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Author Topic: El-Hazard Fanfic Readers/Writers... Enthusiasts  (Read 648 times)
Captain Southbird (EHOL Creator)
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« on: February 23, 2003, 02:06:13 AM »

Heh, I had no intention of introducing this particular concept at this time, but the simple fact is, I might as well speak of it while I'm inspired and open-minded.

Anyway, as many of you know (or should know), I've been working extensively, passionately, and excitedly on reverse-engineering and re-porting the Sega Saturn El-Hazard game for English-language play on a typical Windows PC.  (And other platforms, maybe.)  Now, just like when the El-Hazard game was first ported from its PC-98 birthplace to the Saturn, it gained new things along the way (a la those who arrive in El-Hazard gain new abilites ;)  Well, while I tried to make it a nearly perfect replica of the Saturn's technical function, we (me and my brother, who team this thing) did discover that many of the basic game mechanics were just ... plain.  And sometimes stupid.  
Granted this game was never and will never be something monumental from any video game standpoint, but that didn't mean we couldn't have fun with it.  As you should have noted from my news posts, we've been kind of half-writing real El-Hazard material (Eye of God, Ifurita, and other general Wanderers spiel, as the game is structured on), but then for the hell of it, we decided to just make some of it ludicrious.  So that at least a knowledgable El-Hazard fan should see the humorous twists.  (Can you imagine Jinnai as a [self-absorbed] religious zealot?  Or little princess Rune trigger-happy?)

Anyway, with the Saturn project is about 99% complete and done much for laughs, I did realize something.  It's pretty damn fun to write original El-Hazard material.  It was always my intention to do this thing, but then proceed to a much more serious El-Hazard fangame project.  Now, originally my sights were generally low-brow, common things... "Accept OAV1, OAV2, AW, and continue from there."  But one thing I've learned from this little community is that pretty much NO ONE likes Qawool... along with a lot of other Alternative World deals.  Originally I was resistant, being the type who submissively accepted what was already done.  But, as the fate of anime goes, things since OAV1 were made that DIDN'T listen to the originals -- The Wanderers, the manga, the Saturn game (even in its original state, it was Wanderers with Galus, and Ishiel, fourth priestess.) -- but obviously none of them destroyed at least the basic Earth crew and a handful of key-point El-Hazard people.

Here's my real question, and it's one desiring input -- If I should find time to persue this project of mine (I obviously can't make guarentees as long as I can't see into the future), what do you think would be the BEST route to take?

We're basically looking at one of three levels:

1) Passive Acceptance -- OAV1->OAV2->AW.  It happened.  Work with the cards you're dealt.

2) Public Acceptance -- OAV1's generally given, and it seems OAV2 was generally okay in most peoples' minds.  An example would be to cut it off there, ignore AW ever happened, and write a more overall enjoyable continuation.

3) Something Different -- Now we're talking about the Saturn game or the Manga; allow El-Hazard to take on completely new paths without being restricted to common ideas, particularly of the OAV Ifurita nature (which is a tough break for fan writers who want to unguiltily see Makoto go on other romance routes if I ever knew one.)  Or possibly you just want to work in Wanderers world.


El-Hazard writing is just "dangerous" in general, because I think every fan in the world wants to see something different.  One this that IS a bonus about making an interactive game a la the Saturn clone is just that; the Saturn game actually allows the player to make distinct choices that cause Makoto to end up with a variety of mate outcomes --  Rune, Nanami, Ifurita, ... ALL of the priestesses [at once, yipes] -- or fun things like the "Jinnai" ending [Jinnai takes over Roshtaria, baby] or the Alielle ending [Makoto becomes Alielle's "girlfriend" for life in exchange for freedom from the aforementioned ending].  Obviously an ideally designed system wouldn't do "all priestesses at once", but I didn't write the Saturn game entirely, just copying it.  :P

I would prefer (I think) not to go below level 2 from above, simply because creating completely new continuities causes problems in general following, and risks things like the Tenchi qualms of too many series that just kept going downhill.  (Although I don't think there's been any El-Hazard that ever sunk below "average" at worst.)  On the flipside, level 3 might actually be fun (for example, restart on generally the OAV path, but then allow quirks to happen from there.)

I don't know, I'm just looking for some input, because at this time I see a whole lot of paths, but I am curious what makes fans tick; I only know it's generally NOT what made it to the screen. ;)
« Last Edit: February 24, 2003, 08:56:03 PM by rob_jinnai » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2003, 07:30:55 AM »

Personally, I'd go for option 1. What's wrong with Qawoor anyway? ^_^ I'm not a huge fan, but I see no problem with including her. Parnasse is more of a problem though- it's difficult to find ANYTHING for him to do. I had to write an entirely separate plot thread just to accommodate him in my fic, although most writers seem to get by this problem by simply ignoring his existence...

Yes, Alternative World produced a lot of awkawrd loose ends, but since it all happened in another world, you only have to deal with them if you want to. The only permanent changes were:
-Qawoor's presence
-Parnasse's presence
-Miz and Fujisawa's baby

Ideally, one would set a continuation at least a year after AW to allow all of this to play out (the chronology was a little screwed up at the end anyway, and it's never clear exactly when Miz gave birth). This still leaves you with a window of a few years before Makoto gets Ifurita back. Alternatively you could skip ahead to after that event. It's all good.

So anyway, my vote goes for the first option, and as an allegedly experienced El-Hazard writer, I'd be happy to lend assistance if required. Might I suggest a series of alternative endings in which Fatora ends up with different female characters?

(Ducks)

I was kidding, alright?

Although... ^_^

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Kathy Guinea
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« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2003, 08:44:52 AM »

I don't really have to tell you what I think... you know I'd go for option 1. I personally liked AW probably cos of Parnasse and Emperor Dahl (he's so eccentric!) Not that Dahl would be a part of that project... but meh... you know me...  eccentic=good.

Anyhow, The things you have discussed with me before sounded good... and I have nothing against Qawool (yes she's weird... but she wasn't horrible -- at least she wasn't selfish and self-absorbed -- like Fatora. I'm a hypocrite... I know... I like selfish, self-absorbed males but if a girl is like that... it's unforgivable).

The Fujisawa + Miz baby thing might take some writing around... but Miz could always stay at home with the little tyke. Or if you make the kid a toddler they could take on a Fintstones-Bam-Bam kind of role O_O (ok that was just scary... forget I suggested it).

Anyhow... I think option 1 gives you a lot to work with like Allujah (sp.?) ^_^ He'd be fun to write for...
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Captain Southbird (EHOL Creator)
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« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2003, 08:46:21 PM »

Quote
Ideally, one would set a continuation at least a year after AW to allow all of this to play out (the chronology was a little screwed up at the end anyway, and it's never clear exactly when Miz gave birth). This still leaves you with a window of a few years before Makoto gets Ifurita back.


Yeah, original sketch writings I have worked it out about a year.  More recently, though, we were allowing actually TWO years, but nothing's set in stone.

Quote
Alternatively you could skip ahead to after that event. It's all good.


I only recently thought of that while grazing over some of that fanfiction linked in the other topic.  An interesting idea, but I don't really know what to do when you go that far (at that point, it's really more original then anything; prior to that event, at least you know Makoto has a goal somewhere, and that's do what it takes to get back to Earth.)

Quote
So anyway, my vote goes for the first option, and as an allegedly experienced El-Hazard writer, I'd be happy to lend assistance if required.


I can almost guarentee I'll need it.  I'm really more of a programmer than a fanfic writer.

Quote
Might I suggest a series of alternative endings in which Fatora ends up with different female characters? ... Although... ^_^


Anything's possible if you're creative enough, I guess.  (I still wonder about Nanami and Alielle at the end of Wanderers... "Special Friends")

Quote
The Fujisawa + Miz baby thing might take some writing around... but Miz could always stay at home with the little tyke.


Not so much writing "around".  That's actually about where I figured she'd be: "Last job before I become a housewife!" she excitedly proclaimed...

Quote
Anyhow... I think option 1 gives you a lot to work with like Allujah (sp.?) ^_^ He'd be fun to write for...  


Well, as another topic pointed out, he's an argument himself, but yeah, my ideas iron him out in the way I see fit. :p
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« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2003, 09:05:34 PM »

I'd suggest you go with option 1 or 3, with the former being my preference.  As you stated, the Alternative World did happen, it is part of El-Hazard canon,  and it does provide some additional material to work with.

Starting with something different has promise, but a new story with alternative versions of the same characters is a different series in its own right and not really a continuation, which, unless it is very well written or interesting, might not be as appealing as a "sequel" is.  

Despite the appeal of option 2, ignoring the Alternative World, to certain people, I'd have to strongly urge against it.  Pretending something didn't happen will probably take away a certain amount of credibility to your project (As in "This couldn't happen because the Alternative World directly contradicts it"), and there are creative solutions to problems.  Don't like Jinnai's characterization?  Assume the food the Termite Bugrom gave him was drugged.  Think Makoto was too bland?  Assert that he's been in his lab far too long.  Don't like the new characters?  Plausibly develop them into something you can work with.  Depressed because Ishiel wasn't in it (or any OAV/TV series for that matter)?  Be creative and find a believable way to fit her in.  And so on.

So yeah, I recommend option 1 (Passive Acceptance).    
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Captain Southbird (EHOL Creator)
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« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2003, 12:01:48 AM »

Quote
Starting with something different has promise, but a new story with alternative versions of the same characters is a different series in its own right and not really a continuation, which, unless it is very well written or interesting, might not be as appealing as a "sequel" is.


Always the risk, definately.  I always am reminded of the infamous Tenchi series.


Quote
Despite the appeal of option 2, ignoring the Alternative World, to certain people, I'd have to strongly urge against it.  Pretending something didn't happen will probably take away a certain amount of credibility to your project ... Depressed because Ishiel wasn't in it (or any OAV/TV series for that matter)?  Be creative and find a believable way to fit her in.  And so on.


Well, the way you said it, that's the way I'd look at it too.  I guess I just wondered if the general public might see it as me "trying too hard" to work with what should've been dropped.  :P
And on the Ishiel note, I'd almost definately include her at the very least a gag but probably more.  Inheretly, the character attribute of a Phantom Triber betraying the group who's passionate of the Earth people's situation, which Ishiel becomes towards the end of the Saturn bit, is a very interesting bit of plot indeed.  And the fact that the PT disapeared after OAV almost demands their inclusion anyway.

Her "lamp" (which we've affectionately dubbed the pneumatic drill) is easily filled in by the fact that all Phantom Tribe people seem to have access to bounds of old technology.  Surely a massive ground-splitting device isn't far off.  We'd definately drop the priestess attribute, that'd just cause problems.  And the bit we made for the Saturn of her being Galus' daughter isn't necessary, it was really thrown in as a quirk, but if that were to float your boat, it's there.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2003, 12:02:39 AM by rob_jinnai » Logged

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