Hellboy, Sci-Fi Captains, and Flying Creatures – Geekout 23

Are you as excited for this list as I am? Probably not, since I’ve seen the prompts. Let’s jump right into this one! Today I’m tasked with naming Two characters from Hellboy, Four Fictional Sci-Fi Captains, and Four Fantasy Creatures that Fly.

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Let’s put it all together!

Two characters from Hellboy

Nope. I wasn’t excited about this one. The extent of my Hellboy knowledge is that I’ve seen parts of the movie a couple of times, many years ago. I also can’t come close to naming two characters.

Hellboy

Yep. I’m cheating here probably. This is all I’ve got. I know there’s the blue fish-looking guy and some others, but this is the only name I can come up with.

Four Fictional Sci-Fi Captains

This is one of the ones I was excited about, since there are some great choices.

Malcolm Reynolds – Firefly/Serenity

Malcolm is the Captain of the Serenity, a Firefly-class transport vessel. I’m not going to sit here and try to sell you on the show, I’m sure I (and others) have done that before.

Jean-Luc Picard – Star Trek

An honorable member of Starfleet, Jean-Luc Picard captains the Enterprise in Star Trek: The Next Generation, but I’m betting most of you knew that already. He and Kirk are Star Trek’s best known, which makes sense having each captained Enterprises on television and movies. And if you want to bother him, just barge in and call him John Luck Pickerd.

James Holden – The Expanse

I originally watched this series, but started reading the books before finishing watching the first season of the show. Now I’m nearly done reading the sixth (the most recent) book in the series. Season two will be out soon. It should cover the events of the second half of the first book. I’m looking forward to it. James Holden is a good captain of the Rocinante.

Han Solo – Star Wars

Didn’t think I’d skip this one, did you? Go Han Solo! This scruffy-looking Captain of the Millennium Falcon joins up with the rebellion after agreeing to ferry Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Have you really not seen Star Wars? If not, let me know. I’ve got recommendations for where to start!

Commander Shepard – Mass Effect

“I’m Commander Shepard and this is my favorite blog on the Internet.” – Commander Shepard

The protagonist of the Mass Effect series he/she captains the Normandy. I don’t want to get too into the details, since they’re pretty significant to the stories of the games. When playing the game, you decide whether Commander Shepard is male or female, so it’s hard to pronoun in this post.

Four Fantasy Creatures that Fly

One of the most useful abilities for a creature is flight. This level of mobility makes creatures useful in stories as hunters, mounts, and sometimes both!

Dragons

I’m not really sure what I need to say about Dragons as you should know of these already. There are plenty of types of dragons, and many of them are capable of flying. D&D players enjoy telling you the alignment of dragons based on the color of the dragon. It’s a thing.

Flying Bison – Avatar: The Last Airbender/Legend of Kora

In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Aang is often accompanied by his lifelong companion and friend, Appa. As a flying bison, Appa is able to carry Aang and his friends in their travels. Flying bison are very large creatures without wings, so how they manage to fly is quite mysterious. We know they’re using airbending (air magic from the show) somehow, but how they can keep such a heavy creature up is beyond me!

Griffin

Common in fantasy settings, griffins are mythical creatures composed of features of a lion and an eagle. They’ve got wings and talons from the eagle and have hind legs, bodies and tails of a lion. I think there’s some disagreement on the features of griffin heads, but I usually think of a lion head with a beak. Either way, they fly using those wings, so count for this list.

Interestingly, my character in the Solar Exalted game I’ve mentioned previously just finished taming a Griffin as a makeshift mount. Should be quite useful as I need to fly quite high very soon.

Thestral – Harry Potter Series

These creatures are visible only to those who’ve seen death, which means they’re invisible to many. They’re almost skeletal horses with bat-like wings and are how the carriages are pulled to Hogwarts Castle in the Harry Potter series.

Wrap Up

That’s all I’ve got for you today. Tune in next time for a post covering General Geekiness, Gaming, and Comics.

Buffy Villains, Periodic Table, and Dice Games – Geekout 22

I’ll get to set myself some fun restrictions today! Let’s talk about geeky stuff!

On today’s docket is Four Villains in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV series), Six Elements from the Periodic Table, and Two Games that Require More Than Three Dice.

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Time for geekiness! Let’s go!

Four Villains in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV series)

Interestingly, I didn’t watch this full show until recently. I always knew of its existence, but didn’t ever watch it. Now I can say that it’s a great show.

Mayor Wilkins

One of the more fun villains, the mayor is a little crazy. He’s powerful and becoming more powerful. He’s not a vampire, but does team up with them, making things hard for Buffy. Being the mayor lets him do some terrible things as well. Power comes in many forms.

Spike

Probably the most well-known and everyone’s favorite villain, Spike is a vampire. He’s a complex vampire, so he’s far more interesting than he could otherwise be. Through this complexity, he’ll sometimes team up with Buffy. It would be super boring if he was just classic evil for no reason at all.

The Master

The first of Buffy’s supervillains, this first season antagonist tries to open a portal to hell in the town. Sunnydale being at the hellmouth means this centuries-old vampire can really try to usher in quite a bit of destruction.

Drusilla

Another vampire, she was introduced along with Spike; the two were in a relationship at the time. She’s a complicated one, and has a great deal of connection with Spike and Angel. I believe Angel (when he was evil) sired her in some horrible way. I forget the details. Either way, her connection to him creates for some dangers for the Buffy and the gang.

Six Elements from the Periodic Table

I want to do something interesting for this one, since there are way too many elements to be stuck with only six choices. My wife suggested I choose the first six elements or possibly doing a column. I was thinking maybe restricting to only those discovered in America or possible ones named after a person. I’ve thought of restricting to ones discovered in the 20th century only. Some other ideas I’ve had I’m not confident there are even six of, so I’ll be boring and do a column. I’ll go with the Noble Gases.

Helium

This is the first element that stars make! Stars are constantly crushing hydrogens together into helium, producing plenty of heat and light in the process. Thanks, Sol! I’m sure that we use this stuff for plenty of purposes, but everyone’s favorite is inflating balloons that will be lighter than the air around them.

Neon

Another of our gases, this one you may have seen in lighting. Neon lights sometimes actually have neon in them. If I’m not mistaken, most don’t anymore, since other gases are used instead. We still call them “neon lights” though.

Argon

If you’ve ever heard that Earth’s atmosphere is mostly Nitrogen and Oxygen, you’re well-informed about what makes up our air. The next element on that list is Argon. I forget what percentage it is, but it’s tiny; our air is mostly Oxygen and Nitrogen.

Krypton

Best known for being Superman’s weakness…. Just kidding! That’s Kyrptonite. Totally different element. I’d love to tell you something cool about Krypton, but, to be honest, I don’t remember much about it. All you get is my stupid joke, and I’m now onto the next one!

Xenon

Still not up-to-date enough on this stuff to give you more than a name here. I know it’s one of the noble gases, but I can’t think of where we use it. These are probably all used in lighting in some manner, but I can’t remember specifically.

Radon

This is a nice radioactive element that will mess you up if the levels of it are high. If you’ve bought a home recently, you likely had the house tested for levels of Radon. Even if you’re a non-smoker, this is a way that you can get lung cancer, if too much radon builds up in your home.

Two Games that Require More Than Three Dice

I’m going to say that games “require” dice that are intended to be rolled at the same time. I understand that you can re-use dice for plenty of games, and if you think I shouldn’t have that count, just pretend I named the games containing d20s from yesterday’s post.

Exalted

My current favorite roleplaying game is Exalted, and I wrote about my Exalted Campaigns in a previous post. The game is a dice-pooling game, which means that you roll large amounts of dice and are looking for threshold numbers of successes. For this reason, you “require” a lot of dice. I use 30 d10s when I play, but usually need somewhere between 10 and 20 of them at a time.

Can’t Stop

This is a press-your-luck dice game where you’ll roll four 6-sided dice on your turn, grouping them into pairs to and adding up the pips. In other words, if you rolled 2,3,4,5 on the dice, you could get one of the following sets: [5,9], [6,8], [7,7]. This is a press your luck game, so if any of those sets are unusable, you end your turn without making progress. You keep rolling until you either decide to stop, or get no valid results.

Wrap Up

Also, you’re welcome. It took me an embarrassing amount of time to remember the noble gases, which is why I didn’t feel bad when I wrote little about them. I slept through chemistry class, so give me a break, please.

Anyway, now that I’m done with that, let’s talk about the next post. In that post, I’ll be working with Comics, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy as my categories.

D20s, Manga Writers, and Post-Apocalyptic Worlds – Geekout 21

As we’re into the fourth week of the year, what better way to celebrate than by nearly completing one of these geekout challenges. Today I’m tasked with naming Two Games that contain a d20 as a Component, Two Manga Writers, and Four Television Shows or Films [Set] in a Post-Apocalyptic World.

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Here we go!

Two Games that contain a d20 as a Component

For clarity, if you don’t know, “d20” means a 20-sided die rolled to get an indeterminable number as a result. These are nearly always a icosahedron. For this prompt, I could obviously just name some pen and paper roleplaying games here, but I don’t want to do that; I’m going to draw a line here for myself. This says “contains a d20 as a Component”, which I am going to interpret that the d20 must come with the game, not be a separately required purchase.

D&D Starter Set

This is a boxed set of Dungeons and Dragons. It doesn’t contain the full rulebooks, but it’s got simplified versions of the required rules in order to play. Also contained in the box are some premade characters and an designed adventure. Most importantly to what I’m writing here is that it came with a set of dice in the box., which means it counts! For people who wanted an easier way to get started with D&D, a box set lowers that barrier to entry greatly.

Formula D

Formula D is a racing board game where you’re driving your racecar around a track. You roll dice to determine how far you move, and the die is chosen based on the gear you’re in. What’s interesting here is that the movement dice are not normal and have some duplicate values on the faces. If you want to say that the d20 with non-standard printing doesn’t count, then I’ll cite the game’s damage die; the black d20 is a normal d20 with the usual sides and is used as the damage die in the game.

Two Manga Writers

Coming up with people’s names. Even when I have ever learned someone’s name, it’s so hard to remember. Here goes!

Akira Toriyama

He’s the artist/writer behind the Dragon Ball manga, so he qualifies for this. I’m more familiar with the anime based on the manga, which I did watch long ago. I’m also a Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross fan, and he did the character design for the former. If you know Dragon Ball, you’ll notice his style in the Chrono Trigger characters, and you’ll see it even more in Blue Dragon, another set of characters he designed.

CLAMP

And here’s why I said at the beginning of the post that I’d be nearly completing this challenge. I’m kind of cheating here, since I feel like I should be naming a person. I don’t know the names of the members of CLAMP. I know it’s a group of female manga artists who rotate responsibilities. In other words, if I could come up with one of their names, I’d probably be correct. Sadly, I’ll not be able to here.

Four Television Shows or Films Set in a Post-Apocalyptic World

I changed “that take place in” to “set in”, because that prompt was quite wordy. Anyway, I’m planning to be generous in the concept of post-apocalyptic, because devastating wars that cripple infrastructure, etc. certainly should count. If many are dead with society and infrastructure taking a giant leap backward, I’d say it counts.

The Matrix

Here’s a good one. After a war between humans and machines there’s not much left of the world. We know the sky was scorched, and the surface is uninhabitable now. Machines are using humans as batteries, and the remaining humans are hiding underground. Quite the bad scenario.

The Hunger Games

This world already had some issues, and a great war caused some more. I’d say (despite there being a functioning government) that this is a post apocalyptic world. It’s certainly a society that’s in shambles (in most places) after a war. And it’s kept in shambles intentionally. Much of the place is uninhabited, so I’d say it counts.

Zombieland

One of the best zombie movies I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen quite a few. This movie is comedy gold.Cardio. Double Tap. Always check the back seat. Such a funny movie. Can’t get enough of it. Obviously, being a zombie movie, it’s an post apocalyptic world of zombies.

WALL-E

One of the greatest of Pixar’s films, it takes place after the Earth has been abandoned by humanity. It was destroyed beyond use, so people took the space in generation ships designed to survive as long as needed. This movie has some interesting points we should consider with our society. Will we let the Earth get beyond our own saving? Who knows?

Wrap Up

Well, you can call this a win or a loss, but I did get some of it written. Tomorrow’s post will be Fantasy, General Geekiness, and Gaming.

Flying Cars, Grimm Tales, and Bond Villains – Geekout 20

Writing a blog post nearly every day means that I can write about all kinds of geeky topics. It’s been interesting writing these this year. So for a backstory, I received a page-a-day desk calendar for Christmas. On the calendar, it challenges you to list some geeky things based on three prompts it provides each day. I take that, and I write a little bit about each of my responses.

For example, today I am supposed to list Four Films in which Flying Cars appear, Four Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales, and Four James Bond Enemies. If I’m restricting my answers in some way, I’ll usually explain how.

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Let’s see how this day goes!

Four Films in which Flying Cars appear

For this, I think I’ll distinguish that flying cars and near-ground hovering cars are not the same thing. I’d also like to think that the name “car” is not required for these vehicles, but they should be car-like.

Star Wars: Attack of the Clones

In atmosphere, it’s common to have “speeders” in Star Wars. There are landspeeders, snowspeeders, airspeeders, etc. in their world. I’d say that the airspeeders seen in the second of the prequels are most certainly an example of flying cars in a film.

Back to the Future Part II

Where this movie’s going, we don’t need roads. In this film we seen flying cars landing on streets and continuing to drive. These cars use a hovering technology to lift them up into the sky as flying cars. We get to see this quite early, since Doc Brown has converted the DeLorean time machine into a flying car before the events of the movie take place – or in the future past… OK, let’s not go there.

Star Trek Into Darkness

They may not be common in Star Trek films and TV, however, flying cars do exist in the world. In fact, if you saw Star Trek Into Darkness, you watched current Spock’s fighting prowess on display while he was standing atop a flying car.

The Fifth Element

In The Fifth Element, our main protagonist is a cab driver named Korben Dallas. His cab? A flying cab, because the film is full of flying cars. I don’t have to get into the details of the film too much here, which is good; I wouldn’t want to spoil the movie for anyone who wants to watch it. I enjoy the film, and think Gary Oldman and Chris Tucker play some amazingly fun characters in the film!

Four Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales

And in this category, we’ll see how these both Grimm and grim tales have been adapted into modern version we still tell today!

Rapunzel

I’ll focus on what most people won’t know here, and I’ll assume that most people have seen Tangled. In the Grimm’s story, Rapunzel’s soon-to-be father is caught stealing food from the witch’s garden. The food was a craving from his pregnant wife. He is allowed the food in exchange for the soon-be-born child.

You know the locked in the tower and climb the hair bit of the story, but the prince part has some changes as well. He gets Rapunzel pregnant and plans an escape with her during his visits. Before they can complete the plan, Rapunzel foolishly gives away his visits, and when he next climbs up, the witch is the only one there. She pushes him onto thorns, blinding him. A bit more violent eh?

This is surprisingly a happy story, since he eventually finds her from her singing. His sight is restored by her tears and they raise their children happily ever after. This version takes a dark turn, but ends up in the light.

Hansel and Gretel

Again, the story starts as we all know it. The children are taken into the woods, because the family will not be able to feed them during the famine. They children leave stones as they walk, so they may follow them home. The next time they’re unable to get the stones, so they use bread crumbs. Could have worked if animals (likely mostly birds) hadn’t eaten the crumbs.

The children are now lost in the woods for days and, unlike the candy-houses of modern day, find a sugary bread and cake house. Obviously the starving children eat some of the house before being lured inside by the witch who discovers them eating her house!

The witch enslaves Gretel and is fattening Hansel for a meal, force-feeding him. Lucky for the children, the witch has poor eyesight, so when she checks to see how plump Hansel is getting, he shows her a bone instead of a finger. This fools the witch, but she eventually decides to eat both children immediately.

Before the witch can throw Gretel into the oven, she tricks the witch into leaning in first, and Gretel pushes her in, killing the witch.

And as we saw with the last tale, the story ends happily here. After the grim, cannibalistic encounter ending in the children murdering an old woman, they escape home with the witch’s treasure. Their evil stepmother, the one who wanted them gone in the first place has died, and the treasure now makes the family rich and happy.

Rumpelstiltskin

Like with Hansel and Gretel, this one has it’s darker element maintained well in modern versions. I forget exactly how the girl gets locked up by the king, but I believe her father had claimed that she could spin gold from straw. Anyway, once locked up, she’s told to spin the gold or be killed.

Luckily (or perhaps unluckily?) a magical being shows up to help. He offers his services in exchange for her jewelry, and spins the gold. I forget how many times this exchange happens, but eventually she’s out of items to trade for his services. The king has also declared he will marry her if she can spin gold again. Without anything to offer, he demands her first-born child as payment and does the deed.

Avoiding death again, she’s set free and marries the king. When their first child is born, she refuses to give him up, offering instead riches. In an uncharacteristic bit of generosity, he offers to rescind his claim if she can guess his name within some time period. No one knows his name, so she’s doomed (likely why he was willing to offer the opportunity).

She searches for him in the woods at night, and she somehow manages to find him talking excitedly to himself about his great success. In his excitement, he refers to himself by name, and she’s able to return home and give his name at the final opportunity to guess. He leaves without the child, and we get another happily ever after.

Cinderella

The story of the wicked stepmother and stepsisters is consistent here. She’s good and kind as her mother instructed her just before dying, which doesn’t help Cinderella much. Of note, Cinderella is not the German name of her, it’s the English. I just searched, and it seems that it’s “Aschenputtel”, and the Internet tells me that literally means Ash Fool.

I recall there being something done in their version that triggers the magical elements with the birds. I don’t recall what it is, but she does get help from birds in this version (it wasn’t just Disney’s version!) They help with chores and such, so she can be done in time for the ball. You know, the ball where the prince is looking for his bride. She’s left behind anyway, and the birds give her the outfit. I don’t remember how, but I recall it being the birds still.

There’s no midnight thing, but after the ball she makes an escape from the prince. To be honest, I’m not sure why she does that! Unlike in some modern versions, there are more nights of balls. Cinderella returns again, and the prince looses her again when she escapes while he’s walking her home. Failing again to find her, he plans a “trap” for the third night. While the ball is in progress, he has the stairs coated in a sticky substance to keep her from running away. When she tries, one of her golden, yes golden, slippers gets stuck. Now the prince has a way to find his bride-to-be during the day!

Ready for the less-than-pleasant part? In order to fit into the slipper, at the suggestion of their mother, one stepsister cuts off some toes and the other her own heel. Each in turn is thus able to fit the slipper, nearly fooling the prince. The noticed bleeding feet eventually giving away their disturbing treachery. Obviously, when Cinderella tries on the slipper, not only does it fit, but the prince recognizes it’s her.

And just in case it wasn’t disturbing enough already, those evil stepsisters get their eyes either poked or plucked out (I can’t remember which) by the birds from earlier. A bit gruesome there. At least Cinderella and her prince get a happy ending!

Four James Bond Enemies

This says “enemies”, so I’m going to allow myself the main villain or their henchmen. I’ll try to avoid hitting the same film multiple times, since that’s no fun. Although a couple I could pull their whole set of enemies and be happy with the result!

Goldfinger – Goldfinger

The titular character of a Bond film, this antagonist is obviously gold-obsessed, even killing someone and painting her with gold. To be honest, I don’t know if the paint killed her, or if she was dead first. Been forever, since I’ve seen the movie. Either way, he’s plotting some evil that you can watch the movie to learn about!

Janus – GoldenEye

Spoiler Alert! I like this character too much to exclude him from this list, but I attached that spoiler alert just in case. This is the assumed name of Alec Trevelyan, known also as 006. Bond was fooled into thinking he was killed by General Ourumov in the beginning of the film. Since Ourumov is the traitor working with him, that obviously was faked. Anyway, he’s a brilliant villain played by Sean Bean, so how can you dislike the character?

Jaws – Multiple Films

This giant brute is a recurring character in the Bond franchise, and attempts to kill 007 more than a couple of times. I most know him from Moonraker, because he was included in the bonus level of that title in the GoldenEye video game for the Nintendo 64. Jaws is depicted with metal teeth, which, in addition to being scary and iconic, can bite through quite a lot.

Oddjob – Goldfinger

I couldn’t do it! I like Goldfinger and wanted to include him, but I’m adding his henchman, Oddjob here as well! This henchman is strong, and also has a blade in the brim of his hat (likely a chakram). As a result, he is able to throw the hat as a weapon to decapitate his target.

Also, you’re practically cheating if you choose him as a character in the GoldenEye N64 game… The character model (and thus hit box) is shorter than the other characters! Don’t remember him being that short in the film, so perhaps the game developers just wanted a short character and chose him.

Wrap Up

Wrote a lot more than I intended today! Anyway, make sure to follow my blog to catch the next post, which will cover a Gaming, a Comics, and a Sci-Fi topic!

Comic Artists, Star Trek Characters, and Wands – Geekout 18

As I start the 18th of these posts, I’m looking at the page from this calendar, and I don’t think it read my saying that I don’t know people’s names. My next failing day is here! Today I’m supposed to name Two Comic Book Artists, Four Characters from the Star Trek Universe, and Six Films or Television Shows in which Characters Use Wands.

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As you may have guessed from my not knowing people’s names, I’ll be failing that first prompt. Let’s get to it.

Two Comic Book Artists

Probably my area of least expertise for this stuff is comic books, so it’s no surprise that I barely know the names of the authors of comics. I can’t name one comic book artist, and I’ve been trying to think of one since this morning. Sorry, artists. I appreciate your work, but I’m failing you here.

Four Characters from the Star Trek Universe

To start this one, I was thinking about restricting myself here. At first I was thinking of naming only characters whose names start with “Q”. Other options are just Ferengi, Vulcans, or Klingons. The latter options are still easy, so I think I’ll name doctors, since that sounds fun.

Beverly Crusher

My personal favorite of the Next Generation medical officers. Am I remembering correctly that she only missed one season, not being aboard the Enterprise? It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of her son, Wesley.

Doctor Phlox

One of the stranger medical officers on the show, Doctor Phlox had all kinds of interesting creatures to help with things. The only alien I’m including in this list, his medical knowledge was quite varied, learning things from various cultures. It always made him a little fun.

“The Doctor” – Emergency Medical Hologram

It’s interesting how this medical hologram was able to grow so much during the show. His being active too long let them learn just how advanced his program really was. He learned and became so much more than just a hologram. His growth reminds me of Data’s in some ways. One might overlook the needs of a hologram, but what is sentience and intelligence anyway?

Julian Bashir

Spoiler alert! I warned you! As it turns out, in a way, the only normal human on my list was Doctor Crusher. Julian is an Augment, which is the Star Trek term for the genetically enhanced humans. This is why Julian is as smart as he is, and it’s a secret he needs to keep (this is frowned upon). If you’ve forgotten what an Augment is, think Khan.

Six Films or Television Shows in which Characters Use Wands

Six is a large number of distinct movies and films to name! We’ll see if I succeed here! I’m thinking “wand” means I cannot include magical staves or scepters. I won’t do this, but I just realized I could name all 8 Harry Potter movies and be done. I’ll not do that though, since that’s boring.

Harry Potter Series

A bit obvious, the witches and wizards in this series wield wands to focus their magical powers.

Cinderella

The Fairy Godmother in the Cinderella cartoon uses a wand to cast her spells that set Cinderella up for a fun night at the ball.

Fantasia

I believe that Mickey uses a want to start some of the “fun” in this one. Am I wrong about that?

The Wizard of Oz

I seem to recall at leas the good witch using a wand in this. The fireball from the wicked witch was thrown by hand, right? Wow it’s been a while since I’ve seen this. I should watch it again, since I’m having trouble remembering.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

I think the White Witch uses a wand to cast her spells. Might be a scepter, but I think it’s a wand. Now I’ll need to grab the book later and check. Yes, it will be the book I check rather than the film.

Fairly Odd Parents

Wand wielders in this! Spent about a half hour coming up with a TV show, since the prompt allowed for them.

Wrap Up

I spent way too much time coming up with Wand stuff. I went through all kinds of options. I was thinking of shows that had a D&D style episode like Monsters and Mazes from Dexter’s Lab, Bender’s Game from Futurama, and the D&D game in Reboot. Couldn’t remember if any of them actually had a wand though.

I don’t feel too bad about missing one of the three prompts today, since I felt good about the next two.

Anyway, tomorrow I’ll be back with General Geekiness, Gaming, and Comics.

Witches, South Park, and Cthulhu – Geekout 17

When I decided to start this, I figured this would be one of the best ways to encourage myself to start writing on this blog. I’d left this place stale for quite a while, having only posted a few things when I felt like it. A personal blog isn’t something I’d really taken on before. Either way, I’ve been successful so far with this Geekout challenges from the page-a-day calendar I received for Christmas.

Today I’ll be writing about Four Named Witches, Six Characters from South Park, and Two Games in which Cthulhu appears.

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An interesting set of topics here. Let’s get diggin’!

Four Named Witches

I’m not sure “named” needed to be said here, but still fairly easy to handle. What defines a “witch” seems to depend on the source material, so if they’re calling someone a witch, I’ll count it!

Hermione Granger – Harry Potter Series

In the story’s world, magic users are referred to as “wizards” if they’re males and “witches” if they’re females. I kind of wanted to pick a less-significant character to the stories, but I thought people would have me strung up for skipping her. Can’t keep writing these if I’m dead now can I?

Written as a very smart witch, Hermione seems to know just about everything that’s readily available to someone of her age (and some things that aren’t as well)!

Samantha Stephens – Bewitched

A classic television show here, Samantha marries Darrin Stephens, a non-magical man who’s in for more than he bargained for. Choosing to marry him rather than a warlock, she tries to not use her powers, but that’s often difficult. Her mother is often around causing mischief and trying to separate them. It’s always fun watching her struggle with trying to not use her powers. She and her mother are both witches, and I’m sure others were on the show, but I’d not come up with a name for them.

Morrigan – Dragon Age Series

She and her mother are referred to as witches of the wilds in Dragon Age, so I’d say they nicely qualify as witches. She’s a shapeshifter, which is an interesting power.

Sabrina – Sabrina, The Teenage Witch

As another television show character, she’s also on the cornier side of things. She’s a teenager who finds out she’s a witch. Her aunts are around teaching her the ways of witchcraft and such. I don’t remember the show too well, but I recall it essentially being a sitcom where the main character has some magical powers. Sounds fun to me!

Six Characters from South Park

I remember when this show came out. I wasn’t very old at the time, but it was pervasive even among children too young for its material. I’ve not really kept up on the show at all, but I knew it long ago. I’ll get the basics here.

Kenny

I’ll start here, so I can reference him more easily below. Starting from the beginning there was a running gag about Kenny dying. I recall seeing Kenny with his hood off in their movie, but before that his face was mostly covered by his hood. He’s always wearing the bright orange winter coat with the hood covering most of his face.

Stan

He is another one of the main characters of the show. Stan’s most known line must be about how one or more people or things just killed Kenny.

Kyle

Also a main character, I seem to recall Kyle also exclaiming about Kenny being killed. It’s been too long to remember much there. I do remember that Kyle is the Jewish one, and considering the show, that’s going to be brought up often.

Cartman

Likely the least mature of the four main characters I’ve just mentioned, Cartman is also the show’s source of fat jokes. He’s the overweight, spoiled kid and is genuinely not nice to people (normal for most of the show’s characters).

Chef

As his name implies, Chef is the school’s cafeteria worker. To be honest, I’m not sure if he has another name; I didn’t watch enough of the show to know for certain if it’s a convenient name or a nickname. The main characters often get advice from Chef.

Butters

Like Chef, Butters is also a very prominent character in the series. The main thing I remember about Butters is his obsession with Bennigan’s. Don’t know if that was actually prominent or not, but I remember it.

Two Games in which Cthulhu appears

For those of you who don’t know, Cthulhu is a fictional being created by H. P. Lovecraft, an author who wrote plenty of weird stories about powerful, strange magical creatures, events, etc. Cthulhu is generally depicted as a giant humanoid creature with dragon-like wings and an octopus for a head.

Arkham Horror

A game that a really enjoy, Arkham Horror is a sometimes long game where the players work together to stabilize the world before a powerful, Great Old One arrives. Cthulhu is one of the ones that can be on his way. The players are trying to stop him (or another) from showing up, but also need to be prepared to fight the being should it arrive anyway!

Call of Cthulhu

This is a role-playing game that I’ve not played, but I do know people who play it. Fairly certain Cthulhu must have some kind of representation in the game. Don’t know what it is here, since I don’t know the game that well. I couldn’t exactly leave this one off of the list though.

Wrap Up

Tomorrow we’ll be discussing Comics, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy. I hope you make it back 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.

2017-01-18 Geekout

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.