OfficialyDevin is a youtuber specializing in creating narrative let's plays, or 'NLP' of various games, mainly of Total War, but also of Mount and Blade, Far Cry, and several others. These narrative let's play take the story of a game, and through a mix of pre-planning and emergent story telling via unplanned in-game events, Allow Devin to build a story with characters, twists, and his own unique brand of humor. While voicing every character himself. Including the female characters.
Starting in 2013 with the Shogun 2 narrative let's play The Eternal Law, Devin has since then created several other narratives, all offering deep story lines using in game characters and events, and also several more standard let's play, either challenge runs or humorous series, usually under the 'This Is Content' umbrella.
NOW THIS IS... tropes.
- Alternate History: Most of his NLP's tend to result in this. From Massalia becoming the beacon of the western world, to Roman Britain saving the roman empire by a brutal genocide of the eastern lands, history is more often than not changed drastically. Parodied with The Tinny of Truth and the Tapestry of Truth, courtesy of the G-man.
- Alternate History Wank: Played with. Due to the nature of Total War games, such a result is mostly inevitable, but it is never an easy feat, and ultimately all the empires and nations that are born in the narrative must struggle and fight to remain dominant, and the change is never owed to one factor.
- Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Napoleon and Joan D'arc were actually an time traveling Australian man named Napoleon.
- The Cameo: A mysterious being known as, "The Dark Artillery Commander, who appears in several O.D. series, showing up in armies, different continents, different time periods, and even different realities, somehow being placed in control of powerful ranged weaponry, and, while he has more than enough enthusiasm, his danger level varies between, 'avoidable danger' to 'Annoying Nuisance'"
- Faux Documentary: A video's Outro will often times be made in a style of a written literary work set in our modern time, discussing the events of the episode. Tales from the Hellenic Frontier, a special episode of Massalia Tales, is also this - an hour long episode chronicling the story of the battle of Athens from a modern perspective.
- Jidaigeki: A common setting. The Eternal Law, Nariko's Treasures and Barbarian Masters are set in the Sengoku Period, While Teppou Republic is set during the Meiji Restoration. Fittingly enough, the series often time use music from other Jidaigeki media, like Akira Kurosowa's work.
- Rising Empire: Many of his series have some form of this in one way or another, prime Examples beings the Massalian Empire(Massalia Tales), The Britannic Empire(Fields of Mars), the Dutch Empire(Sinews of War) and World War II The Japanese Empire (Teppou Republic). However, this leads directly to The Cycle of Empires: Each One of these Empires Falls, each falling after deviating from what originally gave them their strength, wether it be The Chinese Empire (Masslia Tales), The Mongolians (Fields of Mars) or Teppou Republic
- War for Fun and Profit: The Sinews Of War, courtesy of the European powers and the West India Company. Also most mercenaries.
- War Is Glorious: The General attitude most generals, warleaders and soldiers have when they first begin their careers. Wether or not this mentality remains varies, some hate war yet have become numb to pain, while on the other hand, other their lust for battle would not be unusual in the 40'th millennium. Looking at you there Constans, Nobukado Takeda
- War Is Hell: Nariko's Treasure and Fields of Mars routinely bring to light how miserable life is for all involved in war. Stopping the brutal civil war is Nariko's main motivation, having suffered from it personally.
- World of Ham: Most of his series turn into one, "I AM THE CHOSEN OF MARS!", "Order the men to give the enemy their finest mocking laughter when they show their faces!", "Take the lives of those who Oppose the Revolution!"
- John Alcock, Summer 1857
A Shogun 2 Total Fall of the Samurai mod NLP/challenge run, Honourable Gentlemen features an story where the British Empire took a much more active part in the Boshin wars by actively invading the Japanese Isles, much like it had done to China, India, and countless other nations. As the Japanese struggle between modernization and tradition, the Shogunate and the Emperor, Britain threatens to carve japan apart and conquer it...
Starting in February 23 2018 after a poll where the viewers could choose the next series, the series is partway a challenge run where the British Empire must be in a constant state of war against it's neighbors. It is also a more humorous and less serious attempt at a NLP, opting more to play the British side as a stereotypeof the quintessential British Officer.Also for once, the series allows for Devin to use his Normal English accent... which he dismisses in favor of putting on a Queen's English for nearly every character.
"The Honourable Gentlemen" features the following tropes:
- French Jerk & Eagle Land: As John Alock puts it:"Unbelievable. You go to the other side of the world to get away from them and the bloody French are still here. Right, next telegraph, let's see... 'Yeehaw' what is this babble? Oh no... American Pacific Expeditionary Force... Bloody yanks are here too! Something tells me they're not here for the tea. The Queen shall hear of this madness. In the mean time, begin a reply."
- Gunboat Diplomacy: What started much like in real life like a classic case of this (Mathew Perry and his Gunboats) is now exaggerated by the British, French AND the Americans all applying an extreme, almost literal version of this in their dealing in japan.
- Occidental Otaku: Charles Alcock sees is becoming like this, using Japanese words ('baka') and requesting a samurai helmet to be brought to him as a trophy."Watashi wa... Watashi wa Igirisu jin desu... Oh, when did you- How long have you been there? Get out!"
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Joss Aryton, In-Universe. He was stationed in Australia for a while, and a bit of the accent and mannerism have stuck to him.
- Officer and a Gentleman: What the British see themselves as.
- Stiff Upper Lip: The incredibly casual dialogue in episode 2:-"What's all this then?!"-"Jim's had a bit of the wall through his eye, sir."-"I can see that very well my son, but a Cyclops you are not. Get back into position."-"But, will he be okay, sir?"-"There's a brew going in the hall. Let's have him off for a quick sip and before you know it they'll be calling him Old Dead-eye James. Meantime, you've got shots to deliver you shulker!"-"Suppose you're right sir. It's okay Jim, they've got the tea on for you. Got to pop back now Madame England's expecting all sorts today."
- In fact, in the script this entire scene is describe as a British soldier and officer being all stiff upper lip about the peril and continuing on.
- War for Fun and Profit: True to real life, profits and the need to expand their market is what drives the British invasion.
- Blood Knight: A certain fan favourite of the series by the name of Jervis, Tadakuni Jervis.
- Otomo Yoshiaki, Spring 1545
Barbarian Masters is a Shogun 2 NLP set during the Sengoku Jidai period. The playthrough follows the Otomo clan and it's Daimyo, Otomo Yoshiaki. Yoshiaki grand dream is to bring the clan to glory, whatever the price. He cuts a deal with the Portuguese, the 'barbarians' or 'nanban' of the west, to supply him with weapons. In return, he officially converts to Christianity,facilitates the spread of the religion... and starts sending prisoners of war and captives as slaves to the west.
Starting in August 2017, the series takes a couple of cues from Devin's previous work, such as Fields of Mars and Nariko's treasure, by adding an image of the characters speaking at any given moments, making it easier to follow conversation.
"Barbarian Masters" features the following tropes:
- Alas, Poor Yorick: Terada Hisayuki does this to the head of a Takeda Daimyo, gloating about the promotion he will get from it.
- Ambition Is Evil: Otomo Yoshiaki,the leader of the Otomo clan. His methods to raise the clan to glory include betrayal of vassals and allies, massacres, and selling conquered people to the Europeans as part of his trade deal, and is considered by most others, including in his own clan, as putting his ambition before his honor. Played with, as while he is seen as evil, it is made clear that many other Daimyos are not better than him, using a thin veneer of honor to excuse their actions.
- Terada also starts to exhibit this, and is shaping up to be even more manipulative and ambitious than his lord.
- Armor-Piercing Attack: The Matchlocks major strength is that they mostly ignore all but the heaviest armor.
- Batman Gambit: In part what makes Yoshiaki so dangerous. A many great deal of his plans rely on knowing how the enemy would react to his moves, and exploiting it. His youngest son, Tsugutsura, arguably shows an even better understanding of it than his father:"It works then. The power of these weapons is not in their shot, but in their effect on the minds of the target. So eager are they to see these things silenced that they become merely a fish on our hook, to be lured into any suitable killing field we prepare. This is what it means to master your enemy; we shall not connive to kill them, but have them kill themselves."
- Big Bad: Yoshiaki is this to the rest of the daimyos.
- Cool Gun: Matchlocks and Donderbusses. The first provides volley fire that can stop a charge dead in it's tracks, the other is essential a shotgun that can be unloaded unto tightly packed formations to decimate them.
- Femme Fatale: Yoshishige has an entire harem of deadly Geisha who thus far have managed to almost complete erase all competent male generals, leaders and monks from enemy clans, up to and including the royal family in Kyoto.
- Knight Templar: Yoshishige is shaping up to be one of those. While everyone are fighting for reasons of loyalty, prestige, their clan or because they simply have to, Yoshishige behaves and talks as if he is leading a crusade.
- The Missionary: Several Portuguese missionaries arrive per the agreement with the Otomo clan. They are used to spread Christianity into neighboring provinces, usually before an invasion.
- My Master, Right or Wrong: Poor Chikaharu. It is clear he is having doubts about his master's actions, but his honor won't let him act against him.
- Rock Beats Laser: It does not. The matchlocks that the Otomo import are their biggest boon. The troops equipped by matchlocks are quick to train, numerous, and make mincemeat even of armored targets with ease. The Black Ship, a European trading ship captured by the Otomo, completely invalidates the other clan's navies in direct engagements, and the imported cannons threaten to do the same thing to castles.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: The Donderbuss guns used by the Otomo Kobaya's crews work like this.
- We Have Reserves: As Yoshiaki put it:Yoshiaki: Why have they stopped firing?Officer: The enemy are upon our men, the fighting has started!Yoshiaki: And? Tell them to keep firing.Officer: But our men will be in great danger-Yoshiaki: Tell them to keep firing!
Fields of Mars is a Total War: Attila NLP set in the closing years of the 4th century, and features a rogue roman general named Flavius Claudius Constantinus disobeying an order to evacuate Roman Britannia, leaving it to it's fate at the mercy of the invading barbarians. Refusing an order of the senate, and a staunch Paganist, he instead re-invigorates the roman and Britannic forces under his command, and forever changes the course of history in his personal battle against Christian Rome and her pagan enemies.
However, it is not the Christians who would prove to be Rome's worst enemies...
Notable for it's length, Politics, Dynastic shenanigans and Sassanids, Fields of mars started it's life in the October 2016. It is the second Attila NLP.
"Fields Of Mars" features the following tropes:
- Crapsack World: So very much. Pushing back the Huns only mitigates some of the problems, with countless civil wars, cultures erased, purges, famines, plagues and general misery. Not to mention the Genocides...
- Death of the Old Gods: What Constantinius tries to avert. To him, leaving behind the roman gods is what caused the entire mess in the first place.
- Final Solution: Several Factions meet their end like this. Like all of Mesopotamia's factions.
- Horse Archer: The Huns, Avars, and several other tribes. However, the most terrifying are the Savran Cavalry. Persian Crossbowman... equipped with magnetic rail guns.
Nariko's Treasure is a Mount And Blade: Warband Gekokujo Mod NLP set in the Sengoku Jidai period, following the story of an orphaned girl, the eponymous Nariko, and her rise to power.
After an attack on her father's smithy leaves Nariko completely alone, she heads to her fathers close friend, Master Ujiee to find help and answers. This thrusts her headlong into the civil war as she attempts to find her parents killers, and most importantly, to find out what was stolen from her father and what. Meeting a variety of colorful characters along the way, she soon finds herself neck deep in conspiracies and war.
Starting in May 2016, This series was the first to introduce custom made images in dialogue, and is notable for being one of the few non total war NLP's in Devins work, alongside Frank's penance.
"Nariko's Treasure" features the following tropes:
- Action Girl: Nariko and Mari qualify in story, while Nagako technically does too as she can be seen fighting in the battles alongside the rest. Not in story, however.
- Horse Archer: Aside from the Samurai themselves, Nariko's favorite technique is shooting a matchlock while mounted. Devin had to mod the feature in, and made it Nariko's distinct style to show it off.
- Public Domain Artifact: the eponymous Nariko's Treasure, and what kickstarts the entire plot, are the Treasures of Amaterasu, the Imperial regalia
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Mari is a brash, loud and somewhat uncultured street urchin and fighter. Nagako is a calm, quiet and skilled scribe. Both advise Nariko, each in their own way.
- Mercinus' Last prophecy
The Second Messiah is a Total War: Attila Narrative Let's Play/Challenge run, featuring a gothic migration across the roman empire's twilight years.
It's the Spring of 395, and Vithericus, Young king of the Ostrogoth people faces what could easily be the end of his people, if not the world. The Huns approach bringing death and chaos in their wake, and the Romans have left their own people to their fate, let alone the various barbarians. When all seems lost, a dying whisper of a holy man convinces Vithericus and his followers to go on a perilous journey across the eastern lands of the empire, and south along the Nile river to found the prophesied Second Messiah.
But not all agree to this seemingly mad journey. Saphrax, the right hand man of the former king, Vithericus' dead father, is busy with migrating further into Italy, to find his people a suitable place to live and much more pragmatic and grounded attempt as stopping their impending doom.Starting in May 2015, This series was perhaps the first time when Devin attempted to do consistent voice acting for each character. It's also notable for being a unique challenge run, as Vithericus' horde must reach the source of the Nile, the very bottom of the map, by foot.
"The Second Messiah" features the following tropes:
- Genius Bonus: The Prophet Mercurinus who's words drive Vithericus? The one who is described as being revered despite living an isolated life in a small town south of the Danube? He is probably the historical Auxentius of Durostorum, also known as Mercurinus. The reason he is Isolated? He is an Arian, at a time where the church was very split about it, but he is still revered by the Ostrogoth who were Arian at the time. and Durostorum is south of the Danube!
- Honor Before Reason: Vithericus is much more concerned with chasing a prophecy from dying man that even he admits that his past prophecies might as well been just an educated and insightful guess than a divine revelation, which is in direct contrast to Saphrax, who attempts to prevent the destruction of the tribe by the Huns by simply moving greener pastures.
- Oh, Crap!: Athalaric, Vithericus' scribe, has this moment when he realizes the reason the Romans are hunting them is because one of the soldier has managed to killed the roman emperor himself in one of the battles.
- Bittersweet Ending: Liu Bei, Guan Yu, Zhang Fei, Zhuge Liang, and Zheng Jiang all die in a murder-suicide by Zhuge Liang, ensuring the end of the Han Dynasty for good. However, Zhao Yun successfully implements Liang's manifesto of a limited democracy to China, falsely believing it to be Liu Bei's, ensuring the Chinese Empire would continue on and breaking the cycle of dynasties.
- Cassandra Truth: The pressures of being emperor causes Emperor Xian to abdicate in favor of Liu Bei, now Emperor Dong Fan. However, given how incredible the event is, and Liu Bei's self-righteousness, many believe he usurped or coerced the former emperor, leading to a new string of rebellions.
- The Chess Master: Zhuge Liang is one of Liu Bei's closest confidants, a great strategist, and a cunning prime minister and diplomat. Through Liu Bei, he realizes the Yellow Turbans' wishes of a China of the people, instituting the beginnings of a meritocratic, limited democracy. Then, he tricks Liu Bei into signing his manifesto, and orchestrates a murder-suicide of of Liu Bei and his brothers with Zheng Jiang present as a scapegoat so that everyone will believe the manifesto to be Liu Bei's final will.
- Exact Words: Zhuge Liang states that his governing system will not protect the Han, only the empire of China. This is because Liu Bei must die to ensure the system succeeds, thus ending the Han Dynasty.
- Full-Circle Revolution: Liu Bei succeeds in overthrowing Dong Zhuo and uniting much of China, and even becomes emperor. However, he has shown little care for administration, and an account by Lu Su reveals that lands Liu Bei rules over are rife with bandits, starved peasantry, and corrupt officials. The systemic corruption that caused the Yellow Turbans to revolt against the Han had remained unchanged. Subverted when Zhuge Liang assassinates him and his brothers and plants instructions for a more fair and democratic system.
- Knight Templar: For all their claims of representing the people, Liu Bei, his brothers, and much of his court care more about securing people's obedience to the Han Dynasty (Liu Bei specifically) rather than their general welfare, lack thereof, or the circumstances that drove them to defiance. As such, they care little for the collateral damage they inflict on the common people who align themselves with other factions, and cannot comprehend why so-called 'virtuous' people would willingly rebel against them.
- Zhao Yun is the worst offender. In one incident, he deliberately burns down a village as punishment for giving shelter to an enemy army.
- Love Makes You Dumb: Liu Bei is infatuated with Bandit Queen Zheng Jiang, making him easily strung along whenever she comes up as a topic even as his brothers point this out. Near the end, this veers into Love Makes You Crazy when he orchestrates her husband's death, and is confused as to why she abhors him so. In the end, this costs him his life and his Dynasty when Zhuge Liang uses the promise of her arrival to execute a successful ploy to eliminate the dynastic cycle.
- Magnificent Bastard: Cao Cao is able to outmaneuver Liu Bei even in defeat, and managed to manipulate the formation of a coalition including Liu Biao and Kong Rong against him. Ultimately, Cao Cao Liu Bei's vengeance when others vouched for his character, allowing him to be appointed a vassal under the new emperor's regime.
- Wham Line: Zhuge Liang reads a peculiar poem after having explained his method for preserving China to Liu Bei.Narrator: " -and so when freed, the people feared the dragons no more." Zhuge Liang sung, concluding a ballad written out on a stretch of silk he was inspecting. He did not speak aloud the poet's signature, which read: Huang Shao, Wielder of the Heavenly Way.
- Won the War, Lost the Peace: Liu Bei had succeeded in uniting China under his rule. This includes crushing the Yellow Turbans. However, he would be used by Zhuge Liang to destroy the Han and replace it with a more democratic system inspired by the Yellow Turbans.