(You might’ve noticed we tweaked the sixth panel so it conforms to the layout suggested in the cell — we appreciate the readers pointing that out to us. The nice thing about the webcomic format is that we can make fixes like this, so if you see something that doesn’t look right, don’t be afraid to let us know! — Alex)

Looks like that QTE fight sequence actually turned out okay after all! What you didn’t see were the 14,000 bad ending variants where the player didn’t mash the buttons quickly enough, but this isn’t Dragon’s Lair — that sort of thing wouldn’t fly in a comic!

For those unfamiliar, two weeks ago Elson Wong (aka Darkspeeds) put together a hilarious video that couched the initial breakout page as a “QTE”, or Quick-Timer-Event, using visuals and sound effects from the adventure game classic: Shenmue. In a QTE, the player has a set amount of time to press a button — think of it like a reaction test. If you fail, usually something bad happens!

These range from missing a soccer ball kick in Shenmue to getting roasted by a dragon in Dragon’s Lair and everything in between. However, Shenmue was the game that added those little chimes and sound effects for the button prompts — and they would come out of nowhere in the midst of a cinematics-heavy 30+ hour game. I failed a LOT of those button prompts, so Elson’s video made me all involuntarily twitchy :)

Huge props to Elson, he even did some voice acting for the lead-up story moments! Check it out:

For guest art this week, an interesting piece from RM Fung! I’ll let him explain the background for you:

This picture was mainly inspired by the April Fools Day comic and the comments in it suggesting that “Beyond the Western Deep” was all (modern) Dakkan’s fantasy.

If you start from the top, Quinlan was initially drifting through a dreamless void. He happens to be there ever since blacking out from being shot with an Ermehn bolt near the end of Chapter 2. Is he asleep? Comatose? Dead? Who knows? But he’s interrupted by the appearance of a mysterious being that looks eerily similar to his best friend Dakkan, only wearing clothes in a style not recognized anywhere in the Four Kingdoms. The being only takes Quin’s hand and leads him back out of the void, only telling the Tamian that he’s not done yet, that his story is not yet over.

Getting to the bottom, you see the real reason the Dakkan-being had to hurry up and leave after escorting Quin. Long story short, there’s a lecture going on, Dak’s mind is somewhere else, Principal Tosch happens to come by and decides to get Dak paying attention again HIS way.

I love the combining of our in-comic and high school AU worlds, RM! The idea that the comic’s events are just an adventure story being daydreamed by a modern-day Dak is hilarious — though I’m sure if that were the case Dak would probably make himself the only protagonist and also not have let himself get beaten up so much by the canid XD

Thanks so much for sending this wonderful piece, RM!