MERTICORE

by Onch

Warning This fiction contains:
  • Profanity

Meet Ian.

Ian is an IT consultant who accepted a supposedly impossible job for an incredible amount of money. However, he quickly learns why his colleagues avoided that gig like the plague.

Ian now hates his job, and wants to be fired to get severance pay. However, things don’t go as planned when he downloads MERTICORE, a mysterious program that popped out of nowhere.

After that, the life of Ian has changed drastically. Gone are the days of drinking bad coffee while staring at a screen.

His days are now filled with magic, fighting weird creatures and even weirder people. Let’s not even mention the comrades he collects along the way, which are more often than not worse than the (numerous) enemies he makes as he bumbles through alternate dimensions.

There’s also a disturbing number of laundromats for some reason.

Release Schedule: One or two long(2.5k+ words) chapters per week, maybe more depending on real life. 

  • Overall Score
  • Style Score
  • Story Score
  • Grammar Score
  • Character Score
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Author
Onch

Onch

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BubblesWritesTrash
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Matrix LitRPG/Fantasy but with a protagonist missing neurons

Reviewed at: Chapter 6: Same Day Delivery

When I first read this I was like...Huh, this feels a lot like the Matrix. Protagonist in dead-end job getting some weird godlike powers, and it sounded quite interesting. And for the most part it's fun. That's it. This is a very funny, extremely easy to read piece of fiction, but one that I don't think particularly stands out.

Style:

Nothing to say here, the style is easy to read, a bit too simplistic at times, but I can't complain about that, since it's the nature of the genre. At times, there are a couple of repetitions that become a little annoying, but apart from that, yeah, good stuff mate, keep it up ;3

Story:

Easily the worst part here is the progression of the story. I can't say it's not creative, it's extremely so, although the particular melting pot of tropes tends to be a bit...heterogenous at times, what with technology and fantasy trying to mingle. Regardless, the issue I have is that after six chapters...nothing really happened. The plot is probably as far ahead as it was when I first started, the only thing having changed being the protagonist's knowledge of his abilities. With the chapter structure being quite dull and major events being barely sprinkled throughout with no real sense of consequence, I'm kind of at a lost for interest. The stakes aren't explained and even for a light read, I can't really ignore that. Not to mention the full-on expositiony nature of certain scenes that are nothing but telling the reader information, as if they're perusing a glossary.

Grammar:

Nearly perfect, but many instances of words missing and commas not being properly used. A reread will obviously iron these mistakes out, but until then, it's not flawless enough to warrant a full 5 stars.

Character:

Looking at it through the lens of the Japanese LN style, the characters are what they need to be. Simple, two-dimensional actors to a plot that's comedic. And they do that job quite all right, with the only issue being that the two sisters are nothing but one-liner, expositioning machines, whilst the main character is a wise-cracking jackass. They serve their purpose, but their purpose is just not good enough, in my humble opinion.

At the end of the day, this is a fun, high-spirited, light read, and I'd definitely recommend it to people just looking to have fun delving into wacky shenanigans that don't need too much effort to comprehend. 

YAK Edge
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Unlimited power...very limited brain space

Reviewed at: Chapter 6: Same Day Delivery

Merticore takes place in a world where science and fantasy mesh and where all kinds of different genres meet. It's a RR chop suey and quite funny. Though how well connected and integrated they are is something one has yet to see.

The style reads nicely and there not many issues. Same for Grammar.

As for the characters, our MC Ian is many things. But intelligent, he is not. He's a knack for making stupid descisions and questionable judgement calls. It will be fun to see it blow up in his face. Besides that, he or the other characters don't feel remarkable to so far.

joeyslatermilligan
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

It's like a bit of The Matrix but then also a bit of... Bruce Almighty? Maybe? 

 

Basically, the main character realises that using MERTICORE he can change reality, so it starts out like it's a science fiction vibe, simulation-is-real kind of thing, but then wizards show up and it all just gets a bit mad.

I agree with other reviews that the MC is really quite an idiot. He's making bad decisions all over the place, so he's not a very sympathetic character. You're only really rooting for him because he's the main character, not because he's particularly likeable.

The story also just kind of unravels in a bizarre way, where you really aren't sure what might happen next because the characters aren't making logical decisions. For that reason you really have to kind of pay attention while you read... I had a moment where I walked away from my computer and then came back and was reading a few paragraphs ahead of where I was, and when I came back I was like "wait, WHAT'S happening now?!"

But if you can accept that anything could happen, and that it's a crazy world where magic is real and weird apps can alter reality, it's actually a refreshingly fun read!

TitusGM
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Interesting story and premise, strange character motivations

Reviewed at: Chapter 13: Forced Vacation

(Full disclosure, this review is a part of a review swap)

This story follows a main character who has been granted a magic system that is basically a real life admin console. Want a better car? Edit it to increase its horsepower. Want a better hangun? Make one that... Has infinite ammo and shoots high-explosive rounds? *looks at the author* Are we sure this is a balanced power?

Anyway, the only thing holding this MC back is the fact that he needs this magical ability in order to get him out of all the problems that he gets himself into. Well, that and the fact that the designers of his power took a page out of modern gaming companies' book and gouge him with microtransactions for anything and everything.

Style score:

Style is fine and gets the humor across pretty well

Grammar score:

I didn't notice any errors (though, I am not the best at catching them)

Story score:

The story has an interesting premise with an intriguing power for the MC. However, the story is a bit hampered, in my opinion by the characters which I will go into below.

Character score:

The characters are in my opinion the weakest part of this story. They are funny, but their motivations seem.. Strange.

The MC gets his super power and immediately uses it supe up his car, but then he immediately seems intent on upgrading weapons. And the nagging thought that I had was... Why? The MC doesn't have anyone to fight, he doesn't have any enemies, and he doesn't know anything about what is going to be coming down the line. So why is he intent on making his weapons better?

He also then picks a fight with a supernatural agency.. And escalates the situation because.... they were a bit rude I guess?

I guess what I am getting at is that the MC's motivations don't make sense. Part of that may be that he is an idiot, and since that is probably how he was intended to be written I guess that makes sense. However, I guess I don't find him enough of an idiot for it to be funny?

Not sure, anyway, the characters seem like the weak point in my opinion, but otherwise it seems like a good novel

Psyren1596
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

The author has built a good repution with providing captivating stories for this genre. Although it's sad that his muse for the time.travel() fic is gone, I am positively excited for this new series ( especially now that I have a lot of spare time ;) )

 

Edit: chapter 16

This has turned out to be a crack-fic; still good, but be prepared.

Eyeball1844
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Style: It's pretty well done for the most part. The author does a good job of injecting character voice into the descriptions and the narrative. The only issue is that I wasn't particularly moved by the detail of places and characters.

Grammar: It's good. I didn't see any major mistakes or see anything that made me have to stop and reread.

Story: It's very comedic and silly. Lots of light-hearted fun to be had here and MERTICORE is a cool system. I wish it was explained a bit more or that the MC would expand how he tried using it.

Character: The MC just seems a little too slapstick at times but it's fine because this is a comedic story after all. The sisters, Nicole and Mary, seem a bit out of their depth but maybe that's just because Memelord is too powerful.

Overall: I liked it. It was fun and worth giving a try. We need more funny novels like this.

JDFister
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

A Fresh Take on Action Adventure SciFi Fantasy! Worth the read!

Reviewed at: Chapter 5: The Other Side Of The Mirror

I imagine (with painful empathy) while reading this story that the author must’ve endured work in a hellish office environment at some point in their life. The descriptions are too damn specific not to be shaped by lived experience. I’m not a computer programmer myself, but I could relate to the descriptions of a work environment that’s strung together with string and bubblegum even if some of the specific programming details were over my head. I would be shocked if an expert came in and said the technical details were wrong because it felt so real to me.

Style: Onch constantly interrupts the narration with clever asides from the MC that establishes a strong voice right away. You don’t have to second-guess the absurdity of any given situation, the narrator does it for you! I also appreciate an eye for visual elements, and the bolded marked off text for inputs from the MERTICORE program is very useful framing device to visually separate these lines from the rest of the narration.

Grammar: There are a few mistakes here and there but nothing jumped out to take me out of the story. The only tip I would have is for the author to make sure they’re not using a dash when they mean to use an emdash (please look this up!) but they look about the same, so I didn’t sweat it.

Character: In the opening sequence you can see that the author wants to guide the story toward an implementation of this MERTICORE program, but rather than force the issue they efficiently establish the characterization of the MC as that of someone willing to throw caution to the wind despite obvious red flags. This didn’t feel forced at all but I appreciate the difficulty of such a task. The MC’s “I just don’t give a fuck” attitude was a comical delight that I bought into completely. This just makes the turn-around in his attitude after the…. Okay, I’ll avoid spoilers here, but suffice to say the character growth was satisfying to experience.

Story: I’ll be honest that I don’t read a lot of science fiction, so I can’t comment on whether this story exhibits any common tropes that more experienced readers might be tired of, but in my experience I found the ideas very novel. The concept of being able to edit the real world like one would program a computer felt fascinating and fresh to me. This is definitely a soft-science fiction whose technology borders on magic, and I found this more conducive to escapism than most harder science fictions. And I do think the Metricore API is a science fiction system, as the magic is shown to be a totally separate system later on. It makes for a neat sci fi/fantasy blend. If you want to get the fuck out of the real world and dive into an enthralling story, MERTICORE is for you!

It is an absolute travesty that this story isn’t getting more attention! It is at least as good a read as Mother of Learning and deserves to be exposed to a wider audience!

Talo Segura
Overall

Let's get the stuff I don't like out of the way first. The mixture of past and present tense, "I yawn and sigh,..." spoils the flow right from the start. That said, the writing had no real problems or errors, so it's a question of style, you like it or not.

The main character, Ian Jones, is rather a boring choice of protanganist, his job sounds like a solicitor or lawyer, the geek computer programmer, doesn't do much to attract, but he does grow on you and he has a few surprises up his sleeve, or in his glove box, like the Gloch 20 pistol. He's got short black hair, the one aspect of his appearance we get told, which strangely I remembered. It does sort of reinforce the geek image.

The reader is blatantly introduced to this computerised, magic, world: "What will happen? What can happen? I'm not expecting something magical, that's impossible." "Could this be magical?" "It heats up and glows green." I used the same description in my own magical fantasy, perhaps subconsciously we all associate green with magical temporal change.

The creating objects and filling up his bank account is a little hint of comedy that we might expect anyone to be tempted by. Look no further than Patreon, everyone wants to make a buck out of nothing.

By chapter three, other people pop up, "the two wizards jump in surprise,..." two women whose conversation he over hears. But shouldnt that be witches? I thought wizards were male? Still actresses are actors in this modern world so why not female wizards? "We are Mary and Nicole Farsight. We are on a mission to investigate the suspicious Mana readings coming from this area. We are from the Central Magic Agency." Is this comedy? Without a doubt, by now I'm convinced, let's face it, that line about the CMA has to make you smile.

Chapter Five we're getting Mertipoints and crystals and are really in the game. This Is a kind of geeky magic adventure which I'd say was for children except for the profanity. You know, like one of those kids stories with adult stuff that goes over the kids heads, but the parents can appreciate. It's a clever story full of comedy, almost, if not completely, a parody of itself.

ducksgoquack
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

I don't write these things often, but my God.

 

The beginning of the story, heck I think the first half of the first chapter, had me drawn in. And then this "IT Consultant" opens his mouth. Then he starts to react to this new world.

AND THEN.

You will read a few more chapters wondering what happened, maybe it will improve later,  but no.

No, it won't. OP MC. Irrational and "wacky"  a "MEMELORD" (Seriously called himself that.)

We have no stated age for the MC but as another reviewer suggested (8-10) but I would argue against that. This is a 12-15 year old with the power to change reality.

He edits his bank account to change his balance, then says he shouldn't do too much else people may notice him.
Next chapter breaks into a police cordoned off laboratory and literally mugs two "cops". ( with the gun that he modified to be basically a grenade launcher that was initially for self defence purposes.) 

He acknowledges they may be officers of the law then proceeds to commit credit card fraud with their stolen "business" card. 

Was the goal for the character to be like this?  

I am more disappointed than anything else. Merticore you took a great premise and a great introductory half chapter and meme'd it away. I think the author needs to slow down and make his characters more substantial. at least more substantial  than a wonderbread and mayo sandwich.

 

/slow clap

Marg_Naroth
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Do not mess with the it guy! This is a fresh fiction - a new concept for me for sure- , the concepts, the characters, the meme and pop culture references. The pacing is good. Sometimes I got mad at Ian (MC) for he is a little prick, but hey it is his personality after all, and a well written character and so are the sisters. I still have to finish two chapters, but this will be fun to do so no spoilers here. 

There is one thing I like to add to my review and it is that this fiction have a good "magic system". Sometimes you will be guessing what you would do or make if you were on Ian's shoes.

You have some Matrix vibes on very the beginning of the story, but it develops on a pleasant divergent way from that movie. The action is very good. The diferent perspectivies were a great plus to add in the novel. 

 This would make a good movie or series for sure. I guess RR is the site with the most creative people around the globe and some Hollywood producers, or maybe other producers, could pay more attention to fictions like the adventures of our hated and loved MemeLord. No good saying this, but hey, This is just my opinion.