Fable (XBOX)

Fable
History:

Fable takes place in Albion, which is a patchwork of city-states with uncontrolled stretches of plains and forest between them. Though it was once called the Old Kingdom, the entire land was said to have once been led by an ancient royal bloodline, bequeathed with the title of Archon.
The first Archon’s rule was peaceful and prosperous, but the source of his power was an ancient and powerful sword (which was called: the Sword of Aeons) that gradually began to corrupt him and, ultimately, his entire kingdom. By the time the events of the game take place, the world has slowly declined from the days of the Old Kingdom.
One of the most prominent institutions of Albion is the Heroes’ Guild.
The Guild is the core place of learning and training for Heroes, renowned mercenaries that are active in all parts of Albion. Heroes are hired as thieves, soldiers, guards, rescuers, and protectors; the Guild makes no moral ruling on the actions of its Heroes.

Development:

Fable was the first game developed by Big Blue Box, a satellite studio of Peter Molyneux’s Lionhead.

Dene and Simon Carter, Big Blue Box’s founders, identified that their first project would have to meet numerous criteria in order to be recognized by game publishers, as they weren’t interested in creating a generic title.

To balance the costs of running a fledgling studio, Molyneux suggested Lionhead ‘satellites’. This is where Big Blue Box would obtain the technology and support of Lionhead, making it possible for Big Blue Box to focus on making the game.

After some struggle in finding a willing publisher, Big Blue Box obtained a contract by Microsoft.

What I thought of the game:

Well I loved it. I had already played it once but playing it again was a treat. The controls are simple and the quests are at your own pace (no time limit yah). The story was great, I may have gone into too much detail in the plot so just a heads up.

Plot: SPOILERS

We start of the story with the Hero is a child, his village, Oakvale. Which is later raided and destroyed by bandits on his sister’s birthday, the Hero’s entire family perishes. An old hero known as Maze arrives on the scene, rescues the Hero, and sways him to join the Heroes’ Guild to be trained to become a champion. The Hero then disembarks on a journey to learn the reason behind his village’s destruction, discovering his destiny, and the true fate of his family along the way.

As time goes on Maze informs the Hero of a blind seer living among a bandit camp near Oakvale, and recommends the Hero to gain access to the bandit camp. To the Hero’s surprise, the blind seer is actually his older sister Theresa who was taken in by former Hero and the present Bandit King.

As the story goes on in the Hero’s life, after he has increased more acknowledgment among the people of Albion, he is invited to fight in the Arena. This is where he meets a legendary Hero, who is running the arena battles and in the final show issues a challenge against the Hero and his rival and friend.

It sooner or later becomes clear that it was the legendary Hero who destroyed Oakvale during the Hero’s childhood. Aided by the seer, the Hero makes it his mission to defeat the legendary Hero one way or another.
The Hero tracks down his mother, and attempts to rescue her. However, the Hero is captured and spends a year or more in the prison. When he finally escapes with his mother, the Hero attempts to track down legendary Hero.  It is revealed that Maze is a traitor and working with legendary Hero. After defeating Maze, the Hero is led into a final battle with the legendary Hero. The legendary Hero reveals that The Sword of Aeons can only be wielded if it receives the blood of Archon. Upon the death of their mother, the Hero and seer are the only two remaining descendants of Archon, and if the legendary Hero destroys them both the sword will be even more powerful.

It is only after defeating legendary Hero, the Hero must choose whether to keep the Sword of Aeons by killing his sister, or cast it away forever into a portal created by Jack of Blades’ death. Depending on the Hero’s alignment and the player’s choice of using or destroying the sword, there are a total of four different endings. Once the ending credits roll, players can resume their playing.

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White Zombie (1932)

White Zombie from 1932 is a great movie that I have personal watched over and over again. Now this is not a movie for everyone but for those of us that love the old monster and black and whites it’s a classic.

Plot:

Young wealth man turns to a witch doctor to lure the woman he falls loves away from her fiancé, but instead the witch doctor turns her into a zombie slave.

History:

“White Zombie” was actually the play “Zombie” which opened in New York February, 1932. The author, Kenneth S. Webb, sued Edward Halperin and Victor Halperin (film’s producers) for the movie, the judge on the case voted in The Halperins favoured.

The film was shot in only eleven days, completed March 1932.

Opening credits has a voodoo chanting that play in the background is just a sample in the song “El Imperio del Mal” by the Spanish rock band Migala.

The film was thought lost until it was rediscovery in in the 60s. Another court battle was fought between film distributor Frank Storace and the estate of Stanley Krellberg, the copyright owner of the film.

Storace wanted to reproduce a restored version of the film but the estate refused him access to the original footage in their possession. In the end Storace gave up the court battle. Therefore he did not win the access to the original footage.

CAST:

‘Murder’ Legendre – Bela Lugosi
Madeline – Madge Bellamy
Dr. Bruner – Joseph Cawthorn
Charles Beaumont – Robert Frazer
John Harron – Neil Parker
Brandon Hurst – Silver
Von Gelder, Zombie – George Burr Macannan
Chauvin, Zombie – Frederick Peters
Maid – Annette Stone
Ledot,  Zombie – John Printz
Pierre, Witch Doctor – Dan Crimmins
Zombie – Claude Morgan
Zombie – John Fergusson

Favorite thing:

Okay, so my favourite thing about this movie is how ‘zombies’ are seen as in the movie and the atmosphere.

Tidbit:

Did you know that the singer Rob Zombie named his first heavy metal band, White Zombie, after this movie.

*SPOLIER ALERT*

Little things I noticed:

When the Madeline sees Legendre’s face in her wine, she begins to set the glass down with both hands, she is mostly using her left.
In the next shot though her right hand is holding the cup and her left is on the table.

When she is removed from the crypt, the pallbearer zombies carry her open casket head first. Cut to the procession going up the hill outside the crypt, she is now feet first.

Revealing mistakes I noticed:

Parker drunkenly staggers to Madeleine’s crypt through the graveyard, he grabs a tombstone in passing. The tombstone wiggles a bit.

Also when butler is being thrown into bubbling water by the zombies, he holds his nose as he goes in, while he is supposed to be paralyzed.

Little History of Zombies:

Zombies in “White Zombie” are animated corpse that are raised by witchcraft.

The term zombie can also be applied to describe a hypnotized person bereft of consciousness and self-awareness, however ambulant and able to respond to surrounding stimuli.

As in the late 19th century, zombies have acquired notable popularity, particularly in North American and European folklore.

Though in modern times, the term “zombie” has been attached to an undead being in horror fiction, this is often drawn from the representation of zombies in George A. Romero’s 1968 film “Night of the Living Dead”.

Zombies have appeared as plot devices in various books, films, television shows, video games and comics.

Visual Kei

leaders in the visual kei movement

leaders in the visual kei movement X-Japan


Visual Kei
:

A movement among Japanese musicians that is characterized by the use of make-up, elaborate hair styles and flamboyant costumes, often, but not always, coupled with androgynous aesthetics. Though some say that it is a music genre, it is actually a mixture of sound that I related to glam rock, punk rock and heavy metal.

Some History:

Visual kei emerged in the early 1980s.
It was pioneered by bands such as X Japan (1982–97, 2007–present), D’erlanger (1983–1990, 2007–present), Buck-Tick (1983–present) and Color (1985–1995,with reunion shows in 2003 and 2008 ).
The term visual kei is believed to come from one of X Japan’s slogans, “Psychedelic violence crime of visual shock”.
There are two record labels, both founded in 1986, that were instrumental for helping the visual kei scene spread, they are Extasy Records in Tokyo and Free-Will in Osaka.

Extasy was created by X Japan’s drummer and leader Yoshiki and signed bands (not just visual kei acts).
This label would go on to make marks on the Japanese music scene, including Zi:Kill, Tokyo Yankees and Ladies Room.
Glay and Luna Sea, who went on to sell millions of records, with Glay being one of Japan’s best-selling musical acts, who had their first albums released by Extasy. Extasy would later on follow its owner and became based out of the US, signing and producing American acts, and has since faded away.

Free-Will was founded by Color vocalist and leader Dynamite Tommy, while at the time not as popular as Extasy; it had many moderately successful acts, such as By-Sexual and Kamaitachi.
Currently Free-Will is still going strong and has been a major contributor in spreading modern visual kei outside Japan.

1992, X Japan tried to launch an attempt to enter the American market, even signing with Atlantic Records for a US album.
This ultimately did not happen.

In the mid-1990s, visual kei received increasing popularity throughout Japan, when album sales from visual kei bands started to reach record numbers. The most notable bands to achieve success during this period included X Japan, Glay and Luna Sea; yet, a drastic change in their appearance accompanied their success. During the same period other bands, such as Kuroyume, Malice Mizer and Penicillin, gained mainstream awareness, while they were not as commercially successful.

By the late 1990s, the mainstream popularity of visual kei was declining; X Japan had disbanded in 1997 and one year later their lead guitarist Hide (1987–97) died. Later in 2000, Luna Sea would decide to disband as well.

In 1998, Billboard’s Steve McClure commented that “To a certain extent, hide’s death means the end of an era, X was the first generation of visual kei bands, but the novelty has worn off. For the next generation of bands, it’s like: That’s it. The torch has been passed to us.

Notable newer visual kei bands include Dir en Grey, Alice Nine, The Gazette and D’espairsRay, who have all performed overseas.
Veterans of the scene have also established new acts, such as Malice Mizer’s Mana with his band Moi dix Mois, and several members of Pierrot forming Angelo. In 2007, visual kei was revitalized as Luna Sea performed a one-off performance and X Japan officially reunited with a new single and a world tour. With these developments, visual kei bands enjoyed a boost in public awareness, with bands formed around 2004 having been described by some media as “neo-visual kei”

There has been criticism about newer visual kei bands having lost the spirit of their forefathers, copying each other and becoming all the same. (this of course can be said about most music). As far back as 1998, Neil Strauss reported that to visual kei bands “after X” the makeup and outrageous looks became “more important than the music.”

In 2008, Kirito vocalist of Pierrot and Angelo said “Now it’s more like people are dressing up a certain way because they want to be visual kei or look visual kei. They are doing it to look like others instead of doing it to look different. This is obviously very different from when we started out more than ten years ago.”

Sugizo of Luna Sea expressed concern in 2010 that “They cannot make good sounds and music is more like a hobby for them. I cannot feel their soul in the music.”

Dir en grey bassist Toshiya said in 2010 “To be honest, when we first started and we were wearing a lot of makeup on stage and stuff, there were a lot of bands doing that at the time in Japan, and people thought it was cool. But not anymore, ha ha.” and then added “The music was so unique, too — bands like X Japan. At that time, there weren’t any two bands that sounded alike; these days everyone sounds exactly the same.”

Kenzi of Kamaitachi, The Dead Pop Stars and Anti Feminism commented in 2009 that “Back in the day, there were bands, but people would try to do things differently. Nowadays, there’s one band, and everyone copies off of them.”

Free-Will founder and Color frontman Tommy concluding with “I don’t think our breed of visual kei exists anymore.”

Popularity:

Visual kei has enjoyed popularity among independent underground projects, as well as artists achieving mainstream success, using influences from Western phenomena, such as glam, goth and cyberpunk.

Music performed incorporates a large variety of genres, some examples being punk, metal, pop and electronica.

Magazines published regularly in Japan with visual kei coverage are Arena 37°C, Cure, Fool’s Mate and Shoxx.

The popularity and awareness of visual kei groups outside of Japan has seen an increase in recent years.