THE CRAVE GAMING CHANNEL
V'lanna
 

Strifeld

by David Weber
David.Weber@dana.com


Cloud, Aeris, Cait Sith, and Vincent were all sitting at their table at the coffee shop/diner, The Midgar Café. Suddenly Cloud spoke up. "You ever notice how when you are at your own house, you can't stay for free, except when it’s part of the storyline? And how when it's not part of the story you have to stay at an inn? And why are they still called ins? What is this, Dragon Warrior? We're using electricity, yet we still call the place an inn."

Cait Sith said, "I don't trust em, one minute oyu're falling asleep, and after a minute of cheap music, all of a sudden you're healed."

"You still go to them though, right?" Aeris asked.

"Well yeah, it's those damn random encounters. When you're actually trying to fight around to raise your levels, they're nowhere to be found, but if you're actually trying to go somewhere, then look out, you suddenly got problems!"

"Care to make a little wager?" Vincent said.

"What?"

"Who can go the longest without staying at an inn. Aeris and Cait will have to have handicaps though."

"Why?"

"Well, because Aeris is a magic-user and Cait is well a wuss."

"Okay fine."

"Wait a minute. How am I supposed to progress in my relationship with Lucca when I can't have a cut scene during an inn visit," Cloud said. After he and Aeris broke up (Sephiroth's fault) and then got back together again, then broke up again, Cloud was seeing Lucca, who had invented a cross-system crossover system. Meanwhile Aeris was seeing Ghaleon.

"You want out? We haven't even started yet. Besides, I've got Ghaleon to deal with too."

At that moment Yuffie walked into the café. "Hellooo Yuffie," Cloud said.

"Quiet Cloud, this doesn't concern you. Hey Aeris word from Reno says that Ghaleon's gone back to his dimension courtesy Zophar. Apparently it wasn't voluntary."

"Where'd Reno hear this?"

"Read it in Obsessive RPG Monthly. You goin' after him?"

"Damn. Wait, wasn't this supposed to be a TV show parody? Now it's another of those damn crossover stories," Lucca said as she walked in. "Alright, I've got the crossover system revved up."

"You sure you want to go? I mean it is a Working Designs game after all. No one except the outcasts of society have ever dared play one of them on Sega CD," Vincent said.


"Hey Ghaleon, thought I was gone for good didn't ya?" Zophar said. "You know, evil boss says ‘as long as humans have evil in thm Ill exist yadda yadda. And then the boss is never heard from again? Well you and I are different because were in Working Designs games, so we get to break the classic laws of RPGs. Well, now that I'm back, I've got one thing to take care of. You." Zophar was using his really evil voice. Ghaleon, meanwhile was tied to a chair, forced to try and beat Velius from Final Fantasy Tactics for Zophar.

"I swear, if I ever hold a party, I'm gonna invite Velius. He must be the most evil boss in the universe! Even worse than Golbez when he kills everyone except Cecil and Rydia. That's pretty evil, but he's got nothing on Velius," Zophar elated.


Meanwhile, Cloud, Aeris, and Lucca were stranded in a strange land. "This sure doesn’t look like Lunar," Aeris said.

"Then where are we?" Cloud whined.

Suddenly they saw a man wearing what looked like something out of a bad mecha cartoon. "Oh boy, more lost visitors. If you were looking for Lunar you're on the right system, wrong game."

"Great. You mean that this is."

"Yeah," the man sighed. "This is Vay."

"Man, talk about your total unknowns,"

Lucca said. "You're lucky this isn't Popful Mail. I hear that ain't pretty. Mind if I come along with you? I could use the publicity. The name's Sandor."

After more failed attempts, the four had reached a town in Lunar.

"Aarghh! What's that awful noise?" Lucca wailed.

"I think it's the background music." Aeris winced.

"Let's get the hell out of here!" Lucca said.

"Hey, that reminds me," Cloud said on his way out of town. "I need to send a request to Square so I can get my own theme music. And it ain't gonna be none of that ‘original Japanese compose stuff neither. I think my theme song will be 'We don't Get Fooled Again from The Who'."

"Why that?" Aeris asked.

"It's a cool song. Besides it's about a revolution, and I'm kinda the leader of a revolution."

"Maybe I should change my theme song," Aeris contemplated

"Yeah, yours should be 'Don't Fear the Reaper' from Blue Oyster Cult," Lucca mused.

"I was thinking more along the lines of 'You're My Best Friend from Queen,'" Aeris replied. "It's such a nice song."

"Hey I got one! Cid's could be 'Space Oddit' by David Bowie!" Cloud said. "Ground control to Major Tom," Aeris laughed.

"Oh! And Yuffie's could be 'Evil Woman' from Electric Light Orchestra! And Cait Sith's would be 'The Joke' by the Steve Miller Band!"

"That's enough Cloud."

"And Barrett's would be 'Nothin but G Thang' by Doctor Dre and Snoop--"

"Shut Up!!! Let's just get outta this town."

But as soon as they walked out they heard the unmistakable sound of a disc loading. Before he knew what had happened Cloud had lost control of his body and was suddenly declaring his love for Aeris.

After that was over with, Cloud said, "The hell just happened?"

Sandor answered him. "An Anime cut scene. WD games are full of 'em."

"Why'd I say all that cheesy stuff?"

"That's usually what happens. You eventually get used to it.

"Let's just beat Zophar and get out of here.

The group arrived at a run-down looking shack. An old man was outside. "Look out guys. Old men are always tough in RPGs. Look at Orlandu compared to Agrias. And Tellah compared to Palom and Porom," Cloud warned.

"Apparently you young'ns don't know your Working Designs games that well. I'm Gwyn, just about the wussiest character in an RPG."

"Oh. Does that mean we get to kick your ass then?" Cloud asked hopefully.

"'Course it doesn't you spiked freak! You're more worthless than my lousy grandson Hiro. Just spends his entire day with his damn love interest. In my day, endings made sense. Ya see, in this game, you can actually figure out whether the main character ended up with their true love or not. Not like in these newfangled games where those fascists in Japan think they can throw a few CG images together and expect the dumb-asses that they think is the American stereotype to understand it. Why in my day, even the stereotypes weren't that obvious. But now you've got Cid Highwind. Just look at 'im! He's the first man in space. Who landed on the moon first? Americans. Who kicked the crap outta the Japanese in the 1940's? Americans. Oh wait that dosen't have anything to do with this example. But anyway, to those uneducated gamers in the Far East, Cid is your average American. Hard smokin', hard swearin', treats his girlfriend like blah…blahblah yackityscmackity got no respect for WD blahblah--

"Do you think he'll notice if we run off?" Lucca whispered.

"Doubt it."

"Run Away!! Run Away!!"

Suddenly all four were at Zophar's lair. "Whoa! Talk about a flash-forward," Aeris shouted.

The battle had begun, but was over quickly, as Zophar's was, after all, a fairy (play the game!).

But, as with all bosses (not even WD can ignore this tradition), Zophar had multiple forms. All of which were extremely feminine. Moreso than the recent trend of final bosses turning into angels of some sort in FF games.

The battle wasn’t going well for Zophar. He tried all his best moves, which only did hundreds of HP's worth of Damage to Cloud and Aeris, who were in the thousands. "Damn! You're too strong compared to the weaklings I normally have to fight."

"Wait!! There is still one move I have yet to use!" Zophar then summoned to the battle none other than a certain White Knight.

"So?" Cloud balked.

"Don't you know who he is?"

"How the hell should I? This is a Working Designs game after all."

"Fools! It's LEO!"

"NOOOOO! Not the third most used name in all of RPGs!!" (check and see! #1 is probably a tie between Cid and Kain. Watts is used a lot, too.)

"Yes!"

"Wait a minute!" Sandor interrupted. "Leo isn't evil. He, like most of the characters in Suikoden, used to be, but, now he's a good guy."

"Hey used to be evil??!!" Lucca shouted. "That's even more unoriginal! Especially with a name like Leo!"

Cloud had had enough. He did the only thing he could. "Hey Zophar! Word is in Obsessive Gamer Monthly that the Robotech game for Playstation is never gonna come to the US!"

"What! I swear, the gaming industry is run by Communists! Lousy socialist bastards… I gotta go call to import a copy right now" And with that, Zophar was off.

"Is that true?" Lucca asked.

"Hell if I know. They say a different thing every month."

"How did you know he would do that?

"I guessed that Zophar was one of those hosers that's always importing things whenever he hears a rumor. Good thing I was right."


Back in Midgar, Lucca pointed out one small detail. "We left Ghaleon there."

Cloud and Aeris looked at each other and said, together, "@%@$#% it!"


Meanwhile, in Zophar's Lair, Ghaleon had been fighting around raising levels for two game years and had finally beaten Velius. If he weren't tied to the chair, he would have got up and danced. But, the game had a surprise battle waiting for him. Ghaleon was quickly decimated by Celia and Lede. Worse, he had forgotten to save.

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