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Fanfic / Zulu Squad no Tsukaima

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Zulu Squad: final solution to any and all problems of the Damned 33rd...or Tristain.
"A man cannot become a hero until he can see the root of his own downfall."

So what would happen if you took an enemy Mook from a military TPS, and put him in an anime world full of Fanservice, cute witches, Tsundere and Squee? You get a Spec Ops: The Line/The Familiar of Zero crossover!

Sgt. Crosby, leader of Zulu Squad, was trying to stop the two deranged Delta Force soldiers from killing the last remnants of the Damned 33rd at The Bridge in Dubai, when suddenly he is summoned to a bizarre world of magic and familiars. With the help of a supernatural mentor he embarks on a Redemption Quest to become the hero. And deal with bratty teenagers who possess magical abilities.

Read it here.

A prequel called 'Of Princesses, Privates, and Dragons' (read it here.) was released shortly after ZSNT was completed in December of 2019. Tropes concerning OPPD will be outlined here in a separate section.


Zulu Squad No Tsukaima contains examples of:

  • And Then John Was a Zombie:
  • All Men Are Perverts:
    • Saito, since he is a teenager in a world of beautiful women.
    • Averted in the case of Sgt. Crosby, who's understandably squicked by the attention of teen-aged girls, regardless of their hair color.
  • Almost Kiss: Later in the fic happens to Crosby and the Weaver of Fate, aka Tinúviel after she heals him from the wounds he received.
  • Anime Hair: The inhabitants of Halkeginia, obviously. Also the Weaver of Fate with her emerald green hair, not to mention her eyes are the same color.
  • Advertisement:
  • An Arm and a Leg: Happens to Fouquet in her confrontation with Crosby at the Vallière estate.
  • Arc Words:
  • Armor Is Useless:
    • Averted in the case of Crosby, since he is an Elite Mook and has more armor than the average 33rd soldier, his armor protects him from blasts of magic, and from Count Wardes' attack.
    • Played straight in that while his armor does protect him from serious injury it still doesn't protect him from the effects of Louise's botched transmutation spell.
    • Averted initally with Crosby's armor when he is fighting Reconquista musketeers, as his armor protects him from their shots.
    • And played straight again with Lt. Gordon's Heavy Trooper armor when he goes up against a dragon.
  • Artifact of Doom: The school's Staff of Destruction, ultimately subverted when it turns out to be an M-32 revolver grenade launcher, as opposed to the M72 LAW rocket launcher from the original work.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Some of the soldiers of the Damned 33rd from Spec Ops: The Line are named, referenced and fleshed out with their own backstories. And in the case of Konrad, The Radioman, a Little Bird crew, and a Heavy Trooper, also end up in Halkeginia.
    • 'Joe the Sniper', the lone sniper who appears in the opening loading screen of the game, is given his own backstory in this fic. It turns out he is Alex Walker, Captain Walker's younger brother.
  • Author Avatar: The 'god' of this `verse, who is also the Weaver of Fate's boss, is essentially this.
  • Badass Normal: Sgt. Crosby, as is the case with Lugo and the rest of the Damned 33rd, is a normal human non-mage that holds his own against mages in Halkeginia. Of course, being a soldier with modern weapons and a heavy dose of Combat Pragmatism helps.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Played straight with the Weaver of Fate, aka Lúthien Tinúviel, given her otherworldly beauty and the fact that she is the closest thing to a Big Good in the story.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Crosby doesn't like seeing the teenagers being threatened, see Papa Wolf.
    • Louise being called a Zero or flat-chested as a result of her A-Cup Angst, but that's par for the course.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: The Weaver of Fate, just because she's the Big Good and beautiful doesn't make her a pushover.
  • BFG: The Staff of Destruction, a a M32 MGL Grenade Launcher.
  • Big Bad: Alduin who is the main antagonist of the story.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: The Storyteller alternates between this and Jerkass God, especially when it is revealed that the whole reason for the Big Bad is in Helkeginia is because He permitted it.
  • Boot Camp Episode: Later in the story during the Gallian Intrigue, SSG Forbes agrees to train up the New Gallian Army, and covers every boot camp cliche during the arc.
  • Bottomless Magazines: averted, in the beginning Sgt. Crosby is careful to conserve his ammo since he has no means of replacing it. Then after he recovers the Staff of Destruction the trope is played straight when Osmond casts a replenishing spell on his magazine so that the bullets will replenish themselves.
  • Break the Haughty:
    • Happens to Guiche after his disastrous duel with Crosby.
    • Also happens to Crosby when he gets turned into a teen heartthrob.
    • The Radioman's encounter with the Weaver of Fate.
  • Breather Episode: The 'Extremely Silly' arc in which Crosby gets turned into a teen heartthrob, serving as some comical relief before the story's darker tones set in.
  • Canon Welding: Turns out the sandstorm happened in Saito's world, and he had seen Konrad on TV.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Happens to Bowles when he dreams he is back in Dubai.
    • A Lighter and Softer version of this happens to Saito when he thinks he is back in Tokyo, only to have Louise wake him up suddenly.
    • Happens to Forbes when he has a flashback type dream about the mutiny.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The fic starts out as a standard The Familiar of Zero crossover, with the Damned 33rd soldier being bewildered by the inhabitants of an anime fantasy world with their brightly colored hair, doe eyes, and mood swings; then during the Battle for Tristainia and it shifts solidly into Spec Ops: The Line territory.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The elf Tiffania uses a shout of Unstoppable Force against an assailant. Later, she uses the shout of Dragon Rend against the Big Bad's Dragon Nahkriin.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Crosby doesn't like hand to hand combat or duels, be with Guiche or Count Wardes.
  • Cool Guns:
    • Crosby's gear, including an FN P90 submachine gun with laser sighting, a Desert Eagle sidearm and a M32 MGL Grenade Launcher, aka the Staff of Destruction.
    • Lt. Gordon, aka the Heavy Trooper's AA-12 automatic shotgun counts.
  • Cool Planes:
    • There's the AH-6 Little Bird, as well as the series' usual "Dragon's Raiment". In this fic, it's one of the Damned 33rd's Black Hawk choppers.
    • The legendary 'Steel Dragon' of the desert qualifies, since it's a AC-130 Spooky gunship.
    • The Romalian stash of Earth tech adds another to the list. A fully armed Mi-24 Hind attack helicopter.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Happens to Crosby when he tries to take on an Earth Golem without his modern armor or weapons, the results aren't pretty.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The protagonist Sgt. Crosby is an example of this, his gear consists of sinister black SWAT-style body armor and a skull balaclava.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Crosby and to a lesser extent Saito. Also the Radioman, Bowles and all the other soldiers from the Damned 33rd that turn up in Halkeginia.
  • Deconstruction: Appropriate, given that it's a Spec Ops: The Line crossover. Specifically it's a deconstruction of The Familiar of Zero crossover fics, in that Crosby doesn't become Louise's familiar, but her bodyguard.
    • It also deconstructs most anime crossovers as the OC who is a soldier from a TPS is mystified by the various anime/manga clichés.
    • It also subverts the War Is Glorious aspects of various crossovers by showing the real horrors of fighting a medieval war with modern weapons. See War Is Hell.
  • Deconstruction Crossover: The fic is another deconstruction of "crossover character X" becoming Louise's familiar, in that the Zulu Squad sergeant from Spec Ops: The Line ended up in Halkeginia because Louise performed the summon familiar rite twice. He ends up being more of a bodyguard than a familiar/slave/romantic interest. Being a Spec Ops: The Line crossover, it also deconstructs crossover fics by subverting the War Is Glorious aspect by showing the real horrors of fighting a medieval war with modern weapons.
  • Deconstructor Fleet: The fic is a Deconstructor Fleet for anime crossovers, and crossover fics in general. Appropriate, since it's a crossover with Spec Ops: The Line.
    • Specifically it shows how characters from a non-anime world would react to all the cliches and tropes associated with anime or manga.
    • Later in the story it deconstructs battles where modern or futuristic soldiers fight a technologically inferior army and win the day with little to no casualties.
  • Defiant to the End: It is revealed in Konrad's flashback during his Crucible that the officers who led the Mutiny in Dubai refuse to renounce their actions even when threatened with being burned alive with white phosphorus. Instead, they chant the Soldier's Creed, severely unnerving their audience.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: While not cold, the Weaver of Fate starts out very formal and mysterious when she first meets Crosby, the more she appears to him in dreams the more she warms up to him. By the second arc she is even flirting with him.
    • She also warms up to Lugo when he flirts with her.
    • She is most decidedly unimpressed by The Radioman's crude and lame pickup lines. But, since she threatened to turn him into a pony in Equestria, you could argue she's also gained a sense of humor since her introduction as a character.
    • She finds Pvt. Gobbi's ogling and awkward compliments endearing, this might have more to with him being a Wide-Eyed Idealist
    • Towards the end when she acquires T-14 and T-15 Armata tanks from the Russian military she is outright trolling the the locals.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: The Weaver of Fate, natch. lampshaded by the T-15 Armata's crew when she appears to them.
  • invoked Dude, Not Funny!: Saito reacts this way to Sgt. Crosby when the latter jokes about using the bathing cauldron to boil Louise into a stew and serve her to the nobles as a gesture of defiance.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Sgt. Crosby's duel with Guiche, despite being a bad guy in a video game he spare's Guiche's life.
    • Also, later when Crosby confronts and ultimately forgives Lugo, in spite everything that happened in Dubai.
    • His unwillingness to shoot Siesta when she blocks his shot at Lugo also counts.
  • Fish out of Water: Sgt. Crosby is an Elite Mook with modern weapons in a medieval world of magic and familiars, being a fish out of water is an understatement.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Duchess Karin de La Vallière, Louise's mother, has a manticore familiar named Frieda.
  • Forced Transformation:
    • Happens to The Radioman when he encounters the Weaver of Fate and almost gets turned into a pony.
    • Crosby getting turned into a teen heartthrob.
    • Agent Daniels getting turned into a literal Dragon for the Big Bad.
  • Frying Pan of Doom:
    • Oddly enough, Siesta uses one on Crosby when she thinks her boyfriend Lugo is in danger. Fortunately he gets better.
    • Happens again to Lugo when Siesta finds him on on top of Sylphid's human form.
    • And again to Saito, although in fairness she was instructed to hit him in order to remove some magic glasses.
  • Gilligan Cut: Happens to Crosby after he finds out about Henrietta's secret mission and Guiche volunteering to tag along:
    Crosby: "Your observations are noted. But my conditions are clear. I'll help in this mission, and even bring Louise and her familiar along, but (Guiche) stays behind. And that's final."
    (cut to the next day, with him leading the column, including Guiche)
    Crosby: (shaking his head) "I must be losing my edge."
  • Giving Radio to the Romans: Crosby and his companions reverse engineer his weapons to supply the outnumbered Tristainian army with cartridge firing weapons, hand-cranking Gatling guns and Anti-Aircraft guns.
    • Subverted in that late in the first battle the barely-tested weapons misfire and jam under pressure.
  • The Glomp: This being a The Familiar of Zero crossover fic, it's going to happen. A lot.
    • The maid Siesta is fond of doing this to both Crosby and Lugo early in the fic.
    • The elf Tiffania does it to The Heavy Trooper Lt. Gordon after her first meeting. And again after she and Gordon are married off in a shotgun marriage, elf style.
    • Even happens to Col. Konrad when he is reunited with Tiffania. Since this happens in Princess Henrietta's presence, and given her feelings for him, she is not amused.
    • Later on, Princess Henrietta is fond of doing this to Col. Konrad as well.
    • In the 'Extremely Silly' arc, Crosby gets turned into a teen heartthrob and gets glomped pretty much by every female in the fic, with special mention to Kirche glomping him and putting him in Marshmallow Hell.. Crosby even lampshades it at the end of the arc.
  • Groin Attack: Happens to The Radioman after he insulted Louise one time too many.
  • Gratuitous Russian: Spoken by Captain Bylinkin and his companions later in the story.
  • Hand Wave: The author is very fond of hand-waving within the story, he even creates a character called Mr. Handwaver the Magician, who bears a striking resemblance to a certain British actor. McPherson is also intended to be a handwaver.
  • Heel–Face Turn: The entire story arc is one long journey of the protagonist going from being an Elite Mook adversary in a video game to the hero of the story. See also Hero's Journey. Given the Damned 33rd's intentions in Dubai, this might more be a case of going from Anti-Hero to The Hero.
  • Heroic BSoD: Happens to Princess Henrietta when Prince Wales is assassinated by Count Wardes.
    • And again when Zombie Wales is killed in Operation Sleeping Beauty. She does get better.
    • Happens also to Lt. John McPherson when the Weaver of Fate shows him the outcomes of his decisions in Dubai.
    • In her backstory the Weaver of Fate, aka Lúthien Tinúviel suffers one as a result of her beloved being killed. Fortunately she also gets better.
  • Hero's Journey: The story is a this in a nutshell; a soldier who is an adversary in a video game embarks on a Redemption Quest to become a hero.
  • Hero's Muse: The Weaver of Fate is this to Crosby:
  • Humiliation Conga:
  • In Spite of a Nail: Because of FOZ's tendency to let the alternate world mirror our world, the author NCFOM78 made Friedrich von Martini and Henry Peabody into the same person.
  • Jerkass God: The Storyteller Country Ollman can come off as this, the Weaver of Fate even lampshades this:
    The Weaver of Fate: "Ǣsbiǫrn is not a god. Ǣsbiǫrn simply is. Nor is He unique. There are many like Him who create other different tapestries and patterns. It was He who created this Tapestry; all patterns in the Tapestry are subject to His whims. It was He who brought Alduin to the Dark Realms and allowed him to corrupt the patterns here...(Ǣsbiǫrn) is a very mercurial being, to some He is warm and kind, to some cruel and capricious, and sometimes He is a comical trickster who sees the Tapestry as His stage and the patterns His actors."
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Almost quoted verbatim by the Weaver of Fate to Lugo when she sends him to Halkeginia.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Crosby starts out like this when he first ends up in Halkeginia. He gets better.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The tone of the story takes a more serious turn with the appearance of the Reconquista and their Big Bad benefactor, Alduin.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Crosby and Lugo do a lot of this, since he's a character from a military TPS in a world of anime/manga.
  • Large Ham: The Big Bad Alduin is really hammy in some of his dialog.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
  • Lighter and Softer: It's certainly optimistic, at least for a crossover with what's possibly the bleakest war-themed videogame ever made.
  • Lover Tug of War: Happens to Crosby of all people when Louise and Kirche fight over him after he gets turned into a teen heartthrob.
  • Massive Multiplayer Crossover:
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In keeping with the videogame this story has its fair share of no good deed going unpunished:
    • In the beginning when Sgt. Lugo saves Siesta from Count Mott, not only is the count defeated but Sgt. Lugo kills him and his guards.
      • Then you find out the Count is good friends with King Jozef of Gallia, and it sets off a chain of events that ends with Gallia at war with Tristain.
      • It's made even worse when it's revealed that the king had all of the count's staff executed to cover it up and place the blame on Lugo.
    • Sgt. Crosby sparing Fouquet's life, but in breaking both her hands not only is she ripe for recruitment to the Reconquista, but she develops an obsession with taking revenge on Crosby.
    • Later when Crosby and company help Prince Wales escape the Reconquista's clutches in Albion, only to be killed by Count Wardes.
  • Noble Demon: In the Reconquista Sir Percival of Hockspur comes off as this, as he seems to genuinely think the Reconquista's idea of turning Albion into a republic is a better alternative to what he saw as a corrupt monarchy.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Even though it's alluded to in the flashbacks, as of yet we still don't know what happened to Walker in Kabul that traumatized him and paved the way for his undoing in Dubai.
    • The mutiny between the Exiles and the Damned which happened shortly after the 33rd's botched evacuation is alluded to, but not explained.
  • Papa Wolf: Crosby really doesn't like people abusing Saito, or threatening Louise.
  • Pet the Dog: Crosby's is nice to Saito pretty much on first meeting, as he reminds him of a fellow soldier from Dubai. Also we find out Saito is the same age as Crosby's estranged teenage son. No wonder he warmed up to Saito.
  • Precocious Crush: Since most of the females are teenagers, and the crossover counterparts are soldiers, its going to happen.
    • Kirche Zerbst has this for Crosby after he duels with Guiche, although it wanders into Stalker with a Crush territory sometimes.
    • Siesta also has this for Crosby, at least until she is rescued from Count Mott by Lugo.
    • And Princess Henrietta has this for Colonel Konrad.
    • Lt. Gordon has one for Tiffania Westwood.
    • And Private Alex Walker has this for Agnès de Milan.
    • And Illococoo, aka Sylphid's human form, has one for SSG Josh Forbes.
    • Even the stoic Lt. John McPherson isn't immune, as Éléonore de La Vallière falls for him.
  • Rage Against the Author: In the "Extremely Silly Arc", Crosby, who has been turned into a teen heartthrob outright says he owes the Author Avatar an ass-kicking for what he's been through.
  • Rousing Speech:
    • Colonel Konrad gives one to his men just before the first battle between Tristain and the Reconquista.
    • Lt. Gordon gives one to his subordinates in a flashback.
  • Russian Humor: When the Weaver of Fate recruits Praporshchik Mironov he is telling a version of the 'Who Threw Boot on Control Panel' joke.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Big Bad, Alduin, resides in a fire crystal held by the Reconquista.
  • Shout-Out: Oh boy, where to start?
  • Shown Their Work: Whenever military hardware such as the Dragon's Raiment, i.e. a Black Hawk helicopter or the Romalian stash of Earth tech, i.e. a pair of T-55 tanks and a Mi-24V Hind from the Soviet Afghan theater, the story shows an almost step by step tutorial in how to operate them.
  • Spirit Advisor: The Weaver of Fate is this to Crosby, appearing to him in dreams to give him advice and encouragement on his quest to become the hero.
  • Squee: or kyaaa is a running gag with the maid Siesta. It's even lampshaded by Crosby.
  • Sssssnake Talk: The Big Bad talks like this when addressing his minions. Given who he is, aka Alduin, this is not ssssurprisssing.
  • Tank Goodness: As a Call-Back to the Tristain manga, Crosby and his companions pick up more Earth Tech from the Romalians. In this case it's two T-55 tanks from the Afghanistan theater.
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: Happens to Col. Konrad who initially wanted to remain a blacksmith and not get involved in the war with the Reconquista, only to have his blacksmith shop torched on orders of the Reconquista.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: During Konrad's Crucible Lieutenant Colonel Long, the leader of the Mutiny in the game, gives a particularly scathing one to Konrad just before being executed.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The Reconquista in spite of being one of the main antagonists of the story, seems to be rife with idiots.
    • Case and point, the two jailer thugs who threaten the Weaver of Fate. It doesn't end well.
    • Oliver Cromwell striking a bargain with the Big Bad Alduin counts as well.
      • Extra points to Cromwell for going up against Cardinal Garro, a Space Marine. It doesn't end well for him, either.
  • Tsundere: Since this is a The Familiar of Zero crossover fic, Louise solidly represents the Type A.
    • Strangely enough the maid Siesta displays Type B side whenever she thinks her boyfriend Lugo is threatened or is in a compromising situation. It's even lampshaded by Crosby.
  • War Is Hell: subverted initially in the early stages of the Battle for Tristainia, where the author gleefully tap-dances back and forth over the line between Rated M for Manly to do not do this cool thing.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: The story goes to great lengths to give tragic backstories to all the soldiers that Walker and his team kill throughout the game.
    • Remember when you played Chapter 10 Riggs and you laughed your ass off when the sticky grenade stuck to the soldier and he blew up spectacularly and you earned the achievement "The Human Factor"? He was Pete Gobbi, friend to the OC, and hasn't seen his baby girl since Christmas.
    • That Heavy Trooper by the trucks in the Water Coliseum level that you were so relieved when Walker got lucky and blew him away with a frag grenade? He was just trying to keep the morale of his men up, and trying to prevent the city from dying of thirst.
  • Yandere: Although Louise and Siesta's tsundere personality traits are mostly played for laughs, the few characters in this story with yandere are most certainly not.