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Complete Sudden Contact by A Very Thirsty Megalomaniac - T - (Mass Effect/Starcraft)

Discussion in 'Games' started by Tutorial Boss, Nov 9, 2015.

  1. Tutorial Boss

    Tutorial Boss Seventh Year

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    Title: Sudden Contact
    Author: A Very Thirsty Megalomaniac
    Rating: T
    Genre: Sci Fi/Humor (Personally, I wouldn't say humor, however)
    Status: Complete
    Fandom: Mass Effect/Starcraft
    Pairings: N/A
    Summary: At the dawn of the Great War, first contact was made between the protoss, imperious firstborn of the xel'naga, and the turians, proud militarists. As the galaxy catches fire at this sudden conflict, unlikely alliances are formed while ancient directives are carried out by the oldest minds in the Milky Way. The Koprulu sector has opened, and the zerg are loose. Now complete!
    Link: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11034056/1/Sudden-Contact

    This is one of my favorite fanfictions. I discovered it relatively recently, and couldn't stop reading it; I devoured the entire piece in a mere day, and it's not a short one by any means.

    At first, it appears to be a relatively "standard" First Contact Mass Effect/crossover. The title is incredibly uncreative as well, I'll admit. However, it differs in several aspects.

    The first is a smooth, flowing mixture of the two universes. Despite them being distinctly separate, the two mix together quite well; there are no real stomping on either side, and each faction pertains their merits. Another alluring facet is its placement in Starcraft 1 and its incredible character focus; it selects several characters (spoiler: Adrien, Raynor, Daggoth, Liara, Tassadar, and Alexei) and sticks to them, developing them and changing them as events get more dire and dire. He's not afraid at all to change and veer heavily from the plot, his writing quality is excellent, tension, character development and threats are all amazing. He manages to strike this balance; it's distinctly new and unique, but simultaneously holds just enough elements of the original plot to be incredibly interesting and... well, I can't help but to sing praises.

    Overall, I can't help but give this a 5/5. It's an amazing piece, it has an incredibly rare merit of being completed, and it already has a sequel in the works.
     
  2. joshuafaramir

    joshuafaramir Unspeakable

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    I like this a lot. Characterization is solid and the plot is interesting. The author is not afraid to deviate from the usual Starcraft timeline and I believe he merged the two universes quite pleasantly.

    The only downside for the story is that if you're looking for ME main cast, you will not find it here. However, he did flesh out some of the ME characters like Saren and Arterius etc. to counterbalance the lack of Shepard.

    Hopefully, we see more of Shepard and co. in the sequel but for right now, I'm satisfied with Jim, Kerri, and Tassadar taking the lead role. 4.5/5
     
  3. newageofpower

    newageofpower Professor DLP Supporter

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    Ah. I have been collaborating with AVTM; have wrote a bunch of Codexes for him so far. Expect them to be uploaded within a week.

    EDIT: In fact, if any ME/SC 'expert' wants to take a look and do some error checking, let me know.
     
  4. Tutorial Boss

    Tutorial Boss Seventh Year

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    Shoot them to me. I'm obsessed with ME and I fully fall into the "all Koreans love Starcraft" stereotype. I haven't played Brood War in years but still have every unit's attack damage, HP/shields, supply, mineral and vespene costs memorized. Edit: And, y'know, lore stuff too.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2015
  5. Aura

    Aura Seventh Year

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    Binged read this in one go. Would highly recommend this to any starcraft/Mass effect fans out there. The prose in this story is good, the POV changes aren't distracting and the author isn't afraid to deviate from canon. The author also has some great one-liners which made me laugh out loud.

    5/5, would recommend.
     
  6. Idiot Rocker

    Idiot Rocker Auror

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    Apparently we're going to see more of the ME cast in the sequel. It's only three chapters so far, but we've had both Zaheed and Garrus POV chapters. Jack has also made an appearance. Looking good in that regard. I sort of get the vibe that we're actually not going to see nearly as much from the POV characters from Sudden Contact. So far anyway.

    As for the original story - 5/5 easily.

    There's humour, interesting takes on established characters, and a great balance between all the forces at play. I'm most impressed with the fact that there's not the typical military infodump shitstorm that plagues fics like this. The only time we see anyone paying attention to the beauty or raw power behind a ship/ weapon is when it's tied to emotion (Tassadar's home sickness), or if the ship is about to punch a hole through your face. I can't really articulate how great it is to not have entire paragraphs devoted to describing the intricate wiring of hell-fire missiles or some shit.

    Also:
    Liara as the Queen of Ruins? Wow. Make my day.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2015
  7. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

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    Do I need Starcraft knowledge?
     
  8. Idiot Rocker

    Idiot Rocker Auror

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    Not really. The characters are introduced so early on in their storylines that it's more a matter of being along for the ride than trying to pick up the thread.
     
  9. Tutorial Boss

    Tutorial Boss Seventh Year

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    Not at all. The entire thing is approached from a foreigner's eye at multiple points, which is actually quite fascinating and makes it incredibly easy for new people to get into. The Terrans see the Council, Protoss and the Zerg and 'introduce' them, the Council the other three, the Protoss the other three, and so forth. You can get a grasp for each faction, race and character entirely naturally.

    ...Yeah, I really like this story.
     
  10. joshuafaramir

    joshuafaramir Unspeakable

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    Nope... What he did was that he took SC1 first contact scenario and completely flipped it upside down with the introduction of MEverse. So, SC knowledge is unnecessary for the plot.

    As for the technology tree, ships, and cosmetic/character looks, it might be better if you take a quick look in wiki because the author assumes everybody knows what everything looks like in SC. That might help you out with the immersion.

    It's completely up to you. It can be read without prior knowledge of SC and ME and it would still be immersive and entertaining.
     
  11. Jarik

    Jarik Chief Warlock

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    Loved this fic. While I've never played Mass Effect, I've read a few fics, so have some basic knowledge of it. Have played Starcraft.

    The real selling point of this fic for me is that it really managed to successfully bring in the early Starcraft 1 atmosphere and portrayal of the various characters and races. Had the Starcraft OST playing the whole time, particularly the Zerg BW theme and it really worked well with the mood.

    In the early Starcraft 1 Terran campaign, the Protoss were this absolute godlike race. You didn't see them all that much except from little excerpts like "The Protoss arrived and purified the planet." Sudden Contact did a great job of implementing that representation, where the Protoss really stand head and shoulders above anyone else. Arrogant, powerful and zealous, willing to tear apart fleets of the lesser races for merely getting in their way.

    It also got the Terran portrayal down well. With the foot soldiers being the sort of hill-billy criminals, and the puppet masters being the aristocrats. I loved the early inclusion of the UED - starts the build up a lot earlier than canon (where they only appeared for Brood War).

    Mengsk was reasonable pulled off - probably not quite as amazingly charismatic as canon, but it got close.

    I actually liked the way Jim Raynor was pulled off too. He seemed a bit less of a main character as compared to canon, but I enjoyed the character development he goes through.

    Particularly at the end, when he decides not to accept becoming a Spectre and putting aside his revenge against Mengsk.
    The best part though, was that overwhelming feeling of helplessness - eldritch abominations slowly infesting entire worlds with seemingly no chance of survival was the atmosphere that really made SC1. Liara's POV was the seller for this. Being caught between the Reapers, the Zerg and Thorian - the powerless girl stuck as a pawn in between horrific monsters threatening the existence of all other races.

    Poor Liara. =(

    The way the Xel'Naga are worked into the world is great - that the Zerg were their intended weapon against the Reapers.

    Absolutely loved the little cameos of the in-game unit lines and how they seamlessly worked them into the story dialogue. "Battlecruiser operational", "You must construct additional pylons", "Power overwhelming", etc. I couldn't help but say them all out aloud.

    On the downsides, I was not at all convinced by Daggoth's POV and the Overmind's sounded more like Voldemort than a Cthulu-like being. They felt too human, not nearly alien enough.

    I also though the Protoss' change in attitude was way too quick to be believable. Tassadar's acceptance of the Dark Templar and the Terrans was reasonable, but Fenix and Artonis' flip felt WAY too quick. Fenix's fear of the Asari's mating habits was more damaging than humourous too.

    The battle at the Citadel as a whole felt forced, cheesy and wasn't pulled off well either.

    Anyway, pumped to see how the sequel goes. The glimpses we've seen seem promising. It looks like it'll be a lot more character focused this time, based on the first four chapters we've seen so far. Really excited for the UED, and to see how the new Queen of Blades will be.

    Overall, 4.5/5. Points for scale, blending of the universes and successfully getting across a real epic atmosphere, loses points for the issues I mentioned above and for feeling a bit cheesy at points.
     
  12. Tutorial Boss

    Tutorial Boss Seventh Year

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    All of those who wanted to see Shepard.

    She's made her first appearance, I think fourth or fifth chapter of Sudden Supremacy.

    And she's a
    UED soldier.

    God I love this fic.
     
  13. newageofpower

    newageofpower Professor DLP Supporter

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    Codex posted. I had more questions for AVTM, but pulling answers from him sometimes feels like pulling teeth.
     
  14. Quiddity

    Quiddity Unspeakable

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    The sequel (and timeline) have been updating at a good clip. We're at 22, and things are really starting to amp up.

    My main criticism for this fic, and it's something that came through in the first book as well, is that the SC races seem a lot stronger than the ME races. The UED files basically stated they could take anyone bar the Turians, who've basically gimped their entire society for military, but stay clear of the Protoss at all costs. The climax of the last book, too

    The zerg were able to 1vx the entire galaxy, with mystical protoss powers the only thing that could stop them. And the Terrans generally had the best grasp of them, as Tarsonis and similar measures showed.

    I mean, I've not played either game, so I have no idea how accurate it is, but it was something I noticed throughout. The ME sides, despite being the setting predominant, at least lately, tend to have a diminished role.

    Anyway, an easy 5/5 for me. ATVM's writing is good enough that I enjoy the overview pieces in their own right, even as they're basically just infodumps.

    Highly recommend for people who have never played the games. I just treat it as a sci-fi series, and a damn good one at that. This is the most frequently updating high quality work I'm following right now.
     
  15. Jarik

    Jarik Chief Warlock

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    The sequel has been going quite well so far. Lots of intrigue, lots of concurrent plot lines that are increasing in complexity and a pretty seamless weaving of the two worlds - how the various events that occurred between the two worlds somehow come together in one epic super plot.

    One thing I did notice (and I'm not really saying it's necessarily a bad thing) is that we're 162,000 words in and it still feels like the story is just beginning. The first book may have had a few different POVs, but they were very directly involved around the same plot - the Zerg invasion. In Supremacy, there are so many more POVs happening over so many locations and so many fronts that overall, it feels the plot is crawling. Helps that updates are regular and the chapters have a lot of content though.

    I really like how the Protoss are portrayed. In Starcraft lore, they really were that much more superior, viewing lesser races like just animals that happened to be in the way. The only thing they were scared of were the Zerg. But given it's an RTS, they had to be balanced out somehow. I like how this series portrays them how they were in early Starcraft. It's also interesting how this plays on the politics of everyone - no one seems to like them, but accept them almost as a force of nature.
     
  16. Quiddity

    Quiddity Unspeakable

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    It is slow, though less noticeable than it ought to be, considering where we are. I notice that one POV never seems enough to get me engaged in that character, which seems to happen the second time around.

    I think you are misremembering slightly, though. The zerg invasion was limited to the one planet at first, and the Overmind sending them across the galaxy didn't take place until decently far into it, at which point things really kicked off.

    The start to this has been very analogous, with the Collector kidnapping or UED aggression taking the place of the initial zerg attack, with each concerning a small number of POV and then opening up. It is slightly slower this time round, but not by much.
     
  17. Crippled by Megalomania

    Crippled by Megalomania Squib

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    Whoa! People are talking about this again!

    In case it is not obvious, this is the author. So uh, thanks for the reviews and concrit. I'm surprised people are responding to this fic so positively.

    Anyway, yes the plot is a great deal slower, as we are working with 8 povs and a badly fractured galaxy as opposed to the burning roller coaster ride (as in, straightforward but tense) that Sudden Contact became in its last fifteen chapters. Things are slowly speeding up, though - but yes, I have compared the word counts of SC and SS a few times and become a bit worried. Part of the reason SS is longer, however, is that I'm a good deal more confident in writing longer chapters, and because I want to move things along faster, I've started churning out more words per chapter. SS has a 7.3k word per chapter average, and SC has 5.6k.

    Regarding the relative strength of SC vs. ME, it's very common in ME crossovers to bash the ME side and make the other side paragons of virtue and might, superior to ME technologically and socially. Just look at the fellow SC/ME crossover and bastion of crap known as Cycles Upon Cycles, for example. For these stories, I tried to consciously avoid that, but yes, the protoss and zerg are head and shoulders above everyone else. That being said, the UED factional analyses are badly biased, and the UED would do poorly against a few of the factions they previously dismissed. We also have not gotten to the salarians yet, who the UED are bugfuck scared of. Also, the common terran fleet gets stomped by any Council fleet of equivalent numbers; battlecruisers are flying bricks.

    Feel like I'm rambling ... anyway, glad you guys are still enjoying it, the plot should start to accelerate, and if you have any questions I'll be checking every now and then. Cheers.
     
  18. Quiddity

    Quiddity Unspeakable

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    Yeah, this is not something you could be accused of. I love the balance to the worldbuilding - you have races that are clearly 'worse,' militarily or morally, but it's all done in a very realistic way, with no civilization being clearly better.

    For instance, as much as I may sympathize with the Protoss/Geth aims, the 'golden cage' criticism of their behavior is absolutely understandable.

    There's a complexity to the way you present things that never descends into absolutism. The zerg have a philosophy of their own, and this is made clear in the text in a way that highlights it but doesn't belabor whether it is right or not - no species will surrender themselves to extinction for it, even one who understands the Reaper threat.

    I understand that, and it was definitely necessary to shake up the chips for the present plot, to say nothing of Sudden Contact's climax. Still, I wish it was dialed back a tiny bit - more weight given to the Geth/Quarian war, and other internal squabbles as part of the reason the zerg were as powerful as they were would have made it seem less SC-dominant.

    Still, I think the bigger reasons ME feels a tad diminished as part of the crossover is narrative. ME often seems more the setting in which the SC races fight
    Is there any instance in the first book where Terran/Protoss/Zerg forces were defeated by Council fleets? You have Geth vs. Zerg (but that is presented as more pyrrhic/tactical setback rather than a true defeat), Council & The Sons vs. the Confederacy (but it's not done without Mengsk, and Tarsonis undermines that, even if it is a betrayal), and I'm not sure if there's anything else?

    A lot of that is also because zerg/protoss/terrans are introduced separately, and to each other, whereas the Council is largely introduced as a monolith. As a result, those three races were much more distinctively characterized in my mind, especially as someone who's never played any of the games.

    This has changed considerably with the factional analysis and SS and I think a lot of that is the pace. The frantic scramble at the end of Sudden Contact was amazing, but it did mean that when, say, Udina was introduced, I had no idea where he came from.

    Ah, I'd been taking a lot of that as writ, good to know.
     
  19. Crippled by Megalomania

    Crippled by Megalomania Squib

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    Four out of the six POVs for Sudden Contact were StarCraft, and the bulk of the action takes place in the Koprulu Sector. Sudden Contact also makes considerable use of SC1's plot, particularly the terran campaign. It was something that I was aware of and wished to change for the sequel, which uses 4/8 ME characters, all of whom are extremely capable in their own right (particularly Wrex, who takes out two of the largest SC units in his very first chapter with only slight difficulty).

    Something I came to realize relatively early on is that while ME has the vastly superior setting (in terms of complexity and consistency) StarCraft has far more iconic characters, and being fed a setting that made sense and was going through major changes made them immensely more interesting. Despite myself, I will always find it more interesting to write a chapter for Valerian Mengsk than Garrus Vakarian. Another issue is that the lack of Shepard meant that certain characters who were fascinating based on their relationship with him/her (such as Tali and Garrus) would have to fall back on their mostly unformed selves prior to meeting him/her, modified by the events of the Great War.

    Oddly enough, however, writing for Adrien Victus (who is basically a rather minor character in ME) proved immensely satisfying, and he proved to be my second most favorite POV after Tassadar. So the SC>ME character thing does not always hold true.

    Hope I'm making sense. One last thing is that while it can be very successfully argued that StarCraft is the more dominant franchise (and seeing as it greatly influenced my childhood, this was more or less inevitable,) the fact that this is a fusion means that certain characters and factions that would normally belong to one franchise are shared. The UED is the most prominent example of this, but the more you look at each faction come Sudden Supremacy, the more you'll find the franchises bleed into one another. They are inherently stronger and, I hope, more interesting for it.

    Oh, one last thing.
    I consider the 30-33 chapter range of Sudden Contact to be some of the weakest of the series. The Battle of the Citadel was pulled off poorly, as has been pointed out (although it was always my intention that Sovereign be casually blown away by the protoss - miserable little bastard) and by that time I really felt I needed to wrap things up. So yes, I do agree that certain events happening in Council space should have been given some weight, particularly the geth/quarian conflict, brief as it was.
     
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