February: January II

Therapist volume 3 has one more chapter left in the first draft. I think I have the skeleton of an outline for volume 4, which should be the last, at least in this hell-bent sprint I’ve been doing. (55 days of writing every day, totaling about 65,000 words across various projects. Which is a slightly-slower-than-Nanowrimo pace.)

I’ve accepted internally that at least some of this is a way to get my mind off the not-catastrophic, just-moderately-annoying, probably-permanent health stuff I’ve been dealing with. I’m pursuing medical care as far as I can, but day to day, sending myself off into a mostly-fluffy fantasy story sure beats stewing in my own worries.

One of the themes of volume 3 is how escapism can become unhealthy. Self-own.

Entertainment-wise, I’m 20-something hours into Fire Emblem: Three Houses. I just started Part Two of ???. I have no idea what happens in this game, I just heard vaguely that it took place in a military school (ish; it’s basically paladin school), that it was popular, and that there was a dating-sim-ish element. It turns out to be a tactical RPG with very little room for grinding, which was stressful at first, but kind of refreshing after I got used to the flow of things.

The dating sim elements seemed extra gross considering you start out as the other characters’ teacher, but there IS a time skip, at least. I wish I’d known that going in. No other spoilers, just “hey, there’s a time skip, it isn’t quite as gross as it looks. Mostly.”

I picked Yellow House. The Golden Deer, rather. They seemed ever so slightly more scrappy than the others. You can tell I picked the Golden Deer by my occasional shouts of Goddammit, Marianne! Girl. Why did you tell me you wanted to train with spears. You are made of tissue paper. No. I’ve been jokingly convinced since the beginning that she’s a vampire, though, so we’ll see where that theory goes. A meek as hell, self-hating vampire Disney princess with three hit points.

Leonie is the best, though. Leonie is what I was hoping for in Scrappy House. Shortsightedly hero-worshipping, but practical, slightly awkward, and a complete menace in battle. “Not in the Face” Ignatz might be my second favorite. Poor little glasses boy just wants to paint, leave him alone!

I waffle hard on Hilda, because her entire schtick of saying “oh I suck, I’m so weak, don’t make me contribute” while chopping people in half from atop her wyvern mount is funny, but it’s also a pattern of behavior that drives me into red rage in real life, sooooo… (Not the axe-wielding, the lying about incompetence out of laziness thing. Protip: Don’t. OK? Just don’t.) And I got used to Lorenz once his early “PG-rated sex pest” plotline turned into a “my family sent me to school to find a wife” plotline. It’s… something to encounter a gender-flipped version of that 1960s “MRS degree” nonsense. Also, he leveled up in dark magery and actually got useful, since he can take >1 hit and Lysithea, not so much)

Depending on how long the story is overall, I am curious about how the other plotlines play out. I’d replay a 50-hour game, but not a 100-hour one, not back to back, at least. Guess we’ll see.