Joss Whedon, Train Games, and Captain America – Geekout 14

Maybe today is the day I catch up. We’ll see if I can get a second out completed. I’ve been answering prompts from a page-a-day calendar I received for Christmas last year. Each day there’s a new prompt, and it’s surprisingly difficult to come up with an answer. Today I’m supposed to come up with Two Television Shows [for] which Joss Whedon was a Writer, Two Games in which Trains appear, and Two Captain America Enemies.

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All aboard the geekout train!

Two Television Shows for which Joss Whedon was a Writer

This was a sudden, but inevitable question. Can’t really ask nerdy stuff without covering Joss Whedon these days. Naming four would have been easy enough. Two is a walk in the cemetery waiting for vampires.

Firefly

Glad I got another change to reference Firefly. So far, I’ve only mentioned it as being a Sci-Fi television show, having a comic published by Dark Horse, and for featuring an iconic named sci-fi starship. Clearly I am not a fan of the show. I’d like to thank everyone who helped make this show! It was really great!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

A show that was on at my house when I was a kid. This didn’t really catch my interest then, however, I’ve since gone back and watched it. I really enjoyed the show. Does this surprise anyone? Of course not! It’s got Quark in it! Armin Shimerman plays Principal Snyder of Sunnydale High in this show. It probably is Quark, considering that the he and Rom landed on Earth decades before the events of Buffy the Vampire Slayer took place!

Two Games in which Trains appear

The number just wasn’t high enough for me here. I’m going over two. Didn’t know what kind of games it meant, so I chose board and video.

Ticket to Ride

Starting obvious, this is the most widespread board game about trains. It’s a light-weight, fun game that you can pick up at most stores. Don’t even need to visit your local game shop for this one. They’ve released different versions of the game as well.

Mario Kart 64

Wanted to pick something unexpected, so this is it! There’s a train in the desert level of the game.

Railroad Tycoon

This one is actually a trick. Did I intend the video game or the board game? Both! And based on that name, I think you can guess that there are trains in the games. The board game is quite fun, but it’s much heavier and longer than Ticket to Ride. Also, the board game no longer has the license to use the name from the video game. It’s now called Railways of the World.

Final Fantasy VII, VIII, XIII

I am certain that more of them also have trains if I thought about it, but these definitely have them. You start the game on a train in both 7 and 13. And you first meet Laguna, Kiros, and Ward on a train ride in 8.

Two Captain America Enemies

I wanted to say “Tony Stark” and “Bucky Barnes”, but my wife got mad at me for suggesting that. Bummer. Sometimes I like being horrible like that!

Red Skull

Classic and evil-looking, Red Skull is an obvious enemy of Captain America. He’s from the comics and was portrayed by Hugo Weaving in the recent movies, which means he was well-played. Look, I know another actor’s name!

Arnim Zola

Evil nerds are fun. Here we have a brilliant enemy scientist. I don’t want to get into everything he’s involved in during the movies for fear of spoilers, but for those in the know, it’s fun stuff! For definitions of fun that don’t require being Good.

Wrap Up

Added some extras here, because these were fun choices. Tomorrow’s categories will be sci-fi, fantasy, and general geekiness.

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Consoles, Comic Cats, and Cartoon Aliens – Geekout 11

Coming to the end of week two of this challenge, I’m attempting to Geekout with this page-a-day calendar I’ve received. It asks me to list a set of things each day. Today, I’ll need to come up with Six Video Game Consoles, Two Comic Book Characters with Cat Attributes, and Four U.S. Cartoons with Alien Creatures.

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These don’t look all that challenging. All three are open-ended questions again, so I think I’ve got them in hand.

Six Video Game Consoles

When I was a small child, my brother and I asked our parents for an NES for Christmas. My parents said that we couldn’t afford it, so we’d have to ask Santa. Christmas morning came, and no console was found under the tree. Later in the day, my family was all treated to small me screaming about something down in the basement. I assume my parents must have sent me downstairs to get something from down there. The console wasn’t under the tree, it was hooked up to a television in the basement. My first video game console. And boy was that a ride.

Nintendo 64

Nintendo’s venture into 64-bit consoles was something they’d been talking about for a while. I remember watching promotional videos Nintendo sent out on VHS tapes talking about the system. I read many articles about the system before its release.

The year that console came out, it was hard to find. Places sold out of them quickly. Somehow my parents managed to get one. My father had a cool idea for how to wrap it. I loved the idea so much then, and it has inspired me to do some creative work of my own.

The console was under our tree for a while before Christmas. It was wrapped together with games, additional controllers, and some extra pieces of cardboard. The interested part is that it was a uniquely shaped gift. It was shaped like some kind of poultry, maybe a chicken or a turkey. It was blocky, but you could tell what it was.

Playstation

When my brother and I were little, we saved our allowance money for years. We didn’t receive as much as most people we knew, but we also knew that saving it meant you could get better stuff with it. This is one example of that paying off. In fact, this console is not ten feet away from me right now and still works well, which is impressive for being the initial model to hit stores. We bought it when the price was still $300. This is one of my all-time favorite consoles, having been host to so many great games! I loved that this generation had both cartridges and discs, since both had advantages at that time. This system was a true marvel, being a success right out the gate.

XBox 360

Microsoft’s entrance into console gaming didn’t go as well as Sony’s. Their first console wasn’t as hugely successful, however, as we all say, the second time’s the charm. The 360 was a massive success, not just for having improved their game library, controllers, and system itself. Their true win was in their online support. Xbox Live may not have been free, but it worked so well that it destroyed its competition.

Sega Genesis

Being the only Sega console I owned, I had to name it here. It had some great games, including the more violent version of Mortal Kombat. The console was fun, however, Nintendo did have the better controller in that generation with the SNES. Sorry, Sega.

Atari 2600

This classic, famous console is old and goofy. I know some people love the wood-paneling along the side, but I think it just makes it look older. Joysticking was still the thing for this machine. Helping to contribute to the crash of game consoles, who could leave it off of the list?

Game Boy

Since I incidentally named other consoles in previous bits of text, I’m going to allow a handheld console in here. The original Game Boy was awesome; I played that handheld so much. My Game Boy is also within 10 feet of me right now. It’s right next to my two Game Boy Pockets and my Game Boy Color. I’ll lump those together for the most part, since Nintendo was brilliant enough to have them play the same games. Unlike the competition, Nintendo realized that quality games and battery life were far more important than colors an specs.

This brick of a handheld only showed images in shades of green, but it did so for hours on far fewer batteries than the competition. I remember using the magnifying glass and light combo adapter to use at night. I also was one of those people who caught the Pokemon craze immediately, picking up the game as soon as it released in the US.

Two Comic Book Characters with Cat Attributes

Thinking about what “Cat Attributes” might mean, I’m going to decide that naming actual cats would be outside of the spirit of the question, so Luna will not be listed. I do, however, think you can have “cat attributes” without physical feline traits; whiskers on humans will not be a requirement for this.

Cat Woman

Too obvious on this one? Cat-like? Absolutely. I will say that giving her a movie of her own may have been a mistake… She’s a fun character, because she’s not just a straight up villain.

Black Panther

They’ve brought him to the big screen, and it’s good. Great work, Marvel! Do this character well! I am looking forward to his having his own movie!

Four U.S. Cartoons with Alien Creatures

Well this is going to focus on some of the weirder characters from cartoons.

American Dad

While it’s not a show I watch, I’ve seen more than a few episodes of it. I included it, because it’s a show that prominently features an alien and isn’t sci-fi other than that (as far as I know).

The Flintstones

I’m sure you forgot or are trying to forget that this show had an alien! The great Gazoo, if I recall the name and spelling of that green, stereotypical alien thing.

The Simpsons

For as much of the Simpsons as I’ve seen over my lifetime, I’m blanking on the name of the two green aliens from the show. They’re cycloptic , tentacled alients wearing tall, nearly-cylindrical space helmets. Also, I didn’t want to list Futurama, since that seemed too easy.

Space Ghost Coast to Coast

There are a couple of aliens here, including my favorite bean-loving idiot, Brak. If you’ve never watched this show, you missed out. It was one of my favorites as a kid.

Wrap Up

Yes, I’m going to playing a bit of catch up on these! I was unable to publish each day, so I’ll be doing a couple of these some days until I catch back up!

Drawn Characters – Geekout 4

I’ve now found a very interesting one in my page-a-day calendar! All three of the prompts deal with drawn characters. For today, I need to list: Six Recurring Animated Female Characters on 1990s Television, Six Characters from the Mario Bros. Game Franchise, and Two Dark Horse Publications.

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These are just fun! I’ve got good choices for all of them! And I think my category guesses are correct; general, gaming, and comics are the categories this time.

Six Recurring Animated Female Characters on 1990s Television

Now here’s a prompt that my wife exclaimed about when I revealed this page. Considering we both watched quite a few 1990s cartoons, we’ve got quite a few choices!

Barbara Gordon – Batman: The Animated Series

Starting off strong (even speaking literally!) Who wouldn’t have chosen Batgirl? She has always been one of my favorite characters from the Batman franchise, so she was a must include for this list. Through her incarnations, she’s had some changes, but I do enjoy this TV series.

Jean Grey – X-Men

Staying on that strong note is Jean Grey, a mutant of impressive powers. I’d fault this version of the character for her goofy outfit, but that’s just kind of what was worn for this era of the X-Men. It’s definitely nostalgia more than anything else that I like about that era. The colors were crazy. Oh, did I mention that she’s also Phoenix? Yeah… Badass..

Dee Dee – Dexter’s Laboratory

One of the greatest agents of chaos to ever exist, Dexter’s wonderful sister, Dee Dee is a source of endless strife in Dexter’s Lab. Oh how she manages to foil so many of his plans. My favorite of those was when he made her smart, but she was smarter than he was then. Haha!

Bulma – Dragon Ball Z

This brilliant dragon ball hunter may not have been one of the primary combatants of the series, but she was terrifying in her own right (no Chi-chi of course). Bulma was often the person that we could relate to, since she was almost sane. Almost. Her common sense, technical expertise, and tenacity made her an always valuable member of the team!

Harley Quinn – Batman: The Animated Series

Didn’t think I was going to skip this one after bringing up this TV series, did you? Harleen Frances Quinzel was introduced in the 1990s in this series to be exact! Her current portrayal and relationship you may have seen in a recent movie seems quite different from what existed in this series. She may love “Mistah J”, but in this series her relationship with him almost seems abusive.

While I hate discussing a female character based more on her connection to a male character than herself, this one is a bit of an exception. Since I chose Harley Quinn specifically, I’d say that the Joker created her, so that relationship is extremely important. She’s also got an interesting relationship with Poison Ivy, so that’s a thing.

Angelica – Rugrats

And for the show about a bunch of babies, the young, bullying child is a great choice. She’s in an interesting role in that show considering how strange their whole dynamic is in general. I guess when you’re applying wisdom and intelligence to a bunch of babies, you get some weirdness.

Six Characters from the Mario Bros. Game Franchise

Wario

“I’m-a Wario, I’m-a gonna win!” I shouted, crossing the finish line seconds ahead of my nearest opponent! He’s about as “American” as you can get. He’s greedy. He’s overweight. He pushes people around. And he’s such a good driver…

Toad

This topic reminded me of a time I was playing a game of Telestrations, and I was supposed to draw the word “Toad”. I didn’t draw the animal, since I’d have no way to avoid the frog/toad debate in a cruddy marker-drawn picture. Being the nerd that I am, I drew our mushroom-headed friend, Toad with some question blocks and a pipe for added clarity. My drawing was guessed correctly, and the next person, also being a video game nerd, chose to take the same route, drawing a picture very similar to mine. The guess? “Video Game Character”. That could have gone better.

Toad is really interesting though. Considering how many there are, I guess I’ll have chosen the one from Mario Kart, since that game is a blast. Sometimes literally!

Daisy

As the games shifted away from the main titles and more into all of the spinoffs, Daisy became much more prominent. I’m really glad that she was added to the games, because these games would have a broad appeal and were somewhat lacking in interesting female characters. If I’m remembering correctly, she’s athletic and quite capable (despite her initial appearance being as a captured princess).

Bowser

Hooray for the villains! Although, I may like him best in Mario RPG, which casts him in a very different light! Always kidnapping, scheming, and causing problems. I enjoy how he causes problems in the Mario Party games as well. As is there way, Nintendo finds ways to make the villains fun (even the monstrous ones).

Peach

Thank you Mario! But our princess is in another castle! Well that’s frustrating. Perhaps next time I should figure out which castle looks best defended and go there first…

I remember there being some strange things about her name. I don’t think she really had one at first, or maybe it came from a manual or something. Was this always her name in Japan? Was it something else at first? Either way, she definitely had a name when Mario Kart came around, and I think that name was just “Peach”. Did she sign her name as “Peach” in the note on the cake in Mario 64? Either way, great character.

If you played the game released as Super Mario Bros. 2 in the US, she was just awesome. Love that she wasn’t a “damsel in distress” in that one. She was a playable hero right alongside Mario, Luigi, and Toad! And in some ways better than they were!

Birdo

Now here’s one with some extra weirdness if you dig more deeply. Being a recurring boss-like character in Super Mario Bros. 2, this egg-spitting, bow-wearing creature was more of a nuisance than anything else. It took a real mistake to get hurt by her/him. If memory serves, Birdo is actually male, but wears the bow? Not sure where the eggs are coming from then… Either way, Birdo came back and was featured in more stuff, which is very cool. The games could always use more non-humanoid characters.

Two Dark Horse Publications

Clearly there are none of these on my bookshelf! Why would there be? And I definitely can’t just turn my head and see plenty of Dark Horse logos! No way!

Star Wars: The Old Republic – Comics

If you read the previous ones of these, you may have noticed that I like Star Wars and specifically The Old Republic, having played the single player and MMO games. I don’t think Dark Horse is still the ones publishing these, but they did for a time. That whole Disney acquisition of Star Wars changed many things.

Serenity – Comics

While I agree that restarting Firefly would likely make the series worse than it is, I am glad it received a movie to help wrap things up. Getting canceled before a season completes tends to leave much unanswered (as plenty still is). There are some comics that do as the movie did, helping to tie up additional lose ends and add bits to the story.

I’m happy where Firefly/Serenity is today. Although I really wish I could see what the show could have been!

Wrap Up

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And no one will ever guess how I chose those two Dark Horse publications…. And if you’re paying careful attention, you’d notice additional Dark Horse publications I didn’t mention…