As you may have guessed from the title, this isn't really a part of the series. It's just some observations about it. I've tried to keep my own remarks to a minimum while writing the series, just a few notes at the end of each book. I know from personal experience that the worst thing you can do is ask a writer about his stories, because believe me, they'll go on and on ad nauseum once you get them started, and I'm no exception. And since I suspect it's unlikely that anyone else has any interest in what we have to say , I've always tried to control myself. But just this once I've decided to indulge myself. After all, it is my webpage and I can put up what I pretty well damn please. And besides, no one is forcing anyone to read this.

The What's Next section has been updated on 03/10/03


If you're still with me this is just a few personal notes and observations about the Internet Series. When I first wrote the Search for Aeris, I had no idea what it would turn into. I didn't have a website, I wasn't even thinking about posting it. I just did it for personal satisfaction. I've always liked to write, and the game just seemed to cry out for a sequel. In fact, I hadn't written anything at all in quite a while, so it felt good to get back in the swing of things. Anyway, after it was done I was looking at FFVII sites on the web and noticed some fan fics, so I said, hey, why don't I do that? It seemed to me that it would a great idea to share this story with others. So I emailed a bunch of websites that had fan fics on them asking if they would post the story. A few said no, most didn't reply at all, but some said yes. I'm indebted to Gary Lee for being the very first person to post the Search for Aeris on his website.

Anyway, the Search for Aeris was recieved so well that it motivated me to keep going. And you all know the result. Most of you have noticed that the stories tended to get longer as I went along, with me going totally nuts with the Mind Slayers. I kept the first one's short because I wasn't sure how they would be recieved. I know most of the people reading them were probably avid videogamers, a group not know for their long attention span, or their intereest in reading. I have to say I was pleasently surprised by how many people stuck with the stories.


I always tried to keep the stories as true to the original game as I could . But in some cases there are differences, sometimes for arbitrary reasons, other times for very good reasons. The nature and use of materia is one obvious example. In the game you fitted your materia into slots on your weapon and armor. In my stories, you hold it in your hand. This was one of those arbitrary things. For some reason, in the Search for Aeris, that's the way I did it. Don't ask me why, I just didn't even think about it. Afterwards, when I noticed, I decided to just keep it that way. It doesn't really make/any significant difference in the stories, and I decided to keep the series consistant. More important differences occur with the actual use of materia, especially restore and life. Cure, Fullcure, and Life were great to have in the game, and were in fact, sometimes indespensible to cointinuing, but they post serious problems for a writer. In a nutshell, they make things too easy. There has to be a certain amount of excietment, of danger, to keep a story interesting. But where's the danger if after every battle you can just cast life and fullcure and everything is right wth the world again? To me, that doesn't make for a very captivating tale. So in my stories, fullcure and life materia do not exist, and cure is limited. Cure can sometimes turn a fatal wound into a severe one, a severe one into a light one, or cure a light one completely, but that's it. If you are hurt badly enough, even cure won't help you. I felt this had to be done in the interest of keeping the stories entertaining. And I think it worked out very well, because no one ever mentioned it.

Limit breaks are another thing I had trouble with. I seemed to me that the characters in the game could never really tell when they were going to occur, and they were set off by damage taken. In my stories they do seem to have some control over it. Aeris is able to cast her's pretty much at will. I never really say why, but if pressed I would explain it by saying her Cetra heritage gives her more control over it than most. Vincend is able to use his just by getting angry, as do the others, to some extent.. Also in my stories, I never actually call them limit breaks. They don't really have a name, they're just something that happens. Instead of saying Cloud used Omnislash, I would try to descibe it. In some cases this works out very well. When Aeris and Vincent use their limit breaks it's usually pretty clear cut (at least, in the case of healing wind for Aeris) Some others might have been difficult to spot, just because it's sometimes difficult to explain clearly in words what's happening. Aeris uses Fury Brand in the fight against the ice worm in the Red Fist, and Cloud uses Omnislash right after. Also, Red uses Cosmo Memory in Jenova Disciples. But you may have missed them because I'm not sure I dsscribed them well enough. Tifa uses Final Heaven in the Search for Aeris and the Dark Shore (and in the Dark Shore I mistakenly actually called it Final Heaven) and she did some of her combo's as well, though I don't think she ever actually went through the entire sequence. The only other limit break I actually name is Banish Evil. But that was a special case. As a new one, you wouldn't have know it was a limit break if I didn't call it SOMETHING.

One other difference is my sometime referals to earth and earthly events. In the game they never call the planet Earth. They just say 'the Planet'. And that was fine as long as they remained there. But when they shot into space a problem developed. When they are on another planet and they refer to the planet, the reader isn't going to know if they're talking about the planet they are on or the planet they came from. So I had to call it something. It was either call it Earth or make up a name. But there was no precedent in the game to call it anything besides Earth. either. One significant fact from the game made me decide to call it Earth. When Sephrioth casts supernova, other planets in our solar system are specifically named. If the other planets are the same, then why shouldn't the planet they are on be called Earth? So that's what I went with. I just assumed it was an alternate Earth. Some people were not happy with that decision. At other times I made reference to Earthly events or people, such as Einstein or the Wizard of Oz. Some people emailed me to say that the FFVII people would have no knowledge of that sort of thing. But hey, why couldn't an alternate Earth have an alternate Einstein, or an alternate Wizard of Ox? It could happen!


Some people have asked me, 'How do you come up with all those weird names?' The easy answer is, I guess I just have a vivid imagination. Most of the names in my stories just popped right out of my head, and some of them took a long time to come up with. I was slowed down for hours trying to think of the names of the Cetra on Shinialyn (and the name of the planet itself, in fact, becuase I wanted them to be very different). But of course, there are a few exceptions. The original game had Biggs and Wedge. Keeping the Star Wars connection alive, Tarkin in the Search for Aeris was named after Grand Moff Tarkin in the original Star Wars movie. And in the Mind Slayers we come full circle as Jinn is named after Qui Qoug Jinn (Gak, yes I know I spelt that wrong) in the Phantom Menace. Just my little contribution to the Star Wars connection.

A few of the characters were actually named by someone else. In fact, a few of the characters themselves were actually suggested by someone else. At the end of the Red Fist, I asked for suggestions on what to name a female of Red's species. The winning reply (in fact, the only reply that came in time, to be honest) was of course, Nipala. I don't normally use characters submitted by other people for a number of reasons. I like to come up with my own, it's just part of a writers job, as far as I'm concerned. And unconciously or not, most submitted characters come wtih bagage attached. It's very unlikely that my idea of a character and the person who submitted it will coincide exactly. I don't want to have a fan emailing me saying 'What did you do to my character? He/she would NEVER do that!' Besides, I think most people read FFVII fan fics to read about the original characters (I know I do!), so I've always tried to keep any new characters to a minimum. But in the Mind Slayers I relaxed this rule a bit. Since it was possible it was the last of the series, I decided to go a little crazy. As a result there are three characters in the Mind Slayers that were submitted by other people. Roshnialu (Whose name I love, by the way, even though no one can spell it right!), Amanda, and Lai Li. But even then I wasn't arbitrary. Each added character had a very specific and useful role in the plot of the story. I threw Altim into the Mind Slayers too, and that was probably a mistake. I never really got to develop his character any. I originally planned to have him complicate the Aeris situation, but I never really got to use him that way. Looking back on it now, if I had written the entire thing and then posted it I probably would have left him out. But that's the chances you take when you post each chapter as it's written. You really have to plan ahead, and not everything works out.

Oh, and as long as we're talking about names, there's one other thing. Yuri Asoredrev, the name of Rude's chess grandmaster uncle in the Mind Slayers. I wonder if any of you noticed that his last name is my last name spelled backwards?


Posting each chapter as it is written has it's hazards. If you don't plan ahead it's rather easy to foul up the consistency of the story, and make other stupid mistakes as well. Yes, I made my share of errors, most of which you were all too happy to quickly point out to me. And I'm not talking just about my total lack of ability to spell. So now I'm going to play a little game of pick on Frank (don't get too excited now) and point out the more obvious ones.

In the Search for Aeris I had them hold all their materia in their hands, even though in the game they put it in weapons and armor. What was I thinking? Don't know, but this was a relatively minor mistake, and I decided to leave it that way in the later stories.

In the first chapter of Jenova's Disciples, Aeris, Zack and Reeve are attacked by assasins. After they are defeated Zack recognizes them from Gongaga, but Zack had lost his memory! Major blunder! I tried to gloss over it by hinting that he had a tentative link with Jenova that was projecting the knowlege to him. Pretty lame, huh?

Also in Jenova's Disciples I started out calling the City of the Ancients Inflania even though it was supposed to be Ifalnia. Oops. I corrected that in later chapters after it was pointed out to me.

In the Mind Slayers, Aeris and the others are captured by the Chadara. Everything they have is taken away. Yet when Aeris confronts Jinn at the end, she mysteriously has the Princess Guard. How'd that happen? Must be magic. I realized it after I had posted the chapter, but no one else seemed to notice. You people are falling down on the job!

I'm sure there are plenty of others, but those are the one's I noticed that were most glaring. I got a feeling I'll be getting some emails pointing out a few more in the days to come!


Okay, I guessing that the question most people want answered is what's up with the internet series? Was Cetra Destiny the last one, or will there be more? Well, I never meant for the internet series to go on forever. Every good story has a beginning and an end. From some emails I've gotten and comments in the Guestbook, it seems that some people think I've dragged the series out too long already and should have stopped with the Mind Slayers. Then again, for every email I've gotten saying end it already I've gotten ten emails saying NEVER stop. I can't really go by what the fans tell me because a lot of you have an emotional stake in this, and want the series to go on no matter what, even if I can't keep up the level of writing that it had in the beginning. I don't want that to happen, however. I have to go by the way I feel about it. I wrote Cetra Destiny and Astray pretty much concurrently, and the truth is, while Astray has been a joy to write, Destiny was oft times a struggle. This tells me more than anything anyone else could. I don't know if it's possible, for me or any author, to look at their own stories objectively. There's always going to be some bias. Trying to do this as best I can, however, I don't see any drop off in quality. I look at the Search for Aeris or the Red Fist or the Mind Slayers and I look at Cetra Destiny and they seem about the same, qualitywise. I don't think I've lowered the bar with the stories after the Mind Slayers. What I do think is I've RAISED the bar with my drama stories. I look at Astray and it seems to me to be head and shoulders better than ANY other story I've written, even the best ones in the series. Of course, this is just my opinion and like I said, I don't know whether its an objective assessement or not.

You may have noticed that I tied up quite a few loose ends at the end of Destiny. Reno and Yuffie finally opened up to one another, and Vincent asked Elena to marry him. Of course, what happened with Tifa and Cloud seemed to create another loose end instead of tying one up. Such is life. Obviously Destiny has a much darker ending than the Mind Slayers did and for that reason also maybe I'd have been better off stopping with the latter story. I have to admit however, that a tragic love like Cloud and Tifa's does have a certain appeal, after all, what else would explain the popularity of a story like Romeo and Juliet? And, unlike Romeo and Juliet, there is some hope held out that they will be together again someday.

So now you're asking, what the hell does this all mean Frank? Is this the end of the series or not? Well, yes and no. (And yes, I realize you'll HATE that answer ^_~) No, because there is one more tale to tell. Yes, because that tale is a bit different from what has gone before. It's not as linear as the rest of the series. You'll understand when you start to read it. The final installment of the intenet seris is tentatively titled Protectors of the Planet. Not sure when I'm going to get started on it. It will be a while though. I'm going to take a bit of a break from the series first.

So now that that's out of the way, what else is planned? Just because I'm not writing the series at the moment doesn't mean there's not plenty of other things going on here. So here's some ideas that have been rattling around in my head for some time about future stories. As in the last time I did this, I can't guarentee which of these ideas will actually make it onto the page. Maybe all of them will, (doubtful) maybe none of them will (doubtful again) and it may be that right after I post this I'll come up with some brilliant idea that's not on here at all and start writing merrily away. We'll see.

ASTRAY: Obviously this one is already in the works so there's no question whether you're going to see it or not. Looks like about approximately five chapters left for that story and right now it's number one on the list of things to do!

A story about Sephiroth. Either an early one (probably during the Midgar Wutai war) or a post game (perhaps redemption, or perhaps not ^_~) kind of thing. The problem with the latter story, of course, is the same as writing a post game Aeris fic, and that's that they're both dead, so you either have to ressurect them, which has been done ad nauseum, or do an AU story. The other problem with a Sephy redemption story (and a lot of other plots I'm about to mention) is that it's been done before, by other people, and sometimes very well. I don't want to write a post game bring back Sephy story unless I think I can add something unique to the formula, but that goes without saying with all these ideas.

A Tifa and Vincent story. Makes sense for me, I think. After all, I've done Tifa/Cloud, Tifa/Reno and even Tifa/Cid, so it seems natural to pair her up with one of the most popular characters in the game. The downside of this, again, is that it's been done before, a lot. But I have some ideas about this and I have a strong feeling this story is going to get done. I know, I write about Tifa a lot and I don't want this to turn into a 'just Tifa' page, but it does seem like writing about her brings out the best in me. I will try to get other stories in here as well!

Two internet series 'spin offs'. One about Zangan as a teenager, and one about Zack & Roshnialu on Grouchoon.

A love story about Aeris. Again this presents problems with the games timeline as it currently exists. She never had a real romance before the game began, and afterwards shes dead, so you either have to ressurct her or go AU. Not sure yet who her partner would be. Cloud's an obvious possibility but I'm not sure I could write a good Cloud/Aeris love story. I'm afraid my bias toward Tifa might get in the way. I think Aeris/Vincent would be a very intriguing matchup but again, it's been done and I don't want to step on Snowfields toes. Aeris/Sephrioth would also be an intriguing couple. If anyone could forgive Sephiroth for what he did, I would think it would be Aeris and yet I have a strong personal dislike for this pairing. Her pairing up with him, in my opinion, is like saying it's okay to kill people. This one is tentative.

Finally, more stories in the humor section!

I guess that's about it. I know this page can't go on forever. I know people will eventually get tired of coming here. Then again, I've been saying that for years and you people have stubbonly defied my prediction that you'll all abandon this place for somewhere more interesting. So who knows? With the end of the series as we know it, maybe that'll happen now, but the series was 'done' for almost eight months after the Mind Slayers and I don't recall any significant drop off in visitors. I'd like to thank you all again for your continued support and I'd just like to say that I'll be here for as long as I'm able and as long as you want me to. I said once that I'd keep writing as you long as you kept reading and I intend to live up to that promise. It's not up to me what happens to this page, its up to all of you.