What's up with age nowadays?

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#1 by hybtranslation
2019-08-31 at 16:03
I just finished reading Photonflowers and am now facing Muv-Luv withdrawal symptoms once again. Trying to distract myself, I decided to check if there's any news regarding age, but all I found was a short notice about collaborating with some MMORPG. Not really what I was looking for.

It has been almost 3 years since Schwarzesmarken. That VN really gave me hope, since I think it was a big step in the right direction, compared to Total Eclipse. It's not that I hated Total Eclipse, but it is still weaker in almost every respect compared to its predecessor.

I also really liked The Day After stories. In 2015, when they released Schwarzesmarken Part 1, I thought that they just postponed the next TDA release to focus on a full game. But by now, it has been 6 years since Alternative Chronicles 4 was released. I'm afraid it has been abandoned. This is so depressing. :(

Anyway, I wanted to ask if you guys know any news regarding Muv-Luv and age. It is such an iconic series, you'd think something HAS to be going on. They even released that wacky Kimi ga Nozomu Muv-Luv, apparently free of charge...
#2 by tyrog
2019-08-31 at 20:55
Hey, how are you doing.
There doesn't seem to be anything major going on with the Muv-Luv franchise right now, unfortunately, and anyway I am not as big of a fan as you, though I do like the series, so I will suggest actual books to stave off your Muv-Luv hunger.
Heinlein popularized the powered mecha suit with Starship Troopers, and I think it is a required reading for SF fans, though many people despise it for the author's political views expounded therein. At least as good, and less controversial, is Joe Haldeman's The Forever War, which also features marines in mecha suits fighting off an alien menace. It is really a parable for the Vietnam war, but its themes are universal.
Both novels are classic science fiction, and you may already be familiar with one or both of them, but that's the only thing I could think of off the top of my head.
#3 by hybtranslation
2019-09-01 at 10:06
Hey tyrog, it's been a while! I'm doing well enough, just your bunch of ordinary problems, so I guess I can't complain. :) Hope things are fine on your side as well?

I think the reason why I like the series so much is because it successfully juggles so many different ingredients. Mechs are actually something I usually don't like, especially if there is only one or a select few so that the protagonist can conveniently save humanity all on their own. (In that regard, I liked neither the Susano nor the beam cannon in Total Eclipse).

On the other hand, I love pretty much everything else. Especially that there's quite a lot of (geo-)politics and idealism vs. pragmatism thrown in. And the mixture of wacky humor and tragedy.

Anyway, thanks for your recommendations. You're probably right that I won't be seeing a VN of this kind for a while. Actually, I haven't read any Heinlein yet, and if I think about it, it could easily be what I'm looking for. Regarding his political views, I'm not sure whether he is leaning more towards Totalitarianism or Libertarianism. AFAIK, in Starhip Troopers (the movie), the sarcastic jabs at the Autocratic Government were added.

Also thanks for your tip with Haldeman. Actually didn't know him at all, even though he seems to be a very prolific author.

Still, kind of weird that Muv-Luv is in hibernation. They used to release a VN almost every year. Was Schwarzesmarken a financial disaster, or something? It even got an anime, though. And then they made a short VN (Kimi ga Nozomu Muv-Luv) they didn't even sell, which didn't strike me as something a company running out of money would do.Last modified on 2019-09-01 at 10:14
#4 by forever-here
2019-09-01 at 11:39
photonflowers just ruined Marimo's character for me. she wasn't like that when dealing with MLA Takeru. it was already ridiculous enough that the soldiers had to pass basic physical training when that has nothing to do with fighting aliens, but here they pushed that even more just for the sake of drama and to make Marimo an evil character for no reason other than to make readers angry. back in MLA the chomp scene was horrible but photonflowers made it that she deserved it and more. don't even get me started on the puddle of mud scene.Last modified on 2019-09-01 at 11:42
#5 by hybtranslation
2019-09-01 at 13:07
Hm, interesting. Since it seems there's no news about age, let's discuss Photonflowers.

Regarding the physical training, I'd imagine a solid layer of muscles still comes in handy when piloting a mech without any futuristic tech like inertial dampers. Does anyone know how modern fighter pilots are trained in that regard?

However, I think the real purpose of the gruesome physical training is something else: making you (and your body) used to stress. And see how well you can perform under physical and mental exhaustion, and improve that. And well, make sure you follow orders. ;)

I spent a few months in the mililtary (the draft), and even though it was in a peaceful country in more peaceful times than now, the first few weeks were the toughest in my life. Basically, your instructors have a free pass for white torture. If they so wish, you run until you drop, get up in the middle of the night although your body demands sleep, crawl through manure, etc., and there's little you can do about it except deal with it somehow. I still remember 5 minutes of free time - without anyone telling you what to do! - feeling like an eternity.

Still, most military personel in the world would probably laugh at me and call my training easy.
I'd imagine the military training in a world on the brink of extinction to be close to what was shown in Atonement and Confessions. I didn't see Marimo as evil, only as someone willing to do anything to make sure her pupils might surive just a second longer in the field. You'd actually be lucky to get an instructor like her instead of someone who just enjoys being a sadist.
Even Michiru herself realizes that Marimo is only performing her role. As sad as it is, this is probably still the most effective way to prepare a human for the cruelties of war.

Even in the old Muv-Luv series, I believe Marimo was described as having been a hellish instructor in the past. I admit the scenes would have been too serious in Muv-Luv Unlimited, but I do think they fit very well for a side story of Muv-Luv Alternative.

Oh well. I guess I'm ranting and trying to change your opinion, which originally wasn't my intention. But if you ever read Photonflowers again, maybe give Marimo another chance. She may be taking a few things too far, but I don't think she was evil or just trying to anger the reader.
#6 by forever-here
2019-09-01 at 14:28
I'm just finding way too many inconsistencies that photonflowers may as well be a fanfiction.

1. no matter how much you try to deny it, they had peace times. people don't change overnight. no matter how cruel the war is, people will still cling to that little hope and thus they'd rather choose instant death over hellish training. it's almost like people in this world don't know the concept of law of diminishing returns. nope, just train and train and train to the point of mental breakdown. and I'm supposed to accept that at face value?
2. in the anime version (total eclipse iirc) they commented that the upper brass will just graduate an obviously inferior cadet because they really, really need the pilots. a complete contradiction with this one.
3. and here's the even more interesting part: they can control the TSFs remotely! like wtf!? that alone opens a can of worms. no really, why are they training people to die? I thought they are in dire need of every capable hands possible.

what made MLA awesome was, and as much as this may baffle people, was because of Takeru. remove him and you get photonflowers I guess.
#7 by hybtranslation
2019-09-01 at 15:27
1) AFAIK, the Navy Seals have drop-out rates beyond 70%. And that's people who go there of their own free will, i.e. they are not conscripted. There's some information available about their training online, and it seems to be pretty tough, both physically and mentally. Probably tougher than the one in Muv-Luv, actually.
You are right that from a pure physical POV, training like this is not optimal. But as I said, I don't think that's really the point. They're training soldiers, not athletes.

2) Yes there are a few inconsistencies in that area. Maybe there are "softer" training courses for the children of the social elite? Still, in general I think the TSF pilots are pictured as the best of the best.
I guess one problem is that pretty much every main character is piloting TSF. Might give a wrong impression of how many pilots there actually really are.

3) I think the remote control is not as effective because the direct neural input is way faster. The drug injection / hypnotic thing is remote controlled too.

4) Yeah, Takeru was a pretty good protagonist. I think his growth is an important factor of what made Muv-Luv such a success.
#8 by tyrog
2019-09-01 at 15:50
Hyb, given your experience in the military, you definitely should give these books a try. I think you would be able to appreciate them on a deeper level than someone who's never been drafted.
Verhoeven's film is very watered down and does not do justice to the novel. There's a lot more I could say about Heinlein and his work, but that's a discussion for another place and time.

Regarding Age, I don't think that they are in any kind of financial trouble, although one never knows. I'd be surprised if we don't see another Muv-Luv related project announced in a year or two, but a certain slowdown in their output is evident. I just can't imagine letting such a popular series die.

I stalled halfway through Total Eclipse—it's not bad, but it's not great either—and I haven't touched Schwarzesmarken, which looks more interesting. Maybe I should get back to it, and by the time I've finished hopefully they will have something new at work.

After Photonflowers, releasing Photonmelodies on Steam is their next logical move. Too bad it's another rehash of old material.
#9 by fuukanou
2019-09-01 at 16:16
They've age-d and now they sit there in their pants eating kara-age and won't make any games age-in
#10 by hybtranslation
2019-09-01 at 17:38
LOL. Luckily, you don't write again with an e. :)

Yeah, Total Eclipse also took me a while and a few breaks inbetween. (And that's coming from a Muv-Luv fanatic :) ) It's not like it suddenly gets better at the end, so you probably didn't miss much. Schwarzesmarken was a real improvement, though. It's much closer in quality to Alternative than Total Eclipse.

Anyway, I'll probably give Starship Troopers a try. Or should I rather read one of Heinlein's other works before that? It seems to the kinda last book of a series, according to Wikipedia.
#11 by fuukanou
2019-09-01 at 17:43
#10, it was a play on アゲイン
#12 by hybtranslation
2019-09-02 at 08:03
Now you jinxed it! If it's really gonna come true, it's all your fault. :)

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