The Legendary Mechanic web novel is a Sci-Fi comedy novel about Han Xiao, a professional video game player, who found himself transmigrated into the body of an NPC in the game he was playing. The owner of the body was a nobody, considered incompetent and useless, just another pawn. Unlike the original owner, Han Xiao will fight his way out while leveling up and earning new and unique skills.
The Legendary mechanic can be thought of as a video game novel and is a Chinese web novel translated into English by Webnovel. On Webnovel, It has 49 million views. The Legendary Mechanic has 1463 chapters and is completed.
Now Let’s dive deep into this web novel.
The world-building is grand! Though the descriptions felt bland and hasty — probably lost in translation — the author writes with incredible scope, and the world will make you feel immersed in the story the author created.
Towards the end, when the scope became epic, descriptions of distances and planet sizes feel exaggerated. While that did not distract from the story, it could have been even more epic with proper proofing.
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Legendary plot of epic proportions
While The Legendary Mechanic does not have a perfect plot, it is one of the better examples of how to use future knowledge for your benefit. What makes it stand out is that the protagonist does not care if his actions change the world or the future. Instead, he welcomes those changes as opportunities to challenge himself and grow further.
The plot sometimes suffers from Deus ex machina. For example, the MC conveniently finds a much-needed design or stumbles on a treasure that later proves vital. His solutions, mixed with his unorthodox methods, were more than made up for it, though. The author does not seem to come up with a plot as he’s writing. There is much evidence of foreshadowing in the earlier chapters that shows some level of planning is going on behind the scenes.
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After the initial novelty wears off, the novel switches from this interesting sci-fi concept and falls right into classical Wuxia tropes. Face slapping, Mt Tai, trash talk, and MC pride-mongering ensues. There are some humorous scenes and a couple of slightly thought-provoking moments. So much wasted potential. It got a fantastic beginning and a Kick-Ass MC for the first few chapters but deteriorated towards the end with shallow justifications about why and how stuff is happening.
For once, a calm and smart MC
The MC uses his past knowledge in intriguing ways. He does not know everything, though. Only what the players made public in the past timeline. He is also cunning and actively taking advantage of everyone — players and NPCs alike — for his benefit. Sometimes, he gets his friends in trouble because he is very selfish. He also knows players’ psychology so well he can manipulate them and then recruit them as his subordinates. He does this mainly with the groups of players who will eventually become the best.
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The MC is quite OP. He is so OP that no player can fight him at all. They all became his loyal supporters since they mistook him for this game’s protagonist. While he may be the strongest among players, he is nowhere near the strongest. More powerful beings exist in the Unexplored Universe. The only problem with the MC is that he doesn’t seem to have any goals. His goal for the first 400 chapters is to take revenge and get strong. That leaves a lot to be desired. As for romance, the MC has three potential love interests, but nothing has happened so far.
The characters are great and impressionable. The author got this grand vision, and the ability to write so many arcs and plots into the story and carry them over three million words is a rare and commendable talent for a web novel author.
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Fuzzy game design
If there’s one thing I like to criticize the most, it is game design. The game elements, classes, and leveling make little sense. In this game, a class — Esper — gives you a single random power, but most times, that power is not of much use. A game where three out of five classes are reliant on the intelligence stat, one on endurance, and the final one has no main stats, but players have six or seven main stats available to them. The mechanic class, and to some extent, the mage class, are the only ones that have any thoughts going into them. It is an awful game design!
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By the end, the MC got to achieve all his goals, and most of the plot lines were nicely wrapped, with a few loose ends and a giant cliffhanger; the story is done, it’s just you’re left to wonder what happened with certain characters. Leaving us to hope that the author has a sequel in the making. The Legendary Mechanic web novel comes highly recommended for anyone with an interest in adventure, sci-fi, video game, and fantasy. It is a great read.
There’s also a Manhwa Adaptation of this web novel with the same name. I advise you to stay away from that manhwa.
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