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.

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!

Scientists, Pants-less Protagonists, and Frank Miller – Geekout 9

Nope. Can’t get out of this streak yet! I just don’t know real people’s names! Sorry, but it’s kind of my thing. While yesterday, I didn’t know He-Man well enough. Today I’m struggling to remember who Frank Miller is and what works he’s done. I’m supposed to name Four Fictional Scientists in Television, Four Video Game Protagonists that Don’t Wear Pants, and Two Frank Miller Comic Books.

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I’m already having a laugh about that gaming question. The general geekiness and comics questions are normal questions.

Four Fictional Scientists in Television

Wishing this weren’t restricted to television, because I know a steely-eyed missile man I’d like to be naming right here. Well, there are more than enough scientists on television, so here goes.

Dexter – Dexter’s Laboratory

I’ve mentioned his sister Dee Dee already, so I might as well mention him as well. The titular character of the series, Dexter is quite the scientist (not just for his age). His lab, experiments, and creations make for some fantastic episodic fun in the show. I don’t even know if we’re rooting for him to succeed or not most of the time, but he’s a wild character for sure.

Samantha Carter – Stargate Franchise

With a Ph.D. in astrophysics, she makes an awesome part of the SG1 team. She speaks nerd with Daniel and military with O’Neill. She may be a military woman first, but her science background is vital at points during the show. While Dr. Jackson may be the one referred to with the title, it’s only because her military rank is used instead. Her promotions through the series are also quite useful, since it lets you know where you are in the series when someone calls by rank.

Gaius Baltar – Battlestar Galactica

Being a famous scientist is what got him to safety in the first place, and set him up in a great position with the fleet. He’s a very fun character in the show. I don’t want to get too far into things, but some of his decisions are quite enjoyable to watch him make! And if you ever play the Battlestar Galactica board game, be careful of trusting this character.

Spock – Star Trek

I wanted to choose one of the many Science Officers from Star Trek, and I figured Spock was as good a choice as any. I think being the Science Officer of the Enterprise would qualify you as a scientist, don’t you? I’m not sure how much I need to say about this pointy-eared alien. When you think about it though, you can choose nearly all of the characters in The Federation, since being a scientist is basically a requirement for all of them!

Four Video Game Protagonists that Don’t Wear Pants

Some characters I’m having trouble remembering if they wear pants or not, so I’m avoiding them just in case. With cartoony characters either wearing just a shirt or just pants is sometimes a thing! And for clarification, I’m interpreting this as no pants, shorts, skirts, etc. It would be way too easy a question if it allowed dresses and skirts to count!

Sonic the Hedgehog

The pants would only slow him down. Shoes and gloves are all that are required for speed! The Blue Blur has so many games, but his originals are the real classics we all love. If you’ve never played a sonic game, they’re classics of the 2D platforming genre that you should play. They’re old games, so most of the gameplay was in replay value. That means the time commitment to “have played it” is very minimal.

Conker – Conker’s Bad Fur Day

Now if you enjoy raunchy, inappropriate humor, this is your Squirrel! My introduction to him was in one of my all-time favorite racing games, Diddy Kong Racing. He wasn’t so out there in that game, but he ends up in the gutter and down the toilet in his own game (sometimes literally). He was the protagonist of Conker’s Bad Fur Day, and I think many parents were surprised the cute red squirrel game was rated M.

Donkey Kong – Donkey Kong Country

Could’ve gone with Diddy as well, but figured the classic made the most sense.  I believe his only article of clothing is a tie. This was a wonderful game from my childhood. I remember going crazy for this game. It was remarkable what they did with the series as well. I still listen to the music from this franchise. The character design for this guy was wonderful. Don’t let his lack of pants dissuade you from playing this classic series of games!

Meat Boy – Super Meat Boy

Meat doesn’t need pants. Plus, it would get caught in all of the gears and such. Who wants to eat that? This guy is from a crazy platforming game that really is a lot of fun, which I think might surprise some people. You play as a moving, slab of meat sliding and jumping on floors and walls. Yep, it’s not a normal game. Fun though!

Two Frank Miller Comic Books

After some thinking, I think he’s the 300 guy. That’s all I’ve got. I know I’ve heard that other stuff was created by the creator of 300, but I just can’t recall what it was for. I know the others have to be realistic, gritty stuff, but I don’t want to guess.

300

Surprisingly I never saw this one, but it’s on the list of movies I want to see. I may read the comic book. We’ll see if I’ve got the time for it!

Thoughts on possible other works by Frank Miller

My wife was trying to get me to think of what might have worked on (I’m sure she knows plenty!), but I said I didn’t want to be giving guess answers. So I’m adding some thoughts here instead of guessing.

I know they’ve got to be gritty comics. He might have done some Batman comics for DC, since Batman tends to have darker, grittier stories than many other heroes. I could see him writing for one or more of the Defenders characters on the Marvel side; Daredevil, Luke Cage, and Jessica Jones all seem like characters he could work with. And I’m probably even guessing on these lines based on her thinking I would be capable of guessing them.

Wrap Up

I’m hoping a future one of these asks for works by Alan Moore, since I could name a few without even trying. I’m really enjoying the open-ended ones though, where I can choose from any franchise I like. The first two questions today are great examples of that!

Failing to Geekout – Geekout 7

And my streak of successfully listing answers for the page-a-day calendar comes to an end. I can’t get this one. Today I’ll need to list Two Named Animals from Beastmaster, Four Dr. Seuss Book Titles, and Two Named Victims in Assassin’s Creed.

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Here goes…

Two Named Animals from Beastmaster

I don’t know Beastmaster at all, so I don’t have anything to list for this one. I did a quick search, and it seems like it might be a movie.

Four Dr. Seuss Book Titles

This is more of a “do you remember your childhood” question than anything all that geeky. Did non-geek children read something else? Well his books are certainly some of my favorites today. Not just because of how well-written and entertaining they are, but also for all of the great lessons they teach.

Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

I’m not really the adventurous type, but this book does make life seem like a wonderful journey. The places I’ve gone have been interesting.

The Sneeches and Other Stories

Some sneeches have stars on their bellies others don’t. None of them are better than the others, but before anyone learns that lesson, everyone is willing to pay a lot to always be the “better” type of sneech.

I think there are plenty of things you can take away from this story, beyond the obvious ideas of equality among people. You could also interpret that you don’t need to always be chasing the popular things to do. If everyone is buying the greatest new stuff, you don’t have to. You can be yourself. You’re already pretty great!

Green Eggs and Ham

I’ll admit, I’ve never tried green eggs and ham, and I don’t try as many new things as I probably should. I do know in my mind, however, that making judgements without information is a mistake. Whether that be about food or something else doesn’t matter.

The Lorax

Speaking for the trees is an important thing, since they can’t speak themselves! I admit, I need a thneed, but I’d rather find a more sustainable way to get my thneed. Perhaps we could try cutting and replanting the trees only in one place? Assuming we could produce enough thneeds for everyone’s needs, I think we’d be OK.

Two Named Victims in Assassin’s Creed

And this page gets me again. I’ve played only the first of this series. I own a few of them, but I want to play them in order. Having started the first a few times, but never completing it means I don’t know any target names.

Wrap Up

I did not expect two on the same day to end that streak. I guess I need to get around to playing Assassin’s Creed again. One of these days I’ll finish it, but I’m always distracted by other games I’m playing. Too many games, books, movies, etc. Too little time.

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…

Elves, Cameos, and Companies – Geekout 2

On today’s Geekout challenge from my page-a-day calendar, I’m supposed to list: Two Middle-earth Elves, Two Celebrities [who] have Made Cameo appearances on The Big Bang Theory, and Four Video Game Companies.

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Looks like those icons must indicate the category, I’d guess it’s fantasy, general geekiness, and games.

Two Middle-earth Elves

I’d say the toughest part for this one is choosing from which of Tolkien’s texts I should make my selections. I’ll admit that I’ve never finished the Silmarillion, but I’ve read half the book more than once. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, however, each have more than enough elves to choose from.

Elrond

Appearing in The Hobbit, The Fellowship of the Ring, and The Return of the King, this elf stays important throughout the series, unlike some who make appearances in only The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit. Additionally, he always seems somewhat mystical, and is relatively nice to the characters we’re following.

Thranduil

The more reclusive and less-trusting elf, Thranduil and his elf brethren create an interesting challenge for Bilbo and his Dwarven allies, imprisoning the dwarves until their barrel-riding ally manages to plan their escape. While I’m not too happy with his portrayal in the recent movie adaptation, I like the character, since he offers such a different view of the Elves than we received earlier in the book while meeting Elrond. Not all elves share the same opinions it would seem!

Two Celebrities with Cameos on The Big Bang Theory

Now here’s finally a tough question for me. I’m not much of a fan of The Big Bang Theory. While it’s got some good geeky humor, the show seems to ridicule nerds and geeks, casting us often in a poor light. There are funny points, and jokes that are certainly for us exclusively! Maybe it’s just me though!

Wil Wheaton

As a child actor, I was not a fan, however, I’ve come around to Wil Wheaton following his roles on Leverage and The Guild. I do know that he was on an episode of The Big Bang Theory. I didn’t watch the episode, but I heard something about the cast and him. For some reason I’m remembering something about bowling. Maybe I’m way off on this one.

Brent Spiner

I heard about this as well, so I hope I’m right here. I remember something about it, since it made for a double Star Trek cameo. I recall something about a birthday. Either way, Data is an awesome character with really interesting development in The Next Generation, and Brent Spiner really played him well. Since Star Trek, I’d have to say my favorite of his characters was in Independence Day. So many people didn’t even notice it was him!

Four Video Game Companies

Now this is a laughably small number of game companies to name. I’m guessing someone thought four would be a large number, since most of the questions so far have asked for two.

Square Enix

As a fan of many classic RPG franchises, including Chrono Trigger/Cross, the Final Fantasy series,  and the Star Ocean series, it would be difficult to exclude the creators of those games who now comprise Square Enix.

Their current direction is somewhat questionable at times, however, I am hopeful that the FF7 remake will not be the disappointment many predict. In addition, I’ve appreciated some of the games they’ve published, including Life is Strange.

Blizzard Entertainment

Talk about a company that really got in a decades long groove. Warcraft was a good game, and I remember IPX connection games of Warcraft II so long ago! Everything changed with Diablo, Starcraft, and Battle.net! Talk about an acquisition, Blizzard North bringing along Diablo set the stage for this company’s triumph in online gaming. Never again was there a need to try and get LAN games going with friends. Online gaming was now easy.

This company is never the first in their genre, but when they show up, they take over. Their development efforts seem to stretch on forever, but if they let a game reach release, it’s impressive. These days I think Heroes of the Storm is the closest they have to a non-success, but only because it’s not the top MOBA.

Quantic Dream

A company close to my heart, Quantic Dream does not disappoint. No, not even with Beyond: Two Souls. The creators of Heavy Rain and Indigo Prophecy, two of my favorite games. Interestingly, Indigo Prophecy was originally called Fahrenheit outside the US, a crazy thing, since we’re nearly the only country using that system.

The games this studio creates aren’t for everyone; story-focused games are their expertise. As a player, you’re guiding a movie more than anything else. There are skill-based challenges and story-impacting decisions to make which determine how the story will end. I’ve watched the endings of their games more times than I’d like to admit, and I’ve played through each game quite a few times as well.

BioWare

At this point, you may have noticed my story-driven, role-playing game focus. I must include the creators of the Baldur’s Gate series of games. Yes, I cite them for that, since that’s where I first experienced their games. Those games used D&D rules, so that was quite fun for me!

Using similar rules to D&D, their Star Wars game, Knights of the Old Republic, was (and still is) one of my favorite games. If you’ve not played it, I recommend giving it a try sooner rather than later. It’s not a new game, so the controls are starting to show their age. The story and adventure are quite fun though! They were not the creators of Knights of the Old Republic II, however, they came back to the series with The Old Republic, their MMO that I do still play!

Now, before anyone tries to have me strung up, yes, I played and loved Mass Effect and Dragon Age! They’re great games that show that BioWare can take those same skills and transition from D&D and Star Wars to their own worlds with Dragon Age and Mass Effect respectively.

Wrap Up

It seems I’ve managed two of these posts in a row. That won’t last, however, I’m hoping that The Big Bang Theory questions doesn’t become a trend – I’ll exhaust that expertise quickly!