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for Thors Officer School - ToCS1 Outside the Fairy Tale

5/5/2020 c9 Guest
Liked the chapter, but just wanted to mention something.

The 8 forms of the Eight Leaves are already known, each one having a set name (although not all having been explored in a lot of detail , the Second Form is "Gale". In other words, its very likely that the technique Arios uses is just his mastered version of that form.

In other words, there is basically no reason to come up with a random new craft that is a weaker form of a mastered technique, mainly because masters of forms take their forms to an absurd level, to the point that they hardly resemble the same form. We see what normal helix looks like in CS3, and compare that to what Cassius does with it.

I think you might be trying to come up with new stuff when it isn't necessary. A lot of the stuff you added in random details about sword fighting is great, but make sure you don't lose sight of what is originally the case.
4/28/2020 c9 Kuman
I'm loving this entire fic so far. You are doing an excellent job retelling the Cold Steel story in your own unique way. There are so many great things you are doing that it would take me an essay to write them down so instead i'll just commend you for the great fic and to keep up the good work.

On another note, have you played CS4? there is a youtube channel that streamed the entire game with English subtitles (though they are a little wonky at times) and one of the things they confirm is the Vandyke WAS the one in charge of the army during the 100 days war so you got that kinda right. Also in CS3 Rean introduces himself as an Intermediate rank in 8L1B, which doesn't really equal his actual strength but i guess that's a problem with falcom's writing. The power scaling of the characters are all over the place. I take it currently Rean is comparable to CS2 level? or is as strong as he is in CS3? either way i personally prefer to have him be a lot stronger than canon, maybe as strong as Sara if he goes all out with everything he has but what he really needs is experience, yet still show that no matter how strong you can be there are simply things you are powerless against such as politics and other similar situations.
4/9/2020 c9 DBH
I knew the name Claire Sterling rang a bell!

At first I thought someone from Jenis royal academy but realized they'd be too old now.

She's the rumor hunting girl in Rolent all grown up.
4/7/2020 c9 26tailedninja
I am LOVING this story. When Laura half-sworded during the orienteering exercise I thought to myself, "This guy knows what he is doing."
The characterization is great and so have everyone's interactions been too.
I am excited for the next chapter.
4/4/2020 c9 7JohnJoestar17
It's great seeing the PoVs of other characters since it provides glimpses into their altered backstories. It's interesting to see Machias being old friends with Alan and Rosine. Speaking of which, aged-up Rosine with no habit is probably very attractive...Moving on, this also implies that she's been undercover in Erebonia for a while. I wonder what's her opinion of Erebonian gear vs. Gralsritter gear.

Heh...Rean the clueless womanizer. Glad to see that side of him hasn't changed one bit. Again, you did a great job painting the interpersonal dynamics and not just how Rean gets along with everyone else. Of course Alisa would be acting as a logistical officer considering her family's business background. As for the salty naval officer, I've seen my share of those but fortunately never got on their bad side. The amount of swearing in their ranting is actually pretty hilarious as long as the subject of their rant isn't yourself.

I like the rhinocider fight, and it's great how you consistently put your own spin on monster battles in general. You did a great job with Rean and Laura, but especially the latter considering how she's both badass and adorably awkward at the same time.

Overall, it's a good start to the field study and I'm definitely curious where you'll take it next.
4/4/2020 c4 Dear Friend
You have way too few reviews for what is so incredibly well thought out and good to read.
Having a great time reading. Thank you, and cheers.
Wishing you the best.
3/27/2020 c8 JohnJoestar17
Liberl Claire...there's no way it can be that child from Rolent, can it? Assuming this fic still starts 2 years after Trails in the Sky, there's no way Rolent Claire is old enough to attend even the original Thors. Unless Trails in the Sky took place further in the past or she's aged-up as well in this AU, that is. Later parts of the chapter point at my second theory since it was mentioned the Non-Aggression Pact was still signed 2 years ago.

Ah, so that's Towa's plan: create a rival to the Imperial Chronicle. She's pretty cunning all right especially considering her busy school life and that side gig with the Orbal Bike. It's nice to see the circle of 4 plus Vandyck fully behind the idea as well. Hmm...seems like Thomas and Rosine might be roping Rean into the Gralsritter's schemes sooner than in canon...

It's nice to see a reciprocal arrangement with Emma and Fie's relationship instead of Fie taking all the time. Considering Emma's background it does make sense. I guess the Hexen Clan doesn't do much trading with outsiders. Heh...'Optimal bounce vectors'. I know it's kind of a minor thing, but I'm a sucker for canon scenes and lines being used in different contexts. On an unrelated note, Fie in this fic seems to swing both ways. Oh, briefings...good thing Trails doesn't have an in-universe equivalent of PowerPoint yet. I how like these field studies will be actual military exercises instead of just a collection of sidequests in all but name.

Now, assuming you didn't transplant characters from other franchises and that Rolent Claire is indeed aged up for this fic, I'm going out on a limb and say LCdr Leuventhal is the OC considering BGen Gneiseneau could very well be one of the many nameless officers seen throughout the Cold Steel games and that I haven't seen a single naval officer in canon.

I have the same hangup about Rieveldt's rank myself. Considering the scope of the RMP's Area of Responsibility, she should be at least a Colonel or a Brigadier General. Ironblood connections aside, she's either in a position that's way beyond her rank or the RMP is severely understaffed for Erebonia's size.
3/27/2020 c7 JohnJoestar17
Jusis and Gaius...now that's a friendship I would have never expected. They don't hate each other, but the games didn't show that much chemistry between them either. The battle simulation makes me thing of the possibility of a Trails RTS, should Falcom decided to go that route for a spinoff. Come to think of it, a ballroom dancing lesson does make sense. Boxers and martial artists (Van Damme comes to mind) are known to practice ballet as a method of cross-training. Oh, Sara...you're a tease even towards students whose names aren't "Rean Schwarzer". Dancing, especially using the link to perform the opposite sex's moves is a good way to train and get used to those combat links.

That was a pretty good spin on Crow's 50 Mira trick and him introducing Rean to fish burgers. Rean definitely would be able to figure out the coin thing considering he's a couple of years older and a tad more experienced. Can't be Trails without fishing either... The Angelica duel was really exciting to read, and the amount of effort you put into worldbuilding really shows. I had a hard time figuring out who had the clear advantage. I do wonder what kind of nasty rumours about the Schwarzer Barony are. Something mundane like how Rean is adopted (assuming he is in this time line) or something much more sinister?

FYI: The paragraph... "Out of some unfathomable reason [...] a drawing utilizing extreme contrasts of light and darkness" is repeated.
3/27/2020 c6 JohnJoestar17
Sara learn about the Hedgehog's Dilemma is strangely fitting, considering her VA ended up getting a major role (Misato, to be specific) in Evangelion's Netflix dub. Looks like Alisa and Emma's backstories haven't changed that much, and Emma's mission feels much more spy-like than in canon. And so the stage slowly comes together...

The curriculum definitely seems a lot more grueling than in canon, which makes sense considering the nature of the academy and the characters' ages. Towa's goal for the alumni network has left me intrigued, to say the least. I guess we'll find out for ourselves as the story progresses. In the meantime, I'm guessing it has something to do with Olivert's third way. It's interesting to see that although most of the canon student body has been aged up, not all of them remain Thors students in this adaptation.
3/26/2020 c5 JohnJoestar17
It's nice to have an entire chapter from Laura's PoV. And you put some very neat twists into this orienteering exercise. It's really neat to see Elliott's improvised sonic weapon as well as using the laws of science to take the gargoyle down a peg. Damn, Sara sure took the class down a peg...

On a side note, looks like what I said in my last review was just a little off. Turns out the Jusis-Machias rivalry was just stuffed into a pressure cooker instead of nipped in the bud. At least the rest of their class (especially Laura) were there to keep them on track.
3/26/2020 c4 JohnJoestar17
Rean's struggle with his self-esteem is something I personally identify with. He's fortunate to have good mentor. Him being Alisa's ex plus friends with Gaius should make class dynamics interesting, to say the least. Seems like Gaius has been far away from home longer canon. I wonder if that'll factor into his character arc (assuming there is one for him).

Damn...I get roving sentries and snipers, but artillery pieces too? Erebonians don't screw around with force protection, especially with an institution as crucial as Thors. Judging by the presence of a naval officer, it seems like it's a joint-service school. On a side note, it's great you decided to include the navy in the mix (that's the IRL branch I serve in). That being said, there's a detail I have to criticize. Salutes only go one way (lower to higher rank), so there's no way a LCdr would be saluting an Officer Cadet unless it's the OCdt's funeral and their casket is passing by. Regardless of that hiccup, this is still a very solid chapter. I especially enjoyed the speeches. It's refreshing to see von Richtofen on the side of youth and progress despite his nobility status.

Experiencing the second half of the chapter from Elliott's perspective was a refreshing choice, as is his motivation in this AU. Applying his music training to gauge his peers' breathing by extension their physical abilities is a very creative method. And it looks like the Jusis-Machias feud is being nipped in the bud (or just repressed and stuffed into a pressure cooker). It's interesting how the two instructors already know about Rean...I'm looking forward to proper introductions for Fie, as well as Laura and Emma, and the beginning of this orienteering exercise.
3/26/2020 c3 JohnJoestar17
Hot damn, that Arts duel was epic! It's also great to see Towa having much more of an on-screen backbone than in canon. It a) makes sense considering how you aged up the entire student body, and b) she probably has it in canon but didn't get many chances to demonstrate it (it doesn't help that most of the fandom is clinging onto her sweet personality). It's also great seeing so much detail and consideration put into how Arts work as well as the contrast between Towa and Liliana. On a related note, it's nice seeing somebody actually introducing combat uniforms to Zemurian militaries. One of the details about the series that really rubbed me the wrong way is how Jaegers and even terrorists (i.e. ILF and the Calvardian extremists who attacked Orchis Tower) look modern and borderline scifi while national armies look like they're barely out of WWI (except Crossbell, but even those guys' uniforms aren't that practical).

And Fie makes her debut! You did a great job fleshing out her dynamic with Sara, and how dysfunctional it turns out to be. Her baggage is also a lot more obvious, given her scars and how the Trista townsfolk basically ostracized her. Hopefully spending time with Class VII will do her some good. It's also a nice touch showing her suspecting Crow of something from the get-go even if she doesn't know the details yet. Of course, nobody's perfect considering how her Jaeger senses didn't alert her about Towa at first. The conversation about Erebonia's new self-propelled artillery was a nice-touch too, and it's a nice insight into each of the 4 friends' characters.

p.s. Thanks for all the explanations in the A/Ns. I really appreciate it.
p.s.s. This has been on my mind for a while, but have you served? There are some aspects and details on the military side of things that are either extremely well-researched, come from personal insight/experience, or both.
3/26/2020 c9 15Classic Mecraphone
Oh. Crap. I reached the end.
Well this is a wonderful little gem of a tale and holy moly do you put a lot of effort into it. The callbacks to real world economic phases, a smooth integration of physics and Orbal tactics as well as a keen eye towards battle with these enhanced abilities at people's disposal. Just like how the world building in the games sucked me in so too does this story. And while some of the intriguing character interplay feels a bit glossed over (like everyone's reaction to Rean and Alisa being ex's or Fie and Sara's discussions about their respective pasts as Jaegers) it's by no means a flaw, just more along the lines of a missed opportunity because I enjoy the rest of the conversations so much.

And the inclusion of new dynamics between the cast while still keeping a few 'canon' interactions makes things feel refreshingly nostalgic while also being compelling, like how it's not just Sara being VII's instructor for most of the game and there being past history between the gang and Towa, Angelica, Crow and George.

All in all I'll be patiently (the opposite really) waiting for the next chapter you magnificent son of a gun.
3/26/2020 c4 Classic Mecraphone
This new dynamic is pretty sexy. A lot of the hangups or challenges that were present in the first game (such as Rean feeling left behind in his sword training or Elliot being unsure of what path to take) have been tackled while being replaced with new ones.

...like having an Ex in the same small class as you. Oof, that’ll be awkward as hell.
3/25/2020 c3 Classic Mecraphone
Fie was always one of my favorite characters from the games so seeing her so perfectly portrayed (mostly coherent and stable but by no means past her history as a child soldier) is greatly entertaining. Can’t wait to see how she interacts with the rest of the older VII. Also wondering if her comment about girls being more attractive is an expression of preference or just one of her straightforward ways of observing things.

Be funny as hell if she and Laura have difficulty getting along in this story, only for her to realize Fie thinks of her as a potential girlfriend XD
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