End Game Was Taken

Last update: 1st Nov 2019, 8:00 PM
Graphic Violence / Gore Frequent Strong Language
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Webcomic description

In the kingdom of Excaliburgh, fearsome Game have continually ransacked the city. To combat this threat, the incredibly lucrative business of "Ending" these Game has begun.

In this new era of fierce competition, strength is the only thing needed to amass a fortune, with the highest bounty being the kingdom itself.

"Anyone who sits upon this throne, henceforth, shall be crowned King."

A young man, going only by the name of "Max," finds himself rescued from a Game, by one such Ender.

Introducing herself as "Serenity Marianne Wickerish," she takes a liking to the young man, and offers him a way to unlock his terrifying potential.

"Work for me."


Just some guy.

Most recent comments left on End Game Was Taken

This took me way too long to do, and it's not even because the page was hard. This was honestly one of the easier pages in the entire interlude, it's just that I kept having long busy days at work, and procrastinating, but it's done now!

Anyway, panel 2 was something someone suggested to me a while back, but it was in an inappropriate place. They critiqued the second time Sally is shaking Max, and said I should've done it like that. The entire point of that page was to act as a gag over Sally's motormouth, but over here it makes perfect sense to use. Because speaking of that panel, Claire's thoughts are acting as hints for the you, to deduce Max's Afterburn. She just has a hunch though, and she also knows the process of finding yours, so she's not about to tell Max, on the offchance she's wrong, and he gets into an even further hole, shooting for an abilty he'll never have.
As for the hints? His heart rate and blood pressure, as well as the "time" there. You can use those three to put together what he does, but I guarantee it's not gonna make sense for a bit. Not until Max actually uses it himself.

Though Claire does imply something here. "You might be liable for fraud, now." This is in reference to his days as The Scarlett Tiger. You can infer it, but what I'm implying here is that Max has been inadvertently using his Afterburn a lot throughout his life, he just never thought of its effects as being Burning, and nobody else did either, so he got away with using it in matches which claimed he was akin to Gearless Joe (Megalobox).

But then we get into this last bit in panels 5 and 6. This is what I said earlier in this blurb. Claire knows how an Afterburn is understood by the user, and in turn she knows Max will eventually light his, so she's not that concerned. But in turn, this is foreshadowing, going to say it right now. And it's sooner than you think, "a big event" that unlocks Max's potential, (which is paying off of the bit I showed you in chapter one.)

Though I was tempted to say Max's Burning was about to get a "Kickstart real soon" but that felt a bit, on the nose, so to speak. Let's just say I felt it in my heart, that it'd be too much to just foreshadow it that blatantly.

As for the ending of this? Thanks to https://twitter.com/DDD_DeeDs for helping me with Claire's lines.
And since I probably never credited him during the chapters she's prominent in, thanks to https://twitter.com/ciircuit1 for helping me with Sally's lines.

Anyway, that's it for now. I think I'll have chapter six done and out by the end of March 2020.
Author Note
Alright, so this page is pretty exciting for me. It's a big result of a long time spent drafting Max's Afterburn, and you actually have enough information to tell what Max's is now, but I'm structuring it assuming you aren't going to deduce it immediately, since I've hidden said information in here pretty effectively.

Still, there's four things I'll draw attention to, for those of you who actually read these "developer commentaries," so to speak.

>Max goes so fast he can't see around him
>The heartrate monitor's rate spiking
>the second measurement on the readout there, isn't actually changing in intensity, only rate. As if its "time" is being "compressed"
>the fact that Max could overload the EKG, while essentially standing still, and not breaking out a sweat

If you've read One Piece, or Kengan Asura, you might be aware of the concept of "overclocking the heart" and, well no. I can't say more than that. You DO have enough information to deduce his Afterburn now, but like Max, you probably haven't.

As far as small details, I like the non diagetic little puff of "brain fog" over him in panel 1. And the sound effect in panel 8 indicates that the sound of water hissing IS diagetic. It's just a small thing, but I'm really running with the "fire" metaphors, and that runs to the extinguishing aspect.

Though I will say to know what to read into, and what not to. Sally laid out the rules in chapter 4, and those ARE the rules. You can only do five things.
>Overheat (the three preceding options, at once)

To be honest, I'm a huge fan of early dragon ball, and the mystic elements to it. I loved that about Super, and in turn, there's a lot of just weird visual elements to Burning/EG|WT, that aren't ever going to be explained.

Like, I'll eventually explain how all those bits I listed earlier, relate to, and show, Max's Afterburn, yes. But as far as *why* he's got them swirling into him like a spiral? I dunno. It just looks cool. And you can deduce what's what, by referring back to chapter 4. If it falls under something Sally explained, then it's Burning and solid rules. If it doesn't, then it's mysticism.

Anyway, last page is up next.
Author Note
I'm just gonna go panel by panel, again.

Panel 1, the blue guy is there again. As far as the dialogue, though, Max's line there is to contextualize the tech level more. Yeah he's seen a computer before, but he's only familiar with DOS type stuff. Think like Strong Bad Emails.

Panel 2 further cements this, albeit it also shows how fucking loaded Sally is. Getting Claire a computer with a GUI was a snap for Lady Wickerish here. Even if it's so off the market, that Max hasn't even heard the acronym before.

Panel 3, I like the sound effect.

Panel 4, ah, yeah, I'm wondering how many people will be bothered by this/catch it, but Claire flat out just says "so back in chapter 3." Given where we are in the story, and the current mood, it's not really jarring, though I guess this does mean there's a bit of fourth wall breaking going on here. Though it's also not like Max even acknowledges it much, beyond saying "yeah I remember." Also Claire's ire for Sally's vanity is a bit ironic, given her own mannerisms and wardrobe. You'd think Sally would be the one who'd be trying to use her assets more, to get what she wants, than Claire, given how Claire talks about her, but that isn't really the case.

Panel 5, and yeah, Max was essentially "Gearless Joe" from Megalo Box. Albeit I thought of this bit long before I even heard of Megalo Box, but it's still got a good overlap. In an arena where every fighter is loaded up on Burning, slamming into eachother, Max stood at the top with only his bare skills.

Panel 6, this line clashes only a small bit, if you assume Max thinks he avoided all kinds of Burning on purpose. In actuality, he avoided all of "that colored stuff" as he'd call it at the time, and only now can explain it due to Sally's tutelage. Which is backed up by him asking Claire what his Afterburn is.

Panel 7, and Claire is just as baffled as everyone reading this probably is. This isn't like Hunter x Hunter, or Jojo even, this is like MHA only literally everyone has an Afterburn. And it's not like Max doesn't have one, he does. It's just he has no idea what it is. Unfortunately Claire's stumped, since, as she says, it normally just sorta comes to people. Also I'm a big fan of how I had the sound effects physically exist there in space (albeit not actually part of the world.)

Panel 8, and like that she's back in her clinical mode, treating Max as a patient again, instead of some annoying shithead. Same as the last panel, I really like how I have the "TURN" existing in 3D space in the scene.
Author Note
At a glance, you can already tell this is a page with a lot more dialogue, and in turn, another one I had to think over a lot. So in turn, I'm just going to go panel by panel, here.

Alright, so the first panel. The Skull Boys' reaction to Claire and Max, with them trying to ship her with him, but Claire is having none of that. But her reaction isn't just one of disagrement, but instead one of annoyance, she's looking a bit depressed. You can extrapolate from there, quite a bit, namely that part of why she's so good at her job, is that she's "married" to it. And gets flack from her family from doing so. This is in and of itself mildly interesting, since her initial design, from years back, started with her being perpetually single, and there being a running joke of how she can't get a boyfriend. Only other bit is that Max doesn't know who she is. Which makes sense, seeing as how she hasn't introduced herself yet. In hindsight, this is an unintetional bit here, but I guess this also implies Max hasn't been getting any damage he's got on the job, treated properly, yet. But that does fit him, so I'll roll with it.

Panels 2 and 3, eh, more just of that whole "skirting the line" imagery I've been working with, for her. She's the most overtly sexual, of the three Wickerish ladies, but she's also not exactly friendly with it, or in good fun.

Panel 4, the setup she had in the previous three pages is actually her desk. She can pull it out, and wheel it around her office, to treat patients, as well as update logs and get feeds of the instruments, in real time.

Panel 5 doesn't have much. Claire looks nice, I suppose, and if you look at her shoulders, she's visibly NOT bulked up, like Sally is. This is because Claire's the medic, she doesn't fight. Papi and Sally are the end all be all last line of defense, akin to hiring the Zoldycks (Hunter x Hunter), and so they need to be killing machines in Sally's case, and able to defend the fort, in Papi's case.

Panel 6, this is where it gets good. Finally I'm explaining this one bit of 「Afterburns」, that I neglected to, until this point. Basically, they're quirks. And in turn, since they're genetic and can be passed on, albeit with some genetic variance, you can inherit vestigial traits of an 「Afterburn」 that really only affect your appearance. And yeah, I'm referencing Luffy and Tokoyami Fumikage, in Claire's examples of 「Afterburns」, as well as Sonic. Yes, Max's hair isn't styled that way in universe, nor is it just in realistic clumps and layers with the art style being why it looks that way. No he's straight up got hair clumps that look like Sonic's quills.

Panel 7, which is to say this is all why Claire can be El Grande's grand daughter. And why so many weird background people, look the way they do. Like the four armed mole man, or the big hamster guy. Yes, they're ALL human. EVERYONE.

That being said, another fun bit here, with these two's dynamic. As hot as both of them are, in universe, neither really has an interest in the other, due to the personalities. Max finds Claire's, frankly, repulsive, and Claire finds Max's lacking in "spice." She tries to flirt and imply he's staring at her chest, but if you look you can see Max is clearly looking her in the eyes, as he responds. And yeah, Max's mama/"Mama Stardusk" did indeed raise him right. We'll get to her eventually, but for the time being, I think I'll just show you a picture of her here (THIS SHOULD BE A HYPERLINK, AND THIS PARANTHETICAL SHOULD BE DELETED. IF I FORGOT TO, PLEASE @ ME ON ANY OF MY PLATOFRMS, AND I WILL CORRECT THAT). And you can extrapolate a lot, from this, and the next panels. Because, see...

Panel 8, I forget off the top of my head, as of writing this blurb, if Max mentions how not knowing his 「Afterburn」 got him into this mess, but that's the main reason he wants to know his. Given he got his shit pushed in, for NOT knowing it. But even with Claire's imparted information, Max is SOL. Because...

Panel 9, yup, he's adopted. But the way he mentions it, also indicates something. Namely that he doesn't mind, which should tell you a bit more about his mama.

Anyway, that's it for this page.
Author Note
So yeah, if it didn't sink in on the last page, that's Claire's GRANDPA. As in, yes, her grandfather is a giant skeleton. Welcome to the Skull Boys. That's not actually the last name, since they have a normal family tree, it's just huge, (as shown in panel 5.) Don't worry, I'll explain it in a little bit, but yes, somehow the giant skeleton has a normal human looking hot granddaughter. And on top of that, because the family is so god damned big, Sally's army of Skull Boys is actually one giant literal family. There's a reason for that. I won't go into it here, but there is a reason for this, in terms of *why* I wrote it that way.

Other small bits are the fact that Claire calls Papi "Mrs. Robinson," Further showing her professionalism. The fact that there are a ton of unique Skull Boy designs, as well as ones we saw back in chapter 3, when Sally busts the locker room wall down. The fact that they "laugh in spanish" (use "J" instead of "H"), and are shown reacting to Max's shock in panels 7 and 8. Oh, and the "BONE" sound effect is made to look like one of the Skull Boys, a bit.

Anyway, next page has a lot of information in it.
Author Note

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