Saturday, December 16, 2006

Uh...DAMN IT! I can't remember Steven's question. I remember his first question, but he replaced it with a new one and now I've totally blanked on what it was. Sorry Steve, I'll have to ask again.


Q. Since the beginning of time, why has man been fascinated by fire?

A. All the humans who weren't fascinated by fire froze to death during the ice age. The humans that genetically had the predisposition to fire, or at least didn't have a strong natural fear of it, used fire to survive. It's simple evolution.

Throughout history, people from all sides have argued that their own culture or race is superior to others, but there's been wide gulfs in their definitions of 'superior' that are often contradictory to logic and natural law. In reality, throughout human history, it has not been natural genetic superiority that has defined who was superior, but invention.

For example, imagine an absolutely perfect superbeing who's afraid of fire. Now imagine a small, pitiful human being, let's say roughly the size of a halfling (a child, for my non-geek readers, if they exist) who likes fire very much. Then the ice age hits. No matter how pitiful, stupid and small that halfling is, he's going to be enjoying a nice hunk of meat by the fire while our super being is enjoying the sensation of losing fingers to frostbite.

This is the core flaw in the philosophy of racists, and more specifically, the Nazis. Not only are they not genetically superior to every other race in the world, but even if they were it wouldn't matter. During World War 2, America was stil capable of producing far more soldiers, vehicles and bombs then the Germans ever could. Man to man, honestly, a Nazi soldier was superior to an American one (mostly because of training and organization). The war wasn't man to man though. It was tank to tank, plane to plane, and when America sent two to face their every one, victory for the Germans wasn't possible. Technology is what mattered, not genetic superiority, which is ironic since Germany had amazing technology. They just didn't have the system that would allow it to be mass produced, or used most effectively.

Our race, as it is now, is here because we were able to adapt to a new environment. The dinosaurs weren't able to adapt. They were mighty and powerful, but given one catastrophe, they're done. Given any amount of time, there's going to be a large catastrophe that redifines life as we know it. For most animals in the world today, the new change is us. The world's changing simply because there's so many human beings living in it at once. Man's success and survival in the future will be based solely on our ability to adapt to change.

Take trains. If we never evolved to the next step in transportation and never moved beyond the steam trains of the 1800's, would we still be using them today? No, we would have run out of wood. As the west was cleared of trees, those trees were used in the construction of train tracks, and because of the exposure to the elements, that wood would have to be replaced every two years or so, far faster then those trees could be grown. In the same fashion, oil is limited and when we run out, it's gone, and all technology based solely on oil will vanish. The strongest biggest, meanest caveman KNEW he was on top of the world and he KNEW he'd never need fire to do it. The cold came, he died, and the world moved on. People can pretend that we're going to have enough resources to last forever, but when we run out (the modern equivalent of the ice age), it's going to be the people who are best able to adapt who will run the world...

God this is dull.

I'm going to go ahead and apologize for the inherent dullness of this answer.

What to do...I know! DEATHALON!!!


Hello sports fans, and welcome to the Deathalon, where we take people and expose them to terrible, horrorible dangers until all but one are dead!

This week we have a special 'evolution edition' where we're taking the supposedly 'superior' versions of man and pitting them against the wrath of nature. For the sake of balance, every version will be outfitted exactly like a caveman. Nice Fred Flinstone look, guys! Hope you weren't expecting shoes!

Contestent number one is the REALLY BIG AND STRONG GUY! This guy's popular in bar fights, prisons, locker rooms, the pre-historic era, and generally anywhere you find guys.

Contestent number two is the PURE BLOODED NOBLE! Just look at his blonde hair, blue eyes, dementia, and wounds that won't heal themselves! Now that's the sure sign of the master race! This guy's popular with the early 1900's, other inbreds, and generally any culture that doesn't understand science that well.

Contestent number three is the REALLY SMART GUY! This guy has an IQ around 200! Will he successfully breed? We'll soon find out! Remember, this person is not necessarily creative, just smart. This guy's popular with the late 1900's, most snobs, and generally anyone who needs to know how to get their goddamn computer to work.

Speak of the devil, contestent number four is the REALLY CREATIVE GUY! Popular with inventors, capitalists and everyone that loves having 'stuff', this guy knows how to put things together!

Contestent number five is the...CHOSEN ONE! He's not particularly...anything really...but he was definitely pre-ordained to be all it's oneness! The one is popular with all people who refuse to take responsibility for themselves and need to be saved by a second party, and most other sheep.

Contestent number six is...MY FRIEND CHRISTIAN! Welcome to the games Christian! I can see you've already brought some fire for the contest...oh, you were bringing that anyway? Well that's good, because you're THE GUY WHO ISN'T AFRAID OF FIRE! Now, on to the...


AND THE PURE BLOOD IS OUT! Exactly two and a half seconds before the first event, our genetically pure competitor has succomed to the numerous genetic abnormalities that come with having only one family party each holiday. The festering boils and wounds derived from the hemophilia and dementia induced self neglect probably didn't help either! Despite his supposed blood purity, this monstrosity couldn't even survive in an air conditioned buffet! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, THE PURE BLOODS ARE OUT...and the Harry Potter fans go wild! Yes, sports fans, the Harry Potter fans go wild!


It's December, so this won't be completely easy...the creative guy and the intelligent guy are working together to make a hut...and the big guy is stealing the hut away from them! This could be, wait...they just went on ahead and made another hut for themselves! What great sports!

The chosen one is standing there, posing...the camera is focused on his grim expression and great hair as it flaps in the wind...and had he been chosen for practical reasons he'd have something to do right now., he's just standing there...being the one.

Christian isn't doing much besides playing with the fire. It's keeping him warm for now, but he'll need something to burn...

NOW HERE COMES THE COLD! The posing seems to be doing nothing for the Chosen one...


That's it! Without any good reason for being chosen, the chosen one is little more than a frozen corpse...


Or should I say tinder?! Christian's making good use of the fallen competitor as we move on to...


Oh I don't know if this will be much of an issue. There seems to be enough to go around for...

AND HERE COME THE LADIES! Specifically, three ladies. Now before my female readers get angry, we're assuming that the guys are going to fight first, and then the women will have their choice of mate. You could easily flip this equation and have women fighting over men if you like. The real issue is which of these competitors is going to be able to mate, regardless of whether they're going to be the mother or father.

The ladies seem to like all the guys, but there's simply not enough for everyone...

...and the big guy's trying to take them all! This is too much even for this group to handle! They're all ganging up on the big guy...and they're going for rocks ladies and gentelmen! No matter how big and strong you are, three guys with rocks...


...and torches are just too much to handle! Quantity is definitely defeating quality...


...and another corpse is on the pile! As we can now see, the actual bodies of the competitors seem to be nothing, be they supposedly pure, large, or destined! No, this is coming down to brains, but what about attracting the women? They seem a little put off what with the killing and all, and they're going to have to be charmed again.

The creative guy is composing sonnets, poems, songs and other inventions created solely for the purpose of getting into someone's pants. The women seem to approve!

The smart guy shows how well he can add numbers in his head. The women are indifferent!

Christian has pretty fire. OOOOOOO's and AHHHHHHH's aplently from the mystical fire! The fire is also warm, comforting and will cook their food. Women love men who can cook!

It looks like the ladies are cuddling up with two of our competitors to enjoy some rare mammoth steaks and sonnets read by the fire...AND OUR SMART GUY IS LEFT OUT IN THE COLD!

We'll assume that poor nerd doesn't mate in the frequency of Romeo and Pyro over there, as intelligence really don't matter until technology hits a certain level, and even then there's nothing on a whole about it that helps you mate more often then others.

Now, onto event number...what? No, you guys don't actually get to mate with the women...and I'm telling on you Christian.






The creative guy is taking my advice and running...which is no good! Ha ha, sucker! You can't outrun a bear. Christian is waving fire at the bear...who doesn't seem to like it at all! Yes, it's keeping it away...and the creative guy has fashioned a spear! He's jabbing at the bear...and the bear snaps it in two like a twig with a rock tied to the end! The creative guy somehow finds the time to fashion a bow and arrow...which is amazing, really...but the bear's already too close! The creative guy needs a plan!

He passes out!

Bears don't attack passed out people right? Looney Tunes wouldn't lie to us, would they?

Sorry creative guy, but this is a brown bear, and brown bears WANT you to stop moving. That means it's supper time!


AND THAT'S IT! The creative guy is eaten! Why? Shouldn't the creative inventor be able to save himself through inventions? Inventions don't erase problems, they change things. You can't invent the bow and arrow in time to save you, it has to already be there, and this in itself would creat new problems. If you create a bow you don't have to worry so much about animals, but then other humans will have bows as well, making everyone less safe. You haven't erased problems, you've just changed what the problems are.

For example, if there was a next event, and thanks to Christian's pyromania there doesn't have to be, it would be to gather enough food. Gathering enough food can be a problem, so you start moving around, which is haphazard at best, so you begin farming and keeping your own animals. All this keeps you in one place so you need protection, so you invent bows. Guys with bows are a problem, so you invent guns. Guys with guns are a problem, so you invent bombs. Guys with bombs are a problem, so you invent missles. Guys with missles are a problem, and you suddenly have to start moving around again in order to be safe.

Fire has helped humanity so much in the past because it works. If it didn't work, we wouldn't use it, and even in pre-historic times, using fire had its consequences, as you have to keep the fire going, gather enough wood and eventually get enough flint together to restart it easily and...

You're just ignoring me and staring at the fire, aren't you Christian?

*Lowers head*

You just want an excuse for your pyromania, don't you?

*Shameful nod*

Well just go right ahead my friend. Fire's saved humanity's bacon on many occassions, and as long as the people who prefer fire live to reproduce the most, it's the way it's going to remain.

Of course, one day it might be the opposite, and all the people who refused to give up fire, combustion, and other ways of turning resources into fuel, may all fade away just like those pyrophobic cavemen...but we're not there yet.

So just go ahead and enjoy yourself. The fish are of the sea, the birds are of the air, but despite what some Wiccan people may try to convince you, humanity is not an animal of the Earth.

Humans are, and always have been, embodied by the flame.

(Just don't burn down Vinny's basement, okay Christian? All my stuff's down there.)

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Okay, I had to take hostages in order to get the last few questions, but I did it! I apologize to any fictional characters who were almost brutally decapitated for the sake of blogging.


Q. If you could only eat/drink one thing in order to gain sustenance (assume you get complete nutritional value from this one thing) what would it be?


The problem is, eventually we get sick of everything. If we only eat/drink/play/watch/do/talk about/think about/screw/ritualistically murder one type of food/drink/game/show/hobby/topic/topic/hooker/Peanuts character, then we're eventually going to get bored no matter how many times we decapitate Lucy.

So the one type of food would have to either encapsulate many different types of food, provide an innate form of variety, or provide a completely unrelated benefit.

Just to set some ground rules, I'm assuming I won't be suffering the negative effects from the food, as I'd die in a year if I had to eat a real fattening food every meal. No, this is so special kind of super food that has all the nutritional benefits, but none of the drawbacks...

I have to admit, thinking this out I had a few misfires. At first, I was set and ready to say cheesecake, but it'd have to be my own cheesecake, and they take quite a bit of prepwork to create. Unless I'd want to spend every night home making cheesecake, that's not going to work...

I almost went with Jelly Belly Jellybeans and their incredible number of flavors, but that feels like cheating. I have a feeling that I'd be stuck with one particular type of food, not a brand of a general type. I could choose cherry jelly beans, and I'd be able to live on cherry jelly beans from any company, but it'd have to be a specific flavor.

A part of me wants to select buttery garlic bread...oh it wants to select that so bad...but eventually even I'd get tired of...soft, fresh baked...NO MAX! PULL BACK! Besides, could you ever really choose between buttery garlic bread...still warm from the oven...AND RED LOBSTER CHEESY BISCUITS?!

Oooo...tough choice...GARLIC BREAD!!! GIVE ME..., even that would get tiring after a while. I need variety! I need...

French Onion Soup

I'm not saying it's my all time favorite food, although I do enjoy it very much. The real allure is...well, come on, walk with me.

[Walks to Cape May]

Now...what? Well yes, I guess we could have driven, but...yes, I know it's really freakin cold out, but if you would...I really don't need to know how numb your genital area is right now man, I just need you to look HERE!

That's right, this is the 'Ugly Mug' tavern. Let's step inside. Now let's have a seat, order a couple of drinks, and more importantly, order two crocks of their french onion soup.

While we're waiting, I'm going to mention that I did consider making a surreal choice, but I knew very well that wasn't fair. If I could though, I'd definitely choose 1-up mushrooms from Super Mario Brothers.

Now, I'm not sure if Mario has to eat them or if he just absorbs them into his body, but in any case he is technically consuming them! The regular power-up mushrooms are tempting...double in height, break bricks with your fist or head, jump twice as high, survive a hit from anything including, but not limited to fire, cars, animal attacks and nuclear missles...but the extra life mushrooms are definitely more impressive.

Imagine this:

"Wow, that was some wild night in Vegas with all those hookers! Who knew there was a way to make sex even more unprotected than normal? Who knows what I might have contracted from that wild escapade..."

Walks into traffic, gets run over.

"And I'm back to normal, no problem at all! Gee, I probably shouldn't have borrowed that 100 grand from the mob to pay for that wild escapade! It'd be quite a shame if they were listening in and heard I had NO INTENTION OF REPAYING THEM!"

Gets thumb cut off and then gets capped in the head.

"Well I probably could have done without the experience of getting my thumb snipped off with a pair of bolt cutters...but hey, live and learn! Well, now I'm now back home from my wild trip. All I have to do now is go through the painfully long and tedious security screening process at the airport..."

Gets mauled by turtle.

"And I'm back home!"

Quite a setup huh? Now, a drawback would be that I'd have to eat the entire mushroom, and there's some question as to how large they get. In the video game they take up roughly the space of a 5 X 5 foot cube, which is kind of a lot of mushroom to eat through. On the videogame boxes the mushrooms fit in his hand...but why's he holding it? Do you have to hold the mushroom in order to get the benefit? Bear Wrestling (what? tell me you wouldn't want to try) and other ridiculous escapades would be kind of awkward if you had to hold a mushroom the entire time. Still, these 1-up mushrooms aren't real, so they're disqualified...oh good, here's our soup.

Go ahead, try it. Neat huh? No, it's not like other french onion soups you've tried. Yes, I am talking like Alton Brown right now, but hear me out.

This French Onion soup tastes a little bit like ale (in a good way), it's rich with deep onion flavor and there's a thick slice of cheese covered bread on top. This soup isn't too sweet, and it's loaded with red onion flavor!

Now let's walk back to Freehold. No, we can't take a bus. No sense arguing about it...JUMP CUT!

And we're back in Freehold! Let's walk down to the local Ruby Tuesdays.

Now he's a fairly generic bowl of French Onion soup, piled with bread and cheese. It's good, and almost nothing like the bowl we just had in the Ugly Mug. Another cut...

And we're here in Longhorns! No bread or cheese you say? That's more soup in the bowl, made with delicious meat drippings to give the onion soup a meaty kick...

And then it's over to Moore's tavern for a HUGE bowl of soup. Oof! Now that's what I like to see. Yum!

Go to any restaurant in the nation and you'll find French Onion soup, but no two will be the same. Of all the types of food in the world, none has more infinite variety than this simply dish, and you could eat it to gain sustenance for every meal every day, and you'd never get tired of it.

That's why, in response to your question, if I could only live on one type of food, it would definitely be...


I've cracked! My brain's rebelled! It's too late for me! I'm locking myself in with all the garlic bread I can find and I may very well never come out!





Saturday, November 25, 2006

Well, at least Merry loves me. ^_^

As for the rest of you, I guess I'll just have to up the ante with the controversial remarks in order to get more comments:

With the exception of Great Danes, all dogs are ruthless killers, trained by ex-KGB agents. Laugh if you want, but you won't be laughing when Wishbone snaps your neck like a stalk of celery while you're asleep.


Q. If you could put anyone you wanted in any position within the government, who would they be, and what positions would they have?

A. This question has the potential to become the largest and most epic of all time...if I actually had any faith in politics.

Oh sure, I vote, but as far as I'm concerned the real power is with the parties, not the individual candidates, and the reason the parties are powerful is because they know exactly how to work the system to get what the want, which is usually to have the public vote for their party again in two years.

No, whoever I posted to the positions of high power wouldn't actually be able to use any of that high power. Oh sure, I could raise great ex-presidents back from the dead using powerful dark necromancy, but my lawyer has advised me that the public consider raising the dead 'morally and ethically ambiguous'. We're trying to start a necromancy revival by showing loops of Thriller on VH-1, but that could take weeks.

Besides, a lot of the power of those ancient statesmen came from their parties, or only worked in that particular era. Too bad, as I'd love to get James K. Polk back into the game. Now there's a president that could achieve his goals!

Excerpt from parting address

...and so my fellow Americans, as I take my leave, and my presidency comes to a close, I ask you to look to our nation's new western neighbor...THE PACIFIC OCEAN! BOO-YAKA!!! [Kicks Spanish embassador in crotch]

Good times...

Anyway, since I have no faith in the system, the only real impact my choice would have would be on entertainment. To put it more clearly, the question comes down to: who do I want to see on the news every night?

Just think of it, you could turn on the television right now, at any time of the day or night, and see the president waving, giving a speech or answering questions...okay, our current president hasn't been answering many questions, but he's got waving and speeches down to a science...a very repetitive science.

Who would I want to see up there? No question about it, Tim Curry.

The man never fails to entertain, and he's responsible for the success of Clue, Rocky Horror Picture Show, the underrated Oscar, the 'desperately in need of a revival' Duckman, the 'in need of just a little more respect than it has now' Muppet's Treasure Island, countless stage productions, and also some of the worst TV shows/movies known to man.

Yes, he's been in a lot more awful movies/shows than good ones, but that's exactly what I love about him. Just as a show gets absolutely terrible, and I'm desperately clawing for the remote, Tim Curry swings in and saves the day! His list of movies/shows/games personally saved include, but are not limited to: the Gabriel Knight Series, Frankenstein: Through the Eyes of the Monster, Ferngully, Legend, Loaded Weapon (okay that still would have been funny, but he sure helped), Home Alone 2, Charlie's Angels, and virtually every kid's show ever made!

There's no one I'd rather see in the drab and played out part of President then my favorite Mad Scientist Butler! Will he be creepy, yet approachable like in Oscar? Will he be formal and zany like in Clue? Will he march to the tune of 'Hail to the Chief' in full drag?!

Okay, I hope he won't do that last thing...we don't need to see that...still, I'll certainly be watching the news more often! I can see him standing there with his wife...

Oh wait, he isn't married. He can't go Buchanan, he needs a first lady! I'm going to go ahead and pick that too...let's see...Lucy Liu? No. Dolly Parton? No, but closer than you'd think. I love to hear her talk, but if she won she'd be doing a lot of singing, and I'm not a country music kind of guy.

No, I'm going to go with Katey Sagal, who may or may not be the oldest woman I want to sleep with (I have neither confirmed or denied this). Katey's known best for her roles as Peggy Bundy on Married With Children, Leela on Futurama, and a very awkward stint on 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter.

I can see it all now! Tim Currey's getting ready to go perform on broadway when Katey stomps in holding the speech to that night's press conference. Where did she find it? In the trash!

By the way, I fully expect to see all of this on the news, play by play.

So anyway, Katey's furious and tells Tim that he can't do the show, when who should spin into the room with a wacky plan to do both the play and the conference in the same building, with president Curry running back and forth from both? Why it's our very own vice-president...MARK HAMILL!

They proved themselves a great team in the Gabriel Knight series, and the role of Vice President hasn't been hammed up properly since Quayle! Enough with the Gore and Cheney, we need a VP that can keep us rolling in the isles. Besides, he was Luke Skywalker for Christ's sake, that's got to count for something!

[Re-watches Star Wars Episodes 1, 2 and 3]

Okay, maybe it doesn't count for as much as it used it, but still, he never fails to entertain, and there's nobody I'd rather see beside our president as he hastily sheds his Spamalot outfit and rushes to give the big speech while unknowingly still wearing his King Arthur helment!

Then, after the third season...I mean, third year of presidency, when things start to go slightly stale, that's when Curry and Hamill's rivals come onto the scene: Presidential candidate Christopher Walken and his Vice-Presidential candidate William Shatner!

Hmm...we could always reverse the order...but I'd probably rather hear Walken give a creepy monologue on the importance of foriegn policy, civic duty and his desire to drive directly into oncoming traffic than watch Shatner rap.

The unlikely pair should give Prez Curry and VP Hamill a run for their money in the midterim election, but an incredibly wacky misadventure reveals their opponent's corruption, but by then their opponents had already gotten a lot of votes, so when the votes are all tallied, they discover...


Both sides got exactly the same number of votes! The Supreme Court unanimously decides that this means both men must SIMULTANEOUSLY be president! Two presidents and two vice presidents! Oh how will this end?!

Tune into the news every single night, or CNN at virtually any time of the day to find out!

I give it eight seasons! (Nine if there's a war)

[EDIT: Upon further review, Carol Cleveland, the Monty Python girl, is the oldest woman I want to sleep with. She'll be starring in double roles as both President Curry's Chief of Staff, and a French maid.]

Sunday, November 12, 2006

What, no love? I've gone two weeks without any comments. Hello? Anyone there? Fine! I'll just have to say something completely controversial in order to get everyone's attention. In just one moment, the comments section will be aflame with all out war! Here we go:

Ketchup killed more people last year than Hitler!

Your move, America.

Pat's Question

Pat was a little vague as if this was his question or not, so he might get a second one if he asks nice:

Q. What bad habit/hobby (by society's standards) has served you best in life?

A. Oh, no question about it: gaming.

Now, roleplayers don't get struck by the canes of elderly self-righteous malcontents as often as they used to, but it's happened to me. Not actual smacking, but an older woman once came up to me in college and asked me if the roleplayers "Pretended to kill eachother" or "Acted out killing eachother" or "Acted out murdering innocent people", but I was able to set her straight with a firm and definite, "Sure".

Okay, I probably didn't do the gaming world much a service that day, but we generally don't need it anymore. We've become as mainstream as Pokemon and Mario thanks to Wizards of the Coast (the best thing to ever happen to D&D, with THACO as my witness).

Roleplaying, outside in the yard or at a table with dice and paper, has a distinct advantage over videogames in that it forces you to talk and socialize. In fact, if your GM is a good one, you HAVE to socialize or you'll have to live hand to mouth with combat experience only. The fact that I was usually running the games forced me to be even more social than normal.

Of course, gaming always involves talking to the same people...or does it? No matter who you game with, every few weeks or so, someone's going to bring along a person you've never met before, who might me *DUN DUN DUN* a girl! Now, this is no problem at all now, but if you go back to myself as a teenage boy, this is a serious situation!

The trick is, especially with running the game, I had to play characters who had no trouble talking with people I didn't know. Even if I could hardly go three sentences without cramming my foot into my mouth, my characters had to or they wouldn't work as characters. My characters had to be relatively smooth and charming, so in a sense, I had to become smooth and charming as well...okay, at least when compared to how I was beforehand.

Now, after years of gaming, I can easily have long, drawn out, witty Oscar Wildeian (without the gay pedophelia) conversations with anyone, attractive members of the opposite sex included. I can even write the word 'sex' in my blog without blushing. Hot diggity dog!

Roleplaying helps in the business world as well.

Okay, now let's all step back a moment and carefully examine that last sentence. Do not use this sentence out in the real world. No, not even in a bar. No, not...well okay, you probably could say it during a geeky gaming session, but otherwise this is the kind of comment that is restricted to the magical world of blogging.

Nevertheless, roleplaying helps in the business world as well. In fact, the business world is a lot like a roleplaying game, when you come right down to it. Everyone wants something, and you can gain rewards and experience by giving it to them. Sometimes you have to perform a series of actions. Other times you have to give them a quest item. In the deeper, more noteworthy roleplaying games (it's impossible to overpimp 'Planescapes: Torment'), you can complete the quests by selecting the right replies to their statements, gaining more possible replies depending on what you've done and how high your ability scores are.

Need an example? I thought so:

"Good morning, Mr. Blompkin C. Clockwise."

*Handshake, strength check 15*

"Nice grip! Now, if you'll just have a seat, we can begin the interview."

*Sits, opens inventory, uses resume on interviewer*

"Thank you...and may I say how neat and orderly this resume is! It's almost as if you have a tremendous amount of expereince with writing positive descriptions of yourself and your abilities!"

*Asks carefully planned question based on internet reseach from the night before*

"Why yes, we have at least fourteen of those! What an incredibly thoughtful question! Now, let me tell you about the position..."

*Listens to flavor text, checks for clues and key words*

"Do you have any questions about the position?"

*Restates key words in the form of a question and then remarks thoughtfully upon them in a shameless attempt to gather bonus experience*

"Yes, but only in the Buffallo and New York offices. Here we'll only be working with the standard versions of the software. Now, do you have any experience through your past jobs with this kind of work?"

*Recount the glorious epic that was your last job, complete with convenient ommissions and shameless self pimpage*

"Really? How does that last part connect with what we do here?"

*DAMN IT! Exaggeration spotted! Think quickly on feet and come up with plausible explanation*

"Hmm...I see what you mean."


"Oh and this is my secretary coming in now. She'll be sitting in with us for the interview."

*Shakes hand with attractive secretary while being careful not to look at her chest. Treats her with respect, without blushing.*

"Great! Now, if we could just continue with the interview. So what's your opinion on 'incredibly technical jargon'?"

*Pieces together as much as possible from memory and gives a decent answer*

"Really? I thought they didn't do that anymore."

*ARGUE THAT...wait! Arguing with the guy in charge just slows things down, possibly cuts at experience and never solves anything! Instead accepts that they might be right, thanks the reviewer for informing him of this, mentions that they'll have to check on that after the session just to be sure, but immediately follow up with an amusing, yet relevant anechdote involving a past experience that directly ties into both the topic and at least one of the buzzwords previously used in the flavor text*

"Wow! That sounds like exactly the kind of thing we do here!"


"Is there anything else you feel you can bring to the company?"

*Unveils secret weapon: the incredibly geeky level of knowledge on computers, technology and the internet, that all true gamers possess!*

"Excellent! Excellent to hear...oh, I see you worked at the same place the last applicant, 'Min-maxing jerk' did. Did you work much together?"

*Despite tremendous amount of desire to tear worthless ex-coworker apart, it is well known that back-stabbing is never appreciated by the powers that be, even in a competitive environment. Good teamwork is always better rewarded...but the min-maxing cockbite may have stabbed you in the back, or may do so later, so makes mental note to watch for secret meetings and notes being passed between him and the interviewer later, but as for now, mentions that they were on different teams, and then casually changes the subject to one of the buzzwords previously used*

"I am impressed! Out of curiosity do you play..."

*Prays that this isn't about golf*

"...World of Warcraft?"

*SCORE! Exchanges WOW anechdotes...and goes for the coup de gras: Asks if he has stairs in his house.*

"I am protected."

*I am so in*

"Mr. Clockwise, it is my pleasure to inform you, on behalf of our company, that you are so in."


"Uh...Mr. Clockwise?"


"If you could please..."


"That's quite..."


"Please stop."

*...uh...admits getting a bit carried away...apologizes*

"That's quite all right. Here's your packet on employee benefits."

*Shakes everyone's hand, fights off instinctual urge to hug secretary unless she tries to hug him first (an important lesson for all male gamers), inspects loot, and then takes the insurance related documents to the HR department to have them identified*

Saturday, November 11, 2006

For everyone who reads my blog and heard about my mother's accident, she's doing perfectly fine. Nothing was broken or severely hurt, and she's home and on pain killers right now. Long story short: a woman in an SUV ran a red light and plowed right into her. The car is more or less totalled, but again, Clare's fine.


Q. What does mean mean?

- United States

A. the tricky part of this, is I can't really use the word 'mean' in my answer, or we get one of those stupid dictionary definitions that go something like:

Ironic: adj.- To involve a large amount of irony

NO! This answer must me ridiculously complete! Oh, and I know she isn't referring to mean as in cruel, so we'll avoid that copout. Now, here we go!

Mean: The meaning of...


Mean: The word mean means...

Oh for the love of...TAKE THREE!

Mean: The word mean...has a definition of being...a word that lets us know...the true nature of a word, object or event...and may also be used to refer to the true nature of a person's speech and intent...within the context of MEAN MEAN MEAN MEAN MEAN!!!

DAMN IT, I CAN'T HELP IT! HOW THE HELL DID WE EVER LEARN THIS WORD WHEN WE WERE KIDS?!!! Read the above definition right up to my inevitable breakdown. Did that make any sense? NO! Would a kid understand that? I BARELY UNDERSTAND THAT! would I explain this to a kid?

"Okay, Billy, today I'm going to teach you the word: mean. No, no, Billy, not mean as in angererd, but mean as in 'meaning'. What's the word 'meaning' you ask? Well, when we don't understand a word, or what another person is trying to say, we ask what the word 'means' and what another person 'means' by what they say. We want to understand the word, but what we really want to understand is the word's meaning. 'Meaning' is what the Max, dig deep now, don't cave in) what the word truly is, so when you asked what the word 'mean' is, I had to tell you that mean is what a word is.

Yes that is proper grammar Billy, now please don't talk back or question me unless you want the flat end of a shovel across the back of your head."

WHOA! Where'd that come from?! Man, sorry Billy! I guess I'm just a bit sensitive about this issue. Still, that's about the best I can do:

Mean: verb- what a word is

I know what's coming next, so as to avoid any unnecessary Clinton jokes:

Is: verb- a nature of a subject's true existence and/or definition

Yeah, I know.

Existence: noun- to be real, or what is real about a subject

Real: adj.- to actually exist and not be imaginary or false

Okay, now the hard one.

Definition: noun- the mea...(NO NO NO!)...what a word is...(STOP STOP STOP!)...the true nature of a word.



Not good enough, little Billy? Very well.

True Nature: noun- *shovel across the back of head*

What? I warned him. He had a knife. You saw it!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some digging to do...which leads me to recommend the 'Shovel' as the next Clue weapon! Just one swing and you're ready to dig in one easy step! No muss, no fuss!

Ta ta!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

OUCH! What a week! I'll leave out the depressing details and just go on the record as saying I'm fine now, although a bit woozy and disoriented.

What do we do when we're woozy and disoriented? POST!


I'm letting my gaming group, and anyone who reads my blog and is interested, give me questions. I've been assembling my random work in progress 'The Menig of Life' and I realized I'm just about done. Included is a lot of questions I've answered over the internet (with a lot of thanks to, but I'm a little bit shy of a 100 questions. So, I'm giving the gamers and readers a chance to ask whatever ones they'd like, one a piece (if I go over a 100, I'll just get a rid of a few of the weaker ones I already have).

Amber's already given hers, and its a doozy, and one very close to my heart. Most of my answers fit on one page, but I think I might go a bit over that this time:

Q. Tell me, once and for all, who killed Mr. Body, where and with what?


A. Oh boy. I was born to answer this question. First of all, I'm incredibly obsessed with Clue (Cluedo for those in the UK), ever since I first saw the movie when I was eight. For...good God...twenty years (I'm old) it's been one of my all-time favorite movies.

Secondly, there are people on the internet even more obsessed with Clue then I am! There's a stage play, and Rocky Horror Picture Show-like shows where they play the movie while simultaneously having actors play it out underneath the screen. In past years they even had some of the original cast! How could I have not have heard of this?! I'd like to thank which contains a ridiculous amount of information about the board game.

Thirdly...did I make a post about the movie? I think I did. Oh well, that's for another time.

Fourthly, let's not dwell on the movie. The movie is merely an intpretation of the game, and if you want the definitive answer, we have to go to the game.

The problem is, in the original game, we know so little about any of the characters. Many versions of the game have many differences. Newer versions even have bios of the characters, but they're contradictory, so let's stick with the original.

I'm an Agatha Christie fan at heart, so I believe everything hinges on the characters. How the murder was committed...wait, can't they tell? You'd think they'd be able to tell just by looking at his body...unless the body is stabbed, shot, bludgeoned and strangled in order to confuse the evidence, or the body was destroyed beyond repair (thrown into the furnace or something). In any case, when we figure out who did it, then their personalities should tell us where and with what.

Mr. Body: The victim. He's rich and almost certainly an older man. He's the kind of man who has a Ball Room and Billiard room, so he most likely entertains a lot, or has in the past. A Conservatory in the house, but no gardener, suggests that he himself gardens. The fact that there's both a study, a library and a lounge suggests that he's an avid reader. This paints the picture of a man with a very active past who is coming to the later years in life, and finds he now has to bring the pleasures of the world to himself. These kinds of men, like the Great Gatsby, often makes questionable friends.

Mrs. White: His maid, who is apparently married, or a widow. Most likely she's a widow who's filling the void in her life by acting as a maid rather than retiring. Mr. Body might have left her something nice in his will, but if she dies first, she'll never get it, and never get the chance to experience the true pleasures of life. The poor woman doesn't realize that she probably merely needs to ask, and he'll give it to her. Instead she might be driven to a darker deed, and what better time then at a party, filled with more likely suspects. Likely weapons: knife, revolver

Col. Mustard: A military man, usually portrayed as an English 'big game hunter' type, and these types have a long history of running out of money. A military salary isn't up to supporting a lavish lifestyle, and although Mr. Body probably keeps him close for his wealth of experiences and stories, Col. Mustard most likely stays close for the lavish parties, fine foods, and to borrow money. He doesn't seem likely to receive something in a will and Mr. Body doesn't seem the type to squeeze him for something owed, but what if after a few too many drinks, Col. Mustard told Mr. Body something that had happened during the war, that could ruin the Colonel and horrified Body. What if Body refused to give any more money? What if Mustard got angry? He most likely killed in a war, so what's one more enemy? Likely weapons: knife, revolver, wrench, lead pipe (I think he would have found the candlestick a bit too feminine for his tastes).

Miss Scarlet: A classic femme fatale type, and the most likely of the women to have killed Mr. Body in a fit of anger. Is she a plaything of Mr. Body, or is she merely trying to be so? I imagine her coming to the party with one of the other guests, most likely Mrs. Peacock or Mr. Green. Was her advances rejected by Mr. Body, setting off a fit of anger? Does she believe she's in his will? Miss Scarlet is also the most likely to have a stranger, darker motive, such as being an illegitimate child of his, or at least claiming to be so. Miss Scarlet seems to be both a grifter and a blackmailer, and overall she's the most mysterious of the guests. Likely weapons: knife, relvolver, candlestick, lead pipe (the wrench would seem a bit dirty and unfamiliar, but the pipe could be well hidden though, so hard to pass up)

Mr. Green: Who is Mr. Green? The most mysterious of the men, in Cluedo, and later editions of Clue, he's a dishonest man of the cloth, who uses scripture to help scam the rich, but in the early versions of the game he just seems to be a large, middleaged businessman. There's much to suggest he's involved with illegal practices, and even quite a bit to suggest he's involved with the mob. In any case, he's most likely not trying to get more money out of Mr. Body, but trying to cover something up out of fear. Has he been stealing from Mr. Body? Is Mr. Body about to discover his fraud? Being an older man, it's possible that he's in business with Mr. Body. Is he trying to hide something, or is he merely a convenient scapegoat for someone else? Mr. Green is most likely to be the person who was framed for the murder, if he didn't commit it himself. Likely weapons: Almost certainly the Revolver, but knife, lead pipe, and candlestick are possible.

Mrs. Peacock: The high society woman, Mrs. Peacock is probably the least suspicious of the suspects, unless there's something about her past with Mr. Body that infuriates her. She cares about her position in society, but her secrets are most likely embarrassing, rather than ruinous. Perhaps she's an old flame of Mr. Body who is infuriated by seeing him with young women like Miss Scarlett, but if that's the case, wouldn't she kill her instead? Another possiblity is that she's related to Mr. Body, needs his money badly and wants to get at what's in his will...or perhaps she's afraid a young flame like Miss Scarlet will get him to change his will altogether. Likely weapons: revolver, knife, wrench (a remarkably unladylike weapon, but it would draw suspicion away from her and onto one of the men).

Prof. Plum: A professor of what? Later references suggest Archeology, but who knows? He's usually portrayed as too young to have been a professor of Mr. Body's or a fellow classmate, and although he might be there because of Mr. Body's love of books, he seems far too young to be a notable scholar. More likely Prof. Plum has some new, revolutionary theory that makes him noteworthy and got him an invitation to the party. What if Mr. Body has a very old and rare book that proves his theory wrong. Mr. Body might have thought that Plum would find it interesting, but this might have caused Plum to flip out. Mr. Body may also fund the man's projects, but if Mr. Body dies, the funding will surely stop anyway. If Plum did it, it was in a sudden fit of insanity, which means he most likely would have used whatever was sitting around. Likely weapons: knife, candlestick, wrench

Now, you may realize that no one is using the rope. Why would they? Using a rope to strangle someone is not something one of these women would have the physical strenght to use on a full grown man or know how to even tie for that matter. One of the men could have used it, but they could have used their bare hands just as easily. No, I'm discounting the rope.

I'm also discounting the hall and the conservatory. There's too much of a chance they'd be seen or heard. Even a lunatic in a fit of anger would have waited for a more private location, or a room without so many windows. This leaves: the kitchen, study, lounge, library, billiards room, ball room and dining room. Now, in order for Mr. Body to have been murdered, he would have had to have been alone with the person for a secret meeting, or completely alone and the other person walked in on him. Mr. Body doesn't seem to be the type who would stay alone at a party, so let's assume he had a private meeting with a guest. Where would they go? It depends on the guest.

Col. Mustard would either be the billiard room or lounge, as he has no interest in the more academic rooms and dinner's long over. Mr. Green would talk business, and Mr. Body's business papers are most likely in the study, although the library and lounge are possible. Prof. Plum would almost certainly be in the library, but the study is possible. Miss Scarlet would be in a private, more comfy room, most likely the lounge or the ball room (who knows, they might have been sharing a private dance). Mrs. White is an older woman, so she'd try to catch Mr. Body unprepared in an area he's accustomed to seeing her, most likely the kitchen or dining room. Mrs. Peacock, if a murderer, is a highly manipulative woman, and would have asked him to come to the room that they're least likely to be seen in and be occupied during a party, after dinner, either the kitchen or dining room.

The scenarios are coming together:

Col. Mustard was having a quiet chat with Mr. Body and then suddenly KILLED HIM! Who knows why, and it could have been in anger. If it was in the billiard room or lounge, where they likely had their meeting, then the wrench and candlestick don't make much sense, as neither would be there. No, Mustard is a proud hunter and soldier and would have used his own weapon, and even the knife seems a bit feminine for his tastes. No, it would have been his own revolver, which no one knew he had. If it was planned, he would have done it in the lounge, pulled the body into the secret passage, covered it up as best he could and return nonchalantly back to the party. If it was spur of the moment, it was probably during a game of billiards, so the gunshot probably wouldn't have been muffled and he would have had to dart into the library, where he would most likely see Plum, whom he would use as an alibi.

Miss White would have asked Mr. Body to step into either the Kitchen or Dining room for a moment, as both were most likely empty at the time, and then used one of the kitchen knives to turn him into an impression of the world's largest piece of swiss cheese. She knew about the secret passageway and have dumped his body there for a moment, cleaned up the kitchen (even if someone walked in, seeing the maid clean up a bloody knife and mess after meat was served at dinner is not that suspicious) and then deposited the body somewhere at her leisure. She would have had years to plan this, and the revolver seems more of a spur of the moment type of weapon.

Prof. Plum would have certainly been in the library whether or not he was with Mr. Body, as parties most likely aren't his kind of thing, which means no one else could have killed Body there. They meet, Mr. Body good-naturedly shows Plum that everything that Plum's worked for is a lie, and so Plum freaks out, grabs the nearest weapon, which would most likely be a decorative candlestick, and bash Body's brains in. Plum would continue to freak, dump the body in a random place, perhaps throw it into a fire to try to destroy it, and then go hide in a corner somewhere.

Miss Peacock, tearing up, quietly begs Mr. Body to see her somewhere private. Where? Why a secret passageway of course! What could be more secluded then that? Okay, so it has to be in a room, so it'd be room that has a secret passageway, namely the kitchen. He convinces her to step off toward the entrance of the passageway, reaches into her purse, and with her other hand, hands him a photograph. He looks at the photograph intently, which allows her to pull out the wrench and smash his head to pieces. While she's near the kitchen, she takes the time to destroy the body in the passageway, making it look like the most grisly murder possible, and deposits it in a random part of the house.

Mr. Green can't meet privately with Mr. Body in the library because that geek Plum is there, and the study leads to the kitchen, where he's likely to run into Mrs. White if he pops out. No, this is happening in the lounge, which is a strange place to commit the murder during a party, but Mr. Green knows about the passage, and who's going to be in the conservatory at this hour? They talk, there's a revelation, and so Mr. Green grabs a pillow, hands it to the confused older man, presses the revolver against it and then pulls the trigger. Green packs up the papers and goes through the passageway. Someone finds the body, screams, leading everyone away from the study, where Green dumps the evidence into the fire, discards the gun, and then nonchalantly walks to the scene of the crime.

Miss Scarlet invites Mr. Body to the ballroom, either as a romantic interest or a as the daughter he never had. Either way, Mr. Body can't possibly pass up a private slow dance with the lovely lady. Perhaps she even has a record player playing in the background. They're alone, they sway together pleasantly and the old man relaxes. Then, for some unknown reason, she pulls out the knife from her sleeve, and stabs him in the back of the kneck, Agatha Christie style. She holds him close, and pulls him over to the piano cover that's neatly folded up in the corner of the room. She wraps up the body and dumps it out a window, to destory or tamper with at her leisure. Perhaps she even tears up a little. Who knows, she may care for the old man. At least it was quick, and he was happy when it happened.

So who dunnit?



Just kidding, it was...


Wait! What's happening?




Oof! Curse you! I won't let your evil scheme...


Holstered Kill Bill 2 style! 5 point...




OUCH! My shins!


Ha! I unloaded it!


OW! OW! Stop hitting me with that! HELP!


HA! I've got the rope!


I've got you now, bound and defeated! Let me just turn the lights back on and see who the real culprit...Mitch?


ME: What the hell are you doing here? You couldn't have killed Mr. Body!


ME: What?

MITCH: Where?


MITCH: Why slash how?

ME: You tell me!

MITCH: This is just my weekly attempt on your life, man.

ME: Oh.

MITCH: Is this like, about that Clue game or something?

ME: Uh...yeah.

MITCH: So which guy did it?

ME: None of the guys did it.

MITCH: Really? How ya figure?

ME: Plum doesn't have the ability to even walk into a room without stumbling over himself or losing his papers. There's no way he could get away with a murder.

MITCH: Green killed him in the movie.

ME: Yes, and he certainly could have done it, but a party was no place for it, especially not when he'd be the main suspect. No, he'd probably make it look like a burglary or an accident. The middle of the party was not the time or place.

MITCH: What about the hunter guy?

ME: Mustard is a very proud man and soldier. He's far more likely to sock Mr. Body across the face. As a soldier, I think he's also a private man, and a hidden corner of a party wouldn't be the place, not with other people around, he's too smart for that, but not smooth enough to pin it on someone else. Overall he's probably the second most likely person to have done it, but a hidden corner of a party is not where a real man kills someone.

MITCH: What about a woman?

ME: Now you're catching on, but not a loyal humble maid. Besides, Mrs. White would have had a thousand better times to do it, and poison, fake burglary, or a trip down the stairs would have been the means. A fancy party is the kind of place only a flambouant drama queen would commit a murder.

MITCH: She needed an audience.

ME: Now you're getting it! She needed to get him into a private place...

MITCH: It's all coming together...

ME: ...appear vulnerable...

MITCH: ...and then get him when he least suspects it!


MITCH: ...WAS...



ME: Ye...what? No.

MITCH: Yeah, and she probably brought the old man into the bedroom...

ME: There isn't a bedroom.

MITCH: Then they undress and she mounts the old tycoon...

ME: Ew, he's like 70.

MITCH: Then as the action heats up...

ME: For the love of God, stop.

MITCH: ...and she reaches for the icepick!

ME: That isn't even a weapon!

MITCH: STABBINATE! So it was Miss Scarlet, with the icepick in the guest room, otherwise known as the MPHMRPHPHPH!

*Finishes tying up and gagging Mitch*

There, problem solved. Now where were we?

Oh yes, Mrs. Peacock did it.

Sure, Miss Scarlet probably had the means and a motive, and might even have quite a sinister history, but where's the patsy? Do you really expect me to believe that Miss Scarlet would have done this alone? Col. Mustard and Mr. Green would have each made the perfect fall guy, and either would have been incredibly easy to rope into a murder scheme, especially when the promise of hot love with the young Miss Scarlet would have come as part of the package. Besides, she'd need a man to easily move Mr. Body's body around. Miss Scarlet may very well have murder within her, but like all classic femme fatales, she'd get some poor disposable sucker to do it for her.

No, it's Mrs. Peacock. The silly and harmless high society woman who Mr. Body somehow pushed too far. Women like her are either born into luxury or make their own way in the world, hand over fist. Given the other strange people at the party, Mrs. Peacock isn't as nearly entwined into high society as she lets on. No, she has quite a bit, but she's earned it, married it or swindled it, and in any case has fought to keep it. Now, the biggest cash cow of them all, her old friend/relative/lover Mr. Body, who has promised a substantial part of his will to her, has become involved with a common tart, Miss Scarlet. Perhaps Mrs. Peacock sees a lot of herself in Scarlet, when she was young. Another vulture is trying to swoop in on the prize that Mrs. Peacock has waited so long to get. She could eliminate her, but there would be others...

No. She fought for that prize, long and hard. It would be hers. Nothing could take it away from her.

Don't try to deny it, Mrs. Peacock, as we only have to look at these bank records. The deposits from Mr. Body into your account have shrunk over the past direct proportion to the amount by which Miss Scarlet's has grown. You were furious. You should have seen it coming though. Deep down you probably knew it was coming. You've been here before haven't you?

Not a different man, but a different time, only you were the young lady, and another woman was the older woman...specifically, Mr. Body's original wife. A man like Body is only single at this point in life (and I know he's single, otherwise his wife would be a suspect, even if she was far away) if he's a widower or if he's gay. The fact the lovely Miss Scarlet is here suggests the earlier rather than the latter. Yes, he's had many women on the side. His first wife either died or left him, and in either case I'm sure you're responsible...but despite all the flings you had together, he didn't remarry you.

Why? Who knows. Perhaps he became jaded to marriage, or he felt no one could replace his wife. Now it's your turn to leave, only when you go, you'll get nothing. After all those years of closeness and random flings, which despite your best effort didn't produce any illegitimate children to use against him, you're going to have nothing. After all, he gave you a fortune over the years. It's not his fault you spent it.

You didn't see it that way of course. You got mad, and with the same furious genius that allowed you to get rid of his first wife, you got rid of him too, with his will completely intact and unchanged.

You say I have no proof?

*Max picks up a small manilla envelope market 'CONFIDENTIAL' and then looks inside*

*Mitch holds his breath expectantly*

*Max looks at the cards and then smiles*

Officers...take her away.

Saturday, October 21, 2006


Well, I didn't place in the Rifftrax contest. In retrospect, I may have gone a bit high brow (one of the people who received an honorable mention just made animal noises for five minutes), but no matter! I do, however, feel this is worth at least two sympathy hugs, to be cashed in on a later date.

Now, to more important people are masochists. Didn't I warn you? If you really must know about the Black and White Knight on the Black and White Horse, check out this post here, on forums:

Don't say I didn't warn you.


Well, I'm almost done wrapping up my present attempts at books/novels: 'Kutztown' and 'The Menig of Life', and I'm about to get ready to start a story based on the last D&D campaign, but without a lot of the D&D elements. I thought I'd lay things out in order to put my thoughts together, and give everyone a peek into what happened.



Corin is a young man of about fifteen years of age who has recently begun developing psychic powers. These powers manifest through an imaginary friend named Mack in which only Corin can see. Corin adamantly believes that Mack is real, as he can ask Mack to spy for him, move things for him and even fight for him. In reality, all these effects are created by his mind, but Corin is too unstable to realize this. Overall, Corin is a good-hearted young man, but he's unstable, and prone to rash actions when his sanity or the existence of his best friend, are questioned.


Grim is a young man of about 18 years of age who has a peculiar aura about him. In almost all ways he seems to be physically superior to those around him (mentally as well as physically), but his savage beginnings made him little more than a charming, intellectual thug. Grim wants to make more of himself, but doesn't have the education or appearance to break into civilized society, and has made him impatient, angry and bitter with most of the civilized world. Grim probably wouldn't kill someone unless in self defense, but he might hurt someone if he felt threatened and doesn't have the personal convictions to stop a teammate from doing something horrible or evil. Deep down, Grim wants to be in charge, and lead others, but first he's going to have to figure out how...


Amnesia is a traditional plot device, but Morgan takes it to the extreme. Morgan is a young, impatient and somewhat irrational man of about eighteen years of age who grew up in a native tribe similar to a Native American society. The tribe helped teach him how to fight, hunt and through the help of his spirit animal, a giant grey hulking monstrosity he began his spirit quest, which led him to drink a strange monster's blood. The next thing he knew, it was a year later. He was on the table in a somewhat eccentric wizard's lab. Morgan's liver was missing. Morgan had crawled into the wizard's tower with a note that said as much. The wizard gave him a magical replacement, but how's Morgan going to get the money to pay for it? Where'd his liver go (it's neatly removed, way before the time of organ harvesting, as its much easier to get a highly experimental magical replacement)? What happened? More importantly...what do all these strange items in his backpack mean?


Not everyone is young in the group. Doc is a middle aged novice spellcaster that's specialized in...let's say...unethical magic. Specifically, he specializes in magic surgery, which has tended to be a bit bizarre and unneccessary. On a whole, he's an amoral scientist, looking to perfect his bizarre magical breed of science and quack medicine, while simultaneously also being a good father and husband. What drives him to this? An unfortunate dominant genetic flaw in his family, that causes everyone to begin having heart attacks in their early forties. No one in his family even made it to fifty years old. Currently, he's 38. It isn't all about him though, as his children will also suffer the same fate unless he does something. You'd be amazed at all the cold and cruel things a man can do to protect his family, including using desperate and naive people as human guineapigs for his experiments.


Prometha's a talented and intelligent young woman of about 18 years of age, who comes from a wealthy background. What's she doing with this group, you ask? After a burglar successfully burglarized her family's house, she's became enamoured with high profile theft and grifting, leading her to become an amatuer thief, eventually blooming into a full blown kleptomaniac. Overall she's a carefree spirit that has a tendency to be rash and bite off more than she can chew. She's sympathetic with others, especially those who are outsiders, like herself. Above all else, she craves freedom...


Was that foreshadowing?



Hachi is probably the most infamous of the characters in the story, which as far as I'm concerned makes him the most interesting. He's an honorable young warrior who follows a strict ethical and moral code, taught to him by his family through rigorous martial training. Hachi's always trying to do what is right, and will not stand for misbehavior in others, whom he sees as evil. Unfortunately this intolerance spreads not only to evildoers, bullies, and theives but also to anyone he happens to disagree with. Hachi knows there's only one right was of doing things. His way. The way he was taught by his family. Unfortunately, this blind loyalty to his beliefs has also made him a bit gullible and unobservant, but even the teammates who dislike him have to admit that he's a very formidable warrior, who will fight to the death to defend his honor and beliefs...but what would happen if he became seperated from his family and way of life, and his honor and beliefs suddenly meant nothing to anyone except himself...


Okay, now that time was definitely foreshadowing. ^_^

So...any thoughts? I'd be interested in some honest feedback about the characters, and remember, this is only going to be based off of what happened in the game, so it doesn't have to follow the story directly. Right now, I'm just interested in which characters seem the most interesting, so I can figure out where to concentrate the story. A list of most interesting to least interesting would be cool, or if you have any ideas for changes let me know in the comments.

Take care!

Saturday, October 14, 2006


Before we get started, I'd just like to confirm that the strategy game system I made last week does indeed work with RPG's, including, but not limited to, Chrono Trigger.

I could explain the system and the math that was geeky even by my standards, but I'll just cut to the chase: the most balanced team, overall, is Chrono (Hero), Marle (Princess Healer) and Ayla (Cavewoman Catgirl). Chrono blasts and hacks away at the enemies, Marle keeps everyone healed, and Ayla kicks the enemies into oblivion. Also, their thriple attack, Final kick, is not shabby by any means.

Now, the problem with this team is that it has Marle in it. I have issues with Marle that go far beyond her bratty, brainless nature. It all comes down to this: what's the point of having a healer in the party, if they're always the first one to die? Marle is absolutely defenseless, which isn't a trait you want the person protecting your life to have.

I should use Robo then? A decent choice, as he's (it's?) tough and strong, but he's hampered by another fact: every single last one of this triple techniques suck. All of them. This fact makes him great in the early to mid game, but sent to the backlines for the rest.

Thus leaving my personal choice for a healer: Frog. He can heal decently well and kick plenty of tail to boot. Overall, Frog is the most versatile character in the game. This makes my team of choice: Chrono (Versatile-Artillery), Frog (Versatile-Healer) and Ayla (Tank-Healer). A balanced team would call for a versatile, a tank, a healer and artillery. This team overdoes it a bit in the versatile department and underdoes it a bit in the artillery and healing department, but you'll be kicking way too much ass to care. The 3D is a Lavos Killer if there ever was one. Chrono-Marle-Ayla is better balanced, but having Marle in the team always seems to be a liability.

Now, I have a dear place in my heart for the mad genius/pyromaniac Lucca, and so I made a balanced team for her: Lucca, Frog, and Robo. Yes, there's no Chrono or triple attacks, but their dual attacks are fantastic and are balanced to boot. The traditional heavy magic: Chrono, Marle, Lucca team is way too vulnerable. Admit it, just think of this team and you're thinking of losing the fight with the three-part Head and two arms villian on the mountaintop for the hundreth time. Lucca, Frog and Robo is definitely the way to go (when you get to the part of the game where you can leave Chrono behind of course).

Oh, and Magus doesn't do dual attacks and usually can't do triple attacks either. Let Frog have him.

So anyway, I was playing Chrono Trigger (obviously) and got to that really hard fight in the future...and easily got through it. Oh! There's those powerful enemies! I better get ready for...a relatively easy fight...

Wait a minute. This game isn't that hard. It's still as fun as I remember it being when I was young, only now I'm not dying nearly as much.

Then it hit me.

I sucked at videogames when I was young.

I checked with Amber, and she was discovering the same thing. This isn't a case of becoming good through simple try and fail either, as we haven't played many of these games for many many years. How could I possibly have played so many videogames when I was in my early teens and not have been good at them? Let me check fighting games...when I was in my early teens, obsessed over Street Fighter II, I was losing to Bison at least ten times in a row before winning. Now I barely need to continue at all. Hell, even if I just low kicked over and over I'd still probably win. What the hell was I doing? Strategy contest., I'm kicking the crap out of Dr. Wiley's robots...and did it really take me that long to beat Mario 2?

Don't even talk to me about Tetris.

So...I wonder...did I suck at everything when I was young? For the purpose of argument, let's compare myself now, to myself when I was 16, and when I was 10.


The begininning point. When I was 10 I was getting my ass kicked 16 I had learned the basic tricks to avoid a total thrashing...and now I can handle myself pretty well.


When I was 10 I was getting my ass kicked 16 I had learned the basic tricks to avoid a total thrashing...and now I can handle myself pretty well...if I actually fought anymore. Now I just walk away, and if they throw a punch, then I call the cops. I still don't understand why a 17 year old can kick the crap out of small kids and get a slap on the wrist, but an 18 year old gets hauled off to jail for a year. Where's the sense in that? But I digress...


The 10 year old me can barely get a lawnmower to function, and starts crying after an hour of 16 year old self is barely functioning in a job at Wawa..I was alright at most of it, but generally I was still incompetent and lazy...and finally my present self has his own office and gets paid to sit at a computer and type...although I kind of hurt my argument a bit when I realize that I'm typing all this at work, but in my defense, it's my half day saturday in wholesale and it's slow. AHEM. Let's move on.


My incredibly mediocre results in the present are bolstered up by my hilarious failure in the past. My 16 year old self is unclean and weird, appealing only to a very select group of indiscriminating women who think long hair, jean shorts and Nine Inch Nails shirts look good on fat guys. Presently, I shower daily, wear dress casual clothes, and have been considered quite the charmer...with mixed success admitedly, but just look at my 10 year old self! Sitting there, at home, wolfling down Honey Nut Cherrios, and contently playing videogames without a care in the know, I think I may have to give him this round.


My 16 year old self's breaks fail, dodges a couch on a front lawn, instead slamming into the back bumper of another car. Smooth. My 10 year old self fails to ride even the simplest of vehicles, including bikes, skate boards, and walking (did I ever tell you about the time I ran into the side of a house?). I presently have gone seven years or so without a ticket, by driving at speeds that have been described by onlookers as downright tortoisian. Steady as she goes, folks, steady as she goes.


Presently: amatuer blogger Dave Barry wannabe with some initial success on message boards and (and also hopefully Rifftrax, I'm keeping my fingers crossed over the contest). 16: Dark, depressing, poorly written existential thrillers that never quiet achieved any level of 'thrill', but more or less covered the 'ers'. There were some interesting fantasy ideas, but no writing ability to facilitate their creation. 10: The dragon walked up to the three heroes and lowered his head behind them. Drake turned and looked shocked as if he was scared. Jen stayed quiet and was surprised. Mai gave them a funny look and looked annoyed as the dragon was behind her.

Think that's bad? That was me at 16! 10 was even worse.


Now: Whew! That was a great 30 minute run.
16: Whew! I feel much better after throwing up after that 20 minute run.
10: I've been jogging for 10 minutes now. I'm seriously going to die.


10: Cheats at chess (sorry Steve)
16: Not very good at chess
Now: Stops playing chess (I should've thought of that move years ago)


10: Screams. Immediately eaten.
16: Calls upon the dark, mysterious powers that govern the universe to help him achieve victory over the mindless horde. Immediately eaten.
Now: Hits zombie with chair. Runs to car. Drives away. Most likely still eaten, but in a far more important, plot-related death.


10: Chicken dance
16: Jumps up and down in place
Now: Final Fantasy victory dance. Boo-ya!


10: Sesame Street/Ninja Turtles/Knock Knock
16: Laugh-In/Get Smart/Ranma 1/2
Now: MST3K/The Office/Venture Brothers


Uh...actually not much improvement there. I 1 the sandbox still cracks me up. I don't recall actually having a sense of humor when I was 16, and now I more or less find all jokes funny, especially the ones that go on forever. Whatever you do, do not ask me about the Black and White Knight on the Black and White Horse.


10: Ninja turtles action figures/videogames
16: Magic cards/Anime (okay, and videogames)
Now: Day trips to conventions and other new experiences/videogames

You know, my 10 year old self could probably teach my 16 year old self a thing or two about things, which would cause my 16 year old self to push my 10 year old self over and go mutter to himself in the corner, which would lead to my present self to come in and yell at my 16 year old self and threaten to beat him up, which causes my 10 year old self, who doesn't recognize his adult self (he isn't very quick on the uptake), to grab a stick and charge at the present me, in an act of misguided loyalty to the 16 year old me.

It's on.


The 16 year old me is carrying that Masterlock Padlock on his jacket like I used to at school (for some reason I thought that was cool), and he weilds it like a makeshift weapon. He's a very mediocre wrestler (he won't be good until next year), but he will fall back on it if necessary.

16 year old Max: 2nd Rogue , AC: 12 (Denim Jacket), BA: +1, Init: +1, SPD: 30, HP: 13, F/R/W: +2/+3/-2, Melee: +2 (d4+1), Ranged: +2 (d4+1), Grapple: +3 (d3+1), Feats/Abilities: Makeshift weapon specialty, Improved Unarmed, Attribute: Big (+2 Grapple, -2 Hide checks, -1 AC, 2x carrying capacity), +1d6 Sneak attack, Evasion, Trap sense

The 10 year old me weilds a makeshift staff and since his favorite Ninja turtle is Donatello, he's actually proficient with it, and he may just be foolish enough to try to use it in a two weapon attack, even though he has absolutely no skill or training in such. He has no plan besides hitting with it at groin/knee level, which isn't that bad of a strategy when you come down to it.

10 year old Max: 1st Commoner (later upgraded to rogue), AC: 10, BA: +0, Init: +0, SPD: 20, HP: 5, F/R/W: +1/0/-2, Melee: + 0 (d6+0) or -4/-8 (d6+0), Ranged: +0 (1 non-lethal crab-apple), Grapple: +0 (d3+0), Feats/Abilites: Improved Unarmed Combat (took karate), Attribute: Big (simply considered medium sized instead of small, despite age, for all purposes except speed)

Presently, I've gone up in constitution and charisma, and I've mastered grappling a bit better, but my levels in bard won't really help too much here, and my levels in expert do nothing except drive down my base attack. Still, I'm far more advaced in level, but I'm going to spend the first round trying to negotiate, so they'll both get the jump on me.

Present Max: 2nd Rogue/2nd Expert/ 2nd Bard, AC: 11 (Acrylic jacket), BA: +3, Init: +1, SPD: 30, HP: 41, F/R/W: +3/+7/+8, Melee: + 4 (d4+1), Ranged: +4 (2 subdual thrown keys), Grapple: + 7 (d3+1), Feats/Abilities: Makeshift weapon specialty, Improved unarmed, Improved Grapple, Logical (Created feat: you may use your intelligence score instead of wisdom score for will saves), Attribute: Big (+2 Grapple, -2 Hide, -1 AC, 2X carrying capacity), Bardic Music X 4 day, Inspire courage +1, Countersong, Fascinate, Bardic Knowledge + 4, No spells (in the real world we'll say bards get 2 uses of bardic music per day per level to compensate for the loss), +1d6 sneak attack, Trap sense, Evasion

The fight starts. We'll assume, since we're the same person, we all rolled the same for initiative. As I start talking my younger self down, my 16 year old self draws the padlock as a move action and then attempts to sucker punch me across the head. I am flat footed, and he rolls...a 16, a definite hit, for 6 damage, bringing me down to 35 hit points.

My present self says "What the hell?" while the 10 year old me goes for my shins, rolling a...17. Damn. He smacks me across the shins for only 1 damage, bringing me to 34.

The next round starts and I ignore my 10 year old self, instead beginning a grapple with my 16 year old self. I roll...11, making my touch attack a 15, a hit. My grapple check is...13, and he opposes unfortunate 4, allowing me to put him in a headlock, and do 4 non-lethal damage, bringing him down to 9.

The 16 year old me attempts to smack me with the padlock while grappled, and rolls an...8, making his attack roll a 10, a miss.

My 10 year old self decides to take advantage of the fact I'm distracted and two weapon attack. His rolls are...16 and 4, making his attacks 12 and -4. The one lucky hit does...another whopping 1 damage, bringing me to 33 hp, leading my present self to tell him to knock it off.

I consider knocking off the 16 year old me's glasses, but then he'd probably think to do the same, so I go for the pin with a grapple check of...24, against his check of 23. Now, there are usually no critical hits in grapple checks, but I allow them in my house rules, so this unfortunately works against my present self, allowing his natural 20 to beat my higher check and resist the pin.

16 goes for another hit with the lock...and gets a 16, another hit, for a measly 2 damage, bringing me to 31.

10 goes for another double hit (worked last time)...and rolls a 3 first and then a 20 for the second hit! My god, his strategy paid off! Rolling to, a 19...minus 8, and I'm flat footed against him...good god, he scored a critical hit! He rolled crappy for damage again though, and does a total of 3 damage, bringing me to 28. Since it was a critical though...let's say I lost my glasses. Now I'm annoyed at the kid, and throw my keys at him. I can't see well enough to go for a sneak attack, so just hurl as best as I can...but only get an 8, it flies over his head.

16 attempts to use the moment to try to break free with...a 15, against my present selfs...22. No dice.

Another flurry from my kid self results in...attack rolls of 0 and 6. He briefly reconsiders his strategy.

Tiring of this, I try to punch my 16 year old self across the head...and critically fail. He does the same with the lock...succeeding. I'm down to 26. Kid me goes for a single swipe...landing a blow for an impressive 5 damage. I'm down to 21 and I can't ignore him any longer.

I kick the kid me with a 17, for 2 damage, but any damage is enough to send the kid me running off, crying, leaving me left with the teen me. He lands another blow with the lock, bringing me down to 18. I go for the pin once more, but he resists, but his next attack is a critical failure.

Getting angry, I sprawl down on him (26 to 7 checks), sending him face first into the ground, finally pinned. I lean on him and try to hold him helpless. He rolls a 1 for his grapple check. I succeed. I win the next three grapples, smooshing his face into the hard ground for 2, 2 and 4 damage respecively.

It seems about over when my young self shows up again, pleading for us to stop, to see that there's no point for the fighting, that we're all the same person and we have to learn to live with eachother and love eachother despite our flaws and differences.

I let my woozy teenage self up and we all share a moment of peace, realizing the error of our ways. He apologizes profusely, my present self accepts and does the same, and my kid self cheers as we go for a friendly hug, leaving my teenage self completley unprepared for the knee to the chest and subsequent double underhook spinebuster, which I affectionately call 'The Coffin Nail' (Grapple check 25 to 14, grapple damage plus sneak attack) slamming him unconscious to the ground.

In a flurry of enthusiasm, my 10 year old self slams his hand down on the ground three times, and declares me the winner, by pinfall.

Good times.

Saturday, October 07, 2006


Before I start today's post, I'd like to take a moment and say, sleep is good. In the name of gaming (mostly convention related) I sacrificed sleep, which was a poor choice indeed. Remember, gaming will still be there in the morning, sleep will be replaced by work.

Oh, and I'd also like to take a moment and promote It's by Mike Nelson, from MST3K, and it's hilarious! It's basically MST3K commentary tracks for newer movies, including X-Men and Star Trek 5. You download the sound files for 2-3 bucks a piece and play them on your computer at exactly the same time as the movie (there's a system to help keep them in sync). They're a lot of fun, and don't cost that much...but I digress...


Recently, much to my own surprise, I've gotten into strategy games again. It started with Disgaea 2, and ballooned from there, into Shining Forces 2, Civ 3, and good old Ogre Battle (so far I've resisted Final Fantasy Tactics, but it's only a matter of time...).

I quickly decided to abandon the Civ 3, Europa, Orion, Numbunga's thingy kind of stategy game for the simple and clear reason that they're not much fun.

Oh sure, they're somewhat fun, perhaps even making it all the way up to 'a little fun', but after playing several of them I always come back to the irrefutable fact: politics and economics are no fun. If they were fun, people wouldn't have to be paid to deal with them in the real world. Why do these games exist then? They exist because success is fun, and the more difficult it is to attain success, then the richer the victory seems to be. The victory is often sweetest when the victory is a strategic vicotry, won through intelligence and brainpower, but honestly, that's really not much different than a contest of speed or strength. It's just arm wrestling with your brains.

Again, however, I digress. These strategy games are indeed a great measure of strategy and mental power, but they're boring. Sure, a well played strategic dual over a LAN line is akin to a well played game of chess, but come on, let's face it:


That's why I favor the action/adventure/guy with sword and spikey hair/giant bird type strategy game! Oh sure, I usually get demolished fairly quick (especially in the Warcraft/Starcraft type games), but at least it was fun and relatively quick!

I've especially grown partial to the tile/unit based games where you play as a blonde, spikey haired sword weilding silent kid who joins up with the healer girl he likes, a big non-threatening 'tell me about the rabbits' kind of warrior, and most importantly, some kind of giant bird (for some reason, this appears mandatory in adventure/strategy games).

A few weeks passed in this fashion, filled with many highly enjoyable horrifying losses. After about the hundreth time my fearless mute rode back to the local temple with a giant bag of unconscious/dead friends over his shoulder, I began to wonder if there was a better way. So for the sake of my loyal troops, and all strategy game players, I've broken things down through the help of logic and my ridiculous knowledge of D&D.

It doesn't matter if the strategy game takes place in a mystical realm of fantasy, in ancient feudal Japan, in World War 2, on a chess board, or in a convoluted Squaresoft plot, there are really only six types of units:


The main hero type, these warriors are decently strong, decently tough, decently...decent. These warriors usually become the backbone of any army, but often have usefull skills and the ability to do a little bit of everything, if necessary. These warriors include: guys with average sized swords, basic soldiers, monks, rogues, and on a chess board they are best represented by pawns. Pawns suck you say? Take into account that for every knight/bishop/rook you have, you have two pawns. Any veteran chess player will tell you that in chess, pawns dictate the flow of the game.


A must have in any fantasy game, these people keep you alive. In more modern/realistic games they're often represented by medics, but they also include calvary and emergency rescue. These units get more usefull depending on how many people there are to rescue, and how difficult it is to replace units. If you're on the opposing side, you'll want to kill these guys first. In chess, they're best represented by knights. If things get hairy for one of your pieces, the knight is the only one who can hop over other pieces and sweep in for the rescue.


Be they actual tanks, Chicken-like monsters, fighters, or guys with really great hair, some consider them the backbone of any army! I consider them slow. Painfully slow. Still, they make great portable walls/battering rams, but tend to have trouble dealing with quicker foes and foes that attack from a distance, or the sides. On the other hand, one on one, face to face, they're invincible. In chess, they're best represented by the rook.


Rocket Launcher, long bow, sniper rifle, fire magic, it's all the same on the battlefield. These nukers like to stay way back and strike their enemies from a distance, or at least in a manner that allows a hasty retreat, for they tend to be fairly vulnerable in up close combat. In chess, they're best represented by the bishop.


These units are fickle ones. They tend to be either incredibly useful or painfully necessary, perhaps even mandatory. These units vary greatly from game to game, and often have the ability to fill other niches, like the versatile warrior. The main difference is they tend to be more vulnerable and have a larger impact on the flow of battle. They might be bards, empowering the rest of the battlefield with their magical music, or they might be generals issuing battle commands to dictate the flow of the armies, or they might be little more than slow, vulnerable lumps, which your army is attempting to protect, and in the case of your enemy, destroy. In chess, they're best represented by the king, which is indeed a versatile piece...if you dare choose to use it.


The catch-all miscellaneous unit that tends to be represented by monsters, ghosts, kids and small robots. These units tend to have incredible power, but with a glaring, obvious weakness, like Superman and Kryptonite (only let's assume that Kryptonite is rare, but not that rare, like emeralds or diamonds). In retrospect, a better example would be a vampire, werewolf, or that dragon that's missing the one scale. Many are quick to load up their teams with these units, unaware that in order to have game balance, they've got to have weaknesses. In some games, like chess with the queen, these monster units are merely limited in number rather than given weaknesses.

Where does this all get us? Well, right after one of the routine merciless slaughterings of my armies, I began to realize that my problem might be my choice of units, so I sat down and attempted to figure out what the best balance of characters were...and then it began to look a little familiar, like a D&D group...and then it began to look even more familiar, like a chessboard.

If we assume you're allowed a maximum of 12 units, the overall best breakdown seems to be: 1 command, 4 versatile warriors, 2 tanks, 2 healers, 2 artillery, and 1 special. In chess, this breaks down to 1 king, 8 pawns, 2 rooks, 2 knights, 2 bishops and a queen.

I don't think this is a coincidence. I think chess developed into this setup simply because it's the overall most well balanced team. Let's follow in this fashion with one of my games, let's say the first, Disgaea 2.

My team is (when not narrowed down to the maximum 10):

Adell/Hero (Versatile)
Rosalyn/Heroine (Versatile)
Sword Guy (Versatile)
Axe Guy (Tank)
Spear Girl (Versatile)
El Pollo Diablo/Devil Chicken (Tank)
Killer Marionette (Special)
Fire Wizard (Artillery)
Wind Wizard (Artillery)
Ice Wizard (Artillery)
Prinny/Sword Throwing Penguin (Artillery)
Healing Girl (Healer)
Milk Drinking Brother (Tank)
Cheerleader Sister (Support)

No wonder I'm getting killed! I have WAY too much artillery! Those poor wizards are more than I can protect with only two tanks and only one healer. Now, a maximum number of 10 units is less than twelve, but thanks to having WAY too much free time on my hands, I've figured out the best order to include the units. I've found that this balance also works in generic RPG's.

UNIT #1: VERSATILE WARRIOR (When you make a starting character in a game, choose the balanced one that can do a little bit of everything, usually the rogue)




Anyone familiar with D&D may realize that we're just set up the classic Rogue-Cleric-Fighter-Wizard combination, and for the first four, that's definitely the way to go.


UNIT #6: COMMAND SUPPORT (Now there's enough characters to make the support worthwhile)

UNIT #7: SPECIAL (Any earlier and the team's basic needs won't be met)


If it were a D&D team, that would make the team: a rogue, a cleric, a fighter, a wizard, a ranger, a bard, a monster (let's say a Nixie), and a sorcerer. Not a bad setup, if you ask me.



When your numbers grow over 8, you're going to need more units to help with healing and defense. Any less and your back row is going to quickly get overrun. This is a lesson I learned at great cost.



After 10 units, you just need more guys that can deal with the situation as it happens. We can never be completely sure what's going to happen on the battlefield (unless we went to so we need to have units that can deal with whatever happens.

Now, using this method, I've reonstructed my team, allowing an extra versatile (unit #11) since my new second healer also makes a better support unit than the cheerleader sister:

1. Adell (Versatile)
2. Healing Girl (Healer)
3. Axe Guy (Tank)
4. Fire Wizard (Artillery)
5. Rosalyn (versatile)
6 & 9. Healing Girl #2 (Support and Healer)
7. Killer Marionette (Special)
8. Wind Wizard (Artillery)
10. El Pollo Diablo (Tank)
11. Spear Girl (Versatile)

There you have it! The ommitted go to the sidelines and I finally have a team that can win battles! I've applied the same method to the other games and I'm confident that this method is...what's that?




"We've lost Adell!"

I barely heard Private Marami over the blast of the exploding Prinny. Penguin shrapnel covered over half our base, wounding the back line, but luckily failed to claim any lives. I don't have time to come to terms with the horrible news, instead first ordering my healers to fix the back row up. When I finally felt secure, I faced the messenger and began my tirade.

"How could this happen?! He had over half health and was facing an enemy a level lower than himself!"

Marami wiped the sweat off her brow, leaning on her spear as she continued,

"The geo panel moved sir! An enemy boost times three dropped right on a red square. Adell's enemy was on a red square! It was over before we knew it!"

I nodded and grimly rubbed my eyes, knowing that when I went back to town, I'd have to let Adell's family know what happened. It was always hard to lose one of your best men.

It costs, like, a fricking fortune to revive them.

I waste no more time.

"Get everyone off the red squares and then have the wizards nuke the geo pyramid."

The troops around me froze at the news. The walking geopanels were usually considered 'neutral parties'. As far as I'm concerned, that small pyramid stopped being a neutral party the second it decided to hop on a red panel. I wasn't sure if my troops would see it the same way, so I took on a somber demeaner and was about to speak when Marami suddenly sprang up and happily cheered...


The troops then happily bombed the defenseless pyramid into oblivion, laughing all the way.

There were some advantages to having a demon army.

The desperate enemy then began to press forward, slamming into my front line of troops, eager to get at my wizards. They seemed low on MP, so I had them retreat through the portal...and then released my secret weapon upon the unknowing enemy.

The attacking ghosts, troops and penguins came to a sudden stop, as a large figure began to move over the horizon. The ghosts were the first to spot the rustling trees, and they did so just as they burst forward, toppling down the hill, making way for the sudden appearance of my secret weapon.

On two giant, three-towed feet, the legendary beast approached, towering over its enemies. The sun was in their eyes, so at first they only saw a giant bird-like outline that immediately thrusted its giant prow-like beak forward, neatly scissoring a warrior neatly in two. The spearwoman Marami than rushed the enemy's mage off in the distance, impaling her upon her pike, leaving her well out of reach of the enemy, leaving them no other options other than a forward rush into the enemy's tank, or retreat.

As they rushed forward, I began to smile.

The enemy weapons bounced harmlessly off El Pollo Diablo's nearly impenitrable feathers. They comboed and team attacked with nothing more than single digit damage to show for it. Desperate, the troops glanced at their artillery, which was currently residing on the end of Marami's staff. The enemy began to get ready to bolt, but El Pollo had much different plans.

With a small amount of maneuvering, the giant chicken's head swerved like a turret directly into the enemy's path. El Pollo's cobra-like tail then hissed at the enemy as a giant cloud of gas erupted from the bird's maw. The blast killed two of the enemy, and wounded the others. The survivors turned to run, but found themselves stricken with little white lines on their chest, which seemed to hold them fast in place. There was no retreat. A moment later, El Pollo Diablo fired again.

With a swivel and turn, the giant chicken of doom walked a straight line toward the enemy base. Marami quickly followed along its side, and with a wave of my hand, the artillery moved forward to follow it. With a loud crash, and a deafeningly thunderous...


...El Pollow Diablo crahed through to the enemies back lines, as Marami ran in beside it, and my Mage dropped a Mega Wind on their front line.

With this brutal climactic charge, I suddenly knew with certainty, deep within my heart...that the giant wad of cash it's going to cost to revive Adell...will not be spent in vain!