Phoenix Reborn FAQ (Frequently Anticipated Questions) v 2.6
January 23, 2000



Victar's Archive: http://www.victarfanfics.com

List of Questions:

1. Hey! Where are the Mortal Kombat characters?
2. But WHY did you get rid of the MK characters!?!?
3. Why isn't [my favorite Tekken 3 character] in a bigger role?
4. What? Are you crazy? Look, Namco's storyline doesn't say that about [my favorite Tekken character]. It says [blah blah blah blah]!
5. Didn't the Soul Edge characters live 400 years ago?
6. Who is the interviewer?
7. Why'd you pick this weird interview format, anyway?
8. How long is this humongous monster!?
9. Are you going to write another sequel?
10. Why is everyone speaking English all the time?
11. Hey, I know Ogre is the final boss of Tekken 3. What's this "Toshin"?
12. Why don't you dress up your stories with HTML?
13. What do all those symbols mean, anyway?
14. Huh? Where'd the mailing list go?
15. Why don't you get this stuff published in a real book?
16. So where can I find back chapters and stuff?
17. How do I pirate games for my PSX?


1. Hey! Where are the Mortal Kombat characters?

1A. Oh, they're still around, it's just that most of them are like Liu Kang (i.e. 20 years older and in semi-retirement). Sorry, no MK characters make a personal appearance in Phoenix Reborn, which is why I haven't posted it to the Mortal Kombat newsgroups.
         The truth is, I became less interested in MK characters and more interested in the Tekken characters. I've never really played much MK since MK1. It was Tekken 2 that I loved playing. Tekken 2 so utterly fascinated me that I had to write Ashes of the Phoenix. I needed the backdrop of MK3 and its characters mostly to stage conflict and plot. Now, in my warped dreamland imagination, the Tekken 3 storyline and characters had sufficient conflict to carve out a saga on their own (well OK, with some help from a few Soul Edge characters, King of Fighters '98 characters, and one Battle Arena Toh Shin Den 2 character. :). It took almost a year for me to warm up to Tekken 3, but certain Tekken 3 characters (particularly Jin, Julia, Bryan, and Hwoarang) inexorably drew me in and compelled me to write a sequel.

2. But WHY did you get rid of the MK characters!?!?

2A. Well, maybe this will illustrate it better. It's my percentage "like" list (from 0-100%) of the video game characters in Ashes of the Phoenix:

Tekken characters

Alex: 90%
Angel: 90% (I loved writing that scene with her & Kazuya)
Baek Doo San: 50%
Doctor Boskonovitch: 25% (I wrote him in only out of convenience)
Bruce Irvin: 50%
Ganryu: 55%
Heihachi Mishima: 5%
Ishida & Kimura: 85% (OK, so they're not Tekken chars... I liked 'em anyway)
Jack-2: 10%
Jun Kazama: 100%
Kazuya Mishima: 95%
Kuma: 10% (he was there mostly to fight dragon-Kang)
Lee Chaolan: 95%
Lei Wulong: 95%
Michelle Chang: 55%
Wang Jinrey: 60%

You might notice that the four characters I liked above all, Lei, Jun, Lee, & Kazuya, were the major stars of the story. :)

Mortal Kombat characters

Catsclaw: 55%
Jax: 40%
Kabal: 50%
Kung Lao: 65%
Kurtis Stryker: 50%
Liu Kang: 25%
Nightwolf: 50%
Noob Saibot: 50%
Raiden: 50%
Reptile: 50%
Sonya Blade: 65%
Shang Tsung: 10%
Shao Kahn: 5%
Sindel: 50%
Sparky: 50%
Sub-Zero: 70%

Other video game characters

Rock: 40%
Seung Mina: 80%
Takeshi Fujioka: 75%
T. Hawk: 60%
Chief Thunder: 50%
Wolf Hawkfield: 40%

And in Phoenix Reborn:

Angel: 90%
Anna Williams: 85%
Armor King: 75%
Bryan Fury: 90%
Catsclaw: 55%
Doctor Abel: 35%
Doctor Boskonovitch: 50%
Eddy Gordo: 40%
Forest Law: 25%
Goro Daimon: 50%
Gun Jack: 25%
Heihachi Mishima: 50% (he makes a much better villain, now)
Heishiro Mitsurugi: 85%
Hwoarang: 75%
Ishida & Kimura: 90% (I like the "kinder, gentler" new Ishida & Kimura)
Jane: 50%
Jin Kazama: 95%
Julia Chang: 90%
Jun Kazama: 100%
Kazuya Mishima: 95%
King the First: 25%
King the Second: 25%
Kuma: 15%
Lee Chaolan: 100% (I really like him as an angel & a good guy)
Lei Wulong: 95%
Ling Xiaoyu: 75%
male-Mokujin & female-Mokujin: 10%
Mrs. Chang: 50%
Nina Williams: 20%
Panda: 15%
Paul Phoenix: 10%
Seung Mina: 80%
Shingo Yabuki: 95% (I didn't just write him in, he freaking took over...)
Taiyou & Tsuki Kagura: 50%
Taki: 75%
Tiger Jackson: 5% (hate hate hate his outfit)
Toshin: 0% (the bastard murdered MY JUN!!!!)
Tracy: 55%
Wang Jinrey: 60%
Yoshimitsu: 25%

You might notice that characters that I like less than 75% tend to get very little space on the actual page. Since this included all the MK chars, they all had to go. The one character that I didn't like too much but devoted a lot of time to anyway was Heihachi, who I needed as a villain. And for what it's worth, I like him much more now than I used to... ^_^

3. Why isn't [my favorite Tekken 3 character] in a bigger role?

3A. There just wasn't room to focus on more than a certain number of characters (mostly the ones who had ties to the Mishima syndicate and/or whom I really liked). All the TK3 characters have been referred to though, and most have shown up for at least a cameo near the end.

4. What? Are you crazy? Look, Namco's storyline doesn't say that about [my favorite Tekken 3 character]. It says [blah blah blah blah]!

4A. Short answer: it's an alternate Tekkenverse. This is also why Jin's eyes are jet black instead of their official brown (as can be seen in his rendered art pictures, or his action figure). Anytime you see a detail that you know is a blatant contradiction to Namco's official storyline, just remember: it's not quite Namco's Tekkenverse, it's an alternative Tekkenverse. It's also an alternate SNKverse - I haven't seen King of Fighters '99, and even if I knew where to find it, it would have little effect on the story I've finished.

Long answer: Since this fanfic is the sequel to Ashes of the Phoenix, its first adherence is to the Ashes continuity. I plotted the basic Ashes outline well before TK3 existed (in fact, I started work on it before TK2 even had endings), so if anything, it's a miracle that Ashes did not contradict TK3 any more than as it turned out (particularly with regard to which TK2 characters were killed off by TK3).
         As for the new TK3 characters... this time around, I focused more effort on capturing the general personality of the characters as I see them in TK3 (i.e. what their looks, moves, backgrounds, music, and victory sequences imply to me about what they're like) and less effort on staying in touch with Namco's official TK3 storyline. I admit that I have unashamedly taken more creative license with video game characters than ever before. It's the way that the story and the characters were in my head... whenever I looked at, say, Hwoarang in his evil black leather outfit, I couldn't see him any other way.
         I will also admit that I had a personal grudge against Namco's TK3 storyline, and that was what happened to Jun. I liked Jun. I wrote a novel about Jun. I missed my Jun. Now she's back in Tekken Tag Tournament and I'm somewhat happier. At the time I created the outline for Phoenix Reborn, however, I felt like Namco's official storyline could all go in the Mishima syndicate incinerator.

5. Didn't the Soul Edge characters live 400 years ago?

5A. Yes. Seung Mina, Taki, and Heishiro Mitsurugi are descendants of their legendary Soul Edge ancestors, and they happen to have the same names because the names have been handed down through the generations. So has the family resemblance (well, more or less).

6. Who is the interviewer?

6A. It's a secret. Same goes for most other mysterious curiosities that may catch your attention. Hey, if I've got you intrigued enough to wonder, then it means I'm doing my job right!
         Okay, okay. If you MUST know immediately, then just skip ahead to the final chapter. But is that really as much fun?

7. Why'd you pick this weird interview format, anyway?

7A. It's just how the story came to me. I heard so many different voices in my head, talking in first person, and I had to somehow incorporate them all. The distance of a third-person viewpoint just didn't have the personal touch.
         I deliberately decided that Phoenix Reborn would be a large-scale literary experiment. In addition to the new interview style, each chapter has one other off-format piece of text (in Chapter 5 and Chapter 27 it's the epigraphs).

8. How long is this humongous monster!?

8A. Over 1000 pages. I am so glad it's done. I worked SO hard to write it, so I'm extra thankful to everyone who has taken the time to read it!

9. Are you going to write another sequel?

9A. Aieeee...
         Perhaps not. Though I have casually entertained story ideas, I am NOT committing myself to a sequel. I've devoted a total of almost four years to Tekken fanfic, and now I just want to work for a living and play RPGs.

10. Why is everyone speaking English all the time?

10A. Actually, they're not necessarily speaking English. When two people who share a non-English native language are speaking to each other, you can usually bet they're conversing in their native tongue. For example, if Jin and Heihachi are talking in private, you can probably trust it's all in Japanese. It's just that the interviewer has translated everything for your benefit.
         Translation brackets "<.>" are used only in the rare case when one character is speaking in a language that another character overhears, but does not understand. This is because I think translation brackets are clumsy, unwieldy things, and I much prefer quotation marks. I also used this entire system in Ashes of the Phoenix.
         When characters are speaking English, though, it is frequently because English is one of the commonest tongues people use to get around the language barrier.

11. Hey, I know Ogre is the final boss of Tekken 3. What's this "Toshin"?

11A. "Toshin" is Ogre's Japanese name. It got changed when Tekken 3 was brought stateside. However, in most role-playing games, an "Ogre" is a run-of-the-mill monster that your favorite player character routinely whacks for a few hundred experience points. It's just a way, way too unimpressive name for a corrupt god out to consume the whole world.
         Actually, a closer phonetic represantation of Ogre's Japanese name would be "Toushin" or "Tohshin," clearly representing the longer "oh" sound. But those didn't seem as imposing to me, when written out.

12. Why don't you dress up your stories with HTML?

12A. I have finally translated all of my fanfiction into HTML! I know it took way too long, but I hope you can enjoy my hours and hours of work now.

13. What do all those symbols mean, anyway?

13A. They're my ASCII text conventions for various effects:

"_" enclose stressed words, akin to underlining or italicizing.
"<.>" enclose translated foreign language phrases (see 10A) and sound effects.
"*" enclose the voices of spirits.
"#" enclose the voices of dragons.
"( )" enclose private thoughts or telepathic communication.
"%" enclose extremely alien voices.
"+" enclose computer voices, or other "programmed" voices.
"[ ]" enclose private technological communication.
"~" enclose the voices of Elder Gods.

14. Huh? Where'd the mailing list go?

14A. The Phoenix Reborn mailing list is deactivated now, because the novel is complete and I don't want to be mistaken for a spammer. If I write any more stories (and I am not committing myself) then I'll post them on my website.

15. Why don't you get this stuff published in a real book?

15A. Because I have written about characters owned by someone else. The only forum this story will ever see is the Internet. I do not, and will not make monetary profit from it in any way. I see my video game fan-fiction strictly as writing practice; perhaps one day, I'll write books about characters of my own, but for now, I'm happy to play my RPGs.

16. So where can I find back chapters and stuff?

16A. I'm always happy to e-mail my video game fanfic as files in ASCII text, to anyone. Just send me e-mail and ask. You can also access all my work from my web site, Victar's Tekken and Mortal Kombat Fanfic Archive, at

http://www.victarfanfics.com

There are other web sites with copies of my fanfic, but many of them are missing chapters, or have annoying little proofreading errors that I didn't catch until after I distributed the final draft. So overall, I'd rather you went to my site.

17. How do I pirate games for my PSX?

17A. I don't know, and even if I did know, I wouldn't help you rip off the people who make my beloved video games. So don't even ask. :-P

Victar

         "Michelle? Mother!"
         "You have conquered Ogre. Now, the key to control Ogre is this pendant. It was all Heihachi's evil plot."
         "I'll never let Heihachi get away with this!"
         "No, Julia. Wait. Julia, hatred is not the answer. Do you remember why I taught you the powers to fight? It was to protect mother Earth, not to destroy. Now, let's go home. Back to Arizona, where the land awaits us."

         - Julia Chang and Michelle Chang, Tekken 3 for the Sony Playstation