Stephen King, Vampires, and Caped Heroes – Geekout 29

It’s time to discuss some geekiness today! Still a ways behind, but I’m hopeful that I’ll catch up. I’m writing these posts based on a page-a-day calendar that prompts me to name geeky things. Today we’re going to talk about Four Stephen King Book Titles, Four Video Games in which a Vampire is an Enemy, and Four Superheroes that Wear Capes. Seems reasonably possible. We’ll see if I can get all the way to four with that first one…

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And now for the content!

Four Stephen King Book Titles

Sadly, I tried to come up with all four here, but could only name 3. I’m falling one short. I’ve not read any of his books, however, I’m seen the movie adaptations of three of his novels. These are the novels.

IT

Saw this terrifying clown movie as a kid. At the time, however, I didn’t know the significance of who was cast as the clown. Let’s just say that I really enjoy his grin quite a bit. The film is based on the Stephen King novel, as I said, I’ve not read it.

The Shining

I don’t know how closely the film matches the book. I recall people talking about the differences, so I know there are some significant changes. Considering how good the film is, I’d expect the novel is very good as well. I think I might enjoy reading it, so I likely will at some point. Remind me not to take a job as a caretaker of an old hotel in the mountains…

Pet Sematary

This is a strange one. I don’t recall the details, except for undead pets. I think at least one of these was created intentionally. There’s an ancient burial ground (as there always is), and the pets buried there come back to life. Also, I had to look up the spelling of the title, because it’s not spelled correctly. The story is spelled that way because the children made a sign for the pet “sematary” where they buried their dead pets.

Four Video Games in which a Vampire is an Enemy

Had to be enemies. No Vincent for this one. I guess I’ll take my copies of Final Fantasy VII and go home… I’m going to count any enemies, whether they’re prominent in the game or not. I’m expecting that I can get a set of games that will all feature some prominent vampire. I’ll likely not shed too much light on them, however, since I hate spoilers.

Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn

Without getting into the details, this Dungeons and Dragons based game has more than a few vampires as enemies. Some of them are named, significant opponents, so I don’t want to get into those details for reason of spoilers. This is a great, classic game, and there’s an updated version of the game that plays well on modern hardware.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

This past Wednesday I was having a discussion with some friends about what a great year 1997 was for movies and video games. This is one of those 1997 released games that I mentioned. It’s often considered one of the best of this large franchise. Yes, the franchise is full of vampires as enemies.

Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines

This game has been in my Steam wish list for over two years now, and I’ve yet to play it. Having played Vampire: The Masquerade in its LARP form, I know that the game must have vampires as enemies. As I’m sure the main character must be a vampire as well. I always hear good things, and would like to play the game at some point.

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

There are plenty of vampires that you can fight in this game. And if you’re not careful, you can become one! There’s some disease that you get first, and you’ll be a vampire before you know it. Oops! People in the game start making comments about it, because you look kind of scary to them once you’re a vampire. Not good. Fun though!

Four Superheroes that Wear Capes

No capes! OK, these guys have capes, which Edna would not approve of. I’m going to allow anything even cape-like as long as it’s a loose fabric hanging down behind the shoulders. OK. Three. Two. One. Let’s jam!

Batman

Considering his nickname is The Caped Crusader, it’s hard to imagine him without a cape. Unlike some others, Batman uses a functional cape. Flight or glider depending on the incarnation, but it’s also part of his arsenal of flare and intimidation.

Superman

How else would you be able to tell he’s flying if he didn’t have a cape being pulled by wires behind him? This cape-wearing superhero would be hard to tell to leave the cape behind. He’s a bit more powerful than most heroes, so if he’s willing to chance it, I won’t tell him otherwise!

Thor

This Asgardian ruler has a certain look to uphold, and the cape is part of his wardrobe. I believe he’d be wearing this cape at home and when acting as a superhero. Again, hard to tell him not to. I think he’d keep the cape if only for the look it gives him.

Dr. Strange

Similar to the usefulness Batman finds in his cape, the Cloak of Levitation that Dr. Strange wears is quite powerful. It’s a magical cloak that allows Dr. Strange to fly and can even move around, acting as a powerful tool or weapon as needed.

Wrap Up

Looks like we got most of that. The next post will cover Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and General Geekiness.

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Fictional TV Cities and Video Game Dragons – Geekout 27

As I make my way through my backlog of these, I’ll try to keep this interesting. I think there are a few good ones today. On this page of my page-a-day calendar I’ve been acting upon, I am supposed to name Two Characters from the Wind in the Willows, Four Fictional Cities which appear in Television Shows, and Two Video Games in which a Dragon is an Enemy.

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Here goes!

Two Characters from the Wind in the Willows

Never heard of this. What is it? Book? Movie? TV Show?

Four Fictional Cities which appear in Television Shows

I think I’ll choose cities where the show is based, not just ones that appear in the show. This will limit my choices, so I’ll allow myself to hit the same fictional world if needed.

Gotham – Batman (various)

Home of the caped crusader himself, Gotham has been in plenty of shows, including a show bearing the name. Where its located has changed between interpretations, but it’s a big city with some theatrical villains to be sure!

Central City – The Flash

Home of our good friend, Barry Allen, this centrally located city is somewhere in the middle part of the continent. Did the name give it away? I think it’s been in Ohio before, and I’m sure some interpretations have it further south in Missouri or Kentucky. Central is kind of relative term here, since the absolute middle of the country doesn’t have enough people.

Hawkins – Stranger Things

This nice, quiet Midwestern town doesn’t exist, does it? If it is named after a real city, sorry. It’s certainly not like this one though, or I seriously need to worry more in my life. If you’ve not seen Stranger Things, I’d recommend you check it out. It’s a Netflix sci-fi series that’s set in the 1980s, so it’s got all kinds of fun cultural references. I’ll give you a hint, the town’s not as quiet as I made it seem…

Sunnydale – Buffy the Vampire Slayer

What?!?! You mean the city surrounding the Hellmouth isn’t real?!?! I don’t think it is, since that name seems wholly manufactured to be ironic. Anyway, This is the city where Buffy fights against vampires, demons, etc.

Two Video Games in which a Dragon is an Enemy

Dragons are often enemies, so that part wasn’t too much of a restriction. I’ll allow any tier of enemy, so it doesn’t have to be the main villain of the game.

Skyrim

In this game of the Elder Scrolls series, there’s a great deal of dragon lore to be had. I’ll toss this mild spoiler in here, you play the game as a Dragonborn, which means that you have the soul of a dragon. You’ve got some nifty powers from this trait. And as I’m sure is no surprise, you get to kill dragons in this game. In fact, you get the chance to kill a dragon voiced by the same voice actor who plays Mario in all of those games.

Final Fantasy VIII

In Final Fantasy VIII there’s a fun scene where the character you’re controlling is performing on camera for a movie and in the scene he’s supposed to fight a dragon. Well, a real dragon shows up instead of the fake one. There are plenty of dragons you can fight in random battles in the game, but this one’s just a fun situation. After some running away, the characters regroup and fight the dragon.

Wrap Up

That’s some progress. Let’s see if we get some good stuff from Comics, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy tomorrow.

Zombies, Bat-romance, and Yoda Quotes – Geekout 16

With weekends only having 1 page, I’m at page 16, which means I’ll be about 52 days short of 365 for the year. By my calculations, I’m about 1/20th of the way through the calendar. Daunting! This set of topics looks interesting though! Today I’ll be naming Four Games with a Zombie theme, Two Batman Love Interests, and Two Classic Yoda Quotes.

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Not sure what I’ll trim the lists down to here!

Four Games with a Zombie theme

These have certainly been popular over the years!

Slow zombies, fast zombies, smart zombies, dumb zombie, a nerd’s book by Zombie Seuss.

I liked how open-ended this question is, since it also allows for both board and video games. Based on its saying “a Zombie theme”, I would think it would need to be more than just having a zombie or two in it. Zombies are in D&D for example, but it’s not zombie themed.

Resident Evil/Biohazard

A classic game that was utterly terrifying when it first came out. It’s a bit laughable now, but graphics and gameplay have come a long way since the original of these hit store shelves. In some ways, the restrictive camera and difficult controls made the game harder and scarier. The game takes place in a mansion filled with zombies. I’ll not dive into the lore, but I will say that it’s extensive. The game features an exploration element, because you can learn more about the lore by exploring more locations and reading as you play.

Just don’t get turned into a Jill sandwich by the voice acting’s quality in this game…

Dead of Winter

I’ve not played this game enough times yet, but I’ve enjoyed it when I have. This is a (mostly) cooperative board game where the players take control of survivors struggling in in a zombie apocalypse scenario. The game mechanics work well as you try to feed everyone and defend yourselves against the hordes.

Zombies!!!

Not exactly the most strategic of games. This one has a large bag full of plastic zombies, and you’re exploring city streets trying to find a helicopter to escape. Also, yes, those exclamation points are in the title of the game. The cool mechanic in this one is that players move their own survivor piece as well as the zombies, so other players can really mess you up! Good luck surviving!

Left 4 Dead

Fast zombies! This was one heck of a crazy game! This is a first person shooter, cooperative game. You work as a team traveling from one safe house to the next, killing zombies and trying to make it to the next stop in one piece. Ammo and medical supplies will be there, so get there before you run out. This game’s zombies often run right at you, so it was fast-paced excitement when it came out.

Two Batman Love Interests

Superhero romance is always a dangerous issue, since it often means the pairing of two already-known characters. That leads to a circumstance I’m not keen on. I’ll explain what I mean by this in my selections.

Catwoman

If you’ve seen movies, cartoons, or comics, you know this is a thing. Even if nothing exists in the content you’re viewing, there are often hints at past/future interest between the two. Catwoman isn’t just straight up villainous, which is what makes her such an interesting character. She’s teamed up with the good guys before, and has motivations for what she does.

I know there’s something to establishing relationship through shared struggle, so perhaps this is an added factor in their relationship. Either way, I don’t get the impression that Catwoman is a character included only as a love interest for Batman, which is why she’s a good character in her own right. Just get her movie right next time…

Although, in all seriousness, I don’t think it has ever been romantic involvement (could be wrong), but I find the Poison Ivy and Catwoman relationship more interesting. I thought I’d heard a rumor of a movie about Poison Ivy, Catwoman, and Harley Quinn. We’ll see if DC movies can redeem themselves…

Wonder Woman

I am fairly certain there was at least one story arc where Batman and Wonder Woman were at least somewhat romantically involved. I’m not a big fan of the concept, however, as too often female characters only exist as the male character’s love interest. Wonder Woman is great, and my opinion of her as a character increases as I learn more about her! Is it a thing that supers go for other supers? Maybe.

Two Classic Yoda Quotes

I’ll follow the rules and only pick two for this one, but Yoda imparts some great wisdom on Luke in the short bits of conversation shown on screen. I took “classic” here to mean that the quote should come from the original trilogy only.

That is why you fail.

When Yoda lifts that X-Wing using only the power of the force, Luke doesn’t believe what he’s seeing. Yoda informs him that it’s the reason he failed, which in talking about the force makes a lot of sense. It also makes plenty of sense for us as well.

When we approach a difficult task, expecting it to fail, we’re setting ourselves up for failure. We’re not trying as hard, since we’re expecting a failure anyway, why would we try as hard? Why would we make adjustments to try and make it succeed when we’re expecting failure anyway.

Wars not make one great.

Luke went looking for the “great warrior” Yoda to train him, but that’s one way in which Luke is terribly wrong-minded when he reaches Yoda. He believes Jedi to be warriors. This is an easy misconception given the little he knows of them (and his previous training). He was first taught about a Jedi weapon and told about a war, but Jedi are really the peacekeepers of the galaxy (or they’re supposed to be).

Greatness isn’t about who can defeat whom in battle. Great people improve the world around them and help other people. Yoda has fought in war, but it’s not what makes Yoda great. In The Empire Strikes Back, you don’t see Yoda teaching Luke to wield weapons and fight opponents. He isn’t shooting at human-shaped targets with a blaster or pointing a lightsaber at them. He’s learning to center himself and control his own body. He’s learning to become a better person. A Jedi.

Wrap Up

Did I seriously just succeed after catching up? That’s awesome! Keep watching next time for some more geeking out! The next one will be about fantasy, general geekiness, and gaming.