Chapter 4 Insight

Answers galore, Part I! Answers galore Part II will arrive next week. Really, all there really is to talk about for this insight are the tons of reveals, but the chapter explained those thoroughly enough in preparation for next chapter. That one will go further into the big, final reveal at the end.

One of the large overhanging unknowns has finally popped, and I hope a sense of satisfaction and relief washed over you too when Da Vinci’s name was cleared. Maybe a hint of remaining skepticism too. The tension should still be looming in the air because of the mentor’s identity still left in the unknown and the overall scheme still in the dark, but the frayed rope is finally coming together. You should be able to make far more accurate speculations even before next chapter drops (which includes a lot more info on who this new faction is).

Again, as much as people would have probably liked to see it, I wasn’t going to show the Zelretch & Aoko vs. Shadow Columbus fight. My grasp of the two magicians isn’t as strong as I’d like it to be, so to do them justice, it was actually better/preferable for me to leave it to your imaginations. That said, if Aoko’s seemingly fine condition wasn’t any indication, he got his ass handed to him… but much of the Clock Tower got levelled in the process.

Seriously, there’s very little to talk about in regards to the chapter itself. If anything, I could talk more about how annoying juggling this whole mystery has been (not counting career work piling up). I actually found my writing speed slowing down in order to ensure everything was in proper place. I even made notes for SKYS about what to look for, and opinions on how some scenes/reveals felt. It’s my first fully original supplement for the series, so I wanted it to fit the role it’s supposed to.

Timing is probably the worst parts to write about. Making sure all the scenes are lined up correctly and then ensuring the time stamps are correct is a pain. Hopefully my in-scene suspense felt just as heavy as the overall fog in the beginning of the work, but now I don’t have to write through that anymore. Any remaining mystery elements will be saying goodbye next chapter, and the third genre will finally pop into the open. It’ll actually be very blunt and obvious when it gets there.

Psssst, it’s romance. Kidding. It’s definitely not romance, just to narrow it down for you.

Unofficial soundtrack: This piece lends more to scenes 8 and beyond when things start getting a bit tense and nail-biting.

Chapter 3 Insight

When all of a sudden everything has gone to hell.

Heavy suspense still persists, yet I threw in quite the escalation. Though it has a few mystery elements by virtue of its design, this is still coined as a thriller. Escalation is necessary, and we’re just about at the half way point where mystery is replaced with the other unknown genre. I need to set everything in place to make the transition smooth and appropriate, but the whole political undercurrents will remain throughout.

Even more cameos in this one! I thought hard about who would likely stand up to servants, but I got a bit wary on my options. As much as I do want to show how badass some people are, I’d rather not get their styles/personalities too off. Admittedly, I’m missing quite a bit of information on Aoko and Zelretch, so I didn’t want to go too far with them. I still wanted them to make a cameo, mind you, but I’m sorry to inform: Chances of seeing the battle are very low.

I dipped a bit further into the enemy. The fog unravels slowly, but now it should be obvious that there are four factions at play. I also dipped a bit into his powers which were partially inspired by Satsuki Kurogiri from Kara no Kyoukai. It’s definitely not at that tier because it’s not the universal language, but specialization in mind control and manipulation certainly makes for a crafty, underhanded opponent.

The question is, he’s a major player, but still supposedly the underling. Who’s the big shot that managed to get a control-loving magus to help so dutifully? The answer is a bit more obvious than you’d expect when you consider what this supplement is designed to do. 

I didn’t want to go too in depth with some of the details otherwise everything would have been a bit drawn out and buried. I kept things a bit specific and gave enough cues though. Trust me: I would have gone nuts over designing how UN soldiers looked or how intricate some spells were. I’ll leave it in your courts rather than potentially confuse more people and create a tangent from the main points.

Unofficial soundtrack: You’ll know when this one is supposed to play. I think it fits that ambush sequence and the following attack scenes pretty well. The slow also fits a bit nicely to the contemplation scene for Da Vinci.

Chapter 2 Insight

This is a political/suspense thriller. Of course I wasn’t going to let things go smoothly just yet. I got to ratchet everything up a few notches this chapter though (including stakes). This included the Mage’s Association’s penchant for being downright dastardly and malicious with their ‘negotiations’ of sorts. Hostage taking was definitely something they’d do for extra leverage.

Overall, I’m trying to control the rollercoaster of emotions. There’s plenty of suspense to keep everything moving forward, but Chaldea’s still in its recovery phase. Throwing in obvious emotional responses to an ever-escalating situation is not only natural, but necessary. Keeping a situation under control with so many present parties can be a total mess, as I’ve tried to show. I’m sure everyone can agree political wheeling and dealing can get messy, and we’re still only at Chapter 2.

As a reminder: It’s going to be another short supplement though. 10ish maximum entries similar to Who We Are.

I’m still constantly throwing clues for the audience to piece some things together slowly (while keeping it suspenseful). Most should have a pretty solid idea who aren’t the real culprits, but I hope I still made things kinda confusing and leaving “what if it actually is____” as a possibility. Again, nothing too complex, but it needs to be unraveled slowly and precisely since there’s going to be quite a bit of information. I don’t want it overwhelming anyone, but there will come a chapter that might.

If I manage to execute this all right, though, it won’t come down to that. Here’s to hoping!

Unofficial soundtrack: Beginning is pretty slow. Low ambiance works best, really. This one fits the general mood of this chapter, but it has a bit of horror undertones that don’t fit quite well. Still manages to be nice company while reading.

Chapter 1 Insight

Really quick notes before I begin:

  • For your reference, as stated in the Chapter.
    Clock Tower Time = GMT+1
    Chaldea Time = GMT-3
    UN Building Time = GMT-4
  • So if it’s noon in Chaldea, it’s 4 I the afternoon in London, and 11am on the US East Coast. Nothing too difficult compared to the other setups I tested before.
  • Magus Transcriber: If what I described sounded familiar, it’s that same device Tokiomi Tohsaka used to receive messages in the Prologue Episode of Fate/Zero. You can look there for the visual.

This is where things started getting trickier with writing this supplement. There were no guidelines for me to follow, and it became a nostalgic trip back to screenwriting classes. I had an outline and things that needed to be fleshed out, but unlike the other supplements, I was making the road myself with a cacophony of information that could be involved. Though it’d be cool to include everything as a tip of the hat, things would get convoluted real quick. At worst, it’d even start feeling like an encyclopedia of events rather than a story.

So I picked what I thought would be a good in a setup, and went with that design for the rest of the supplement. It’s a suspenseful sampler platter of sorts. It will address what is necessary, but it won’t go too crazy with information overload. There’s already enough suspense and some puzzle solving involved as is. I want people to enjoy reading.

I was reminded that the hardest part of creating a story was filling in all the details in between the beginning and end. The prologue and last three entries will come out perfectly fine, but the inbetween was made a little more difficult due to the genres involved. It needs to keep up its suspense and tension while maintaining proper escalation. At the same time, I need to be wary of the pace, though I think I’ve managed to handle that well. Sorting everything was certainly a pain.

In particular, balancing chosen POVs without ruining any of the suspense was probably the most difficult area. Da Vinci and Lord El-Melloi II will be an intricate balancing act, and hopefully I get it just right for the later payoff to feel satisfying. And to think this is just a rather simple plot complexity to boot.

Unofficial soundtrack: Again, none chosen. It would have just been light suspenseful ambience anyhow.

Prologue Insight

Political and Mystery thriller is off to a nice start, I’d say. Here’s to hoping my first full original story does what it’s supposed to!

As stated about WWA’s epilogue, Equilibrium follows directly after and inherits the current mood of Chaldea. Regardless, I still went about trying to define the atmosphere now that the celebrations had ended. They’re now left with plenty of rough spots that need to be smoothed, all while the new outside factors are adding the first problems of their own.

The flashback scene, if some recall correctly, was a reference way back to Hector’s fragment when he found Da Vinci and Roman in the Director’s office. Friendly reminder that, yes, I do drop hints well in advance at times. Remember that offhanded remark about Gudao’s cousin way back in TGL’s prologue? Yea, that has a payoff in the future too. Sometimes I put down bricks before I have any intent on building the foundation further. There’s just a lot of information and ground to cover, that’s all.

I’ve finally confirmed the statuses of the two major OCs in critical condition during the incident. As a fun note, nearly a year ago, I was toying with the idea of killing off one or two OCs in order to accomplish certain moods and objectives. As time went on, I figured out I could still accomplish what I wanted through different means. It would have also admittedly taken some of the attention away from Roman’s sacrifice too.

Otherwise, I can’t really say much about anything else. I should have placed well more than enough suspense and mysterious things for you to look at and speculate. It’s going to be a short ride, but there’s going to be quite a few massive reveals before everything settles in the end… but how will it all settle?

EDIT 7/5/18: I’ve discussed with a few fans about the difficult genre positioning. To fix any confusion, the story’s closest “true” genre is Political Thriller throughout. It was formerly improperly labelled with “Mystery” at first, but this was corrected since it’s better categorized under the suspense genres because of its overall design. It contains some mystery elements in the beginning, and a third genre appears towards the end, but it fits closest to Political Thriller. Apologies to anyone who was misled a bit. That was my mistake.

There is no unofficial soundtrack for the prologue.

Website Completed

Just giving a quick update!

As it currently stands, the website is fully operational. A lot of the insights have been re-uploaded to this site, and all the necessary materials for OCs, world rules, and such are in place.

More extra materials and information never posted before on the tumblr will follow in time.

The only things missing are much of Season 1’s insights, which will have to be re-written to be actual insights. But that can be done when I have more free time again and as I polish Season 1’s entries. Until then, their buttons will remain red and unavailable.

One Final Note: Fragment 90 is on schedule for release tomorrow.

Theme Song and Closing Words

Fragments Supplement IV: Who We Are 

The song really hit home with its design. It’s powerful. It’s a very, very powerful piece just by itself, but it feels right when coupled with the story. When I heard it a while ago writing Redemption from Sin, I knew this was going to be the theme of Who We Are. I just didn’t know how I was going to craft it back then. As I theorized and listened to it more, I figured it out and weaved it into the story appropriately. The biggest indicator of it was in Roman’s monologue.

“It’s in humanity’s hearts to be optimistic, yet scared of the unknown ahead,” he began firmly, as he prayed and wished he would hold on long enough just to voice those last words. To his relief, fate itself seemed to listen. “Our confidence can blind us of the real danger until it’s too late… Then we’re reminded how weak we can be as we desperately search for a way out. But it’s during the worst of times that we find we’re capable of far more than any of us could have dreamed!”

Even speaking made him winded now, but he hadn’t voiced it all. Everything he’d come to witness couldn’t be described without doing it true justice, but he still certainly tried. “It inspires others to act, even if they hold doubts of their own! It leads to unbelievable cooperation, all to make the seemingly impossible possible! It gives us the courage to defy what is expected of us, and sometimes above and beyond what anyone would have asked of another!”

Everything he’d witnessed had not been false. Humanity’s existence was brief in the grand scheme of the timeline, but it’s what they chose to do in that time that would define beauty itself. He raised his voice proudly with a smile. “Though our emotions may run rampant and push us into irrational action, it often leads to surprising results! Because even in those single instants like the blinking of a star, our hands still write our promising story just a little longer… a story of love and hope!”

Notice anything curious yet? How about if I removed everything but the dialogue and did this:

Prologue: It’s in humanity’s hearts to be optimistic, yet scared of the unknown ahead.
Chapter 1: Our confidence can blind us of the real danger until it’s too late… 
Chapter 2: Then we’re reminded how weak we can be as we desperately search for a way out. 
Chapter 3: But it’s during the worst of times that we find we’re capable of far more than any of us could have dreamed!
Chapter 4: It inspires others to act, even if they hold doubts of their own! 
Chapter 5: It leads to unbelievable cooperation, all to make the seemingly impossible possible! 
Chapter 6: It gives us the courage to defy what is expected of us, and sometimes above and beyond what anyone would have asked of another!“
Chapter 7: Though our emotions may run rampant and push us into irrational action, it often leads to surprising results! 
Epilogue: Because even in those single instants like the blinking of a star, our hands still write our promising story just a little longer… a story of love and hope!”

So while many will likely have read it understanding that this is what it means to be human, I wonder how many picked out that each of the entries actually had their own theme to depict that.

Roman’s epilogue was designed around every individual theme of the story’s nine entries. Each piece was tailored to represent the themes that summarize what it means to be human during the worst possible moments. Unlike the other stories, “Who We Are” wasn’t chosen with a hidden meaning. It was chosen because the story made a great example of the best mankind can offer in the darkest times.

Epilogue Insight

Crafting this ending was a little difficult because it’s supposed to tie into the beginning of the next supplement. At the same time, I still wanted to be uplifting, but it wasn’t going to resemble the game’s ending. Not yet. That beautiful moment was moved to later where it will actually have profound impact. Right now, they just needed a quick band aid over the lingering anxiety.

It needed to feel conclusive though, so I do hope it turned out that way. I wanted it to feel like a memoir of what was while also serving as a good transition piece. I feel it wasn’t as ‘poetic’ as RFS’s ending, but it did what it needs to in such a bittersweet spot.

Goetia was overall interesting and difficult to work with through this whole ordeal. I understood its intricacies throughout the canon plot, but the circumstances for this one are different. At the end, I did like the entire take on the beast finally understanding what having a finite life felt like. Even if his human form was ‘robbed’ of a final big fight against Gudao, I definitely wanted to draw a parallel with his last situation. There was no final conversation, but he didn’t need one.

Usually I have a very curious tie in with the story’s title to end the story, but it was only briefly mentioned because the true reference happened in Roman’s monologue. I just left a small little reminder in Da Vinci’s thoughts to refer back to it. I’ll make a separate post about it for the story’s “theme song” post.

And, of course, some final tear-jerking and feels tugging for the ending. Da Vinci tries to keep spirits riding off the wave of triumph, but even she feels the lingering anguish. I wanted the readers to feel the mix of emotions, and definitely keep them in mind for the next supplement.

Thanks for reading the third supplement!

Final, unofficial soundtrack. Works best for Scenes IX and X, but for X especially.

Chapter 7 Insight

And so it all comes to an end. The final battle against Beast Goetia was depicted in canon in two ways. There was the fight with your summoned servants, but there was also the fist/shield fight Guda had. That opened up a lot of way to interpret the rather brief battle, and several opportunities. Regardless of what I decided, I needed to make it memorable, and I knew there would be some disappointment if certain servants didn’t participate in the fight.

I couldn’t have everyone jump in or it’d be a giant, convoluted mess just to try and please everyone… so I didn’t. I made it matter, even if I decided David wouldn’t have a part in it. There’s was nice potential with a different path for him (denial and acceptance), so I pursued it for the sake of convolution’s sake. One other factor was that his primary noble phantasm (Slingshot, not the Ark or other) can only actually “knock out” the enemy, so it wouldn’t have made for a nice last hit anyway. The other two could have worked, but again, thought of a different idea that enticed me.

Instead, I just went with what the game had shown. The servants soften up Goetia, and the original masters tag-team him in a fist fight to let their own anger out. All that remained was picking which servants played the critical role, and before this all started, I knew exactly who it was going to be: The first eight servants we all came to know and love.

What better way to end it all than the ones who began it all? I hope it turned out really flashy, because it was quite a juggling act to put on their little show while throwing some others into the mix.

I also got to portray Gudao’s and Gabrielle’s magecraft a bit better. Gudao’s weaker for the most part in combat, but he made up for it by wielding Mashu’s shield with surprising efficiency. I wanted to make sure they looked like a tag team too, so their actions didn’t surprise each other in the least. Definitely had to have the nice fist fight to clobber Goetia.

We’ll see how Gudao’s mentality holds up even with Gabrielle there now. Their enemy is gone, and he’s now alone to his thoughts as they escape. Who knows how long David’s own coping will last too? Tune in next time for the rough closure to all of this, and the segway into Supplement 4, whose title will be unveiled with the Epilogue.

Game Soundtrack. It’s what was played officially. Very upbeat, and it does still fit very nicely. Great homage to the opening of the game too. 

Unofficial Soundtrack: Split into two for the final battle. Again, just stuff that played while I was writing that fit the scenes better than the others.

Scene VIII: Goetia vs. Servants

Scene IX: Goetia vs. Masters

Chapter 6 Insight

It was coming. Everyone knew it was coming, which is why depicting it was going to be the hard part. I wanted it to feel right. The game was limited by dialogue, so I had some extra leeway in terms of introspection and internal thoughts/feelings. So while keeping it intact with the game to an extent, I wanted it to carry far more emotion as a sacrifice. Working that out was actually rather simple, and I did it with the one little tag line that used the Series’ core entry as the trigger.

As his body faded, he was satisfied with the decisions and experiences he’d been gifted… those countless, precious fragments of Chaldea he’d been allowed to witness.

It was just part of the whole journey, but I hope that line ignited the entire meaning. Though some entered the series with this supplement (which still boggles my mind considering the blatant warning at the beginning), the vast majority of you should have been impacted to different extents. It’s a callback to the entire franchise up to this point.

Everything you’ve witnessed were just pieces (literal fragments) of everything that could have gone on in Chaldea. If you saw so many nice moments, how many did Roman get to see for himself? You’ve read pieces of what he’s experienced for himself, and the mind can then wander to fathom how much deep his appreciation for everything goes. While the scene itself is emotional, tragic, yet uplifting, I wanted to ensure it had that much deeper meaning to the most faithful readers.

I just wanted his goodbye to be a little more memorable, familiar to canon, yet personal for the Series. Hopefully it worked well. The monologue for “a story of love and hope” also got extended quite a bit, but there’s a reason for that. I also wanted it to carry heavy meaning.

Otherwise, the final chess pieces are now in place for the big showdown. The full effects of Roman’s sacrifice will be in full effect next chapter, and the final pieces are now in place. Gudao’s been through a lot, and is on borderline hysteria. Frustrations and grudges are running rampant among the servants. Everything will be settled with one final confrontation to save humanity.

Heartfelt soundtrack: Something simple that can be interpreted in different ways. Played for the last scene.