Tuesday, November 8, 2011

It's funny how that works.

It really is. You know, the last thing I posted was about the Carmen SanDiego fanfiction... And now there's TWENTY-FIVE CHAPTERS and it's still going. They are all short, and you can find them all on my Deviantart page HERE. http://pentharis.deviantart.com/ On an unrelated note, I've gotten quite interested in the works of Oscar Wilde. His death day is on the thirtieth, so please wear a carnation, if you've any interest in the man's work. If not, shame on you. I've found Wilde to be a fascinating and inspiring figure. His quotes are quick-witted and were 'till the end, and even in his eventual bankruptcy, imprisonment, alcoholism (or at least, heavier drinking of Absinthe), etcetera in a time that hated his lifestyle, he still found love and wit in himself. If you have read some of his work, or know some of his history, then please read De Profundis, his 92 page letter to Lord Alfred Douglas that he sent from prison. It is what I would call a beautiful, sad romance novel, with the benefit of being completely true. It won't take long to read, but please read it. And once you have, please look at this. http://pentharis.deviantart.com/#/d4fdo23 I was quite proud of that drawing. In reading De Profundis, this image lodged itself in my head and would not come unstuck until I drew it well enough. The quotes on the floor are actually small bits and pieces from the book, but they come nowhere near doing it justice. I think it is worth the time and energy spent. It was certainly a beautiful piece. At least, I thought so. Thought I would share on my favourite classical writer. I would suggest reading De Profundis only after reading Wilde's cheerier works, such as "The Importance of Being Earnest". De Profundis is very sad, it will be difficult to see him in other lights after you've read it, I suspect. Tis a short post, but a very necessary one, I think.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Where's Carmen? (An epic crossover).

So, I had another awesome thought. A where's Waldo and Carmen San Diego spy-vs-spy-style crossover. So because I love you all so huggy muggy much (*snrk*) I'll be showing you all exactly what I mean. If you like it, please let me know in the comments here. If you're a dedicated artist, then please let me know if you want to draw for this, we'll make it into a webcomic!

PLEASE NOTE: this is a parody, and not in any way affiliated with Where's Waldo or Where in Time/On Earth is Carmen SanDiego. Just so you know. Legal stuff out of the way? Good. Let's go.

"Fils de salope!" cursed the frenchman. He crushed a cigarette in his hands and stared up at the sky. That woman in crimson was getting away, and in Da Vinci's flying machine no less! The frenchman sat down by Trevi fountain in Rome, resting his face in his hands. That was the third time in a week she'd gotten away from him. He was a french spy, investigating this lovely Russian lass. Yes, Russian. "Carmen" was her code name. "CARMEN" stood for "Careful Aquiring, Ranged Monitor, Espionage, Negation". It was her job. A special sort of spy. The only one of her class. To go against her, the counter-espionage artist was Waldo. That wasn't the frenchman's name, either, but his didn't mean anything especially cool. It was just a simpler name used to blend in.

"Boss. She got away. Again." The frenchman remarked quietly into his glasses. He had 20/20 vision, they were just there for a disguise. Easy ways to look like he was minding his own business, when he was really monitoring Carmen. They weren't really even trying to hide anymore. The Frenchman had such obvious clothes. A red and white striped turtleneck, matching fedora hat band, and matching tie on his suit? He was obvious, but deceptively hard to spot. Carmen was just as easy to find, she wore the same red coat and hat to each of her crimes, and had the most gorgeous long hair he'd ever seen on a woman. And that was saying something.

"Again. She got away AGAIN. WITH Da Vinci's flying machine, I take it? You've failed again, Waldo. But I continue to send you out there. You know why?"

"Because if you didn't, I'd go anyway."

"Right. And -you-, at least, are determined enough not to let a pretty face get in the way of your judgement." The Boss growled in the receptor in Waldo's ear.

Waldo folded his glasses and tucked them into a pocket. He stood up and noticed a slip of paper at the top of the fountain. Carefully climbing it, he barely managed to touch the note, before a gust of wind carried it off.

"Merde!" The Frenchman snapped, looking at the note. It unfolded itself and rested in the water below, mocking Waldo. It was another note from Carmen.

"You'll see my smile back home, dear." It was signed with a kiss and a swirly letter C, to show Carmen was thinking of him.

"I hate you." Waldo muttered to himself, climbing down and picking the letter out of the water as the ink smeared away, leaving behind just the lipstick on the paper.

"Waterproof, no doubt. You love mocking me, Mon minet." He looked at the smeared letters, thinking about the note as he had read it from high above. 'home'. 'smile'. It was too obvious. The louvre was guarded, but not against Carmen. He folded the letter carefully into his red-and-white kerchief, knowing it would likely be stained forever after. But he didn't mind. It was evidence, and it was a memory.

"I'll catch you, pet. And when I do, I'll find out every secret you've stolen." He looked up into the sky, where Carmen had disappeared, to a chopper. It was high time to stop her.


"MIlaya Moyna, Spy. I will see you in France." Carmen purred to herself, opening her cel phone and calling her tech boy back home.

"Hello, Alik. How is my favourite finder of goods and tech boy, Hm~?" She trilled into the phone, reclining back in her chair and looking at the paper-thin wings of the flying machine she had stolen. It was all too easy.

"My legs hurt."

"You're paralysed."

"I know, but I thought you could use a laugh."

"Oh, DorogAya moyA, you are truly adorable sometimes, Alik. Would you pretty pretty please get me a flight to France? I'm going to steal the Mona Lisa on saturday."

"Mona? Really? Why? I always pictured you an Alphonse Mucha fan."

"You know my style so very well, dear. I don't intend to get away. I intend to taunt our favourite spy. Maybe even let him think he caught me. Can you hook me up with some hidden weapons, sweety?"

"Of course, Carmen. Anything for you, Carmen."

"Enough lip, Alik, your sarcasm is going to drip out of the phone and stain my coat." Carmen's mock-pout could be heard even through the speakers.

"Who was being sarcastic? You'll be more loaded with weapons than James Bond. How appropriate, don't you think? Oh. And Carmen, don't get hurt. Please. I still want a chance to learn your real name."

"Hm~ I owe you a kiss when I get back, Alik. With my signature colour, so all the other tech boys will know you're my favourite."

"spasibo, Carmen. Just make sure you don't get into too much trouble. Why are you so nice to the tech boy in a wheelchair, anyways? Especially when you've got guys like Waldo after you."

"Let's just say I've seen far worse. Good evening, Alik." She hung up and rested back in her seat, contemplating. Before CARMEN there was her mother, the real Carmen SanDiego. Before it was an acronym, it was the name of the finest thief in the world.

"Mother." Carmen muttered to herself, thinking of the original thief. She was a spy too, but only barely. Her job was stealing to distract the world from real problems. Until she got tangled up with the wrong people. That just left her daughter. Adopted. To take care of the old job with the same name. She had all the same skills, and all the same friends to help. She transferred seamlessly. People hardly noticed that Carmen had gotten decades younger, and looked distinctly more Russian.

"Wake me when we're in France." She remarked to the henchman driving, before curling up on the reclining seat. No time to dwell on the past now. They had a painting to steal.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

In which school starts

So, I found Assassin's Creed in a bargain bin next to Diner Dash, Bejewelled, and Splinter Cell. For $10. So that's why I haven't been on. I -have-, however, been busy. And made myself an Altair hood. (Link: http://twitpic.com/6qartv ) It doesn't quite look like Altair's, but each Assassin has their own hood. Mine is practical. It's just the mantle and hood, will be scotchguarded for rainy days, and has front snaps so I don't have to hold it or pull it over my head. I fully intend to wear these on my school campus, so if you see me, feel free to come up and comment on my hood.

I'm a little wary of this new campus. It's MASSIVE. I'll be doing a lot of walking, and it takes two hours to get there by bus. I wish I was kidding.

Back to Assassin's Creed. I love this game. The swordfighting is crap and Altair likes to try to jump onto trees that he can't jump on, but the plot is either spectacular bullcrap or equally spectacular philosophical debates, and for the life of me I can't decide which. I just know I really, -really- want to be Altair. I like Parkour, and that retractable blade and outfit are just amazing. Also, this exists

(Link: http://geeks.thedailywh.at/2011/05/06/irl-assassins-creed-blade-of-the-day/ )

And I would -LOVE- to buy one of those retractable blade things if I could find a purpose for it. I can fantasize about needing to use it all I want, but unless I decide I want to spear that apple just barely out of my reach and eat it like a caveman (thereby gumming up the works of my perfectly wonderful retractable blade) then I'm just out of luck, now aren't I?

I really want to get into Parkour, and have been thinking about trying rock climbing as an introduction (mind you, I am VERY much not one for exercising, but both sports seem really cool, and there's opportunity to practice them at my new campus!) so if any of you follow Parkour, I wouldn't mind a Beginner's guide. (think VERY beginner. As in, "this is what we tell little kids to do so they can one day grow up and be parkour nuts too" kind of thing).

Shocker! I'm updating my blog! I'd say I'll endeavour to post more often, but if the past few days are any indication, I'm WAY too tired after school for stuff like that.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Oh bloody hell, that time again?

So, I did go to the Steampunk Soirree; and as much as I would love to tell you that my hiatus was caused by some ruffians who invaded the concert and took captives, and that I am back only by the grace of god and the aid of a lockpick I keep tucked in my goggles at all times, I would be lying. The truth is I simply forgot about updating. Which is perfectly reasonable, as I am a time-traveler, and am quite unused to using a computer. (Note: this is also a lie, and my typing speed is insanely fast for most I shall have you know.)

So some news: We have cut cable and home phone lines here. We use cell phones in this day and age (yes, this Victorian vigilante is equipped with a smartphone, as I have always loved modern technology. I try to stay ahead of the curve) and the cable was nigh on useless for anything but the news, which was far too depressing anyway. Turns out, we don't particularly miss either commodity.

I am working with Kylee Lane of LuxuryLaneSoap.com, and will be doing one of their Artist Series soap sets. The blog will (hopefully) be alerted as soon as the soap sets are up. I will be drawing some very familiar superheroes for the set. I gain no profit from the soaps (and for this set, neither does Kylee) and the money made will be put toward a charity. Personally, I might buy a few just for the sake of having something I drew on a bar of soap. It'd be neat!

Back to news of Abney Park, the Steampunk Soiree was amazing! I drew some cards with each of the band members on them and had them sign copies of the cards. They got to keep the originals, while I have autographed copies of the drawings. The band members seemed to love them, as well. We had the Brass Section and an extra guitarist this time, and the song "Airship Pirate" has never been so awesome (up until something else started playing mid-song and the crowd was baffled, if highly amused). I also brought along a dear friend of mine, who had never been to a concert before. (I didn't want to go alone, and she needed to see the crew play live). She wondered why it took me so long to bring her with, afterwards. Which just goes to show that everybody truly needs to see Abney Park. Really. It's amazing. One of the members of the Brass Section is making his own CD soon, which I would love to hear more about, but my memory of that evening is a little foggy after the fact that it was awesome and people loved my drawings. All in all it was amazing.

Soon I will be going into the dark and scary world of education once more, using the Internet as my only shield against its trying ways and attempts to distort sanity. Not to say it is all bad, mind. I love education and learning. I merely hate the efforts and lengths I am often pressed to. I still believe I may succeed (despite having two classes on opposite sides of the campus within ten minutes of each-other) and will attempt to keep the world posted.

I will make an effort to post here more often. But I do wonder how -during my absence from the blog- I managed to get so many extra readers. I shant question it, however, and only welcome you all. And I promise, it won't always be this bloody boring.

Unrelated, I hear that Doctor Steel is no longer in

Friday, July 8, 2011

Ye gods!

So, what have I been up to from this WAY TOO LONG haitus? Drawing, mostly. Most of which you can see on my Deviantart page here:


I've been offline for a bit, tried to gather some people on Twitter to work on the fancomic from the last post, things have kind of fallen out, and I've come to a conclusion: Don't start any projects with a group you can't finish on your own. Or at least, that's how it tends to work for me. I don't know why, but every time I try to get people together to work on a project we're all enthused about, we wind up drained and dying a little on the inside every time we think about it.

In unrelated news: I'm looking for a job, either writing or drawing. I can draw on commission (So long as it's not explicit, racist, sexist, that sort of thing) and tend to be entirely devoted to my drawings. Any takers?

Tomorrow I'll be attending Abney Park's Steampunk Soiree. I'll have to report on it the day after, so everybody who doesn't already know how much I love Abney Park can get an earfull about it, any everybody who already knows can hear it again!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Happy Explosion Day, Gorgeous.

So I had an idea for a Portal 2-related scene. It's a little something to give a little bit of back story on our favorite adventuring computer core.

"Well I'll be a Blackbelt's mudder." The Texan drawl remarked from behind a blast shield, recently turned black. Rick was watching the most spectacular explosion he'd seen that hour. It always put a thrill in his heart to working the explosives part of Aperture. Coincidentally, he was the only one left to work in that sector. He didn't mind much, it was a fabulous little place, and every day someone would bring him in some food. Seasoned with just a little bit of gunpowder, and a whole 'lotta spice. Just the way he liked it.

"Something special, Rick?" Sweet miss Caroline's voice remarked from the door. The person who normally brought Rick food was out (stupid Interns always ditched when they heard it was their day to sign up for testing...) so she volunteered to bring in Rick's food. He was always so wrapped up in making a bigger boom, he sometimes forgot about eating. But when he did, he ate big, and he kept himself up. He was probably the biggest, toughest scientist there. Always aced all of the tests. In record time.

"Suuure thing, pretty lady. Workin' on a little somethin'. Like a firework, but a whooole lot bigger."

"Can I see sometime, Rick?" Oh that sweet, innocent little smile. Melted his heart every time. From just about every girl he saw. But she didn't need to know that.

"All in due time, Gorgeous. I've got somethin' big planned for Aperture. You'll love it. When it's ready, though, I can give you a little... sneak preview." He smirked and gave her a little wink.

"Mister Johnson would hate you for that." Caroline looked away to brush her hair aside. It was a very poorly-kept secret that she had a kid, and an even poorer-kept secret that it was Cave Johnson's. Still, Rick hit on every girl equally, so long as they were even remotely pretty.

"Let him hate me, Darlin'. He can't fire his only explosives guy. Who else would make those exploding lemons he's asked for? Which, by the way, should be done shortly. Speaking of which, would you like some lemonade?" He gestured toward some lemonade that seemed to be on fire. She grimaced at it, but he poured a glass anyways.

"Um, ew. No thanks, I really... really don't think that's my kind of thing." She mostly didn't want to drink anything flammable. She learned a -long- time ago not to eat or drink anything at Aperture if she could help it.

"Suit y'self, gorgeous." Rick didn't even bother putting out the fire before downing the entire glass and stifling a burp. "Pardon'." as he said it, a thin line of smoke curled out from his mouth.

Caroline giggled a little at that. "I'll see you later, Rick." She left the steak there.

A few weeks later, Rick sauntered through the offices. "HELLOOOOO GORGEOUS~! Happy Explosion Day!" Rick called from all the way across the office, making others look up.

"Fact: You are incredibly disruptive to the testing environment."

"Stuffit, purple shirt! I was talkin' to the preeetty lady, MISS CAROLINE~!" Rick called again across the room.

"Oh what IS it, Rick?!" Caroline sounded stressed, probably because Rick was calling her gorgeous in front of everybody, and -incredibly- loudly, too.

"Didn't mean nothin', miss Caroline, no need to be all huffy. Just wanted to offer you a minnit of my time to escort you to the best view you'll ever see. An Explosion Day for all Explosion Days." He pulled Caroline by the shoulder back to his office (with Caroline deciding not to protest, if only because she doubted she could tell off the great big Texan who could bench press the cows he got his steak from.

"Alright. Just don't keep me away long, my lunch break is only for an hour." She grumbled, and followed Rick out to his testing track, a nice bit place. He pressed a button and pulled Caroline out to a light bridge, sitting in the middle of it and holding Caroline up.

"Now then, Gorgeous. Just hold on to me and look right over there." He pointed out toward the middle of one of the same stark white walls as all the other stark white walls.

"Whatever Rick, this better be g-" She stopped short while the fire plumed out. A nice deep booming sound echoed around the testing track and rendered them both a little hard of hearing for a while. "HAPPY EXPLOSION DAY, GORGEOUS! WOOOOHOOO!" Rick yelled while the smoke went everywhere, holding up a sleeve to his mouth, which Caroline copied. They wanted to keep the moon dust out of their faces, after all.

"That was awesome, Rick." Caroline admitted. Her heart was all A-flutter.

Rick didn't show up the next day at the office.

Or the next.

Mister Johnson was just as nice to Caroline as ever, but no Rick.

Still no Rick the next week.

Eventually, Caroline walked into Rick's office and found a note on his desk.

"We had a great Explosion Day, Gorgeous. But now I have to leave." It was signed at the bottom. Caroline wondered why Rick's hand writing was so similar to Cave's, but she just put the card into her bag and left. Mister Johnson wanted to talk to her about a computer, or something. She would hate to keep him waiting. She'd think about why Rick left so suddenly a little bit later.

Friday, May 6, 2011

An Apologetic Character Sheet

So it's been a long, LONG time. Time to get back to blogging, as an apology for how long I've been away!

For those of you wondering, I've been distracted by Portal 2. Not the game (which I still haven't played, as I don't have $50 worth of dosh kicking around to pay for it, since I just bought a SWEET new Laptop from Alienware). What I've -really- been distracted by is the Twitter Roleplay. It's plenty of fun to play through (I seem to have adopted @FatTurret, and she is dating @Spaaaaccee_core, among other complete madness that is way too much fun) and has made me realize that nobody knows what this time-traveler looks like, or really anything else about me! So here's a character sheet!



Alias: DarkSteam
Actual name: Johnathan. (You don't need to know my last name.)
Years aged: 32
Eye color: Blue
Hair color: Black
Hair length: short
Gender: Male
Current Occupation: Time traveler
Past occupation: Literary critic by day, Victorian Vigilante by night

* Black trenchcoat
* Pocketwatch with 5-foot chain
* Haslett's Lung Protector
* Goggles
* Cabby Hat
* Black boots
* Black pants
* button-up black shirt
* Black gloves


* Knows how to use pocketwatch as Garotte wire
* Good with the English Language
* Can pick up modern-day technology easily enough
* Blisteringly astounding luck
* Small amount of Parkour knowledge
* Knows what the little plastic things on the ends of shoelaces are called


* Robots
* Things with AI
* People who understand technology and coding
* People who write well
* People who can take criticism
* Artists
* Steampunk/Steampunks
* Techno music
* Coffee
* Innumerable modern fandoms
* Sherlock holmes
* Mocking fanfiction and bad literature


* Bad literature
* Idiots and unnecessarily mean people
* Bad writers
* Not being able to understand modern terms
* Not knowing how to work the time machine
* Not knowing how to -fix- the time machine
* Explaining what an icosahedron is for the seventh time (It's a D20, alright?!)
* Anime that doesn't make sense
* When people use apostrophes in names
* People who don't know how to use apostrophes
* Realizing he's listed way too much stuff and has gone on for far too long.

Favorite food: Whatever Erik is making for dinner. It looks good.

Favorite person: Erik. He knows more about the time machine than I do, and I built the thing!

Where am I currently: the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Present day.
Where am I from: London, England. Victorian Era.

How did I get the Time-machine:
'Made it. But it was mostly sheer luck, I have no idea how I accomplished it. It's made of brass plates, gears, wires, mysterious colored/glowing liquids, springs, glue, a gum-like substance, and possibly something radioactive. Among other bits and pieces. There are no windows, there is no way to control where or when it lands. I need to fix that.

Biological relatives: presumably none living.

Favorite colors: Brass, absinthe green, Matrix green.
Favorite era (that isn't Victorian or Modern) :
...uh... I liked the 1920's to 1940's I guess... That's an odd question.

Who is Erik: This is answered in my "idiot's guide to time-travel" post. In short, he's my best friend and the person who taught me all about the modern world, and everything I missed between the victorian era and now!

Ask me questions to add in via the comments section!

(Note: The writer for this blog is actually female, but blogs in character as DarkSteam, who is male. Just so we're clear.)

Monday, April 4, 2011

DarkSteam's Interview with CheeSie of Neopets

I was taking a few classes in my local college to broaden my horizons of the twenty-first century, and lo and behold what I found: A friend of mine happened to have been on Neopets (a site I learned about previously, and admittedly dabbled in for a short time). In fact, my friend claimed they had -hacked- neopets. Being a blogger, I felt I simply -had- to learn a little bit about the hacking, and tell the world (in not-so-replicable ways). Without further ado: My interview with CheeSie!

DarkSteam: So, You're CheeSie, the Neopian hacker. Would you Tell us who CheeSie is, what CheeSie did, and why CheeSie is famous?
CheeSie is the famous hacker who punched hole through the Neopets Server using an SQL injection. CheeSie is famous for orchestrating the first huge account purge and proving to The Neopets Team
that Neopets is, indeed, vulnerable.

DarkSteam: Why did you hack Neopets? How did you do it? (explained in a totally not-replicable way that we totally can't be held responsible for *cough cough* but detailed enough for us to mock at Neopets' misfortune).

CheeSie: CheeSie hacked Neopets because they were tired of The Neopets Team saying that the site was hack-proof. They (TNT) also showed favoritism to the older accounts like Munsterpoo and Kiwiberri. CheeSie used an SQL injection which is a code injection technique used to exploit a security vulnerability in the database layer of an application. In Neopets, this gave CheeSie access to passwords, generators (applications the make neopoints, items and pets), and other various wingdings on the site.

DarkSteam: Why the name CheeSie? Anything special about the CheeSie account(s)?

CheeSie: Just because, and no.

DarkSteam: Any reason you hacked the accounts you did? Did you do anything special?

CheeSie: CheeSie purged a lot of accounts. Haha. Munsterpoo and Kiwiberri were targeted to to the obvious monopoly they held over the site and the AC (Avatar Chat) on the site. When their items were stolen, they were replaced. When other accounts were scammed, TNT didn't replace the items. No, nothing special.

DarkSteam: Is there any truth to the rumors that you sold accounts, stole the neopoints from off the site, anything like that?

CheeSie: Absolutely. You'd be surprised at the offers CheeSie received on Munsterpoo's account. As high as $500. Steal Neopoints? Nah. Mainly sold them to others on the site, which is technically not stealing. More of a Robin Hood, yeah?

DarkSteam: Anything you want to say to the curious readers about yourself? (Things like "CheeSie's secret identity", whether or not you're telling the truth won't be edited. Because I'm fun like that.)

CheeSie: Ha. No. I'm sticking with my alias and people can continue to believe I have several identities, even if you know my real one.

DarkSteam: What do you think of Neopets now/then/ Before that? Any regrets? Things you're glad you did (Either as CheeSie or otherwise.)?

CheeSie: Now, Neopets is a shit-hole, to be frank. Viacom is exploiting the hell out of that site. Then, there was a huge scare. No one trusted anyone, because people knew CheeSie was lurking the site. Before, Neopets was amazing. Free, no updates. Just great. Don't regret a thing. Might even do another purge.

DarkSteam: Anything you'd like to add? Fun facts, mocking laughter, answers to questions you wish I'd asked, things you did you just want to brag about?

CheeSie: TNT tried to cover up the hack by saying Munsterpoo was "frozen for protection". Right, TNT Well played.

DarkSteam: How famous/notorious did you get on Neopets? Tell us all about the fun things that Neopets did to hush up the whole event.

CheeSie: People still mention CheeSie on the boards. Especially older Neopians. Kiwiberri tends to avoid those subjects. (; See above for the last question you asked.

DarkSteam: Your "secret identity" will be kept as such, of course. Do you Maybe have a link to the "CheeSie" facebook page?

CheeSie: No idea what happened to my page. Haven't been on in ages. xD

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A profuse apology

Some of you may be wondering what has happened to One Cleric Short.
Believe me, we are too. Our "party leader" up and abandoned us, it seems. A pity, but we're attempting to sort things out. Rest assured, -this- blog will stay -firmly- in place, and while I cannot recover all of the posts from -that- blog, this blog will still be tended to.

I might actually be able to upgrade this blog over time, possibly incorporating old friends from One Cleric Short. It's best if we don't bring up that other blog in the future (lest we open old wounds for some party members)but other than that I will probably post more often, and devote my time more here. Sorry for the inconvenience, all! I hope we haven't terribly upset you!

Friday, March 25, 2011


alright, it's been way too damn long with way too few excuses, so it's time to post. Because I am a lazy lazy person, how about we have some questions? My questions to you, that is.

1. Why can nobody write for Wonder Woman?

Ok, this is a little loaded, and there -are- some people who write beautifully for her (You know, those animated series' I never shut up about), but so many write her as inept (can't pump gas) or self-centered (thinks humans are inferior) when she really REALLY isn't. This is Wonder Woman! Spirit of truth! She's a princess with natural beauty and an interest in NOT just superman, but the male cast of her series. Which leads me to my next question.

2. Why is Wondy paired with Superman?

Is it the red-white-and-blue outfits? (and to be fair, both outfits have gold more than white). Is it because they're both physical equals? That's a horrible idea. I always liked the Batman/Wonderwoman romance from the animated series I refuse to shut up about, or -HERE'S A THOUGHT- how about the male cast members from Wondy's OWN series? YOu know, THE PEOPLE SHE'S BONDED WITH OVER TIME. Why do we never see these characters? And more importantly

3. Why did Wondy never get a Timmverse animated series, but Batman had its series, a reboot, a spot on the Justice League, Batman Beyond, and guest appearances EVERYWHERE?!

Don't get me wrong, I love Batman and the entire Bat-family more than one might believe, but I watched the Superman animated series, too. I watched Static shock, too. I watched the Justice League and Justice League Unlimited to pieces, WHERE'S WONDY'S SHOW? I didn't mean for all of these questions to be about Wonder Woman, but seriously now!

4. Why is Batman: Brave and the Bold (the cartoon series)still on the air?

Again, I love Batman, but this show is campy! I can't stand campy! I love how it shows off minor characters of the DC universe, but Justice League unlimited did that while taking kids seriously and being entertaining for all ages! It just fries me that the good cartoons of my youth have been replaced with shows I wouldn't let my housepets watch. It's such a shame when I see brilliant people working on these shows. I know they can do so much better than that.

5. Why did I have to wait until Batman the Brave and the Bold to learn about the Blue Beetle?

I haven't heard much at all about him but I read one comic and it looked good. How did I not see that in JLU? And why hasn't the Spirit gotten a show? (Actually, I'll answer that: It's because people watched that stupid movie Frank Miller wrote that I ranted about at One Cleric Short.)

6. Why did I see Supergirl pajamas at the store, but not Batgirl pajamas?

Erhm... Disregard that question. Forget I ever asked.

6. Why has it been taking so damn long to get my comicbook done?

...Did I forget to mention I'm making a comicbook? It's about a superhero called-... Well, I'll let you see it when I finish it. How's that? Anyways, I'll answer this one anyways. My comicbook is taking so long because it's really just -me- working on it. I haven't even finished the pencils and this thing has been years in the making (due to other things I had going, namely school, I haven't been able to get work done on it for much of that time, not to mention one or two complete re-writes). I'm not sure if this comic will get anywhere, but it might get me into the industry, and that's all I can ask.

I know I had some other questions, but I think this will suffice for now. Let's hope I can get my arse in gear and work on some real posts soon enough. For the moment, everyone remember to equip your utility belts.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A tribute to Alfred

The Batman's Batman; A best friend, father figure, and even mentor; A valued caretaker, worker, and an impromptu medic. These are just a few of many roles Alfred Pennyworth has played over the years he's worked with the Wayne Family.

Unfortunately, it appears that actor Michael Gough has passed away. Along with playing many other roles, he was quite famous for his many times playing the role of Alfred Pennyworth. In his honor, I will do a post -not on the man himself- but on his character, Alfred. For what does an actor want more than to make the world believe he or she -is- the very role they play?

Alfred's wiki page is fascinating in itself for all the traits he's had. Espionage in WWII as an Intelligence agent, skilled in Botany, able to handle himself with a shotgun (and, in fact, is the only member of the bat-family allowed to do so), skilled in CQC, medical skills, knowledge in computer programming,computer engineering, electrical engineering, chemical and mechanical engineering, nanotechnology, and biotechnology.

Never at a loss for the perfect piece of advice or the short -yet respectful- piece of sarcasm to lighten the Bat's spirits, Alfred has always been the first person the Bat goes to for advice or guidance.

Long live Alfred, in our favorite comics; and Long live Michael Gough in all of our memories.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Sub-culture madness!

So with all this talk of Steampunk and other subcultures I do, how is one to choose which Subculture is right for them? There are so many!

...What, don't you know much about any subcultures? Just getting into Steampunk? Not sure if you want to expand to new subcultures? Experienced in a subculture, but looking to expand? Well here's the post for you! Subculture 101!

1. Steampunk

Steampunk is a culture of the handmade. Things that are handmade with a Victorian-era style, while not necessarily vintage. It's old look with new gadgetry. There's clocks, there's airships, goggles, Aether, difference engines, all that cool stuff! I post on it fairly regularly, so I'll keep this information short and let you read on about it yourself.

2. Clockpunk

Wait, not sure how this is different from Steampunk? Well, it's like Steampunk, but with more clocks instead of Steam. Clockpunk tends to be an earlier era to Steampunk, and can work through either said clockwork, or occasionally magic.

3. Dieselpunk
Set in the time of diesel trains and engines, it seems to be more often set in the wild west rather than London, though isn't exclusive. Clockpunk, Dieselpunk, and Steampunk are all easily confused and not necessarily exclusive.

4. Cyberpunk

While not exclusively so, Cyberpunk tends to be either post-apocalyptic or dystopian. It involves futuristic fashions that tend to involve gothicic or lolita-stylized basic outfits with neon and studs on top, dreadfalls, or other such things. Alternatively, it can be normal clothing with electronics or electronic parts/looks to them. (Example: A normal teenager wearing a gas mask and night-vision goggles with gloves that have wires on them.)A good deal of science-fiction could be classified as Cyberpunk if people paid it any mind. Blade Runner, Ghost in the shell, and the Matrix are good examples, just to mention a few.

5. Gothic-lolita/lolita

Don't get Gothic Lolita and Lolita confused. actually, there are quite a few kinds of Lolita. They emphasize the innocence and childlike wonder in a person. Unfortunately it is also easily fetishized (but I will NOT go into that). The common points of Gothic-lolita and lolita are that they all tend to start with lacy dresses (for the girls) or Victorian suits (for the gents). Depending on what kind of lolita they are, they will pick different styles and accessories. Sweet lolita tends toward white and pastel colors with candy or sweet-related acessories. Gothic lolita prefers black and metal studs, sometimes with a teddybear that has a button eye missing or some such.

6. Atomicpunk (not the Van Halen song.)

Atomic punk is in a very different time from its cousins, Atomicpunk is set around the 1940's, back when they thought hiding under your desk would protect you from a nuclear attack.
I heard this term at Steamcon II and a google image search doesn't tell me much about it, so I'll have to tell you how I perceive it. It's kind of like what the Jetsons was like, back when we had that sort of style on everything, we thought aliens and nuclear wars were our biggest problems, and people still used the term "keen" unironically. It's not exactly a common genre, but it's one that Dr. Steel fits into quite well, and that's enough to make me happy. (Check out Dr. Steel's music on Youtube. You'll like what you hear, I think.)

So that's some short input on Subcultures. If you want to hear more about any one of them, leave a comment in the comments section. I don't bite! (unless you deserve it, anyways.)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Story Telling: No-nos.

As a bit of a writing critic (self-proclaimed, of course) There are a few things in literature, anime, cartoons, movies, comics, and of course fan-written things that just irk me to death. So here is a list of a few things that need to stop happening (barring mary-sues, whom I will address sometime when I have a lot of time and aspirin).

1. Flashbacks-within-flashbacks. I have seen this in cartoons executed quite well, and when it is done well you tend to not notice it. However I have also executed it poorly. Seeing it executed poorly is like seeing Inception within Lost within the Matrix. It will get confusing if you go deep enough. As a good rule it's best not to do that, but when it's done well it's great for a story. I've seen it done well twice, and both times by Batman cartoons. I'd like to think there's a correlation.

2. Extensive dialect. There's nothing wrong with dialect, of course. it's just that when it gets incredibly heavy it also gets incredibly unreadable. It's flow-breaking and painful. In auditory mediums it's not so bad, and can be really helpful, but in literature: Please. Moderate accents, not heavy dialect.

3. Predictable lines when I can sit and barely listen to a movie, but predict not only the plot, but the character's lines before they say them: SOMETHING IS WRONG. Dear media: PLEASE FIX THIS. It is funny the first few times, but after a while it's painful. AND NO I WILL NOT SEE "BEASTLY"! It's beauty and the beast! There's no change to it, that's WHAT IT IS. At least TRY to be creative! Avatar has NO excuse, it was in development since the Titanic, they should have had a GOOD story to release, not pretty drivel. PRETTY DRIVEL IS STILL DRIVEL. But that is a rant for another time.

4. Stock characters Tell me if you've heard this one before: The gun/muscle, the brains, the driver, and the sexy female all work together to plan a heist/save the world/ whatever adventure needs doing. Sometimes the characters pull double shifts (gun is also the driver, or brain is also girl, etc.) but it's usually pretty standard. And it's also usually pretty simple. It's standard, but it's going to get boring if it isn't already.
I'm combining cardboard romances here, too, because I've already done a post on them.

5. Computer-Generated Imagery. Dear movie makers: BY VICTORIA'S PINK PRADA CUT THIS CRAP OUT. CGI is only acceptable for Pixar. Representing humans in CGI looks terrible if it isn't cartoony, Mars Needs Moms looks terrible and has a pitiful premise, aliens aren't cool anymore, mixing CGI with real actors looks horrible, and the biggest thing: STOP RE-MAKING OLD SERIES' WITH CGI. Alvin and the Chipmunks, Scooby Doo, Yogi Bear, Garfield, and a few others that slip my mind. It is always mortifying seeing my old favorite cartoons be BUTCHERED by bad CGI and worse writing. It needs to stop. RIGHT NOW.

So there's my evening rant for you all. Now for some slightly belated sleep.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Cosplayers: What.

So being somewhat new to this time stream, I have been sucked into all manner of geekdom, if only for brief stints. Steampunk is my long favorite (seeing as I have a very clear advantage), but I have also seen Dungeons and Dragons, film geekery, comicbooks, chess, computer programming, all kinds of things. The strangest thusfar, however, has been the Anime geeks. Not to say that they're -bad-, they are just... exceptionally unusual. Let me explain, of course.

Not really anime, but Jayne's hat. It's a costume, apparently.

Ignoring the lack of physics, bizarre clothing, gravity-defying hair, unusual writing, peculiar animation, and the like: What's with the fans?
The fans are nice people, they're fascinating, and they can be a lot of fun to be around, but they are rather bizarre. Case in point: Ask a fan of a series what character they hate the most in front of a group who like the same series. Then step back and watch the ensuing twenty-minute brawl as they all discuss the merits and follies of each-other's hated characters. They will buy and wear merchandise of their favorite shows to all occasions, do their hair in the same fashions, use the same phrases as the characters, and if given the chance they will even eat the same kinds of food as the characters. It's quite baffling to me how they attempt to disguise themselves as mere characters.

Now, I can see the joy in dressing up in new ways or pretending to be someone you're not (I am a steampunk geek now, and have snuck into the Cyberpunk genre before just for something new) but this goes beyond mere dressing up and playing pretend into the realm of psychotic copycatting similar in ways to that movie "The Roommate".

For example, look at the costumes. Some of the women's costumes defy gravity, animal-like creatures warrant mascot-like appearances, men and women playing opposing genders, men's costumes that require not only androgyny but absurd amounts of hair gel to make work. The costumes must have been difficult to make, especially since most of them do not look like they could feasibly stay on a person, much less function as clothes should (protecting skin and all of that)

Even more creepy are those who dress up for sexual reasons, but suffice it to say I will not go into that.
Yeah. This is apparently a thing. I don't know why. It just is.

It's kind of creepy all around, to be honest. People spend large amounts of money building props, buying/styling wigs, making good costumes, buying manga, buying food, buying convention tickets, and all for... what, exactly? Maybe to show off, but there are far better ways to show off sewing talent. For example: Design some clothes that don't look terrible. The clothing market seems to need help with that lately.

It's certainly not all bad...

It all just seems so pointless, But the important thing is: it's jolly good fun. These people are inviting themselves to have Halloween on more days than just one. Rather than trick-or-treating for candy, they hang out with friends, meet new people outside of the Internet, experience an unfamiliar culture while still being in their 'safe zone', and get to share in-jokes with people who will understand them. It's a socializing experience, and one we should encourage... so long as it stays within reason of course. To some of these people I would advise seeking mental help, but for the most part everyone seems to just be enjoying themselves and having a few laughs. There are bad cosplays and good cosplays, cute cosplays and creepy cosplays, reasonable cosplays and 'who-let-them-out-of-their-house-dressed-like-that' cosplays. So long as we can all laugh and have a good time, we should encourage it.

Now, where is my Dr. Who scarf? All this talk of cosplay has me wanting to join the fun!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Shorthand-- Stenography

Whatever happened to Shorthand? Stenography, Secretary shorthand, tachygraphy, whatever you want to call it. It was a short, scribbly, artful way to take notes. Somewhat like the Japanese system of writing (In a way) it has a symbol or way to write everything. It's simple, quick, and somewhat artistic. So why don't we use it?

I would guess that most learned to type, but even in Bram Stoker's Dracula the titular character was confused by another's use of shorthand. This means it was likely never very familiar everywhere, but the idea was always around.

Perhaps, though, secretary shorthand has evolved to a near-universal level. Don't believe me? Think of the last time you typed "brb" (some time today, I'd bet). It's short for "Be right back". An extra eight characters, not counting spaces. You shortened eleven characters and two spaces into three letters. Interesting evolution, no?

Personally, I think I would like to learn a bit about Shorthand. It will certainly make taking notes far easier. Alas, it is late. I shall have to learn it another time. Maybe I'll expand on this later. It's late and I wonder if I still have time-traveler's jet-lag. ...Can you get jet-lag time traveling? I shall have to reflect on this later.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

For the school-goers freaking out...

An actual speech I gave to a friend via messenger to help her get through some tough times at school:

"First step: Deep breath.
Are you breathing?
Second, don't type while I'm trying to help you. Keep breathing.
Organize your projects into what is most necessary, stop worrying about your family's having fun. Your pain is temporary but WILL PAY OFF.
So, organize. And keep breathing while I keep helping.
Next step, think about how bad your situation is, but don't panic. Never panic. Whatever is coming up first is your biggest priority.
If you have two things on the same date, focus on THOSE things. Split up your time, then split up what you need to do into lists. Everything. No matter how small. Then, as you do those things, cross them off one by one. Yes, there's a time crunch, that gives you more cause for focus.

Still helping. Keep breathing.


Organize the other projects into lists, too. Yes, there's a lot. yes it will seem overbearing, and yes, you may have to turn something in a bit late if you have to.

Keep. Breathing.

It's not so bad as you think, no matter what people tell you. It's like when someone runs to class when they have plenty of time and everyone on the way says "Run faster!" Just to get on their nerves. Don't quit school.

Quitting school is a sign of weakness, and moreover: not necessary. Don't get something? Ask someone. Anyone. Find someone to explain it to you. Classmates, teachers, people who work with teachers, read the book, whatever. There are explanations and there are ways to understand, otherwise they wouldn't teach it in school.

And lastly, probably the most importantly: Stop worrying about your writing. You will write for fun again, you just have to be patient. There may be a lot of patience needed, but as soon as summer is in or you get a nice long break you'll have time to write. You'll be fine. Writing is not essential to life, and though it is fun, you will have time for it later. For now, focus on studying.

Make that list, start working, keep breathing, get off the computer, and work on it in a -QUIET- room.

Don't listen to music.
DON'T listen to music. Don't say "it helps me focus" because it doesn't. It triggers the speech center of your brain and you focus on that instead. Acceptable alternatives are classic, techno, or foreign music you don't understand.

Keep breathing.
Now you may type."

I hope it helps her, and maybe it will help someone else out there, too. If not, it was sure fun to type.

Don't panic, and carry a towel!
Keep breathing!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Time Traveling for Dummies

In relation to my posts on One Cleric Short (if I have any readers who read here, but not there, shame on you. Go read it!) I may have mentioned (if it doesn't get ripped out in editing) that I had made "time traveler preparations" before traveling to the future. (I am more in character on that blog than this one, and for that I do apologize). I would like to then explain what my time-traveler preparations are, for those curious readers who may be interested in knowing how I "prepared" for traveling in the future.

1. Money

Money is a big problem for time travelers. As you may notice, traveling back in time from the future makes most kinds of money completely worthless. Check your wallet, if you don't believe me. If you travel back from the future, the majority of that money will be useless, depending on how far back most of your money is dated. If you've been to the bank recently, chances are your money is newer, and therefore is considered fraudulent money in the past. If you go to 1999 and pull out a bill dated 2001, people will raise an eyebrow and report you to the police. Traveling from past to future, on the other hand, is MUCH easier.

If you travel from past to future, there are a few things you must do:
* Make it accessible from any place via a banking system
* Leave the money to someone you trust not to use it, as seven years in the future you'll be considered dead.
* Make sure that none of the future family of the person you left it to will get at the money, but knows how to get into it for when you need it, or in case something happens to the bank
* Make sure you can find the family of the person you left it to.
* make sure that the money is earning interest over time in the bank.

When you go through time and get to the future, provided all of these steps have worked out for you, you will be able to collect a fortune, guarantee the children of the person you've left the money to will go to a good college, and will be able to live in comfort in your new home.

If those steps are too risky for you, take all of your money with you when you go:
* sell them to a coin collector in the future
* hope you traveled far enough that they are worth something.

2. Language

Learn English and Chinese, as they are the most common and most flourishing languages you can find. If possible, also learn the most universal Sign Language you can find. Keep in mind that the slang will change, but the basis of the language should remain relatively similar. Just in case, bring along a dictionary (picture dictionary is even better), and if you have the means, bring along some way of showing what you want in any language. my suggestion? Bring clay with you. Clay can be molded into any shape. If you want food, mold the clay into the shape of an apple and point to your mouth. Someone should be able to figure out that you need food. It is rare that this may not work, but if it doesn't work, chances are you were doomed from the start anyway.

3. Culture

When in doubt, be as respectful as possible. Watch where you step, copy the first friendly soul you meet if you cannot understand them. If you can communicate, ask about their culture the first chance you get, and see if there are any do's and don'ts of the culture. If they seem confused, just shrug and say you would hate to offend such a kind soul, or something to that effect. The last thing one would want to do is offend the natives. And don't call them "the natives".

4. Be ready to die

No seriously. Nobody knows when the apocalypse is, what will happen to the planet, or if the planet will even be around in a few years. It might be a good idea to be ready to die, just in case. If you have any opportunity for it, though, try to make sure your time machine has plenty of food, water, oxygen support, and the capability to go back to where you started from, just in case. Oh, and a window. I wish I'd installed a window. While you're at it, it might be good to keep protective gear handy, including oxygen mask and heavy gloves.

5. Location, Location, Location.

Carry an atlas with you when you go, to ask where you are. The geography might change, but if you are still on earth and something terrible hasn't happened, someone may have some inkling where you are in such a place through a basic knowledge of history. This is much easier traveling to the future than it is for the past, in which case I would suggest also carrying a map from the beginning of each century (half-century or decade, if you have the space), and showing only the closest previous map to ask where you are(provided you know -when- you are). Try to absorb the culture of the time and place to the best of your abilities, and make a friend as quickly as possible.

6. How to ask "when am I"?

For this, try to carry around a picture of your time-machine. if your location pre-dates the picture, it may actually be to your advantage.

* find that friendly soul to take care of you
* Strike up a conversation until it's comfortable (provided they don't immediately ask what the devil you're wearing)
* If they -do- ask why you're dressed so strangely, laugh a little and say you're a little lost.
* When the kind soul is either suspicious or adequately softened up, suggest that you would like to admit to them something you doubt they will believe without seeing it for themselves.
* Show them the picture of your time machine and explain what it is. If they disbelieve, suggest showing them in person, and point out that you did warn them they would never believe in you.
* the subject may be resistant to the idea that time travel is possible. If they do not believe you, tell them to forget it, try to make friends again.
* If at all possible, show them the time-machine in person. If they still doubt, show them how it works. This may prove exceedingly dangerous, if you are not entirely sure how well it works, yourself. Don't actually go anywhere unless you are convinced you can go back to the same time and place.
* If the subject is still disbelieving, you may get on your knees and beg their assistance. This may get you locked in the madhouse, but time machines are not without their risks, and you really should have considered this before time-traveling, you dope.
* Hopefully the subject will finally believe you and agree to help you. Do not resist getting in on the culture unless you find it completely barbaric, or think it will get you killed or harmed. If you think so, go back to your time machine and go back home as quickly as possible.
* Never -ever- let the time machine out of your sight for longer than you can help it. It may get towed, stolen, taken apart for scrap, lifted before you can prove to your friend you are a time traveler, broken, crushed, maimed, or a variety of other things.
* Try not to take people or animals along with you in your time-traveling adventure if you can help it, unless you have a VERY supportive significant other or children who desperately wants to go with you. If you do, then bless you and your journey, I wish you all the best.

7. Note:

If your time machine looks like something you see in your era and you intend to travel to the future, make it look unique or completely harmless, and not like something else. The TARDIS made this mistake by turning into an old police callbox, which looks rather suspect in modern times, appearing and disappearing from place to place. People -do- notice that sort of thing. If traveling to the past, however, please have some idea of where you're going before you build the time machine, and make it fit in with the time, accordingly. Otherwise villagers may destroy your time machine and you'll be stuck in the past until you can whip something together, fate decides it loves you, or you die.

you have been warned. Let me know via comments if I missed anything important to time-travel so I can add it here!

How did -my- first time-traveling excursion go?

Being from the Victorian Era, I somehow wound up traveling from foggy England to the rainy West Coast of America, and found this extraordinarily frightening. My time-machine was not well crafted, I admit, so I had no idea where or when I was. Luckily, wandering around some city streets I met a kind young lad who seemed to like my clothes (they being victorian, which is apparently more unchanging than I ever would have expected)who chatted me up about this phenomenon called "Steampunk". Being that I easily slotted into that fascinating subculture, I admitted to him quite easily my time-traveling roots. Of course he did not believe me, but I had the fortune to have brought with me a selection of poetry books from my era, each in mint condition, having been freshly-printed, but dated from my era.

After carefully flipping through these tomes like they would break at the slightest mishandling (honestly, it's just paper and ink!) he grew wide-eyed and believed my story, even before seeing the time machine. He was more than a little fascinated with that, spouting off terms of mechanical endearment (I think) that I will never fully understand, he inspected the handiwork of the machine from top to bottom, seeming fascinated with its mechanisms.

With some careful work, he detailed every piece of information on the ship on some notebooks he needed for school, took each piece apart, and with the help of a few friends he called, we moved the machine to his apartment, where he reassembled it in secret with ease. I was fascinated and silent through this whole procedure, not trusting myself to speak around his unusual friends.

I am rather well-to-do for my time, and so was both fascinated and somewhat repulsed by his apartment, but did not mind much. He allowed me to stay a few nights while I got my funds back from the bank, and found myself one of the richer men of the world. Keeping this quiet, I gathered up my funds, paid for a very nice house, and now keep company with my young friend (his name is Erik, by the by) and hired a butler to tend to the house just as I had in England. Having set up a safe-haven in this unfamiliar world, Erik has taken it upon himself to teach me the ways of the new world. I have found myself falling in with the geeky crowd, and do very much enjoy the movies, videogames, literature, and sounds of the era.

I do hope that things will proceed in an orderly and fascinating fashion for me. Wish me luck, and I wish you future (and past) time travelers the best of luck in your endeavors!

(The first in-character post for DarkSteam's Cogs of the Earth. From here on out, I will attempt to post in-character, and warn ahead of time when it is not.)

Thursday, February 17, 2011


So, what kind of post-apocalypse are we thinking of here when we say "zombie invasion"?
Almost every time I hear it I think of a desert, despite probably having never seen one up close. Not one with sand and cacti anyways. I think most think of dust storms and abandoned cars, with rotting iron everywhere. What -exactly- are we expecting to happen?

If it's a zombie invasion, I'd presume things would look relatively the same, only a bit more broken and blood-spattered.It's just how the zombies roll. All they want is brains, right? Well then all that would come of things is blood, right?

Well, what about an asteroid? Presuming it doesn't completely destroy earth, it'd just leave a big dent, throw up a LOT of dust, presumably the dent would fill with water if it's not filled with asteroid. It might cause those dust storms previously mentioned, but what exactly will that do? Block out the sun for a bit, I guess, but if you just stockpile food and find some live plants somewhere the world can re-grow, provided nobody takes advantage of whatever sorry place gets invaded.

Ooh, but what if the asteroid hits water? Well, presuming it doesn't just turn into mist, the massive splash would likely drown parts of continents if big enough (if I have an Australian readers, sorry mates, you're a bit apocalyptic right now. but if it's all cool with you, I'd rather party with you guys during an apocalypse than any other country. Just sayin'. )and if not, it'l be one hell of a tsunami, but that's about it. We see those all the time, it's not exactly post-apocalyptic.

If the sun goes out, yeah, we're screwed, but there won't be a whole lot of opportunity to come back after the apocalypse unless you're talking about the poor abandoned robots.

Don't even suggest a vampire apocalypse.

Robot uprising: To quote Ken Jennings, "I for one welcome our new computer overlords." So... Not too worried, so long as I'm not being killed. If computers go and try to kill us all, sure they might be able to win... if not for the fact that we made them. Mind you, it's still very possible that they would win, but in the same sense that much of the time any war that lasts any length of time has a fairly decent chance of going either way. Otherwise it wouldn't be a war, or at least it'd be a lot quicker. To be honest, I'd probably be a robot sympathizer. Sorry mates, I like synth voices and explaining complex ideas like love into simplest computable terms. It's kind of a pastime.

Aliens: I don't think we're interesting enough or obvious enough to attract aliens, but if they do come looking for us, I think they're more likely to quest for information (or die on contact with us) than to come to any real harm for us.

So how would we fare in an apocalypse? It depends on the kind. My personal favorite option for a -zombie- apocalypse, at least, is to seal up either a Walmart of a mall. Just as a thought. Give me feedback!

Tell me: How would YOU survive an apocalypse (of your choice)?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Valentine Horrors.

Yes, in the spirit of the season I will talk about survival horror today!

...What, you don't see how horror works with valentines?

Well, to be honest, it is more of a Halloween thing, but if you're expecting it, it's not very horrifying, now IS it? Anyways, who wouldn't want to take their date to a horror movie as a chance to get a little closer (if only out of fear)? Either way, it was talking about this or spend another twenty minutes trying to figure out what to talk about, so this it is.

Effective horror is NOT jump scares. Jump scares are easy to get. Just shout "BOO!" in someone's ear when they don't know you're there. They'll jump, but is that really a satisfying scare? Sure, you laugh at how they were (very reasonably) startled, but that's not true fear. True fear is when that person hides in a corner from your very presence, and stays that way for a few minutes without moving for fear of what may happen. THAT is fear. How does one get to this level of fear?

Well I'll make this list as if we were referring to videogames, so we can make inevietable comparisons with Silent Hill.

1. Tension.

When you want to make tension, hint at things. Don't ever explicitly say it. One of the most frightening things about Silent Hill was probably one single line that inversed everything about the scary little town. "Monsters? ...They look like monsters to you?" How many people, I wonder, immediately took a breath and tried not to cry when they realized they might have been hurting the normal people, and the only real monster... is you?

2. Make the player go insane.

Not talking about "Nintendo insanity" or making the player's character go insane. I mean make the player think things that aren't true, or question existence of things.
Did that door just open in the game? Go back! No. It was closed. What if I open the door? Oh, it's locked. I'll visit later. Then the door disappears when the camera isn't looking a few minutes later. There's no comment from the character on it, there's no remark about disappearing doors. It just never existed. It didn't even have a room behind it to go to. It will certainly drive the player absolutely mad. Throw this sort of thing in every so often without a sound or sound effect or music change to alert the player that something is up, you'll effectively make the player think they are absolutely mad. Disappearing monsters could likely have the same effect if done properly.

3. Musical scores are key.

action music will do you no good here. Violin shrieks can help here or there, but don't stress them. Piano can help a lot, and music boxes can do wonders around childish or feminine scenery. Nothing should be overdone, and there should be plenty of variety. Add a slow accordion around seafaring scenes, an off-key organ in church or a carnival, things like that can do wonders. Slow and off-key are very important parts of the music. My suggestion? In big boss fights and the scariest moments, play calming music in off-key tones. Like a music box playing ring-around-the-roses while you're fighting off armies of undead toy soldiers.

4. Monsters have subtlety.

The best examples of this are the Silent Hill monsters from the first second and third games. They are symbolic and truly menacing. Best way to make a monster:
Find something to symbolize; make a figure behind it; add stitches, injuries, blood, and the like; give it slow or jerky motions for some creatures, slow dragging for others, or maybe even fast running and jumping. Nothing should move smoothly if you want it to be menacing unless it's a creature of the air or the water. Even then...

5. Scenery.

Pick your scene. At home, at church, at ballet practice, the carnival, the swamp, the forest... Any scene you like can be made scary. Dim the colors for some things, make some things even brighter. If you're in a carnival, washed-out colors will look silly. Wash out the corners of billboards or some such, but on the rides? Let those colors rock the house. Bright reds and saturated yellows with faded edges give an aged look and will break up the monotony a bit. But don't confuse that with

6. Lighting.

Lighting is your best friend in survival horror. Blues give a creepy and haunting look, but is also unnatural. Reds are angry, violent, and ramp up the tension (in horror, best to ramp up tension when there's nothing to be afraid of at all, or only minimal threats), greens give off an alien or swampy look depending on how diluted they are, and purple is a bit relaxing. Unnatural colors in unnatural scenes can really cement the fact that you're in another world, or they can completely throw someone out of the experience. Use wisely!

Comment below if you have any suggestions for other ideas around this, or if you just have any questions, comments, concerns, anything! I'd love to hear from my readers!

Happy Valentines' everybody~! Go get scared with someone you love!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cardboard Romances

Sherlock Holmes, House MD, Resident Evil: Degeneration, and Final Fantasy X. What do they have in common?

That's right~! Terrible romance side-stories made of cardboard and spackle. You may wonder why I count the plot of FFX as a "romance side-story", and that's because I hate Tidus almost as much as a much more prominent videogame reviewer I could mention. It's a side story because nobody plays to see the stupid tosspot protagonists make googly eyes at each other, they play for the stodgy JRPG battle system and neat-looking monsters. (At least that's the only reason I can think of).

Why do writers feel the need to stick bad romance plots into every story? It seems to be a mostly American thing, and I can't figure out why for the life of me. It's incredibly absurd, and never looks good.

"Oh look, a guy and a girl that laughed at each other's jokes. The end of this movie will be a wedding." Does that thought sound vaguely familiar? It'd be more surprising if two people smiled and laughed at each other in an action movie and then spent the entire movie as "just friends". You guys know that a wedding doesn't mean it's a happy ending, right? It just means you're sequel baiting for a terrible romantic comedy somewhere in the future.

And while we're on the subject, girls like me who make blogs like this hate romantic comedies. So I probably won't review any. When I --a typically non-movie-goer-- can sit and tell you who will kiss who by the end of the movie, you aren't writing a shocking twist when the male hero surprise-kisses the heroic female. It's the twist for the braindead kids sitting there who only want to see tired movie stereotypes.

Next time you want to write a romance, how about an end monologue like this:

"So. The war was over. It was time to go home. We were rushed to pack, and I lost a medal in the move. It wasn't the loss that bothered me. What bothered me is... That cute blond in the mess hall I only spoke to once?...Well, I lost her number."
[scan through packing montage, pan to a view of the lunch lady singing on stage, walking off, then finding a bouquet of roses with a label listing it "From Dave" with a picture of the hero nearby, and his number on the card]

It's more subtle. Not great (especially not since it was written over the course of one minute) but it wasn't bad. And it wasn't an end-movie kiss.

Sorry for the post-delay, the last week was just kinda tough on my schedule. I'll try to post on Wednesday again and find some kind of schedule for the blog.
Have a good future Valentines' day, everyone!

Edit: I would like to remark that the addition of Sherlock Holmes was entirely for the recent movie, not any other part of the franchise, and that a bad romance does not make a bad series. (I actually like the Sherlock Holmes movie quite a lot.)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Still alive...

In honor of last week's portal post and yesterday's discovery that Aperture Science Pr is following my on Twitter (I feel accomplished, now!) I named the post Still Alive. Well, that and how sporadically I post on here. I'd love to post more often, but between studying for Japanese and more studying for Japanese I can hardly find time for my other classes and sleeping anymore. So aside from those complaints, on with the Blog!

Riddle me this, Batman: What changed kid's cartoons? Why are they so stupid, mundane, predictable yet bizarre? Here's a few suggestions for why.

1. "Kids like Random, right?" It's not "random". Not a single joke is "random" anymore. I can still sit and predict jokes in most TV shows unless they are puposefully designed to not make sense. Sometimes even then. The only thing "random" is what the people were smoking when they came up with character/design choices for shows like Flapjack or Adventure Time. Nobody who says "lol, Random." with a straight face knows what the word "random" really means. Roll a six-sided die. Did you get a six? How about a five? That's chance. Did you get a seven? That's Random. (go read the book The Black Swan: The impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Nicholas Taleb ). Did you predict what the roll of the dice would be? That's random (that, or you're Sasha Nein).

What Random ISN'T is "Let's make a main character who is childish, looks kinda like my great-aunt's cat, loves food, and is dumb as a post. That's random, right? Kids like random, right?" No. That isn't Random. If you go to www.tvtropes.org and spend a little time there (Don't go if you have something important to do in the next few days, it's that addictive). See if they aren't completely right about every trend on tv, in movies, and in any other form of media. There's a trope for everything, and since watching this I can't help but sit and predict everything that happens, including picking out which characters will die next, who will get with who, and which things that were passingly mentioned before will turn out to save the day (Hint: It's the thing that gets explained in semi-detail at the start of the episode that will turn out to be important. Keep in mind key details of the problem and the pseudoscience. It works best in Eureka).

2. "So, people like reality TV, right?" The Total Drama series is the main offender here. Why -why- WHY do people seem to think kids like this crap? Only older teens like this stuff, and the only reasons older teens are watching the Total Drama series is because it's that or watch Spongebob, which hasn't been good since -EVER- (see problem number one). (Though I would much rather watch Spongebob than some of the other offenders). I don't watch Jersey Shore because they're a bunch of complete tosspots. The only reason the Total Drama series is better is because the characters on that series aren't media-whoring on the news, too.

3. "Who should we get to voice act in this? A squirrel? Sure. How do we draw it? Poorly? Okay." Anyone who has even looked at Flapjack can see it's a complete eyesore, and the voice acting of the main character doesn't help. These people are talented, why are they stuck in these crap jobs?! Looking at the backgrounds: the patterns move. Not only does this not work aesthetically, it can cause migraines. Not helping is the squishy art style making everyone look like they consist of tumors and bacon fat. Voice actors are talented people, and so are people who can draw with any capacity, why are they voicing characters who are designed to be completely obnoxious and drawing characters that match? It's rather sad.

4. "Kids like snot jokes and talking about barf, right?" How I hate this misconception. As a child I didn't like shows like Cow and Chicken because of the former reasons and because of THIS. Why is snot an acceptable source of humor? Same with other bodily functions. It's really not funny, it's quite disgusting. I especially hate that stock sound of someone trying to suck their snot back into their nose. Even typing that sentence puts an upsetting visual and sound into my mind that makes me sorely want more coffee to drown it out. It's disgusting, guys. Stop it.

5. "Who should we get to direct this? Spielberg? Nah, let's get my friend of a friend. He's clever, right?" What I wouldn't give for another Spielberg cartoon. One of the people from the Animaniacs is working on an entirely improv cartoon based on cartoon vultures. I WANT THIS TO HAPPEN. PLEASE. It can't be bad so long as they don't fall into the previous categories! I just want someone who can write a joke I can't roll my eyes at before walking outside. I want to get a chuckle out of my cartoons again! Please, someone get Spielberg. Or Paul Dini (back in cartoons, if you please, Mr. Dini. Cartoon network is for CARTOONS. ), or Bruce Timm! How many times must I say their names before someone realizes that the cartoon superheros of the 90's, Freakazoid, the Animaniacs, and Pinky and the Brain were some of the only good shows on TV at the time?! Heck, they need to just start putting stuff from Boomerang back on Cartoon Network! THEY WERE GOOD CARTOONS.

Well now that I've had my prerequisite repetative rant for the morning, have a nice Wednesday morning, everyone! And to people reading this in the future: Have a nice day no matter what time of the week it is!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Steampunk Portal Gun.

So after reading a few comments from @Wheatley_Core I got to thinking: What if there was a Steampunk portal?


Think about this one, then:

There she was, running down the streets of London. Tap-tap-tap went high-heeled shoes on pavement. 'For science' they said. 'Cake' they said. To hell with the cake, and to hell with the Ripper who made it.

Blue portal through an open window, orange portal to the wall. Just hope nobody's in the house!

Lights off, and an orange portal projected into the kitchen. Looking in that direction, there was a little red glow...

"The/the/THERE you are." something ticked loudly as little magnetic spheres jolted through the air at the test subject in heels. A turret had been hiding to Chell's left. Made from clockwork, magnets, and some bizarre amalgamation of science that allowed them to speak, they fired without care at Chell, who dived behind a loveseat. Chell fired a portal outside, and one under the turret as one of the metal spheres left a welt in her shoulder.

"Owowowowowww!" The Turret whined as several windows broke outside. Chell put both portals outside until after the firing stopped, and walked through what she thought was a home, trying to get out.

It turned out she had only gone further into the scientific trap. All this time she thought she had escaped, but here it was. GlaDos. Ticking with clockwork and with chemicals flowing through veins of copper tubes. Her eyes swiveled to meet Chell's.

"Hello. We meet again. This is the last time. I bet you don't even remember the first because I killed you. Even after you killed me. We both got better, don't you know? I created this place to keep you occupied. I created the Ripper to bring you some excitement. I even. created. cake. The companion Cube misses you in the incinerator. Yes, even after all this time, the Cube still loves you. I don't know why, you're just a murderer. Heartless. So, come to kill me again? You monster. Fine. Go ahead. Don't expect me to fight back."

A door slid open and the Ripper was there. A beast of buzz-saws jutting out of its back and chest which could roll in any direction or walk to get anywhere it needed to go. It could even master portals.

"Just kidding. Hah. you should have seen your face when you thought I wasn't going to fight. Haha. Next time I won't let you come back. Goodbye, test subject. Forever."

The portal gun was retired the next day, split in half with bloodspatters on it.
The remnants were never found, but all that remains of the London Aperture Science Facility is a non-functioning turret. It was remodeled to dispense gumballs.

I hope that makes up for my lack of posts as of late!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Good gads, steampunk fads!

It is officially a late post (despite me having no official release date for posts aside from 'whenever I can set aside my other stuff and type') so I thought I would get back to the original point of the blog. (Ok, the original point is Steampunk /and/ superheros, but that's besides the point). Let's talk about Steampunk Fads!


Less a fad than a staple of the genre, Goggles are very important to aviators, engineers, and anyone else who can be trusted to move very fast or be in something that could obscure vision/hurt eyes. (The viewers of Jersey Shore are included in that section). Some choose to wear them regardless of what job they supposedly carry. I know I do! (I wear goggles to school each day. I'll probably stop next year, unfortunately.)

Phaser (Or however you spell it):

A lot of people love to mod Nerf Mavericks by painting them, or buying and painting dollar store guns. This may very well be the only society that supports cleverly painting a Nerf gun, considering how people have spazzed about them. And unlike those Anime conventions, I have yet to see peacebonding need to be enacted at Steamcon Seattle. (Then again, I don't carry phasers.)


I'll never understand this one. Old-timey victorian moustaches drawn on fingers or as necklaces. Some how said it's a hipster thing, but I've seen it happen at Steamcon too, so if someone would kindly inform me WTF all of that is about, that'd be great.

Mechanical arms/legs:

One of my favorite fads, the making of mechanical arms for the sheer sake of badassery will always be appreciated. Some look like Hellboy, some look like Nathan Fillion's arm from that one episode of Castle (If you can stop staring at his awesomeness for two seconds, difficult I know) all of them look pretty fricking awesome. I have also seen mechanical legs, and though they are less popular they are just as awesome.


I made a dragon backpack once (I have been asked numerous times what it is, it's just a really /really/ derpy looking dragon. I had scraps, so sue me.) and people seem to love it. I have seen awesome shoulder-perching dragons ranging from Beanie-Babies to slender badass dragons with LEDs inside to light it up. (I wish I had pictures of that one from Steamcon 2, it was awesome). There are some pretty sweet ones out there if you can find them.

Engineering masterpieces:

I saw a woman with a mechanical bird in a cage on her hat that moved and chirped. Need I saw more? Anyone who can make awesome mechanical stuff of that caliber is in this category. And I salute thee.

So there are just a few awesome fashion trends to mention. Maybe in the future I'll add pictures to show what I mean. For now, just think on the idea, and maybe google a few of the things mentioned. The Steampunk world is pretty frickin' awesome. :3

Sunday, January 16, 2011

That is the Question.

For those of you who remember the nineties and early 2000 (if you don't, you're probably too young for my blog), remember the Justice League Unlimited. I know, I know, I talk about them all the time. Well shut up, this time I only want to talk about one character. The Question. The Brilliant conspiracy-theory mastermind who is reported to be possibly an even better detective than Batman. He single-handedly unraveled the Cadmus project and helped the league put a stop to it, managed a relationship with the Huntress, found another reason to hate boy-bands, and even knows that the little plastic things on the ends of your shoelaces are called Aglets.

So what did he and Huntress do after Cadmus had fallen? Well, permit me to fanfic a bit, and let me know what you think about my theory of what happened. Skip the Italics if you just want to get back to character study.

Beamed down by the teleporter, Question and Huntress walked along the street.
"I don't get it, Q. You could beam right into your house, you know that, right?"
"Forgive me if I don't find it too comforting, the idea of costumed compatriots appearing in my house whenever they feel like it." Q pointed out simply.

"Dude, what happened to your face?" Question hated skater kids who still said 'dude', but he so loved that question.

"I was born with it. It made playing 'Scarface' on stage much more interesting." He never answered the same way twice. His supposed lack of a face was certainly a conversation starter.
The kid ran off, almost surely about to tell his friends. Q continued walking with Huntress at his side, up a flight of stairs and into an old apartment building with low rent.

"Nice dump, Q. I would've thought the League would be paying you more." Huntress remarked flatly. She liked Q a lot, but his choice of apartments was sort of interesting. It wasn't her first time there, but it always surprised her that he never seemed to improve it.

"It's not home. It's just a base of operations. I don't like the League knowing where I live. I still like my privacy." He remarked, walking over to a cork board that had been left to rot on the floor. It was full of pictures, news clippings, strings, and pushpins. It was all of his findings on Cadmus. And now that Cadmus was taken down... Why have it?

"You could just preserve it and get a new board, Q." Huntress suggested on a nicer note, walking over to rest her hand on his shoulder compassionately. She knew what it was like to have no point to a mission anymore. It had to be hard on him to just stop investigating something he had spent so much time on.

Q thought for a few minutes. "No." He leaned down and picked up the board, carrying it over to the grungy couch where he sat with it on his lap and let his fingertips toy with the lines of string, twine, and yarn connecting all the little pieces. The scraps of information nobody but he could truly decipher and put together.

Huntress sat next to him and watched Q play with the strands. She couldn't see his eyes, but she could guess that his look was longing, in a way. It was good that Cadmus was gone, but now what would he do? She had never known him to be too interested in much else.

Q started unceremoniously plucking the pushpins from the board one-by-one and setting them back on the coffee table. "I suppose now I'll just have to go back to my real job. I wonder how Aristotle is doing." He remarked pleasantly, turning the TV onto some pop-music station blaring shrieking teenage singers while he started ripping pieces off the board.

"Who?" Huntress was understandably confused. But she could tell Q was smiling.

So who is the Question? Well, he's a detective. Sure he is a conspiracy theorist, but big whoop. Now that Cadmus is gone, he's not going to retire to some bar and wish it was back to the old days. It was a victory story. Now that he's won, it's time to go find a new battle to fight. He has new allies, he might pack up and go back to his real home, and maybe he would introduce Huntress to Aristotle (though that crosses continuities, and crossing continuities is like crossing the streams. I'm kinda expecting hatemail). I think Huntress would be supportive, but I also think she has a harder time taking Change than Question might. Q has always been a mysterious, philosophical fellow. I think he can stand solving one case and moving on to the next.

I just wanted to write the fanfictiony bit somewhere that someone might care, so feel free to skip this post if you hate things like that. Just a series of observations.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Let's talk Fanfiction.

I hate Wednesdays. Seriously. I am SO busy on Wednesdays. But once again, I forgo sleep to write about nothing on a blog nobody reads. Fun, right?

I should really start accepting superhero fanfiction snippets from people just so I can talk about the writing (whether it be bad or good), make some well-meaning jests, kid alongside others, and maybe make some poor nooblet cry.

But seriously, as much as I constantly rag on Fanfiction (and not undeserved, I might add.)there is actually some real merit behind it. before you give me funny looks, let me list a few reasons why I like the idea.

1. It gets people writing. And practice makes perfect. Sometimes you need a LOT of practice. Just so long as they're trying to make it look presentable. I don't give two shits about something written in chat speak.

2. It's always interesting to see new ideas on old favorite fandoms. What if Tony Stark re-painted his armor? What if Superman went on the Colbert Report? What if Robin wore sensible clothes? What if Aquaman didn't suck? (I kid, I kid! Don't kill me with the hook hand!)

3. Believe it or not, fans can offer more to a character than sometimes even the professionally written comics can. At least, when written well enough. Most of the time fanfiction writers are painfully shallow creatures (Sasha Nein is not an emo, Tidus is not some poetic young athlete, and Superman isn't as big of a lughead as everyone thinks.) But some gems out there can really add some depth to a character. I can't think of any off the top of my head for how few there are and how little fanfiction I read, but there has to be some SOMEWHERE like this.

4. Most importantly: They are GREAT for a laugh. Seriously, I read a Batman fanfiction snippet (don't ask why, I was bored) where Batman called the Scarecrow a Whore. I had to stop reading there because I laughed so hard I was crying and didn't want to be scarred for life, but it was hilarious while it lasted.

Now I don't condone completely stupid pairings in fanfiction. I don't mean "Oh, so you think there's no way Batman could be gay?" I mean "Why is Batman jumping the Scarecrow's bones?" Is not something I should EVER HAVE TO THINK. EVER. Fanfiction tends to tend toward the crack-y, and that's ok at times. Sometimes it's funny to just read a piece of fanfiction that is all about the "wtf?" Big-lipped alligator moments. These should be clearly labeled (next to the mandatory 'toxic waste' sticker) as such so we all know what we're getting into. For the rest of the fanfiction writers, be sincere and try your bestest to stick to the characters. And Heaven help any of you, should I see a hyper-active Batman.

Have a nice Wednesday night (what's left of it) and I shall see ye when I post next! (feel free to send SHORT -and I say again- SHORT snippets of fanfiction by a link in the comments if it's superhero-related and rated T or less. And if you don't think it will make me scratch my eyes out in pain.)
Good Night everybody!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

One Cleric Short

For all two of my regular readers (and bless you for reading, too!) I've started co-writing on another blog!


One Cleric Short is somewhat of a twitter-brainchild of Thedrinkinggeek, SmallShopBlogR, and myself. We are perpetually one cleric short (and apparently not looking for replacements) and a bit of a motley crue of (if I have my details right): One time-traveling Victorian, one drunken Bard, and one Paladin. Do we have a chance?

Doubt it. But we're sure as hell gonna try, anyways! Join us in ridiculing games and movies, praising valiant attempts at Larping, and generally being geeks who are one cleric short of a full party and loving it.

(And yes. I will still post here fairly regularly. ;3 )

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Ever notice...

Just a couple of odd observations and attempted explanations.

Did you ever notice how few ethnic superheros there are? What this says to me is that only white people lack the common sense to avoid signing up for drug trials that aren't tested and might be that magical kind of radioactive that gives superpowers, they're the only scientists that royally screw up the magically radioactive experiments, or the only ones who think "My life sucks, maybe I'll make it better with EXPERIMENTAL TECHNOLOGY!" (or in the case of the powerpuff girls, chemical X.) Granted there are a few superheros who aren't white (often the especially cool ones like Cyborg or Bumblebee)but then I wonder how many hispanic superheros there are. I'm trying to make a list and I seriously can't think of any that don't include Zorro. (technically not a superhero, but I'm counting him because he's AWESOME.)Technically I guess you could count the badguy from Freakazoid, but I really think that just hurts the cause. Would someone PLEASE find me a few hispanic superheros? I'm seriously at a loss.

On another note, Two-face's tie is a clip on.
Think otherwise?
The top-knot of the tie has a vertical split. Good luck tying that properly without it being a clip-on! (coincidentally, if you have pictures that prove me otherwise, post! I'd love to know.)

Batman and Lois Lane dated.
Let that sink in for a moment.
In Batman the Animated Series there was a scene (unless I hallucinated the whole thing) that implies Batman and Lois had dated (directly after she gets kidnapped and rescued, then calmly remarks that her kidnappers got oil stains on her carpet)where the Bat apologizes for an old relationship. Thanks to that, I now can't take the "superman has a child" plot from Superman Returns (Which, for the record, was the most obvious plot twist since "Clark Kent is actually superman") seriously.

Just a couple of observations. Let me know if you have any other neat observations or suggestions for things to talk about.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Folklore Review

Now to be fair, I did not play the entirety of Folklore. So if you believe (and you would be well within your rights to do so) that one must play the full game before reviewing something, kindly pass this by. It's just a "first impressions".

Let's do this in categories.

The game is set for the PS3, and it's a JRPG. There are no achievements for this game.


There's something awkward about the characters. There's two main characters: Ellen and Keats. Ellen is a whiny little girl who lost her mother (She's dead, except she seems to have written a letter to Ellen which tells her to go to Doolin, so maybe she's not dead, except Ellen is confused about her mother's death, except she still thinks that's odd, so your guess is as good as mine) and who can't walk around without her hand at her chest like she's holding a necklace she isn't wearing. Her clothes are actually pretty modest (odd, since this is pretty much a JRPG) until her Deus Ex Machina hits and she suddenly gets a new outfit, and an absolutely ridiculous hair setup that seems to involve fountains of braids.

The other character is Keats, who is much more believable, and absolutely awesome to behold for how hilarious his setup is. The man works for an occult magazine (For those of you wondering, if you've played Silent Hill Three, you've seen him before. he looks like Vincent, but with slightly longer hair and a way cooler coat) and receives a strange call telling him to go to Doolin because of ghosts or fairies or something equally occult and mysterious. The occult magazine people being particularly credulous sorts (*cough*) he thinks it's a prank, but goes to investigate anyways. I'm not commenting on the plot of the game because I don't understand enough about it (being a JRPG, I think it probably requires a full playthrough, and possibly a second playthrough to fully understand how weird it really is) so I'll just talk about how awesome he is. This man, in the face of ghosts, fairies, witches, and bizarre creatures consistently remarks that it's just a lucid dream. If memory serves, he even says this after he begins investigating the lives of the families of the dead people he meets on his travels. Truly an amazing character for numbers of reasons.

Some side characters are the Scarecrow and the Invisible Man. They have names, but that's who they really are. They are amazing for many reasons. the Scarecrow is quirky (and probably evil. I'm calling it right now), and the Invisible Man is sophisticated and really good fun to look at. My problem: Voice Acting in this game is minimal. Is it really so hard to keep your voice actors around for the whole game? Or at least have them speak those dialogue boxes? Visual novel style is ok for computers and handheld consoles, but this is the PS3. We can do better, guys.

Game mechanics:

Ok, there's not much to say about this. The customizable attack buttons are a nice idea, elemental attacks are fine and good, and aside from the fact that you can't jump or deviate from the VERY LINEAR plot (or maybe it just really wants you to follow the prologue and I'm just a sheep, because the game advertises that choices you make as one character effect the other), it seems pretty solid. What I can't stand is when the Sixaxis is a required part of the game. The Sixaxis really feels unrefined. The basis for how it is used (somewhat like a whip capturing the souls of the things you fight. I don't get it either.) makes that unrefined feeling somewhat warranted, but that doesn't make it any more pleasant to use.

Visuals: I think there are many different worlds to explore, but I have seen the first and the town of Doolin and that's it. Doolin looks kind of like a real place (Some place in Ireland with bad accents and about five people in the entirety of the town. The most populated place is probably the pub. So... Close enough to accurate, right?) but the real fun is looking at the art for the Fairy (ok, ok, they say "faerie" I think, but I don't personally think it matters how you spell it.) world. The faerie world has very pretty, very colorful art. In every shade of pastel and rainbow the artists could find on their color palates. It was quite pleasant, but once you realize you can't really explore a level when it's flat terrain and you can't jump, it's kind of a pity that they made it look so nice and it won't have much potential.

The enemy designs were unique and interesting to look at, and it does have a sort of pokemon-esque 'catch-em-all' vibe to it, but the interest is short lived once you realize you will never be able to explore all of their abilities to their full potential, and managing so many abilities would become a royal pain in the end.

It's a decent rental, but not something I would want to buy (except I did buy it already. oops). It's definitely worth a look, but my suggestion for best play: Get a group of friends and sit around talking about bad dubbing or how amusing some of the characters and dialogue are.