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 Legendary Moonlight Sculptor

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PostSubject: Legendary Moonlight Sculptor   Fri Feb 21, 2014 7:20 pm

Best Light Novel ever!-
does not say much coming from me since I'm not too into LNs (or reading for that matter), but it should say something considering I am not generally into LNs (or reading for that matter) having managed to go through only a couple after starting them. What makes this light novel different is how addicting it was for me, making me read 15 volumes + 2 chapters in 6 days (from a guy who is not into reading, for that matter).

Be warned that the following review contains some spoilers for volume 1, which is the introduction really, so it can't be helped, I wouldn't be able to mention anything otherwise. If you don't want to be spoiled, you are free to take my word for it, it's awesome, read it, skip to the end if you want to know how or use google. If that's not enough for you, you should read on.

Legendary Moonlight Sculptor takes place mainly into a virtual reality mmo rpg. But not just your usual virtual reality mmo rpg. Here's some twists to the usual story. People play that game of their own free will. They are actually able to log out if they so wish, to have a life. Anything that may happen to you within the game cannot actually affect your health in any way, as far as I have read there is no way for you to die or get any sort of brain damage unless you spend days on end playing the game. Which brings up the last point, you actually have to log out of the game at some point in the day to eat, sleep, use the bathroom, etc. Those will NOT take care of themselves. Now, I know we are treading too far into science fiction here and I may be losing some people who are not into extreme sci-fi already, but try to stay here a bit more.

Our hero is Lee Hyun (in case the name did not give it away, the LN is Korean), Lee Hyun is defined by 3 things:
1) Angst caused by lack of living biological parents, extreme debt and constant underpaid child labor
2) Greed (money worshiping really) caused by the above
3) Endless capacity for grinding, caused by the constant underpaid child labor part above
Outside of working and housework, Lee Hyun has only 1 other thing. Playing Continent of Magic, an once popular mmo rpg (regular one, playing on a pc and stuff). He never cared about other players but was rather in only for grinding, as he loves seeing his character grow through hard work, and the adventure. As a result, unbeknownst to him, he was a legend of Continent of Magic, the one who would always break new grounds first, the one who would always conquer the impossible challenges before anyone else. But he was now grown up. He could work legally as much as he wanted, so it was time for games to end, so he sold his account. Several things happened, and with several bills running as well as his wish to have enough money to send his sister to college, he realized, gaming can give him money. But not just any game, the most popular virtual reality game on earth, there, if he put his skills to use, he could get all the money he needed. Thus, this vile gamer would be the most hard working and greediest player of Royal Road. He would find the most efficient way to go where no other has gone, get tons of great loot and sell it for real money, but things would not be as straightforward as he wished.

Now, let's go through what this VR story has to offer. It is the most game-y of them all, the meat of the story is how Lee Hyun's character, Weed, grows and advances in the world. As far as battles are concerned, they are pretty good but the first two volumes are more about the growth of the character, as of volume 3 they start getting big, as of volume 5 shit gets really real. The world of Royal Road (the name of the game) is huge, ever expanding and full of intricacies, and LMS takes advantage of it with some of the best large scale battles I've read or seen. Another great part is in-game information! Stat screens! Loot description! Quest lore! All of that is eye candy to me, seeing a full character screen window always manages to intrigue me greatly, even if it's a bunch of numbers. They are meaningful numbers dammit. The mc's not-so-nice yet really hard working character also makes for some great character interaction in the story.

Some things may be reeeally convenient or naive or simplistic in the story (as you probably got by the description of chapter 1 further above). That's mostly in interpersonal relationships, especially in the real world side, the moment you are out of the capsule it's either simple land or fantasy land or silly land. That being said, considering the meat of the story is the game itself, it serves more the role of fanservice. If you are really touchy about it, it may rub you off the wrong way, but if you are not deliberately sensitive to it, it's actually some quite fun breaks from the action.

Another thing to address is the strong main character, as it may be something that ties up with the above. Strong doesn't stand that much for overpowered but more so his presence in the story. Being OP though is also a thing, he can do a massive variety of things and as far as athletic ability is concerned, it ties up with the convenience for above to go into real OP territory. Other than that it is a story that focuses heavily on the main character and gives him a very large presence. I'd say here it is well used, when you have a massive world or cast, and in some other cases as well, you need to accentuate the presence of the main character to draw the story into something instead of letting it spiral into meaningless chaos, and in that sense the story does a good job of staying together, all thanks to a strong mc presence. But again, that does not simply refer to power or even how he is treated, it is also necessary in such a case for the character to be interesting and greatly involved, driving instead of being dragged, which LMS does well (despite Hyun being dragged into quests often, the way he tackles them puts him in the driver's seat). At some point, hype of Weed becomes a big part of the story within the story, which is also interesting as you watch the development of his fame.

That, on the other hand, does not give too much space to other characters to develop, which is true to an extend. You can consider the cast of characters to be very large, but then you also have to consider his first party of 4 as being effectively 1 character, as that's what they are really, and then the 505 Geomchis to also be a singular character, or 2, or something like that, because that's what they are, really. Still, regardless of squishing a bunch of characters together at points, it still has a large cast of characters even when you count them like that, generally revolving around the presence of the main character in most cases, while in other cases there is a connection through his actions, but a connection to the staring character always exists.

Another thing to mention is the role of NPCs here, and to what extend they are really characters. The way LMS treats NPCs is a middle road when you compare it to other works. They are simply a very good AI. You can hold conversations with them, they are living in the continent of Versailles (land of Royal Road) and they consider players as strangers sent by the Holy Seer. While they seem real, they are still fully affected by numerical values, that being player stats or affinities that affect groups of NPCs. If an affinity were to suddenly spike for example for some reason, then they would instantly change their attitude towards a player if that were to make a significant difference. They fully understand the concept of stats and levels and can even take quests of their own. They suffer from permadeath, but an NPC could easily be overpowering a player. Obviously a salesman would not be strong in battle, and a soldier with few battles would also be weak, but an NPC active in battles could rival a user. And it's not like all users were strong, there were classes which did not focus on combat, leading to users weak in combat, so it goes both ways. So as to how much are they characters considering these conditions. Their dependency to numerical values as well as their connection to quests makes most NPCs tools to achieve a goal, meaning they are not much of a character in such cases, but often many interesting characters come from among them due to their very advanced and complex AI, such as several of Weed's subordinates, the pope candidate Alverone, etc.

The world or Royal Road seems to have no limits. A big part of the land is unexplored 3 years into the game, a level cap is nowhere in sight, it is mentioned in the beginning that the game boasts thousands of classes, skills as well as hidden stats seem to be constantly popping left and right and the game seems to be advancing as it goes along with world changing quests. This LN has easily the most desirable VR game between any similar stories, and despite his ability and fame, Weed is nowhere near the end of it, never having been even 100 levels close to the top rankers once throughout the series until now (although he may be close to passing the x-100 line soon).

Everything from Lee "Weed" Hyun's character, the game and the growth, the great world and the amazing large scale battles had me captivated. Even though I rarely read, in this case I could not stop and even had trouble sleeping some times because I could not wait to wake up so I can continue reading. Now that I've finally reached the end of translations it feels really bad to have to wait 2 weeks every time for a new chapter to come, but I'll have to deal with it (it's really hard to deal with it...). Some chapter translations have been iffy (to really iffy sometimes) but it has been manageable because of how the story has you constantly coming back to it. Not only if you are into reading Light Novels, but if you do anything like reading manga or watching anime, I really recommend this one.

Translated up to volume 16, chapter 3. A couple of volumes after that have been translated roughly which may end up speeding up the process in the future. At the moment, chapter translations are released bi-weekly (once every two weeks).
In country of origin: 42 volumes out, ongoing I think.
You can find the translated volumes 1-3 and 14-15 as well as the latest good translations on volume 16 on japtem.com
Translations for volumes 4-13 (as well as others) are on royalroadl.com
Since it's originally Korean, don't expect it to be animated or anything, ever.
Won (currency) to dollar is about 1000:1, but not exactly, to give you a better understanding getting into it.

Seriously though, best LN ever. Oh, also: Seoyoooooooooon! Valley of Death best arc. Until now.


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25 Jun 17, 02:12
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PostSubject: Re: Legendary Moonlight Sculptor   Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:10 am

hmm.. well i've read 1 chapter and it seems pretty interesting
though i'm quite discouraged by how long it is and how translation isn't finished on it....

btw only 1 chapter cuz ran out of time



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HAI DD-KUN!(Nourii-chan was here)
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PostSubject: Re: Legendary Moonlight Sculptor   Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:14 am

Volumn 6 chapter 8 not working on royal road
Goddammit, its one of those romantic arc too, the rise of the seoyoon flag



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PostSubject: Re: Legendary Moonlight Sculptor   Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:09 am

Royalroadl seems to be down entirely for the past few days. I had the html files saved (and am using them right now exactly because it's down) and I uploaded them here http://www.mediafire.com/download/v1809iqxt7o5v6i/LMS.rar if you want to read them (might be missing backgrounds)


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25 Jun 17, 02:12
J.J. Knight: Every homebrew, at least the good ones, are made by people who've played the game for a few years.

Quote :
marthbeatsfalco: nope, there are 5 distinct and significant angles

This is now the iconic statement sig
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PostSubject: Re: Legendary Moonlight Sculptor   Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:15 am

http://web.archive.org/web/20130717103321/http://www.royalroadl.com/volume-6-chapter-8/
found one while chatting with some people



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