For my birthday, when I was ten, Papa gave me hair ribbons and chocolate and a new set of spanners and the chance to pilot an airship without Erin at the co-pilot's wheel. For Vivi's birthday, when he was twelve, he got a houseful of dead children and left us a very gentle little note and went off and Stopped. Thirteen
years have passed since the events of Final Fantasy IX
, and Eiko Carol Fabool has grown into an intelligent, self-possessed young woman and the heir
to the regency of Lindblum. She is beloved by her parents
, keeps in touch with her old adventuring buddies
, and is well on her way to becoming a talented airship engineer
There are only two disappointments in her perfect world: her fading connection
to her eidolons, and the lingering pain of losing her childhood friend, Vivi Ornitier, when she was ten. Otherwise, everything about her life seems almost too good to last.
And then Lindblum is attacked without warning by a violent unknown aggressor, and in trying to stop him, Eiko finds herself whisked away to the ruins of the Desert Palace. Trapped at the mercy of a madman, and armed with only her own wits and some half-forgotten white magic, Eiko struggles to find a way to escape and return home...while at the same time piecing together clues about her mysterious captor. What exactly is
Black Tango? What is his connection to Kuja, to the black mages, and to the dead world of Terra? And what part did he play in Vivi's death?Go Not Gently
is quite possibly the best-known FFIX fanfiction on the internet, and certainly among the best. It tackles the darker side of many of the same questions about life, death, and survival that were raised by the original game, and provides some very interesting explorations of the inner workings of magic and summoning on Gaia. In the process, it paints vivid, well-painted portraits of all the familiar FFIX heroes thirteen years down the line, and adds a small but judicious handful of original characters to the mix.
Oh, and there are Black Mages. Lots and lots of Black Mages.
If all this sounds good to you, go and read the story
before scrolling down. There are some extremely powerful plot twists
that are really best experienced fresh, and only the most major are spoiler tagged below. You have been warned.
This story provides examples of:
- Abduction Is Love
- Abusive Parents: Tango, to the Black Mages.
- Action Girl
- Apocalypse Maiden: Eiko comes very close to becoming one.
- Arranged Marriage
- Babies Ever After: Zidane and Garnet have two children, with a third on the way at the time of the story.
- Battle Butler: Black Mages are capable of turning the destructive forces of nature itself to their will. Rain prefers making sandwiches and keeping Eiko's rooms in order.
- Battle Couple: Dagger and Zidane, Beatrix and Steiner, Eiko and Tango.
- Beautiful All Along
- Berserk Button: Don't tell Tango what to do. Also, don't hurt his "children".
You do not blow up Eiko Carol's people in Eiko Carol's city!
- Beware the Nice Ones
- Birth-Death Juxtaposition
- Bittersweet Ending
- Black Cloak
- Black Mages Are Innocent
- Break the Cutie: Both Eiko and Tango/Vivi.
- Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu
- Catch Phrase: I exist only to kill.
- Chew Toy: Tango, as it turns out.
- Cry for the Devil: It's strange how easily Tango can get pitiable so quickly
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Tango vs. Zidane.
- Damsel in Distress: Subverted. Nobody is coming to save Eiko, but that hardly stops her.
- Dead Guy Junior: Vivi and Vita.
- Death Fic: The loss of poor Vivi still drives the plotline, even thirteen years later.
- Driven to Villainy
- Dynamic Entry: Freya and Amarant have no time for doorknobs, man! There's a battle on!
- Eldritch Abomination: A few of them!
- Even Evil Has Standards
Oh, Gods, Vivi, Vivi wouldn't kill Steiner, would he?
- As a matter of fact, no, he wouldn't.
- Everything's Better with Princesses: Eiko Carol, Queen Garnet (formerly), Princess Cornelia
- Evil Former Friend
- Expository Hairstyle Change: Eiko's hair grows out along with her despair.
- The Faceless: Tango and the black mages.
- Fallen Hero
- Fatal Attraction
- Foe Yay
"He had a pretty neck, now that it was clean. He was generally fifty times more palatable, and he smelled a bit like soap. I suddenly wondered why I had done it at all(...)"
- Forgotten Childhood Friend: Played with. Nobody forgot Vivi, but over the years of loneliness and self-exile, he's rewritten his own history a little in his head...
- Freakiness Shame
- From My Own Personal Garden: Not just the food, but the minions, too.
- Furo Scene Of Angst
- Get It Over With: Subverted, painfully. It's amazing how fast you change your mind when the strangling actually starts...
- Giggling Villain
- Glad-to-Be-Alive Sex: Possibly the least joyful example(s), ever.
- Go-Go Enslavement: Eiko just cannot seem to find proper clothes in the Desert Palace. She makes do with Kuja's leftovers.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: It's amazing how easy it is to set Tango off.
- Happily Adopted
- He Cleans Up Nicely
- Her Heart Will Go On
- Heroic Sacrifice
- The High Queen: Everybody in Alexandria loves Queen Garnet.
- Hurt/Comfort Fic
- I Did What I Had to Do
- Important Haircut: Tango begins to soften towards Eiko after this, despite it verging on a Traumatic Haircut at the time.
- Intimate Psychotherapy: Harshly averted. It fixes nothing.
- Jabba Table Manners: Don't eat lunch with Black Tango. Seriously.
- Lima Syndrome
- Line-of-Sight Name: Eiko ends up giving these to a lot of the Black Mages. Rain, in particular, comes to mind.
- Love Hurts: And how.
- The Mourning After: Poor, poor Vivi.
- Mama Bear
- Mad Scientist: Tango will never stop looking for a way to save his "children".
- Modest Royalty: Zidane and Garnet have more important things to do.
- Momma's Boy: Rain loves his "mother" very, very much.
- Morality Pet: All the Black Mages, to Tango.
- Motive Rant: Several.
- No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You To Dine
- Not Quite Dead
- Omnicidal Maniac
- One-Winged Angel
- Overprotective Dad: Tango, in a nasty mash-up with Abusive Parents.
- Papa Wolf: Don't ever mess with Tango's "children". Only he's allowed to do that.
- Pet the Dog / Kick the Dog: Tango vacillates wildly between these, with regards to the Black Mages. Sometimes in the same scene.
- Pimped-Out Dress:
- The Pollyanna: The Black Mages. My gosh, the Black Mages.
- Psycho Prototype: There's a reason why Tango's name sounds so reminiscent of the Black Waltzes.
- Psychopathic Manchild: Tango's occasional lapses into childish tantrums and pouting only make him that much creepier. And more tragic, when his backstory is revealed.
- Purple Prose: Undeniable at times, but this fic makes it look good.
- Race Against the Clock: Black Mages have a limited lifespan, and Tango and Eiko won't let them Stop without a fight.
- Rage Against the Heavens
- The Reveal: Black Tango is in fact Vivi Ornitier himself, driven mad by the grief of watching his own people die.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge
- Royals Who Actually Do Something
- Sacred Hospitality: Rain and the other Black Mages do their best to uphold this ideal, with varying results.
- Scheherezade Gambit: Invoked/given the nod by Tango, early on.
- She Is All Grown Up
- So What Do We Do Now?
- Someone to Remember Him By
- Still Got It
- Stockholm Syndrome
- Super Window Jump
"You're all fuckin'
idiots, you know."
"Because the bitch
- Summon Magic
- Take a Third Option: Eiko attempts this in her Deal with the Devil.
- Take That: Directed at Eiko's original costume design, by none other than Tango himself.
"Yellow, Carol? Yellow scoop-neck coveralls with the front cut out?"
- Talking in Bed
- Terms of Endangerment: "Linden-bloom" is the most common one that Tango throws at Eiko, as a pun on her adopted hometown, but he generally showers her with these, to her unease and disgust.
- There Was a Door: There are dozens of doors in Alexandria Castle, but Tango just has to waste a perfectly good window.
- Tomato Surprise: The identity of Black Tango.
- Tomboy: Eiko.
- Also Cornelia, to an extent.
- Too Good for This Sinful Earth: The black mages, according to Tango. Not to mention Vivi himself. ...supposedly.
- Torches and Pitchforks: Zidane half-jokes about this at one point:
(Dagger)'s called in the cavalry and all the fine horses and all the fine men, and last time I heard even Quina was sharpening all the forks in the kitchen and asking if this guy was good to eat.
- A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: Arguably, this all could have been avoided if Eiko had let the Lindblum air force take on Tango...although, then again, he might have just slaughtered them all and moved on to Alexandria.
- Tragic Villain: All Tango wants is a world where his children can live. It's not his fault that according to his calculations, everyone else has to die to facilitate this.
- Tranquil Fury
"Don't move. I don't like it when you move."
- The Unfettered: Tango will save the black mages. Period.
- Unstoppable Rage
- Utopia Justifies the Means
- Villainous Breakdown
- Villainous Crush
- What the Hell, Hero?: The Eidolons to Eiko, upon realizing she intends to summon Necron. They all mutiny and refuse to help her.
- Winged Humanoid: Black Tango, same as all the other Waltzes. Also, Eiko in her Trance form.
- Wrench Wench: Eiko, although it's more of an informed ability.