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The Battle for Gerosha was one of the first Dozerfleet Comics entries of the 21st century to be made using entirely digital renders. While very primitive compared to later creations, the initial webcomic was the core of Gerosha Prime in the Gerosha multiverse. It, along with 90 Has No Secant, served as follow-ups to Replox: Abstract Foundations.

Plot

The story introduces us first to a young Shalia, who lives with her aging mother Marissa in a cabin in the forests outside Craterville. Next, we meet Stan, who is independently becoming wealthy and is a jack of all trades - but whose greatest love is of baseball. As his father Tobey dies, Stan finds himself all alone - until he meets Shalia in the woods one day.

It's not long after Marissa's death that Stan and Shalia fall in love and marry. A year later, they have a son named Reily. Stan gets his job as a minor league baseball player, and Shalia as a local politician. But their little slice of paradise is put to the test a decade later, when the Hebbleskin Gang comes to town. They try to blame Stan for stealing a wardrobe, but to no avail. The maid, Arianna Triste, tries to seduce Stan in order to destroy Stan and Shalia's marriage, but this also fails. She is then attacked by killer bees. Not long after that, Reily is kidnapped.

As the Hebbleskins get more of their plants inside of Craterville, Arianna's death is blamed on Shalia. An energy dome is put up over the city to take it hostage. Stan goes on the run to seek help in the streets, and Shalia is captured and imprisoned. She's tortured by Dr. Spinwords, and escapes before being sent to the electric chair.

Stan and Shalia tap a friend from the National Guard named Mitch Brandel to find a way inside - and combat any weirdness he finds. Mitch also saves Shalia from being murdered by corrupt cops Franklin Smonds and Angie Schneider. Stan and Shalia find a way to escape town, where they hear that a war hero named Ploribus may be able to help.

Ploribus reveals himself, as well as the fact that Stan is secretly his father - and that Stan was experimented on by Phaelite aliens, making all this possible. Ploribus also rescued a young Erin, made an orphan by the Hebbleskins' invasion, while rescuing Reily. Shalia and Erin get along very well, and Shalia vows to adopt Erin. They also decide to rebuild a new town dubbed "Gerosha" atop the remains of Craterville - which needs to be destroyed.

Inside the dome, Sgt. Trobiskak Luddin establishes his base of operations. Shalia's friend Trina Domingo tries to get her fiance, Officer Lionel Sanchez, free from the mind control that has been placed on him. She finally succeeds, and he helps her escape from the makeshift prison that Luddin was having her kept inside of.

Vanna Kassan, the foster mother of Jessie Menrez, is assaulted by Fantisk Hebbleskin inside her own home, with the latter decapitating her and leaving her for Jessie to find. Fantisk then kidnaps a heartbroken Jessie, making her his slave.

Brandel catches up to Janette the Bunny, defeating her after a long struggle. After finding a way to disable the dome, Brandel allows Ploribus, Stan, Shalia, and new allies of theirs to raid Craterville. When the ground battle doesn't go well, air strikes are called in to drive the Hebbleskins out. Luddin dies in a fire, and Fantisk battles Brandel to the death in his underground bunker - after murdering Jessie by tossing her into a pit of lava. Mitch retaliates by tossing Fantisk into that same pit, after a long and hard battle.

With the ruined city freed, Gerosha is built atop it. Stan and Shalia build the Triangulum to live in, and raise their two children in relative peace. They have several more children: Mike, Jeff, Vince, Jason, Tanya, Candi, Miriam, and Marina. After Marina is born, however, Shalia develops cancer. As Candi, Miriam, and Marina turn 7, Stan and Shalia are both dead. The kids are taken in by various friends and allies Stan and Shalia made. Stan and Shalia are buried with various war heroes in the Gerosha Cemetery.

Characters

Heroes

Villains

Supporting cast

Flippo family

Other

Locations

  • Indiana
    • Craterville / Gerosha
    • Forests near Craterville
      • Triangulum
      • Fantisk's lair
      • Kassan family home
      • Ploribus' hideout
      • Tobey Flippo's cabin
      • Marissa Hood's cabin
      • Shalia's school
      • Stan's self-made house

Production

Development

The Battle for Gerosha was initially an experiment in what all could be done with The Sims 2, as a way to later get back to 90 Has No Secant and its sequels. The goal was initially to come up with a powerful concept art and storyboarding sequence that could map out what happened in stories, making it easier to write them with a ready-at-hand visual reference for every important scene. This was also to ensure that what was committed to books later on could be easily translated into a graphic novel - or even screen directions for a film adaptation, with that always being the end goal. Hyper-Über-Proto Gerosha preceded in 2001, with a rough draft for what would later become The Gray Champion: Freedom's Apparition. Über-Proto Gerosha is described as being the initial drafts of the Meshalutian Trilogy. In December of 2004, the Dozerfleet founder invested in a copy of The Sims Deluxe, believing it would help design a version of the Rintel family's house. The house model was pretty effective, but character designs were limited. Toward the end of April, after having been introduced to Rooster Teeth's The Strangerhood, the Dozerfleet founder was hooked on what The Sims 2 could do - and wanted to imitate that machinima glory.

Another test run in January of 2005 included experimentation with a "Stan Flippo", originally a blond man with a mustache and an athletic outfit. He was a baseball player, and lived in a house with some triangular parts to it. Not far away was a family called the "Hood" family, that lived in the city park. "Marissa Hood" was the grand matriarch, and lived in the city park with Jabal, Shalia, and two other sons. This test run became "Proto Gerosha," one of the first times an unofficial Gerosha universe had ever been attempted. Lack of an Internet connection at home meant little hope in uploading test runs to The Sims 2 Story Exchange. Therefore, the DSHW format was born out of necessity to accommodate that. Plans were to release a story about Stan and Shalia to the Freeservers account where the Dozerfleet founder was already hosting Gored By Them Things, which would later be pulled. In May of 2005, Dozerfleet Comics finally fell into possession of a copy of The Sims 2.

FantiskHebbleskin-GeroshaPrime

Fantisk in The Sims 2.

The very first attempt at making Stan and Shalia in The Sims 2 proved to be a difficult run at trying to master the game's mechanics, which were very different from those of The Sims Deluxe. It was decided that a love story between Stan and Shalia needed to start with them in their teenage years, then move onward from there. Test Gerosha replaced cranky Marissa with a very sweethearted Marissa, whose backstory was changed significantly. Stan was given a father - Tobey Flippo, named after Tobey Maguire. The goal was to have Tobey and Marissa both die, then use one lot as two and tell the tale of how Stan and Shalia became next door neighbors that fell in love. The second run at Stan and Shalia's life in The Sims 2, dubbed "Gerosha Prime," proved to be the first successful take at creating a tale. It was a frustrated and unfocused tale at first, not introducing its real villains until almost the third act.

Screen capture

As The Battle for Gerosha in 2005 was a very primitive early effort at DSHW, formalized standards were not yet in place for it. Camera direction was placed wherever convenient, rather than aiming for a specific locale to achieve a certain effect in screenshot. Pictures were taken at the standard resolution in-game of 600x450, slightly less than standard definition television. Most images were scaled down to 300x225, under the belief that the story would be hosted on the same Freeservers account as Gored By Them Things. This reduced all images to glorified thumbnails of themselves, but was critical at the time for bandwidth reasons. When Freeservers was abandoned, the push began to explore higher and higher resolutions for display. Another trend was the use of the game's "C" button for screen capture. Assignment of confusing XML-ready names for images made it extremely difficult to organize for DSHW. Also, images were saved with "clever" names, rather than sequential numbers. All of these issues prompted production of Ciem to formalize production standards, to ensure less chaos in production.

Remake

Quality issues with the early Ciem trilogy led to Gerosha Prime being scrapped. Despair Gerosha, which took Candi's life in Ciem down a much-more-depressing set of twists and turns, was going to wipe 2005's slate clean and produce a 2006-era continuity that would allow The Battle for Gerosha to clean up its own mistakes. However, Sims 2 work was abandoned until the Dozerfleet founder could get a machine with more processing power.

In January of 2007, Classic Gerosha was established around the same time that the Dozerfleet Database (then known as "DozerfleetWiki") went online for the first time ever - on Wikispaces. The 2007 version of Ciem kick-started breathing new life into Gerosha continuity. However, the Dozerfleet founder had to cancel Classic Gerosha to focus on a video production internship - and deal with NAFLD. This major setback led to cancellation of Ciem 2 and Ciem 3, as well as delaying any remake of The Battle for Gerosha. Comprehensive Gerosha was formally defined in 2010, with several changes. For-profit books became the focus, as opposed to free-for-view webcomics. Cataclysmic Gerosha continuity replaced Comprehensive Gerosha continuity in November of 2012, and a novella is being planned for that continuity as a replacement for the webcomic.

Distribution

The second attempt at making a Cormorant Entertainment website proved successful, even though it only lasted a few months. It was to this domain that the 2005 Battle for Gerosha was uploaded, along with 2005 Ciem and Ciem 3: Curse of the Millipede. The whole enterprise was removed in May of 2006, with the way cleared for a reboot. September 2005's Ciem 2 was not included, since the DSHW pages for it were never finished. Since that removal, the webcomic was sent into archival at Dozerfleet Labs. Plans for the novella reboot remain in storage at Dozerfleet Literature.

Trivia

  • Ploribus' origin story is an effort to explain away the fact that in the actual Sims 2 save file, Stan was abducted by aliens. The real reason Ploribus was aged up to an adult so quickly, was to move him off the lot before he interfered with the plot too much.
  • Erin's original surname was Winston. However, the original file became lost for a time, leading to her birth surname being forgotten. She was retconned into having a birth name of Erin Wyer in every continuity after Gerosha Prime. Therefore, Geoffrey and Patricia only have the last name of Winston in Gerosha Prime.
  • Dr. Spinwords was a throwaway joke in reference to Pilgrim's Progress. He allowed for use of the therapist NPC, another way of getting familiar with game mechanics. His stated goal in-story was to break Shalia's spirit and convince her to give up on Stan coming to her rescue. As the plot was revised for later continuities, he was removed entirely from existence.
  • The fictional town of Craterville was developed as a part of a rush job. Southern Indiana was chosen because the base neighborhood file in use seemed to make sense happening there. Only much later on was Gerosha stated to be Boonville. The big city south of it was named Dirbine, which later was revealed to be Evansville. Geography was yet another major issue with early Gerosha attempts.
  • Jason, Tanya, Mike, Vince, and Jeff Flippo were among the many additional children of Stan and Shalia that are not found in modern versions. The goal in all this was to fulfill Stan's desire to have ten children, to see what would happen. The game decided that Erin didn't count. Reily counted as one. Jason, Tanya, Mike, Jeff, Tom, Candice, Miriam, and Marina were all created in the hopes of achieving that end. However, the game decided that Ploribus didn't count, since Shalia didn't give birth to him. When Stan's wish didn't trigger an aspiration reward, the Dozerfleet founder gave up on fulfilling Stan's "Have 10 children" aspiration in-game.
  • The Ciem franchise began its life as a spin-off of 2005's Battle for Gerosha, which the work came to be called after the adventures of Mitch Brandel temporarily hogged the spotlight from the Stan-Shalia romance.
    • Out of all of Stan and Shalia's children, Candi was randomly decided to be the new protagonist.
    • Stan and Shalia both died of cancer in this version, leading to Candi living with Dominick and Tracy McAuley. When word spread that Erin had been murdered, Candi decided to leave town for good.

See also

Gerosha Prime projects

Main continuity
The Battle for GeroshaCiemCiem 2Ciem 3: Curse of the Millipede
Tie-in projects Corando's "Don't Lose Hope" Music VideoStar Flops: Curse of the Medium SideLo-Mun's Cooking Adventure
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