WIP Take It Back by f1onagher - T - (DA/LoZ Dynasty Quest)

Discussion in 'Other Review Board' started by Nemrut, Jun 20, 2018.

  1. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

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    Title: Take it Back
    Author: f1onagher
    Rating: T
    Genre: Adventure/kingdom runner
    Status: In-Progress
    Words: ca 400k words for the main story and 100k in sidestory stuff so around 500k combined
    Summary: You have inherited a kingdom in the midst of its final fall. Enemies surround your people on all sides and your foes already plan their portions of the spoils. Disappoint them. Bring Hyrule back from the brink and remind the world of Thedas why your people have weathered the Tests of Time.
    Link: spacebattles

    Credit goes to @EsperJones for mentioning this quest in this post here but also shame on him for not at all selling how great it is and for keeping it to himself for all this time. Thin ice, my friend.

    The quest is half kingdom runner and half personal adventure.

    So yeah, interesting crossover premise right from the start. Hyrule and all the Legend of Zelda elements are set within the world of Dragon Age. Hyrule is placed to the left of Orlais and in times past, it was once one of the great powers in the world but those days are long gone. Mismanagement, scheming, losses and enemies seeking to bring in low has brought the once mighty empire to the brink of destruction. The story and quest starts with Zelda's father, the king, having died, leaving the ruling of Hyrule to Zelda, only the nobility has taken over and formed a regency council, refusing to crown you queen just yet.

    The goal is simple but not easy. Take control of Hyrule, bring back the lost provinces back into the fold and restore Hyrule to its old glory.

    You don't really need to know all that much about Dragon Age or the Legend of Zelda, really.

    If you're unfamiliar with the former, click on the spoiler

    it's a fantasy medieval setting in which periodically the
    Darkspawn attack, a kinda race of tainted creatures which seek to contaminate all untainted life. Blights are massive attacks in which an Archdemon leads a giant horde to a raid against the surface and only end when the Archdemon is slain, until the next one surfaces centuries later. Opposing them are the Grey Wardens, an organization that recruits no matter the race, gender, nation, religion or station, who are seemingly immune to the taint of the Darkspawn and are great warriors.

    The rest of the kingdoms are mainly human, although you can find dwarves and elves also within the system. The elves were also once a mighty empire but theirs was shattered long ago and the remaining elves are either slaves/lowly discriminated and exploited servants in human cities, kept in slums or ghettos or xenophobic, isolationist nomads in forests.

    Another big factor is religion. Nearly all the humans believe in the religion of the Chant of Light, overseen by the religious organization of the chantry.

    Mages are tightly controlled by the Chantry and the templars (basically an anti mage organization which is also controlled by the Chantry) and mages can be possessed by demons, which are also a thing there.

    That should cover all the important information on that front. What should be immediately obvious is that the setting alone makes for an immensely interesting crossover. By placing Hyrule in Thedas, there are immediately points of conflict. The rest of the world kinda hates elves or at least really dislikes them and Hyrule is all elves. The rest of the world believes in one religion which severely dislikes other religions and the religion of Hyrule is also different.

    Hyrule just makes a lot of sense here, it's neither too strong nor to weak and it has a lot of promise either way on a geopolitical level. Sure, being elves and adhering to another religion makes everyone dislike them, Orlais in particular but then again, same religion and race doesn't mean the other nations don't hate each other as well.

    As to the Legend of Zelda side, that I can explain less and you should have at least some grounding from having played any one of the games, but I don't think it's absolutely necessary and you will get enough information as the story goes along although you will certainly appreciate some things more.

    Overall, the worldbuilding has been outstanding. Hyrule was altered enough to fit into the setting and emerge as a coherent, interesting kingdom with many interesting spins on its institutions, places and inhabitants.

    The story itself is deeply compelling. Zelda is a great protagonist and her journey to queenship and later on her struggle to keep the ship afloat is both, fun and engaging.

    The other characters are explored enough to be distinct from each other while never forgetting that people have their own agendas as well.

    The kingdom running elements are surprisingly fun as well. As a Legend of Zelda fan, of course one cares a lot more about Hyrule than some random kingdom, so taking steps to make Hyrule great again is oddly satisfying. The dice rolling is quite fun as well and I am quite fond of it in general as it allows for the author to explore the story in directions they may not have thought of otherwise and introduces stakes in a way that only games really can. One fun example is that Link, at some point, had to fight two lizardmen but the diceroll was bad so he was unable to kill them which in reverse meant that those two had to be people that Link, who until this point was, like the Link in the games, an unstoppable murder machine, so anyone who can hold out against him needs to be suitably badass as well.

    There is around 100k in side stories and omakes and while admittedly not all of them are homeruns, there are still quite a few good ones. Lavanya Six wrote a few ones and they are all worth a read, shining some light on side characters and the like. I also find the practice of rewarding fanart and omakes with bonuses for the rolls of the main character to be quite the interesting concept.

    So I dunno, it's all around quite the package. There is a lot to read, it balances kingdom running and the more personal aspects quite well and while there are quite a few errors, spelling mistakes and a few missing words here and there, it's not enough to take you out of the story. The setting and characters are interesting and I pretty much blew through all of this in one day and was immersed from beginning to end.

    One somber note is that the author is considering stopping the quest since real life is throwing a wench into things but it's unlcear what that will mean outside of the fact that the next update may take a few weeks, unless a good co-QM is chosen. Such is life, I suppose.

    So yeah, if you like quests, Zelda, Dragon Age or just a good time reading, this quest is definitely worth checking out.

    5/5
     
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