Okay, folks. This is it – the Blogger Blitz Finale. And after some intense writing, researching, and last-minute editing, I actually have a story I’m really proud of. Is that weird to say? I’m not sure I’ve ever truly been proud of something I’ve written, but this time I really am! I can’t believe that this challenge is almost over. I’ve learned so much through this. Ian, as always, blows me away with his creativity and his ability to push boundaries, and, with the help of the other guest bloggers, of course, really brought out my creativity. These last challenges have been harder than I thought I was capable of accomplishing and yet, I’ve been able to do it. So thanks to Ian and his magnificent competition for helping me stretch myself a little bit and open up to a world I wasn’t sure I was capable of being a part of!
And, with that emotional introspection, let’s get on with the show! As always, I want to acknowledge my challenger, Michael over at Git Gud at Life. His submission to this post can be found here. And if you haven’t read his past submissions, go do it. They’ll blow you away with their unique writing!
And then a HUGE thank you to Ian at Adventure Rules, where the results of this competition can be found on Friday!
Here is the prompt for the final:
Anyone can take on a single enemy. Taking on a dozen or so enemies isn’t really that tough either. But fighting an army of 1000 monsters born of the darkness left behind when a human body is deprived of its heart – now THAT’s scary! But that’s exactly what our lovely antagonists will have to do in this event if they plan to make it somewhere very important – the venue for their best friend’s wedding.
Villains keep strange company, so really it’s only natural that they would hang out with someone who thought a monster-infested canyon would be a cool place to tie the knot. As the best friend, your chosen bad guy (or gal, or gender-non-binary person) is obviously expected to be in the wedding. But to get to the front of the crowd, you’ll have to fight your way through one thousand Heartless, beings that feed on the darkness inside of hearts – and there’s a whole lot of dark hearts at this wedding!
Luckily, you’re not alone. One of the most iconic parts of the Battle of the 1000 Heartless in Kingdom Hearts II is the series of cameos from previous allies who show up to kick some tail and help you make your way through the Heartless army. In the Blogger Blitz championship, these partners are the characters you’ve defeated in battle! You can include in your post cameos from the two opponents you defeated directly, as well as the character your semifinal opponent defeated, giving you a total of three characters to partner with when taking on the Heartless menace.
And, without further ado, let’s get on with the show…
Ugh. If he weren’t my most faithful servant, the actualization of my precious sword, I wouldn’t bother with this stupid wedding. I need to focus on the death of the boy called Link. Even now, years after my last setback, I feel my hatred and malice for him growing, becoming more refined. That boy, who has overthrown my plans again and again! HOW?! He, the holder of the most worthless piece of the Triforce? Power and Wisdom, and then “Courage”. That simple brat continues to best me with courage…
I need a new strategy. I need to focus, not gallivant off into the sunset to watch Ghirahim marry himself. The invitation was ridiculous.
Please, my Master, attend this precious moment, where pure beauty and finesse shall marry the only possible match – itself. I, Ghirahim, request the presence of Ganon, the reincarnation of Demise, at this joyful union of me to myself, at the Breach of Demise Canyon at sunset.
How could anyone possibly take seriously the sharing of power in some kind of “union”.
And yet… he is my most faithful of servants, the very blade I wield in the fight against the goddess. I must attend. His deference for me, even the place he has chosen, in homage to me. I suppose I can give him a few moments of my time. Especially if it means he will be better focused in the future.
I stand, stretching to relieve the cramping in my muscles that remain from a night of plotting.
It feels like a few weeks only have passed since I reveled in the Forbidden Fortress, enjoying an evening of my triumph. And yet, years have passed. Enough time to have been defeated again and again by that brat. No… never defeated. Merely slowed down. He is simply putting off the inevitable.
I quickly dress in my best robes and, as I pass the dresser, hesitate slightly, my eyes passing over the cards of all the previous villains I’ve recently been in contact with. I quickly pocket all three, knowing that, if any problems arose, I could easily call on those pathetic weaklings to take the brunt of the issues.
After all, there’s no one better at manipulation than Ganondorf, wielder of the Triforce of Power.
I release a shrieking call and a gargantuan black stallion comes whipping up the trail to my hiding place. I mount, and with another shriek, send the stallion along the way to the canyon known as the Breach of Demise.
Mere hours later I slow to a trot, suddenly wary of the unnatural darkness settling in. The canyon is within sight, but, with an hour left till sunset, the shadows playing across the land are unsettling. I know that my own creatures, the Bokoblins, Moblins, even Lynels, wouldn’t dare harm their King. So what is making that soft scratching noise where the shadows are deepest?
I dismount, creeping closer to the nearest rocky shadow, and am surprised. A creature unlike any I’ve ever seen crouches, half-hidden in shadow. His yellow eyes shine bright and the antennae which are just visible wave slightly as it shudders.
Is this some new being I can harness to my will? Something that will give me an edge in the fight against Link?
The creature shifts its weight, making a soft padding sound. I stiffen and quickly glance around as I hear that same noise echoed countless times. Peering into the darkness settling around me I see hundreds… no, at least one thousand of these creatures, their strange yellow eyes glinting in the shadows they’re hiding in. I throw my hands to my side, calling my purple ball lightening and ready to attack when I pause.
Yes, I could defeat this swam myself. I am Ganondorf, the most powerful being to ever live. But when have I ever been the first to take the brunt of an attack?
I slowly back into the light, hand slipping into a small pocket, and bring out the cards I so brilliantly brought along. Each card bears a single name: Sigma, Marjolaine, and Xehanort. Selecting the first of the cards I use my considerable skill to summon the first of my opponents to my side.
Let’s see how these creatures of darkness handle a man of metal and code.
As an arc of purple lightning flashes across the sky Sigma, the enemy of Mega Man, appears at my side.
“Ah, Sigma. Delighted you could join me” I say, a slight smirk on my lips
“Ganondorf.” Sigma says dispassionately, “Why have you brought me here?”
“You see, Sigma, knowing how… desperately you enjoy researching new, insidious ways to bring down your robot friends I thought I’d invite you to share with me the discovery of a new species. And look,” I gesture around the landscape, “there’s plenty for the both of us.”
I fold my arms and watch as Sigma stares me down, wary of any help.
“What could possibly be in this for me?”
“Oh, Sigma, I thought you were more intelligent than that” I see his eyes narrow at the insult. “You see, I don’t know these creatures. They are completely new to this land. And you, Sigma, you can interface… compute… even understand animals. If you do this for me I’ll ensure that, when you share your knowledge, I send you back home with a few of these monsters. You can utilize them in your next fight against your nemesis. If they’re new to him, won’t they be more difficult to defeat?”
I see Sigma processing this information. After a moment he nods once and begins to tread softly toward the darkness. I continue to watch, but as I do so I notice something slightly disconcerting. As the shadows lengthen the creatures move from their hiding places, keeping to the darkness, moving slowly toward Sigma and myself.
I see Sigma pause, just slightly out of reach of the nearest creature, then see his hands whip out, attaching long metal cords to the creature.
“They are searching for… hearts. They consume hearts, breeding from the darkness found within them. I cannot see where they originate from. Some land full of anthropomorphic animals dressed in ridiculous clothes. But I… I cannot… I…”
Sigma’s voice slowly fades away and he begins convulsing slightly.
“Sigma?” I shout. “Sigma, what’s going on?”
There’s no response. He slowly turns to looks at me, eyes changing to a luminescent yellow.
“I have no heart” he dispassionately intones. “But I do have a body. Easier… to… possess”
I quickly summon a ball of lightning as Sigma throws himself at me and blast him to the ground. He shakes and sputters, the electricity frying his circuits.
With a simple incantation and another flash of purple lightning I send him home. Quickly removing the next card, noticing that the shadows are deepening, I summon Marjolaine.
“Yes?” her sultry tones echo slightly as she materializes.
“Marjolaine, I bested you in the last competition. You know what I’m capable of. Together we can destroy these monsters, keeping just one or two for ourselves. Apparently they consume hearts. I’m sure you’ve got plenty of hearts in your world just itching to be destroyed for the… well, the fun of it.”
“I do enjoy games” she croons, finally turning to face the swarm of monsters straining to reach us.
I hear her gasp.
“I would have thought someone like you would be itching for a fair fight?”
“I can only destroy so many with a bow” she spits at me. She pauses. “There may be a way. I can stun them. Every one of the enemies within the sound of my voice, for a short period of time.”
“So what are you waiting for?”
She glares at me, venom in her eyes. Then she opens her mouth and begins to sing. The song is haunting and as the shadows finally reach where we stand the creatures, running at us, are frozen. I laugh. It’s so much easier to defeat an enemy when someone else does all the difficult work. I begin blasting the creatures with my ball lightning, turning and spinning to reach all I can see. After several seconds I pause, looking back, waiting for the woman to spring into action and join me. But she merely continues to stand, singing her song.
Wait… In performing her best ability against a swarm of monsters she’s… completely useless herself? What a worthless companion. Do I have to do everything myself?
I let out an angry roar, lightning arcing from my fingers, stretching out and destroying the remaining creatures within my vision, their bodies vanishing into puffs of smoke. I hear the padding of hundreds of feet as more creatures attempt to take their places.
Turning swiftly to Majorlaine I snap my fingers. Her voice cuts off and she vanishes back into the useless world I stole her from. Chest heaving with frustrated breaths I pull out the last card. With an angry bellow and one last arc of lightning I summon the man to my side.
He appears, looks calmly around him, and his face cracks into an evil grin.
“I see my plan worked… This world, so full of people with so many hearts and so much light, was just itching for a cleansing. A balance, if you will…”
My eyes narrow as the realization hits me. This man planned this attack. He wanted me to invite him here… to MY realm?!
“Do you truly think you can take over my kingdom? Steal from me what I’ve earned, what I deserve!? DO YOU THINK YOU CAN MAKE A FOOL OUT OF ME?” I shout, my rage building inside.
“Of course. Sending one thousand of my Heartless to your kingdom, on the eve of your pathetic puppet’s wedding? Why, this worked out better than I could have imagined. You fell for my plan. Like the simpleton I always thought you were.”
I scream in rage, malice building inside me as he lets out a cold, mirthless laugh and his minions begin to surround me. As I glance around me, preparing for battle, I notice that several have stopped stalking me and have, instead, merely sat upon the ground. Odd…
“I am Ganondorf, the most powerful, the most evil of all beings. I, the reincarnation of Demise the Demon himself, can NOT be overruled by a worthless, pathetic master of a simple sword. I cannot be defeated!”
As my echoes die out the creatures, Heartless, Xehanort called them, all stop and slowly turn away from me and toward their master.
“Enough of this! Attack!” Xehanort cries, pointing the tip of a long key at me. I brace myself but the attack never comes. I see my enemy glance around, a look of fear replacing the triumph.
“NO!” he cries “I am most evil. You bow down to me! I am your master!”
“Most evil, you say?” I chuckle. It has finally dawned on me that these Heartless, born from darkness, must gravitate toward true evil. And I know exactly whose heart contains the most evil. “It seems that your gamble was… mistaken. You should have known better than to mess with a Demon King.” I lift a finger and point at the trembling form of my adversary. The Heartless begin padding toward him at a run, rushing to consume the man they once served. Xehanort lets out a shriek of terror before raising his Keyblade and vanishing, like a coward.
I chuckle again, triumphant in the knowledge that I have a new monster to let loose on the world. What is the goddesses chosen hero to a swarm of creatures born from darkness? I call my noble steed and set off toward the canyon and my servant’s wedding, my horde of Heartless trailing behind me, confident that I, Ganondorf, will soon conquer this world.