Posts Tagged ‘Apocalypse’

Ten Things Video Games Taught Me About the Apocalypse Pt. 2

December 7, 2020
  1. Be Careful Who You Trust – Darksiders

The Darksiders franchise starts as an epic modern fantasy based on a lot of apocryphal mythology that is often tacked onto the Christian bible. You start as War, one of the four seraphim who are supposed to take part in the apocalypse. However, a conspiracy between demons and angels sparks the apocalypse early. In the aftermath, the Seraphim named War is blamed for the annihilation of the entire human race. It is then up to him and his siblings Death (Darksiders 2) and Fury (Darksiders 3) to try and fix things and also keep fighting the good fight. Just about anybody you encounter can betray you as both Heaven and Hell have their own agendas and often each individual angel and demon have a lot of side hustles or alternate endgames. Later, you also have to deal with ghosts, the undead, giants, constructs, and so much more, all of which have their own agendas. You have to rely on some of these creatures to obtain gear or power to attain your goals but you have to constantly be ready to be stabbed in the back. At that point, you cannot hesitate to use the skills they gave you to end them. Sometimes you even subjugate them, bending them to your will. So, that will be fun.

  1. Be Prepared for Travel to Be Difficult- Death Stranding

In the world of Death Stranding, the United States of America has been figuratively and literally destroyed. The world was invaded by creatures called BTs which are extradimensional creatures that normally lived in the space between life and death. (Strap in, this is Hideo Kojima uncensored so it is weird). When these creatures absorb dead human tissue, they create huge explosions called “voidouts” that create precipitation called “timefall”. Timefall severely ages and erodes just about anything it touches which basically eliminated all infrastructure in the country. Humans either survive alone in bunkers or in small cities called “knots” becoming the United Cities of America with the government shrinking significantly with the only real support being a giant corporation that delivers supplies and creates the temporary infrastructure to assist with that effort. They also rely heavily on the Internet to communicate with remote areas through holograms. As the main character, you spend a lot of time walking across difficult terrain because it is difficult to maintain infrastructure for vehicles. You either need to become self-reliant in isolation or be prepared to have a hard time making it to your destination. Get ready to take the long way around.

  1. Don’t Reject the Past – Final Fantasy X

In Final Fantasy X (and its sequel Final Fantasy X-2) the world has been destroyed by a reality-bending kaiju named Sin. Sin roams the world and destroys any settlement that grows too big with ruthless efficiency. Those who die whose souls are not properly sent to the afterlife turn into monsters which makes just about any travel outside of these small settlements very dangerous. People called the creature Sin because they assumed that they deserved punishment for misdeeds in the past. Advanced technology was deemed sinful and studying too far into the past was frowned upon. It was the arrogance of the cities of the past that brought about their destruction. However, the main characters are shocked to find out that the Church lied to them and there is a vast conspiracy that continues a cycle of destruction so that the upper class can maintain power over the lower class. (A little simplified but you get the picture). The point is that we need to always study our past in order to figure out how we should act in the present. If we try and forget our past we start to make too many assumptions and make a lot of the same mistakes. Keep a hold of the past.

  1. Learn Crafting and Building Skills – 7 Days to Die

In the world of this game, the United States has been destroyed (again!?) by the nuclear destruction of World War III leaving only small patches habitable for human beings. It also turned a lot of the human population into zombies. Zombies are relentless and everywhere and it is basically required for you to learn how to craft items and build defenses. You must find materials in the wild and the ruins of society and convert them into useful tools and stuff. Every seven days, a blood moon will appear which drives the zombies into a frenzy and causes them to lock onto your position and try to swarm you. If you do not have sufficient defenses built up, you will die and lose a lot of your progress. You also have a semi-realistic system of health which provides for thirst, hunger, bleeding, poison, and other realistic maladies. So you spend less of your time shooting zombies and more time searching abandoned houses for medicine and canned food, junkyards for scrap metal, and converting sporting good stores into fortresses. You need to learn how to identify defensible positions and to gather food, ammo, and drinkable water to weather both the boring times and the exciting times. You have to be ready for whatever the world is going to throw at you.

  1. Keep Your Options Open – Hatoful Boyfriend

In this version of the Earth, humanity was devastated by a mutated strain of the H5N1 virus (also known as bird flu) and is nearly wiped out. Humanity creates a counter-virus designed to destroy the birds that were the carriers of the original virus. That backfires as birds who survive the counter-virus develop human levels of intelligence. This leads to a war between birds and the shattered remnants of whatever humans are left. Humans lose that war and birds become the dominant species on Earth. After several attempts at human insurgency, a sort of apartheid is imposed by the birds. You play the game as a young human girl who is invited to attend a prestigious academy that was previously attended only by birds. As you start your sophomore year of high school you are given the choice to date eight different birds. Yes, this is a post-apocalyptic dating game where you are tasked with wooing and dating birds in high school. Welcome to peak-Japanese Manga culture crashing into the world of independent gaming. The spinoff DLC gets way more complicated and the stakes are raised to include the possible death and destruction of just about everyone involved. However, the point is that we are going to have to be open-minded about what happens next.

Ten Things Video Games Taught Me About the Apocalypse Pt. 1

November 30, 2020
  1. Don’t Be Too Picky About What You Eat – Fallout Franchise

The Fallout franchise takes place in an alternate United States that has gone through a nuclear war following an invasion from China and they suffered heavy casualties. Each game takes place in one of the 13 commonwealths that the USA has been divided into. The first two games are set in the Republic of California, the third is in the DC area, the fourth is in Boston. Spinoffs take place in Las Vegas and West Virginia. Your character travels through rural areas, suburbs, and cities. All of which suffered or are still suffering from heavy radiation. Therefore, almost everything you eat and drink adds to the radiation affecting your body. On top of that, you have to defend yourself from mutated wildlife most of which you can then eat. Eating giant cockroaches, giant rats, bears, and such is not only the new normal but encouraged in order to survive. Fruit and vegetables can sometimes be found but a lot of people subsist on canned and boxed junk foods like Salisbury steak, sugar bombs, and tons of soda all of which actually heal you. In the apocalypse, you no longer can be too picky about what you eat and drink. You are going to have to survive so dig into all of that disgusting food and follow it up with some radiation medicine.

Mutations build character. https://www.youtube.com/embed/QThDHIu8sZE

  1. Keep a Good Inventory of Your Weapons and Ammo – Metro 2033

The Metro 2033 franchise takes place in a post-apocalyptic Moscow following a nuclear war which brought upon nuclear winter. Because the Earth’s surface has become highly radioactive, humans are forced to live underground in the metro tunnels of Moscow and the surrounding areas. Stations are held by different factions including Stalinists, Nazis, and other more rational Russians. You have to fight the people stuck underground just as often as you fight the mutated animals above and below. So, it makes sense that you will be toting around a gun to end whatever threat you are facing. Rarely can you talk your way out of trouble. Even pacifists have reason to keep weapons and ammo around because, in this setting, ammo doubles as currency and a good weapon can be exchanged for contract work. There is a mechanic where you can either use or save military-grade ammo so you can use your currency in a tight spot. In more ways than one, having a handful of bullets could keep you alive.

  1. Keep Moving – Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare

Red Dead Redemption is a traditional cowboy tail about traveling the wilderness and saving the West while seeking personal revenge. The follow-up downloadable content unleashed zombies on the same setting. You have to travel across the same lands again, this time in search of something that will resolve the zombie apocalypse. Anything that dies rises up as a zombie which includes people, horses, bears, wolves, and everything else. The first thing I realized when I started playing is to keep moving. Zombies can be fast and can surround you quickly. Zombies are not relegated to just the towns, human zombie hordes rove randomly through the wilderness as well. If you stay still too long, you will die. Luckily, you should have your trusty horse nearby. At least, it is one of your trusty horses as you will go through a lot of them. They can easily be used as a distraction to get away from a horde. Of course, when you reach for your horse it may also be a zombie and may not react to your commands. Keep moving or get bit.

  1. Where A Mask – Last of Us

The Last of Us is set in the United States after the collapse of society due to an airborne fungus called Cordyceps. It is based on the very real fungus that usually targets insects and mind controls them into being fungus carriers and spreaders. Joel and Ellie must make it across Massachusetts in hopes that Ellie’s immunity to Cordyceps could mean a cure or vaccine for the rest of humanity. Those infected by the fungus lose rationality and become hyper-aggressive. Infected eventually lose sight but gain the power of echolocation and hardened armor. Besides being quiet and keeping your distance, the only way to protect yourself from inhaling the fungus is to wear a gas mask. Well, the dead are safe from the fungus as it needs a living host to establish a parasitic relationship. Pulling on your mask may be the only thing that keeps you alive sometimes. There are probably going to be a lot of things in the apocalypse that we just should not breathe.

  1. Don’t Be Too Shocked By Things – Nier Automata

The world of Nier: Automata takes place long after an apocalypse that wiped out human beings and a subsequent alien invasion. The only real remnants of human society are androids in an organization called YoRHa who mimic humanity to remind other androids about human supremacy. They are locked in a constant war with a sort of machine empire. Previously, more or less a mechanical threat, the machines reveal that they are learning human culture and behavior and have birthed their own androids. Things get really weird from there. The machines form a cult and go absolutely insane. You witness a lot of this cult-like behavior including sacrifices, machines preying on and torturing androids in sadistic ways, and a full-blown robot orgy boss fight. Things get even more existential from there as the protagonists and some pacifist machine allies try to navigate increasingly chaotic times. The point is that you do not really have time to sit and gawk at what the world has become. You have to keep moving or you will be the next casualty.

Media Update 6/2/2016

June 2, 2016


X-Men: Apocalypse

It has taken me a little while to get my thoughts in order so I can talk about this movie. I have loved the X-Men film series since it began in 2000. The series knew right away what it wanted to be and, for the most part, it really hasn’t strayed from that. It does not hurt that a lot of the movies have been directed by Brian Singer who created a pretty bland Superman movie but creates decent X-Men movies. Adapting comic books into movies can be hard. Pretty much all of the X-Men movies have both elements that are awesome and elements that fall a little flat. For me, I really did not care for how they portrayed The Phoenix in X-Men: The Last Stand. However, stuff like Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine are awesome and now happily familiar. X-Men: First Class and Days of Future Past were awesome and shot a lot of energy back into the franchise by taking a slightly different angle. Days of Future Past changed the movie timeline and made anything possible (like recasting Colossus in Deadpool). It feels like they shoved a little too much into this one but it was a great effort. When they try to put too much into a movie, it feels like some characters are left without lines or truly defining moments and that’s a real shame. My favorite parts were Nightcrawler, Wolverine, Quicksilver and all of the little nods to the comics and cinematic continuity. The last battle was really awesome as well as it felt kind of like a good pro-wrestling match with plenty of high spots and false finishes. Overall it was a good movie even if it was not their¬†best outing.


The Warriors

On a whim, I finally decided to watch this movie from beginning to end. I had seen clips before but I had never seen the whole thing all at once. The Warriors is a cult movie apparently because it caused a lot of trouble with real gang violence in theaters. The movie was a look at a possible “near future” version of 1980’s New York City which is overrun by gangs who outnumber the police. One gang pisses all of them off and has to make it through the city while being hunted by every gang in the city. It is a simple little story that is loosely based on an old tale about Greek soldiers caught behind Persian lines. From beginning to end, the movie is dark but has a little bit of a playful nature to it because of some slightly cheesy (and sometimes very cheesy) acting. The gangs are also designed to each have their own motifs, including stuff like facepaint and psychotic costuming. In some ways, the movie is kind of set in a New York that is a little more like Road Warrior or Escape From New York than the real New York City. The movie is also kind of hard to predict as characters do a lot of things or have things done to them that I did not expect. Overall, it is a pretty good movie with decent but melodramatic late seventies acting and I definitely recommend it.


Heathers

Right away this movie was the most eighties thing on this list and X-Men made a point of constantly referencing Eighties touchstones. For me, Winona Ryder was a shining part of the eighties and nineties for me. Like Christina Ricci, she was the dark, gothy girl who got the outsider roles. I talked about this before. Seeing her name in the opening credits is a welcome sign. Add in Shannen Doherty and Christian Slater and we have a late eighties movie that is primed to make fun of a lot of eighties movies. This is a cult classic, I’m told, and it was time to watch it because I like a good dark comedy. I actually thought about saving this for Halloween but I am glad I did not because this did not have a Halloween feel. This is on the level of the later American Psycho. This is dark humor with a surreal sunniness that pokes a lot of fun at eighties culture and also at teen culture. What impressed me the most about this movie was all of the little touches and throwaway lines that made me laugh just as much as the in your face stuff. Winona Ryder and Christian Slater’s snarky insanity is really funny to watch amidst their clueless and heartless classmates. Christian Slater is almost doing more of a Jack Nicholson in Shining voice than normal but it works for his character. Overall, it was a great movie that was pretty funny and I definitely recommend it.

Links of the Week:
Silverchair – Freak
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Heads Will Roll
David Bowie – I’m Afraid Of Americans
Selena Gomez & The Scene – Round & Round
Kevin Gates – Really Really

Weekly Updates:
– This week’s theme is “Set in the Eighties”
– I’m all caught up on Lost Girl. Wow, what a great show.
– All caught up on Kimmy Schmidt and it got even better
– Finished the first season of Person of Interest and it’s good
– All caught up on season five of Bob’s Burgers
– I tried to watch Aquarius on Netflix and… I don’t know
– The Game Grumps were on actual television? Cool.
– So much awesome stuff to watch and report on!

Oh Death!

November 12, 2015

Aadhya pulled the hood of her sweatshirt down lower and tucked her long, damp hair back in place. She had to stay hidden, she had to keep moving or she was toast. She did not know who was after her but she knew that no forcer on Earth could help her now. The crowd milled around her but she always felt alone and helpless, even in the middle of a crowd. He followed her wherever she went and nobody would believe her. This was the third city she had been through and she knew he was still right behind her.

She had been desperate the week before, tired and hungry and scared out of her mind. She felt she could not stop for long but she had tried to research how to ditch somebody tracking you. She hadn’t attended any of her high school classes and she had ditched her cell phone weeks ago. It had not worked at all. She had left town, using fake names on public transportation and had done her best to cover her tracks. Yet she still had glimpsed him every time she stopped running. If she stayed in one place for longer than a few hours, he appeared.

She wished she knew who he was. She had been walking home from school one day alone after drama club and she had spotted him by chance two blocks away. Fear had stabbed into her heart as if it was a primal instinct. She had run home, ducking through alleys and backyards but he had found her. Her parents didn’t see him and eventually she had to fake calm in order to slip away before the morning sun. She went to the police but they were no help and only tried to detain her but she kept running anyway.

One night she had broken into a bookstore to find somewhere to sleep, mostly because she noticed it had a back door. After a few books on the occult, she had a new perspective and a new plan of action. Weeks before she would not have believed but after seeing what she had seen, she was either losing her mind or believing in magic. She had researched symbols, runes and spells and had come up with designs she felt could protect her, mask her. She used the henna skills her aunt had taught her to draw the symbols all over her body, using a mirror when necessary. She noticed that she had quite a bit more time to stop now but she had to keep moving.

She also had to keep covered up. She noticed that when adults caught sight of all the henna tattoos, they were either scared or concerned. Last week a nun had stopped her and tried to wrangle her into the system. She had slipped away but realized that she was now on her own. At best, nobody would believe her. At worst, they would think she was crazy or a demon worshiper or something. But she knew that he was real. He was out there somewhere all the time and he wanted her. He had even almost gotten her once.

It was in the New York Subway. She was pushing her way through a revolving gate when a hand shot through the bars and caught her jacket. She looked back but she could not see his face and that scared her more than anything ever had. She fought hard and her jacket had torn and she had gotten on the train and far away. A lot of nights she woke up in a cold sweat with that image and feeling burned into her brain. She would often get up and go at that point, unable to get back to sleep. The whole experience had led to more exhaustion. She was just so tired.

“Enough!” The voice rang out like a festival PA system. It was impossibly loud especially in the middle of a busy city street. Aadhya looked around and was shocked to realize that all the people were gone. The cars were gone too, even the parked ones. There was nothing between her and that man.

“What do you want!?” She screamed at the figure. He was somehow becoming clearer but also somehow his features didn’t register in her mind. She blinked a few times to clear her vision.

“Aadhya Kumta, you have lead me on a merry chase but the time for running is over. It is time for you to accept your destiny. You will come with me.” He said.

“No. I won’t!” She yelled, backing up as fast as she could but it suddenly felt like walking in thick mud. “What do you want from me?”

“I want you to become who you are supposed to be. I want you to be what you are supposed to be.”

“What is that? What am I?” She asked, her voice faltering.

He was suddenly in front of her and he placed his palm on her forehead, her hood falling away. He released her and she staggered backwards. She looked down and saw all of that henna ink dripping onto the pavement. That just wasn’t possible. She turned and faced a plate glass window and watched her skin grow pale and her hair turn white. She turned back towards the man, a helpless look on her face.

“You have become Death, Destroyer of Worlds. You are the first of the four Horseman.” He said with an amused chuckle. “Sorry, I guess the term is outdated now.”

“I don’t understand.” Aadhya said softly.

He smiled. “Come with me, my Death. I will explain the coming days. Come with me and we will join with your sisters in bringing this world to its knees.”


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