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The Weekly Review - Edition 39

6 months ago
The Weekly Review – Edition 39

What’s New in the Story Games and Forums
Recommended Reads and Reviews: EndMaster’s Eternal
Featured Article: Mutual Benefit, A New Idea
The Riddle Corner
The Points League

(Everything notable that’s happened in the last week)
In Newbie Central the site welcomes GuillotineTE, Benajah765, Henshaw_13, APigWithAHat, Bgirlstones and Ozoni!
In the Lounge Mizal reminds people of the new popular forum Discord!
In the Creative Corner Avery_Moore’s The Dark Room continues to be extremely enjoyable!
In the Writing Workshop Avery_Moore reminds us that her fantastic and long-awaited CYOA Innocence Lost is just about ready!
In the Advanced Editor Forum Henshaw_13 seeks help about hidden links!
In the Feature Wishing Well GuillotineTE asks about putting the profile at the top of the page!

EndMaster’s Eternal
A Fantasy Adventure Story with a Maturity of 7, a Play Length of 8, a Story Difficulty of 8 and a Player Rating of 7.31

(If you're worried about spoilers skip past paragraph eight)
There are many things that I could say about Eternal. I could praise the rich and believable characters, how each one brings something unique in their own way. Some of them are of course less fleshed out than others, but in most cases it's just because the main character doesn't care about them/talk to them enough.
I could also mention the awe-inspiring battle scenes, the kind that completely captivate you, not just with how they're written (although that helps a lot) but also because of the emotional stakes set into the fights. YOU are the character, and for all of their faults and blatant villainy, you still sympathies with them and support them in their struggles.
I might mention the sprawling and massive world building that EndMaster put so much time and effort into, how every area from the snowy wasteland of Rask to the tamed cities of The Felkan Kingdom, or Quala all feel distinct and memorable.
But mostly I want to focus on the story. Because Eternal has a very emotional and epic story involving empires, war, oppression, and death.
The first real decision in the game is a pretty important one, as each choice puts you on totally different paths with branching narratives.
While I acknowledge that the Struggle path is probably the most epic and amazing path out of the lot, the beg route holds a very special place in my heart.
Here's why: The fight with Captain Gruz is like an emotional punch in the gut, over the course of the last day you've seen two of your fellow soldiers (Who you see as brothers) die before your eyes in violent ways. When Gruz's betrayal is revealed you have no choice but to do battle in the second most amazing fight in the whole story. (Semra's fight right before you get the book in the Harbinger path is still the coolest thing) The descriptions are simple sound effects because that's all there needs to be, the emotional weight of the scene carries the whole fight
As a side note you're totally a bad guy in this story, just in varying degrees depending on which route you're on. if that isn't your thing don't read this story. If you are easily upset by things like throwing babies (There isn't much I swear) or borderline incestuous sex/fight scenes this isn't the story for you.
In the end this story will remain in my heart until the end of my life, truly making it--at least in my eyes--ETERNAL.

This is seriously some of the most enthralling writing I've ever read. After reading it for the umpteenth last night I came to the conclusion that this is my favorite book.
The straightforward, dark, humorous way Endmaster writes helps slower readers, who have trouble with more serious/boring/verbose reads, to enjoy an otherwise dense and in-depth world.
The savagery of a dark fantasy feudal empire is disturbing, but in no way off-putting. I think that the setting was greatly benefited by the way in which Endmaster weaves words. More purple writing could have alienated some more prudish readers (the ones that weren't already scared off anyway). The deserts of Nalin/Naleen, Delergian swamp/sea, and other-such geography was actually a nice touch. I enjoyed how varied and vast everything felt. Even without going down the True Eternal path the world is massive and wonderful (I can't believe I'm calling something Endmaster wrote 'wonderful') The cultures within the story were interesting enough that I was a little sad that we didn't have more backstory pages devoted to them. None of them are original (Do I detect Warhammer vibes?), but nevertheless they're written well.
The characters are where the real action's act. Most of them are really well written, with only a few exceptions. Mistress, Alison, Talia, and Brenda are stronger, cooler, independent-er female characters than COG could ever whip up (poetic irony?) and I LOVE it. Mistress's fucked up life were funny and tragic, and I'm not someone that empathizes for fictional characters. I found the way her life to play out in both True Eternal paths to be interesting, and even worthy of her own story. The fact that the Eternal gets a little... close with her mind was a cool way to show a little bit more about her character.
Alison was just phenomenal. The relationship she had with the MC (a violent, apathetic, brainwashed sociopath) was intriguing, and almost made me feel happy for the Eternal, until I remembered what kind of monster he was. I still love Eternal Bliss though. Talia was decent. I thought her struggle between her religious beliefs and her love were well done, and I liked that Dendren's religion was a constant source of trouble for Shadow Eternal and Talia. I used to consider Brenda as the weakest of the characters. Before I read certain parts of the soldier path I thought her existence was just a plot device to broach the topic of romance to the MC. I almost forgot about her in every play through until she takes a more active role. Now after re-reading through every path of the game for the twelfth time I think I finally have a opinion/understanding on her. She's so infatuated with her husband and the Empire. His passing and another inevitable event in the soldier path rips a hole in her soul that never heals. The Eternal can comfort and support her enough to keep her from throwing in the towel but nothing will ever fill that void. That's why I didn't relate to her. I mistook it for a failure of End's writing but she's suffering from depression that's way stronger than the writing implied. Dendrin is a great character, and for some reason I love Flog. Cyrus was good in the Shadow Master path.
The only two characters I found to be "meh" were The Emperor and Decena. The Emperor could have used some more characterizing moments, since he has such a important part in the True Eternal path. Since he's the True Eternal's mentor and foster father, I think that it's an entirely reasonable criticism. Perhaps it's just a flaw in End's writing style but I found that a lot of the characters didn't have character moments beyond the bare bones. That's exactly the problem with Decena. First off, is that even her name? I struggle through scenes with her every time I read this. My suspicion is that by time End got to writing her he was starting to lose his motivation. Working too hard can be a detriment to the story and I think that the late stage Emperor path started to show signs. Around the 560's in the Republic path I started to catch this feeling again, but it wasn't as terrible without the cancer that is Decena.
Over all I think this is amazing for a hobbyist CYOA story. It has multiple disturbing genital warts, which I haven't showcased in full but I think that the overwhelming majority of the novel--and I'm not using the word lightly-- is highly entertaining. I can only hope to write this well eventually.

... Yeah, this is going to be a long one. It took me months but I finally read through every single branch of every single path, got every single ending and then went back and re-read my favorite path again for good measure. To sum up... This game is fucking amaze-balls!!! ^_^
Endmaster is one of those rare and talented writers that can leave you feeling seriously emotionally moved by the end of the story. Reading the Eternal's life story from birth through to his last days genuinely makes me think about getting old and how difficult it must be to be nearing the end of your life and wondering if you could've done more with it... It's really bloody depressing. :p
Got to give Endmaster credit for his world-creating abilities aswell. I generally love High-Fantasy settings, but End always put an awesomely dark twist on his worlds. I think the story starts with a very strong beginning, having the protagonist being created and raised to become a ruthless killer utterly devoted to a corrupt government. It keeps the character treading a very thin line between villain and anti-hero, whilst still allowing the reader to sympathize with the character and even feel sorry for him. It's really interesting to see a character that can butcher an entire village of innocent men women and children without batting an eyelash, yet he has absolutely no malice or streak of cruelty in him, he just genuinely thinks he's doing what's necessary.
So... I guess now I'm just going to give a list of some of my top 3 favorite things in the story because... There's a lot of good stuff in the story!
Top three romantic interests:
3. Alison. (She's probably the nicest and most normal of all the Eternal's potential partners, and just a generally likeable character whilst still being fun and interesting.)
2. Brenda. (Of all the potential partners I think ending up with Brenda just feels most "right." Probably because she's another first gen Eternal and the protagonist grew up with her, which gives them a closeness that he doesn't have with any of the other potential partners.)
1. Decena. (... Kind of strange I picked her since I generally find mindless love to be quite annoying, but there's something about Decena that just makes me feel sorry for her. I felt she deserved a happy ending. ^_^)
Top three characters in general:
3. Lena (Quite similar to Decena, I just have a soft spot for unfortunate souls that the Eternal takes under his wing. In some respects I guess she was kind of a bitch, but then she sure has hell had enough reason to be, and while ultimately she never really gave up her quest for revenge, it was nice to see her channel it towards something meaningful, even if it didn't really work out in the end.)
2. Ulivik (What can I say? He's adorably annoying. Also I just generally enjoy watching the Eternal develop fatherly bonds with other characters. For some reason I always find the Eternal's life seems to have more meaning when he has a hand in raising or training one specific person that he cares about than the endings that involve the putting together or protecting of an entire nation.)
1. Captain Gruz (... He's just fucking awesome!) ^_^
Favorite endings (Without giving anything away):
3. Eternal Paragon
2. Eternal Survivor
1. Eternal Bane
... And yeah. This game is awesome... Read it ^_^


Mutual Benefit, A New Idea
At various times, such as now, the site suffers from lack of people writing stories and people reading stories. I have a suggestion that might be useful:
Recently I got a personal message from a new writer who was absolutely thrilled that someone had not only read their story but took the time to write a review longer than a sentence, something that had only happened two or three times in as many months. Currently the site is suffering from a lack of people writing new stories and indeed what is the point of taking the time to write a story, a free gift essentially intended to give strangers some entertainment, if almost no one bothers to read it and provide feedback?
I have been as bad or worse than just about everyone else in this regard but next week I’m going to start going through my comments section in My Stuff and everyone whose written a review of one of my stories a bit longer than “It was fun” (thanks though Jakob1) I’ll reciprocate and write a decent feedback on one of their stories, if they have one, when I have time. I’d encourage others to do the same, by responding to one good deed with another (or even trashing the stories of those who trashed yours, if it’s justified) everyone benefits.
Just an idea.


Last Week’s Answers:
1: You cannot keep me until you have given me. What am I?
Answer: Your Word
2: What is hard to find but easy to lose, worth more than gold but costs less than a penny?
Answer: A Friend
3: I am a seed with three letters in my name. Take away two letters and I sound quite the same. What am I?
Answer: Pea

This Week’s Riddles:
1: The more you take the more you leave behind. What are they?
2: I fly without wings, I cry without eyes. What am I?
3: What is easy to get into but hard to get out of?

0: The Gods Alexp (Founder), Chocobot (Founder), Cysid (Robot Mascot), EndMaster (Admin), Madglee (Admin) and March5th00 (Founder) (Infinite Points)
1: The Million Word Malkavian Admin BerkaZerka (10,142 Points)
2: The Reader former Admin JJJ-thebanisher (5,666 Points)
3: The Grandmaster of the Written Word TheNewIAP (5,194 Points)
4: The Grandmaster of the Written Word Ogre11 (4,959 Points)
5: The Grandmaster of the Written Word Will11 (4,231 Points)
6: The Master Scrivener Admin Fleshnblood_78 (3,780 Points)
7: The Master Scrivener Reverencia (3,631 Points)
8: The Master Scrivener TharaApples (3,457 Points)
9: The Master Scrivener Former Admin Sethaniel (3,424 Points)
10: The Master Scrivener ThePirateCaptain (3,378 Points)
11: The Master Scrivener Seto (3,331 Points)
12: The Master Scrivener Admin Mizal (3,273 Points)
13: The Master Scrivener Kumquat (3,061 Points)
14: The Expert Scrivener Solostrike (2,927 Points)
15: The Expert Scrivener BradinDvorak (2,872 Points)
16: The Expert Scrivener Steve24833 (2,702 Points)
17: The Expert Scrivener Romulus (2,608 Points)
18: The Expert Scrivener October (2,587 Points)
19: The Journeyman Scrivener WouldntItBeNice (2,379 Points)
20: The Journeyman Scrivener MinnieKing (2,149 Points)
21: The Journeyman Scrivener Avery_Moore (2,136 Points)
22: The Journeyman Scrivener Tanstaafl (2,120 Points)
23: The Journeyman Scrivener galobtter (2,054 Points)
24: The Journeyman Scrivener MadHattersDaughter (2,024 Points)
25: The Apprentice Scrivener Bucky (1,909 Points)
26: The Apprentice Scrivener Mayana (1,863 Points)
27: The Apprentice Scrivener Tsmpaul (1,807 Points)
28: The Apprentice Scrivener Rommel (1,785 Points)
29: The Apprentice Scrivener Havacoman (1,753 Points)
30: The Apprentice Scrivener SindriV (1,638 Points)
31: The Apprentice Scrivener RobustSporadic (1,619 Points)
32: The Apprentice Scrivener JMgskills (1,571 Points)
33: The Apprentice Scrivener urnam0 (1,551 Points)
34: The Apprentice Scrivener Anubis (1,531 Points)
35: The Novelist Orange (1,476 Points)
36: The Novelist simplesabley (1,430 Points)
37: The Novelist ISentingelPenguinI (1,414 Points)
38: The Novelist fergie14233 (1,320 Points)
39: The Novelist Miccy2000 (1,296 Points)
40: The Novelist Admin Killa_Robot (1,217 Points)
41: The Novelist Leora (1,188 Points)
42: The Novelist Morgan_R (1,030 Points)

If I have overlooked anyone who has 1,000 Points or more please inform me and I will add your name and points to the Points League. I also intend to extract this and attach it to the Roll of Honour, I just want to make sure it is accurate first.

EndMaster for Eternal and Realdeaal, 3iguy and Briar_Rose for their reviews.
Mizal and Chanbot/Ford for ongoing help with the Points League.
All of you for taking the time to read this Review.

The Weekly Review - Edition 39

6 months ago
End Times would be a much better thing to mention for The Lounge, imo. The Discord one was just a bump. I'm not quite sure what's the point of copy pasting reviews, but hey, more activity's always good I guess. Let's try the riddles.
1. Hell if I know.
2. A cloud?
3. Coins' mom!
Yeah. I'm bad at riddles.

The Weekly Review - Edition 39

6 months ago
Lol you expect him to advertise the competition? The very creation of this thread was intended to help further bury it.

The Weekly Review - Edition 39

6 months ago

Here we go.   The two most important things that happened.   


 You guys should check it out.


EndMaster also shared a short story with all of us faggots, and it doesn't deserve this inattention.


The Weekly Review - Edition 39

6 months ago
Thanks, I'll put some stuff in next week about EndMaster's very enjoyable End Times :) We'll turn the lounge into a mini Fleet Street yet :D

The Weekly Review - Edition 39

6 months ago

Are we allowed to reply the answers to the riddles on this thread?

The Weekly Review - Edition 39

6 months ago
Sure, go ahead. That's the whole point of them being there. Hell, I might've already answered one correctly in a previous post.

The Weekly Review - Edition 39

6 months ago

In that case...

(1) Footsteps.

(2) (Yours might be correct).

(3) Trouble.

The Weekly Review - Edition 39

6 months ago
Ah yes! I knew all of those, I just ... decided not to post them all, to leave some challenge for you guys. That's it! Although my answer for #3 is clearly supperior.