Continue Online

by FrustratedEgo

Original COMPLETED Adventure Fantasy Sci-fi Tragedy Male Lead Slice of Life Virtual Reality
Warning This fiction contains:
  • Profanity
  • Traumatising content

Follow Grant Legate’s trials and tribulations through: Memories, Made, Realities, Crash, Together. 

Memories: A man broken by despair and depression, Grant Legate finds himself in a once-in-a-lifetime situation after receiving an Ultimate Edition copy of Continue Online. All he wishes for is a distraction from the thoughts plaguing his waking hours. He dives in headfirst, unknowing of the AIs intentions. They offer him the chance to play as one of their own, a NPC deserving of a proper send off. What he discovers during the journey shakes Grant to his very core.

 

Made: No longer playing as a Local from the world of Continue Online, Grant Legate’s adventure can begin. The Voices offer him a unique title along with a test and reward. To start—he'll have to survive underground horrors, old girlfriends, become a warrior. To win—he must become an imp familiar and kill another player, one with a dozen tricks up his sleeve.

 

Realities: Worried for his sanity after poor in-game choices, Grant Legate’s sister, Liz, blocks access to Continue Online. With no way around the restriction, he ventures into a new world—a VRMMO game based in space—called Advance Online. There he must help his companion AI, Hal Pal, overcome an identity crisis, race to the center of the universe to bring back his true love, and figure out where he stands on the scariest implication of all; AIs are bringing the dead to life.

 

Crash: Grant’s prior adventures tie together and he finds himself back in Continue Online, as Hermes—in jail. He's forced to experience life as a digital convict and earn redemption points to gain his freedom. Each in-game death pushes his goal of helping his friends out of reach. The AIs Grant’s grown to love, trust—and sometimes fear—are facing extinction, he holds the key to their survival.

 

Together: The game is no longer about adventures in a new world or exploring fantasy lands. Grant’s digital wife faces deletion, along with everyone else he cares for. He, and those who know this is more than a game event, search for clues to salvation left behind by the game's creators. Even if he finds them all, the Voices have one last task for their messenger. A sacrifice.

 

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FrustratedEgo

FrustratedEgo

I've Done Stuff

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Top List #400
20 Reviews
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Word Count (19)
750,000 Views
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Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
Book 1 - Memories; Commencement - A Man and His Box ago
Book 1 - Memories; Session One – The Best Laid Plans ago
Book 1 - Session Two - More Broken Than You ago
Book 1, Memories; Session Three - Christmas in July ago
Book 1, Memories; Session Four - Choice of Voice ago
Book 1, Memories; Session Five - Oh Wondrous Feet ago
Book 1, Memories; Session Six - Feasts and Other Nonsense ago
Book 1, Memories; Session Seven - Wrapped up ago
Book 1, Memories; Interlude - Everyone gets a Story ago
Book 1, Memories; Session Eight - Grumpy Old NPC ago
Book 1, Memories; Session Nine - Priestess Peach ago
Book 1, Memories; Session Ten - Pride's Precipice ago
Book 1, Memories; Session Eleven - Outside the Digital Box ago
Book 1, Memories; Session Twelve - Questions, Mister Legate? ago
Book 1, Memories; Session Thirteen - Finishing Touches ago
Book 1, Memories; Session Fourteen - Worse than Cats! ago
Book 1, Memories; Session Fifteen - Unaware Farewell ago
Book 1, Memories; Session Sixteen - Maze Inspiration ago
Book 1, Memories; Session Seventeen - “Leeroy” ago
Book 1, Memories; Conclude - Data Stored to Autopilot ago
Book 2 - Made; Commencement - Point of View ago
Book 2 - Made; Session Eighteen – Faction Grind ago
Book 2 - Made; Session Nineteen – Answers, Mister Legate? ago
Book 2 - Made; Session Twenty – Belated Trigger Warning ago
Book 2 - Made; Session Twenty One – Forest For Rest ago
Book 2 - Made; Session Twenty Two – Deep Cover ago
Book 2 - Made; Session Twenty Three – Lost, in Earth ago
Book 2 - Made; Session Twenty Four – Light’s End ago
Book 2 - Made; Session Twenty Five - What are the Chances? ago
Book 2 - Made; Session Twenty Six – Under Cover Brother ago
Book 2 - Made; Session Twenty Seven – Just Pass Grey Skull ago
Book 2 - Made; Session Twenty Eight – The Falling One ago
Book 2 - Made; Interlude - The Life and Times of… ago
Book 2 - Made; Session Twenty Nine – Like a dog ago
Book 2 - Made; Session Thirty - Beatings Continue ago
Book 2 - Made; Session Thirty One - What is love... ago
Book 2 - Made; Session Thirty Two – To the Letter ago
Book 2 - Made; Session Thirty Three – Until Morale Improves ago
Book 2 - Made; Session Thirty Four - Eye on the Prize ago
Book 2 - Made; Session Thirty Five - Dodging the Issue ago
Book 2 - Made; Session Thirty Six – Spite Unbound ago
Session Thirty Seven - Baby Don’t Hurt Me ago
Book 2 - Made; Session Thirty Eight – Insane Reality ago
Book 2 - Made; Session Thirty Nine - Sane Illusions ago
Book 2 - Made; Conclude – Behind the Scenes ago
Book 3 - Realities; Commencement – Neither Rain, Nor Sleet… ago
Book 3 - Realities; Session Forty – Family Matters ago
Book 3 - Realities; Session Forty One – Do Robots Dream? ago
Book 3 - Realities; Session Forty Two - Dirty Job ago
Book 3 - Realities; Session Forty Three – Emotional Bundles ago
Book 3 - Realities; Session Forty Four - Biologic Cargo ago
Book 3 - Realities; Session Forty Five – Without the Act ago
Book 3 - Realities; Session Forty Six – Off Roading ago
Book 3 - Realities; Session Forty Seven – Shark Bait ago
Book 3 - Realities; Session Forty Eight – Space Bugs Everyone ago
Book 3 - Realities; Session Forty Nine – Insides Job ago
Book 3 - Realities; Session Fifty - Wake Up Call ago
Book 3 - Realities; Interlude - Rise of Hal Pal ago
Book 3 - Realities; Session Fifty One – Army of Dusk ago
Book 3 - Realities; Session Fifty Two – Space to Think ago
Book 3 - Realities; Session Fifty Three – Keeper of Souls ago
Book 3 - Realities; Session Fifty Four - The Bomb Has Been Planted ago
Book 3 - Realities; Session Fifty Five – Raiding Party! ♪ ago
Book 3 - Realities; Session Fifty Six - Decompression ago
Book 3 - Realities; Session Fifty Seven - Leftover Parts ago
Book 3 - Realities; Session Fifty Eight - Stilled Hearts ago
Book 3 - Realities; Session Fifty Nine - Chains that Bind ago
Book 3 - Realities; Session Sixty - Peace Offing ago
Book 3 - Realities; Session Sixty One - Star Tours ago
Book 3 - Realities; Session Sixty Two – Blue Marbles ago
Book 3 - Realities; Session Sixty Three - Electric Slide ago
Book 3 - Realities; Session Sixty Four - Everyone Matters ago
Book 3 - Realities; Session Sixty Five - The Plea of Orpheus ago
Book 3 - Realities; Conclude - Echoed Letters ago
Book 4 - Crash; Commencement – Black Spots ago
Book 4 - Crash; Session Sixty Six – Mistakes Were Made ago
Book 4 - Crash; Session Sixty Seven – Crime and Punishment ago
Book 4 - Crash; Session Sixty Eight - Virtual Chain Gang ago
Book 4 - Crash; Session Sixty Nine - Blue Monday ago
Book 4 - Crash; Session Seventy - How does it feel? ago
Book 4 - Crash; Session Seventy One – Nightmares and Dreams ago
Book 4 - Crash; Session Seventy Two – Animal House ago
Book 4 - Crash; Session Seventy Three – Poor Boy ago
Book 4 - Crash; Session Seventy Four – The Bottom of Things ago
Book 4 - Crash; Session Seventy Five - Larger than Unlife ago
Book 4 - Crash; Session Seventy Six - The Breach ago
Book 4 - Crash; Session Seventy Seven - When the Sun Goes Down ago
Book 4 - Crash; Interlude - Mortal Instruments ago
Book 4 - Crash; Session Seventy Eight - Wake Up Deadman ago
Book 4 - Crash; Session Seventy Nine - Wood You? ago
Book 4 - Crash; Session Eighty – Desires Voice ago
Book 4 - Crash; Session Eighty-One – Gotta Have Faith ago
Book 4 - Crash; Session Eighty-Two - I be So Glad ago
Book 4 - Crash; Session Eighty-Three - Fear’s Stage ago
Book 4 - Crash; Session Eighty-Four - Those Horrible Others ago
Book 4 - Crash; Session Eighty-Five - Dirty Laundry ago
Book 4 - Crash; Session Eighty-Six – Skeleton Crew ago
Book 4 - Crash; Session Eighty-Seven – In Sunset ago
Book 4 - Crash; Session Eight-Eight - ‘Til Death Do Us Part ago
Book 4 - Crash; Conclude – Wedding Blues ago
Book 5 – Together; Commencement - X-O This ago
Book 5 – Together; Session Eight-Nine – Honeymoon Period ago
Book 5 - Together; Session Ninety – Reality’s Hold ago
Book 5 - Together; Session Ninety One – On the Road Again ago
Book 5 - Together; Session Ninety Two – The City of ItRainsTooMuch ago
Book 5 - Together; Session Ninety Three – His Father is Awesome ago
Book 5 - Together; Session Ninety Four - Anger Management School ago
Book 5 - Together; Session Ninety Five – [Lithium] Powered ago
Book 5 - Together; Session Ninety Six – The Crown of Laurels ago
Book 5 - Together; Session Ninety Seven - Hunt for the Requiem ago
Book 5 - Together; Session Ninety Eight – Demon’s Albatross ago
Book 5 - Together; Session Ninety Nine - The Far Shore ago
Book 5 - Together; Session One Hundred - When We Shadows ago
Book 5 - Together; Session One Hundred and One – Are Still [Redacted] ago
Book 5 - Together; Session 102 – Flying Fools ago
Book 5 - Together; Sessio 103 - Eat Dirt ago
Book 5 - Together; Session 104 – [Save] the Last Dance ago
Book 5 - Together; Session 105 – Fork in the Road ago
Book 5 - Together; Session 106 - The Breach ago
Book 5 - Together; Interlude - Original Configurations ago
Book 5 - Together; Session 107 – You Only Live Twice ago
Book 5 - Together; Session 108 - Pieces of Us ago
Book 5 - Together; Session 109 – Through Fingertips ago
Book 5 - Together; Session 110 - Dead Man’s Hand ago
Book 5 - Together; Session 111 – He’s Building a Stairway ago
Book 5 - Together; Conclude – Angels Dancing On Pinheads ago
Author Note: Continue Online's World Continues! ago

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Reviews
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FirstDragon
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A Richly Psychological VR Adventure, Slow Build, Limited "Action" So Far

(This Review Covers the Story Through Interlude Four and is currently "A Work In Progress")

Continue Online is a remarkably well crafted story which shines even more brightly in comparison to the standard fare served up on RoyalRoad. If you are expecting a traditional VR tale, you will either find yourself delighted and surprised or bewildered and disappointed...it all depends on your personal reading preferences.

To help explain the story so far and avoid spoilers, I'll start out with what you won't find: a bullied or socially stomped MC, a bosomy childhood friend, a set of early chapters filled with training montages, brutal depictions of goblin mutilation, not-so-unexpected party-member betrayals (leading to a classic "I've gone psycho" MC vengeance subplot), crafting and more crafting, unexplained rare equipment drops, stumbled upon unique OP classes, or stereotypical harem antics.

Instead, the author creates a believable near-future world and then proceeds to introduce readers to his complex MC: a humane adult recovering from the injustices of life (romance related trauma plus the follow-on period of self-medication / addiction). The MC is a bit of a sad sack but not unlikeable or incompetent. So far the side characters are multi-dimensional and entertaining; given the MC's current lack of motivation, they are also the dominant forces driving the development of the plot and the MC himself. 

In terms of Style and Story, the 4.5 ratings stem from what I see as the two biggest weaknesses of the fiction so far

1) It is quite slowly paced.

Those seeking the immediate gratification via "action" (cool battles, dazzling counter-spells, etc. ) or "plot-advancement" (leveling, saved damsels, mysterious enemies, conquered dungeons, etc.) will need to look elsewhere. The author dedicates the first dozen plus chapters to character development (and the slow unveiling of the MC's backstory) and world-building, both inside and outside the VR framework.

2) It has a strong psychological flavor.

The author's focus on the MC's trauma comes across as a bit heavy-handed.  Sometimes the plot feels a bit contrived as if it was constructed specifically to permit the author to address / reveal another facet of the MC's psyche. The story is quite "slice of life" ATM, though I sense it is definitely moving towards the "start" of a more traditional adventure arc.

Though not obsessively descriptive, the author knows how to show a world and not just tell us about it. So far, he's written several lovely and downright lyrical passages. At least for me, one stand out was the MC's introduction to the VR world, which felt powerfully immersive and generated a "wow, I'm right there amidst all the excitement" kinda feeling. 

Grammar - 5.0

The writing itself is excellent, so expect to read paragraphs with varied sentence structures and a welcome dose of "native-English-fluency- level" grammar. The dialogues are believable and appropriately differentiated in terms of each participant (i.e. the excited, happy-go-lucky niece comes across quite differently from the Morpheus-like VR Guide).

black-talk
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Once of the best character driven stories on the site. (37 chapters out at the time of review)

First off - The story starts slow

The story starts slow, and that is a good thing. That is because this is mostly a character driven story. The plot is awesome too btw, the main focus however seems to be our main character.

 

Do yourself the favor and read at least 4 chapters before judging this series. It should not be too tedious even if it isn't up your alley straight away.

 

The reason why is the author has chosen to ease you into the story and used the first couple of chapters to 'show' you the character in context as opposed to a massive information dump. My personal preference is to avoid information dumps at almost all costs. The initial chapters serves as a means to achieve this.

 

A character driven story

A character driven story is in my opinion one of the hardest feats to pull off successfully without breaking the immersion. Often you will find a good story where the characters come together nicely. Then out of the blue the character will do something which is utterly unbelievable, e.g. forgiving something unforgivable at a drop of a hat. Often because the plot 'demands' it.

 

This story has yet to run into this problem and I don't believe it will. There are no places where characters in the story do things without sufficient cause or have a change of heart in a way which is unbelievable.

 

If you don't think it is a feat then consider the story is heavy on the personal problem front. I find even published authors have a hard time achieving this.

 

Plot

The story so far has an amazing plot, or at least it is turning out to be. During the first many chapters not a lot is happening plot wise. It is mostly a well executed world building phase. Then all of a sudden things take off and the author does a amazing job at pacing the plot. Releasing a tidbit here and a tidbit there about what the hell is actually going on.

 

Conclusion

All in all a recommendation from me. If anything is to be said about why this might not be a good book/series for you then that would be my estimate of the target audience being  people above 20 years of age.

pldl
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It's all about the story.

Sometimes you want novels that are masturbatory in nature. 

And sometimes you want the opposite. This is one of those.

I'm surprised this isn't tagged with Romance, as this is, at the core, a love story. 

Shame that Amazon rules have removed much of this story, but I feel this is similar in quality to other published books. Worth its price.

5>4>2>1>3. 

Adquinn
  • Overall Score

Very interesting, with a very dedicated author

It isn't often that you find a story with so many chapters which also has a high word count per chapter, this is one. With longer stories it is not uncommon to see spelling errors crop up every few sentences, giving you a jarring experience as you progress through the chapter, to the credit of this author I am happy to say this is not the case. 

Through this story the author displays an impressive attention to detail with his near-lack of errors, but also shows off an incredible talent in world building and character development. Other reviewers/readers/blood sucking leeches have said that the story is slow-paced and I must agree, however I feel that this is to the credit of the story as we are slowly but surely introduced to a world of new and unique characters while avoiding information overload. 

 

I feel that this story showcases a wide cast of characters which manage to maintain a diverse mix  of entertainingly unique personalities, and this is the sticking point for me. Overall I give this story 4/5 for the amazing efforts of the author. 

Kine X
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This story is one of the most amazing ones that I have read on this site. Every now and then, I go to latest updates and open whatever stories that catch my interest into another tab. This story, out of many, many stories, caught my fascination after not even a single chapter, but less than half of one. I would highly recommend this story to anyone who is looking to read something that includes Virtual Reality, even though it hasn't progressed that far yet. The style, story, grammar, and the characters are all flushed out amazingly, and I doubt that I would be able to do the same without much practice-- I'd also like to say good luck to the author, I think this story will go far, depending on how long it's going to be.

Last Apostle
  • Overall Score

Potential on this story I would rate on par with the best on this site. Story has motion, it moves at a steady rate. Grammar, I suck at it, so yeah.... Character - Strong and steady development, the hero can evolve further. Over all, read it, you will not regret it.

tempest86
  • Overall Score

It is always darkest before the dawn

This is something very different to most of the fiction here. It has depth both in complexity of the game, which is slowly revealed to us, and in character. 

Grant is a broken workaholic, what broke him is brought up but never confronted head on. It skirts around as if poking at a wound. This realistic way of handling such a complex issue shows a maturity and sensibility that is sorely lacking in many other fics.

The story is slow, but it works for the story. This is not an all guns blazing, monster slaying, adventure. It is an exploration of the human condition.  

Dunford
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Not at all generic, and wonderful for it.

If I had to explain this story with only one tag, it'd be Psychological.  Sure it has some VR elements, and a tragic backstory to it.  But what it does most is explore the psychology of a man who is still recovering from a depression inducing loss.

 

Not to say the mood is entirely somber.  There's also quite a lot of humor thrown into both the real-life and the in-game segments.  On top of all that, there's an amazing theme of machines maybe having reached sentience without the human population noticing.

 

I'd say this is a must read for anyone who can handle heartbreak and excruciating slow pace.  All hail the future robot overlords.

Ravenstorm
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I have to let you know that this is by far the best story I have read here.  I have no doubt that you will succeed in getting this published if that is what you want.  Thank you for all the hard work.  Love the MC.  So many stories here have fake seeming MC’s.  Yours seems like a real person.

ElDani
  • Overall Score

I was very impressed!

This virtual reality fic has been mentioned and recommended on several places throughout the web. After I stumbled upon such a recommendation for one time too many, I finally gave it a read and I haven't regretted it.

 

Many authors would like to set their story apart from the dross, but with "Continue Online" that's quite literally true. The author FrustratedEgo manages to avoid many pitfalls of this genre and has managed to create a page-turner I have found difficult to put down.

 

There's just one thing to be aware of, in case you're a possible new reader who is looking at this review. The story almost doesn't deserve to be grouped together with all those other VR type stories, since it is so different. A slow beginning, yet excellent characterization. A lack of action, yet an undeniable richness of adventure. To couch it in gaming terms (somewhat fittingly), this story reads like a sophisticated role-playing game while many others of the same persuasion are (almost mindless) hack-and-slays.  I merely add this "warning" to my review, because some people enjoy baser/simpler pleasures in life.