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The Legend of the 10 Elemental Masters is more than a book. Created by Nick Smith (a.k.a. Ulillillia), it is a glimpse into his mind. Part literature, part video game, the very narrative of the story is exotic. A little heavy on the numbers, perhaps, but nonetheless a fascinating read from the man who brought us Platform Masters and the five secrets of Bubsy 3D.
An evil force plans on subjugating the inhabitants of Earth using the raw power of the 10 Elemental Masters holding the planet together. Sensing impending doom, Knuckles, a small, purple extraterrestrial, heads to Earth to find the cause and save the day. Along the way, three teenagers, Ivan, Tu, and Tyler, join Knuckles in his quest. Despite having so little time to stop the unknown agent, they regularly take breaks and find fun things to do along the way. As they uncover the mystery, it seems like the mysterious force is always a step ahead of them...
Stuck in Development Hell since 1999, the basic format of a movie script was adopted in 2006, and the book stuck with that format when it was published in 2009.
This work features examples of:
- Aerith and Bob: Steve, Tyler, and Ivan vs. Knuckles, Speed and Seth King.
- All There in the Manual: Ulillillia takes time to explain the stats and formulas he uses in the appendicies in the back of the book.
- Author Avatar: Ivan is perhaps the most excited about receiving powers and doing things like float-gliding, walking through pools of mud, etc. -- the stuff Ulillillia likes to do in his mind game.
- Black and White Morality: Literally. Knuckles is able to view the good and evil of any character in his stat window.
- Boring Invincible Hero: Knuckles hardly breaks a sweat during any of his battles. He's literally invincible, to boot.
- Card-Carrying Villain: Seth King loves to taunt Knuckles at any opportunity, dropping clues about his next evil scheme in the process.
- Cyberspace: Amazonia's simulator, which can do pretty much anything.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: A somewhat perplexing literary example. The narration will go into great detail about stats, numbers, and the colors of objects while two characters are battling, with very little dialogue interspersed.
- Gotta Catch Them All: Knuckles takes all 10 Elemental Masters with him after subduing them.
- Great Offscreen War: The war on the planet Korona, where Knuckles and Speed gained many of their levels.
- Hammerspace: Knuckles has a bag of holding in his chest.
- Hit Points: Everybody has them. Knuckles has such powerful attacks that the damage is usually expressed in scientific notation.
- Kirk Summation: Knuckles talks with Seth King for a while before the final fight. While he clearly wasn't cut out for being the mayor of Amazonia, at least we know he'd be good at construction work.
- Monster Of The Chapter: Knuckles fights the 10 Elemental Masters periodically throughout the book.
- Narm: Loads. Ulillillia wrote this, after all.
- When asked why Knuckles didn't create a bed for himself, he remarks, "I don't need sleep. I'm immune to it."
- Anybody who's read Ulillillia's website knows what they're in for with the chapter "A Pizza Break". Suffice to say, Ivan does not disappoint them.
- Knuckles can do just about anything, except drive a car, and he seems mildly bitter about the fact.
- One Hit KO: Just about anything on Earth is no match for Knuckles.
- Orcus on His Throne: Mostly averted, as Seth King moves around causing mayhem for a large part of the book, but played straight near the end, when he awaits the heroes in his Death House.
- Readings Are Off the Scale: Seth King's HP, among other things. "Hey Speed, what is this E-R-R in the stats?"
- RPG Mechanics Verse
- Rule of Fun: Pretty much the motto of Amazonia, and encouraged in the simulator: "If you can dream it, you can do it!"
- Stat-O-Vision: Knuckles' Scan spell, which makes a window appear listing all the stats of a character.
- The Stoic: Knuckles speaks in a monotone voice and has almost no emotions, which is listed as a weakness in his stat window.
- Wiki Walk: Knuckles spends a while in Amazonia's library in front of a wiki interface, looking up all the info he can about the antagonist, Seth King.