You can't go into Trance Mode and become a God to remove it from your life. Can't even use the literal force of fate itself to try to write it out of existence.
Blaming others is convenient, and they can always be defeated in combat, and use that as a means to 'prove' you have triumphed over your 'enemy'... But stagnation. It never gives up, and it never lets go, unless you actually change yourself.
On the other extreme, Panzer managed to perfect it to the point she embraced her destiny and destroyed Autumnus... or at least half of him, long before that became important. She didn't need to hardly show up in the main sessions, either. Makes you think... were the Brawlers really doing much at all? The plot seemed to move itself...
Which is the other problem with SSQ:I, anyway. The plot wasn't super interactive, even for those who were doing things. Only an elite few could interfere with it, and even then, they mostly were unable to do much other than make it move along faster.
Word Map (Made by Wordle)
Hmmm... a lot to unpack here. Brawlers such as Kraela and Kaine and Jet and Starr and Jason are present, as well as Questers. Lots of Questers. Metal Man, Kenku, Digi, Demon, Garrick, Valentine, Panzer, (Metal) Razor, and Kitten Orbella. Otherwise we have a lot of strange entries, like Anthon Tark, Mewtwo, (Evil) Wolfman, Red Text, Borne, Dr. Light, Master / Crazy Hand, and Jack. There's also GUN, the Time Cops, Questers, and Brawlers all facing off as different organizations. The Pseudo-Cube Bazooka (called 'Cannon' here), Time Devices, coins, (force) fields, space ships, and such, act as the equipment category. And of course, Nintendus, Alsa, and such are all there too.
Despite this game being about the Brawlers, what we see predominantly here are Questers, Evil Wolfman, and some NPCs. This is an example of how while the game was in theory about one thing, the reality was that it was dominated by Questers. There, they deal in death, killing, Smash Energy, everything / nothing, and destruction, stopping, good vs. evil, plans, deals, beginnings and battles, mind and thinking. It is a search for common ground that doesn't happen, and results in nothing but people taking sides, pointing everywhere, and sighing and smirking constantly. A very strange and bittersweet image, one of people driven to a plan, but, ultimately breaking down into nothing but infighting and chaos.
Top 10% Logs of this SeasonNow for something entirely different, a relatively small number of logs to pick from. Hm, top 10% of 21 logs means about 2... okay then, which two logs are the best in this tiny 'Season'?
Number 2: Chapter 21: The Incredible Crash Test QBs
Deadpan summary: Xavier Ridgecrest suggests to the Brawlers they ditch this uncool SSQ:I thing and become Questers and defeat Evil Wolfman as if this were CONFRONTATION, REVELATION, or REVOLUTION. I mean, it knocked my breath away to read this. Just think of it. They could have skipped the tedium, the angst, the nonsense that added nothing, and just gone straight to something more true to what SSQ is.
As for why it's not #1, that's simple. They said no, and Metal Man's insanity was used as the reason. A legitimate reason to not take him up verbatim on what he said... but rather than focus on that, lame answers like "I like riding multiple Space Ships instead of one Space Ship" or "I'm not being paid currently and you'd only offer a modest pay increase" or "It's not what Mewtwo told me to do!" were used instead.
Ultimately as a result, the Brawlers canceled their own sequel; as Metal Man would later become the future, but, they refused to work with him for any reason. Meanwhile, Metal Man does more on his own than most people in the entire game did... I don't often focus so much on my own character but in a game filled with cardboard cutouts, the one person who actually goes "THIS IS NONSENSE" and actually does something... wins. Read it yourself -- it exposes the problems with the Brawlers, down to how they just 'stand there' while he hacks Red Text's ship, to how they fail to get the difference between 'this plan needs tweaks' and 'I just don't like you because I was told to hate you!'
So on and so forth, but read for yourself, and see whether you agree or not.
Number 1: Chapter 39: Of Alsa and Erastia
The badass quotient gets crazy with this one. Jack KILLS Marley, Jack and Anthon Tark fight it out, Anthon Tark takes on all the Brawlers by himself, then he determines how stupid this all is and flees to create his own world. One which actually does become the premise for the planet Rendar, a major part of later games.
The evil Red Text tries to cheat reality, only to then get his butt kicked by Anthon Tark as well.
Meanwhile, Xavier finally discovers his TRUE backstory and accidentally becomes a part of his own history, dooming his past self to continued insanity.
I'm sad the season wasn't all like this. I mean, the Brawlers even get a win after annoying Anthon off of 'their' planet. It was way more interesting to have a plot with stakes and with actual characters, rather than styrofoam cut-outs, like most of SSQ:I had been. Luckily... we have not one, but three entire games full of this sort of action (give or take, I'm not perfect, geez) comin' up, so this will serve as a teaser...
Cast (In Order of Appearance)Wow, already this far into the commentary. Let's go out with a bang, shall we?
Digifanatic - Quester - Doesn't Like Being On Just ONE Space Ship
Red Text - Brawler "Ally" - Duplicitous But Helpful "Gentleman"
Kaine - Brawler - Oh no, You Brought the Brawler Instead of the Quester, Demon!
Kitten "Orbella" Ti'Fiona - Quester - Torn Between Being a Victim and a Victor
Jet - Brawler - Background Character Who Often Dies
Nintendus Mewtwo - Stadium Staff - Leader of the Pseudo-Mediocre Mess
Alsa Mewtwo - Brawler "Ally" - Aloof Observer
Kraela - Brawler - One of the few Brawlers with Teeth
??? - ??? - ??? (No seriously, I'm sorta done figuring out who all these ???s are in my logs)
Holo Garrick - Brawler "Ally" - Uses Advanced Algorithms to Cover Up Garrick's Mistakes
Jason - Brawler - The Piano Guy (I think?)
Kenku - Quester - Strangely, Would Probably Just As Well Been A Brawler
Kesu - Brawler - Brief but memorable Painful Paintbrush Attacker
Katelyn - Brawler - I forgot what this character was
Metal Man? aka "Gracey" - Alternate Reality Quester - Victim of a More Vicious World Than He's Used To
Professor Oak - Stadium Staff - Same ol' Item Combining Maniac
Metal Man - "Former" Quester Leader - Has the Initiative And Somehow Does More Than The Main Characters Combined
Tails - Alsan Inhabitant - Always Left To Clean Up Everyone Else's Mess
Daniel Carrington - Carrington Institute Leader - Cetan Megawarp Handler
Jack O'Neill - Stargate Commander - Sympathetic But Conflicted
Dragoshi - Quester - *Glasses drop down from the sky* DEAL WITH IT
Mack the Repairman - Stadium Staff - Featuriiiing Weeeerd Akceeeeent
Emmitt - Brawler - Perhaps a Little Too Cuddly of a Kitsune
Starr - Brawler - The Princess With a Direct Touch
AnonyMan - Brawler - Seemingly Shut Down Mid-Season Without Too Many Noticing
Valentine - Quester - Hated By All
Janitoad - Toad Janitor - Coverup Believer
Toadio - Toad Citizen - Prescription User
Risk.E - Toad Journalist - Ready to get the next Big Scoop
King Demon - Quester - Long-Fighting Quester
Ghost Metroid 2 and 3 - Evil Wolfman Ally - *Evil screeches intensify*
Computer - Red Text Tool - Failed Attempt to Warn of Metal's Takeover
Marley - Ex-GUN Ex-Madman Ex-Everything - Ultra Failure 3000
Geel - Sloan Lackey - Mysterious Wannabe Anthon Kidnapper
Anthon Tark - GUN Commander - Time Traveling Butt-Kicking Destruction Machine
Panzer - Quester - Behind the Scenes Controller of Events
Trigger - Quester - Insert Bland Single-Word Response Here
The Ninja - Quester - Giving Of Sense Burger Yes, But Addressing Elephants In Room, No
Garrickdex - Evil Quester Tool - The Original Voice We Hear (Evil Wolfman Doesn't Like The Sound Of His Own Voice)
The Arbiter - Time Cop Admin - Bets On a Risky Plan And Has To Withdraw
Sloan - Leader of Sloan's Empire Of Wackos - Always Chasing The Next Big Monetary Reward
Evil Wolfman - Leader of the Evil Questers - The Ominous Sunglasses Wearing Murderer Himself
Yurie? - Alternate Reality Quester - Strangely Familiar -.-
Kinnin - Quester - Talk about him one more f@#king time and he'll f@#kin' slice your face off!!!!
Kuji - Alsan Quester Reject - Still Alive Despite Everyone's Attempts
Trap D. - Toad Town Citizen - Prisoner of Evil Questers
Koopa - Toad Town Citizen - Stater of Obvious Things
Shy Guy - Toad Town Citizen - Too shy to Talk
Slig 1 - Evil Quester Tool - Intruder Detected.
Simon Belmont - Brawler "Ally" - Master of Hair Styling
Penguin - Intergalactic Penguin - Salutes Yurie, Liege of Darkness
Penguin 2 - Intergalactic Penguin - Wait, why are there so many of these in this game???
Death - Evil Quester Ally - WAITS FOR NO ONE AND SPEAKS LIKE A CERTAIN WEBCOMIC CHARACTER
Cultist - Echidna Cult Member - Hark, the Time of Julian's Successors!
Cultist 2 - Echidna Cult Member - Hark, The Jack Times Long Ago!
Echidna King - Echidna Cult Leader - Is He Cylus, Is He Not? He Knows All About World-Threatening Spells Though...
Echidna Prophet - Echidna Cult Member - Seer of The Four Crises
Mario - Brawler "Ally" - Demented Dark Grodus Destroyer
Peach - Brawler "Ally" - Disaster Describer
Merlon - Brawler "Ally" - Scryer of Doom
Zero - Brawler "Ally" - Foreteller of Panzer Destroying All
Crane - Alsan Monster - *Radioactive screech*
Cyber Ourumov - Porky / Pokey's Evil Servant - Want Only Vodka Of Unhappiness, Comrade, Not Metal Cola
Thryne - Alsan Monster - Brother Twice Removed from Dyne, Relatively Irrelevant Too!
Lakitu - Stadium Staff - Skeptical of this Brawler Thing
Master Hand - Stadium Staff - Demoted to Count-Down-Giver
Jack - Alsan Monster - Owner of Jack the Widowmaker's Chicago Downer, the Darkest Bar on Alsa
Trevelyan? - Alsan Monster - Some Sort of Illusion...
Boris - Alsan Monster - Fair Trader, Owner of Deloth Mask
Ael? - Subconian Illusion - REVENGE AT LAST
Pandora? - Subconian Illusion - DIEDIEDIEDIEDIE
SIMBER? - Subconian Illusion - Annoyed No One Remembers His Name
Dr. Proctor? - Subconian Illusion - Couldn't Agree More Heartily That The Questers Are "Evil"
Smash Dex? - Subconian Illusion - ERROR ERROR X-ZOOOOOOOOOONE
Solid Snake? - Subconian Illusion - The Questers Are Gonna Overthrow Me, *Vanishes Under Box*
Cranky Kong? - Subconian Illusion - The One True Master of THAC0
Crazy Hand - Stadium Staff - Sadistic Test-Giver
Soldier - Evil Quester Ally - It's All A Trick! Watch Out!
Soldier 2 - Evil Quester Ally - I'm Not Answering THAT Question
Soldier 3 - Evil Quester Ally - Please Leave Before We Test Our Weapons!!!
Vile Metal Sonic - Evil Quester Ally - Extremely Persistent Pest
Captain N - Brawler "Ally" - Has His Ideas, Gets Ignored
Mr. Patch - Stadium Staff - Believer in Dark Smash Energy
Dr. Light - Stadium Staff - Believer of Doomed Brawlers
Psycho Mantis - Evil Quester Ally - Sees All The Brawlers Think, Therefore, Loses When They Stop Thinking
Metal Razor - Alternate Dimension Quester - Confusingly, is The Original One In a World Where He was Further Mechanized
Dr. Doppler - Evil Quester Ally - Angry He Cannot Provoke Others
Darker Doppler - Evil Quester Ally - Angry He Never Got To Fight Anyone
Bowser - Brawler "Ally" - Undermanned, Overwhelmed
Daisy - Brawler "Ally" - The One Who Holds The Power
Koopatrol - Brawler "Ally" - Warns of Anthon
Pilot - GUN Soldier - Just Doing His Job, Jeez
Boo - Magellean Military Member - WHERE ARE THE PRETZELS
Boo 2 - Magellean Military Member - BEATING UP THE BRAWLERS IS FUN
Boolossus - Magellean Military Member - WE WILL SMASH EVERYTHING FLAT
Suit (of Armor) - Magellean Treasure Guard - Bad Taste In Friends
Cube (of Order) - Brawler Tool - Just Touching It Invites It INto YOUR Mind...
John Dark - Carrington Institute Member - Debt Collector
Fighter - Dreamland Foe - Ridiculously Easy
Space Marine Garrick Fy`aar - Quester-Space Marine Hybrid - Not Exactly For The Emperor, Not Exactly For The Stadium Either
Nova - AI Prisoner of Garrick - Restricted to a Factoid-Only Diet
Deloth - Quester - Sardonic Mentor And Ally to the Brawlers
Agatha Weatherspoon - Brawler - Seldom Mentioned, Master of Wacky Elder Powers
No Characters Introduced In This Chapter
Violet "Vi-Vi" (Bakaneko) - Brawler - Time For Action! Get Ready!
Avitus - Emperor of Man Marine - Questions Helping Heretics and Daemons Fight Other Daemons And Heretics
Smithy - Smithy Gang Leader - Back Again, Then Killed By Evil Wolfman
Autumnus - Time Cop Leader - The TRUE Final Boss... Who Was Betrayed By Panzer?!?!
Evil Garrik - Evil Quester - Oddly, Probably Less Evil Than Actual Garrick
Rinith - Quester - Proves There Is No Such Thing As "Evil" Smash Energy
Evil Deloth - Evil Quester - Punchline Who Only Exists To Embarrass People
Gibbeau - Evil Quester - Valiant, Doomed Soul
The Void - Master Of Chaos - Peers Down And Pities Da Foo'
Sword of Light - Quester Tool - Playing Dead To Trick Garrick
Canti - Red Text / Quester Ally - Betrays Red Text For The One True Side
Scientist - GUN Soldier - Aids In Debugging Wreckage
Darkrai - Alsan Monster - Warns Others To Not Come Over
Borne - GUN Commander - Returns To Remove Anthon
Reploid - GUN Soldier - Tool of Anthon
Generator - GUN Equipment - Anthon's Equipment TALKS???
Vonner Schlamm - Erastian Noble - TRAITOR!!!
Old Metal - Rogue Erastian Soldier - Walking Metaphor For How Obnoxious We All Used To Be When We Were Younger
ConclusionSo... that's how it all ends. Strange, really. I came in thinking it'd be all bad, but it turned out alright in the end. I guess the benefit of how short it was, was it didn't overstay its welcome. Thus, we lacked the annoyance that often happens with, I dunno, Season 4 and how it literally DID NOT END. Well, it's all over for real now, since this will be one of the last times I touch this part of it.
It is bittersweet, to see how it could have been better, but was not. But at the same time, it paved the way for what's up next... CONFRONTATION. Thus, we must thank it for ending, because if it hadn't ended, or it had ended differently... maybe I wouldn't even be here writing this.
After all, originally I planned to quit GMing for good, and give it over to TrueWolves, and then, TrueWolves got overwhelmed and left. But... I wouldn't have wanted to continue, had I not accidentally written a trigger for a new game into the ending of this one. So thanks to that, after a while, I started up anew. And that will be what I log next, the first part of CONFRONTATION.
While I also work on my new game, Scavenger. Seems like I have an embarrassment of riches to deal with here, so... I'll cut this short too, and say, thank you for reading all the way down here, since that's rather rare for anyone to do.