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Female Psychic Attack is written by Ross Jeffries, can be read online here, and on a parallel world where I invented English the word “Jeffries” means “creepy delusional.”
The very first word is “Bros”, and it’s the only time in history when talking about 80s sensations Matt and Luke Goss would be less embarrassing. Pluralizing “Bro” is bad; doing so in writing was once fondly thought impossible; but pretending to be a fratboy when you look like Popeye after a few years at Spinach-eaters Anonymous?
Ross was raised on a world of Amazonian warrior-bitches who sleep with M1 battle tanks, so he acts like every conversation is an arms deal with Ovarian separatists. That’s the sanest explanation for his crusade against the mind-altering evil of women. He also wages unending war against grammar, apostrophes, and captilization, but since he’s already declared the entire X chromosome his enemy those are only a minor skirmish. And expecting the author of a book about girls and their mind-blasting cooties to be good at communication is like demanding an Alien facehugger respect your personal space: by evolution, intent and sheer sucks-to-be-near-them they just can’t.
The Banner Saga is turn-based tactical grid combat linked by an Oregon trail where you’re either Vikings or Giant Vikings. I sort of don’t want to say anything good after that, because I’m only writing for people who didn’t immediately leave to play Banner Saga, aka not my kind of people.
The first joy is the writing. Halo and Gears of War spending millions of dollars rendering their new alien enemies, but you’re no more moved to hate them than a sewage worker hates toilets: they might have to clean away all these brown and grey lumps, but that’s just their job. But one of Banner Saga’s events brought me to such hatred that I would pull down the sky to crush the Earth if only it would be sure of killing that one villain, and they did that with a few lines of text.
You’re watching small pixels plodding along a one-dimensional path when suddenly shit gets realer than it does on your side of the monitor. I won’t say exactly how, because the whole point is playing games is to gain new experiences, but they’ve mastered their new perspective despite being the only people using it.
The second part is the joy of working out a new gaming system. The innovative combat mechanics turn several established isometric combat tactics on their heads. And then cuts yours off if you don’t adapt.
Sides Always Alternate Turns
Alternating between sides means an outnumbered side gets more turns per character. So if you’re used to using circle-stomps to quickly cut down the enemy numbers, your weakened troops will now be facing totally healthy enemies who are now turbocharged to boot. Instead you have to take all enemies into account every turn, and you realize that makes much more sense than every other game you played.
Armor and Strength
You can choose to attack an enemy’s armor or strength (which is also their hit points). If your strength is less than their armor, your can only chip away at that armor as any other attack will probably be deflected. But they suffer the same problem, so your strong character should power through and cripple as many enemies as possible, leaving them weak as a kitten inside their perfect armor. That way your weaker allies can safely wear them down without being annihilated.
Kills Count For Everything
It’s a warrior culture: there are no XP increments for assists, so even if you helped with a thousand kills, if you can’t claim any for yourself then you won’t get any more famous. And soon you won’t be able to help anyone at all. If you don’t want your squad to end up looking like a mother duck leading a lot of fluffy little vol-au-vents into the enemies’ maw, you must avoid favoritism, sharing kills when you can. Especially since the cost increases exponentially per level – you can upgrade four people from level 1 to 2 for less than one person going from 4 to 5. The “pillage” round is useful for this: when either side is down to one survivor, it no longer alternates, every character gets one turn per round, and the winner should use this to decide who takes the kill.
The Banner Saga is more powerful and playable than the Gjallerhorn, leads to more epic battles, and is available on Steam.
I wrote an article about awesome superheroes for a comedy site, which should have been about as controversial as enjoying ice-cream. Which only reveals that I’ve never read the “CHOCOLATE RIPPLE SHOULD DIE IN A FIRE” threads on the coldcreamydudes forum. I described how five heroes I like deserved a movie before Ant-Man.
- Being accused of writing feminism for blowjobs, by someone with no experience of either, and a wildly optimistic interpretation of what’s possible via electronic transfers.
- Being told that Hollywood knows what’s best by someone who appeared to be entirely serious.
- Aaaaaah, but I noticed that so many of the movie heroes so far are male, so I am the true sexist.
- In response to Ant-Man’s famed status as a wife beater: being told that it was blown out of all proportion, that it didn’t really happen that often, that he was really a great guy with lots of good qualities, and that the Wasp was stupid anyway.
- Being accused of hating on Edgar Wright, despite not saying a single word about the actual Ant-Man movie, and it being impossible to hate anyone involved in Hot Fuzz.
- The classic comment strategy of attempting to find a microscopic flaw in my statements so that I disappear in a puff of inequality. “Aha! Armor is Asian and not black! That’s too racist, somehow, so we’d better stick with the safe default of straight white men.” THAT’S NOT A DEFAULT! Monochrome monosexual maleness is not the standard setting of the human body, and you’re not avoiding the issue by staying there, you’re making an increasingly obvious point on the wrong side of it.
- Bemoaning the loss of journalistic objectivity in an opinion column about fictional characters on a comedy site.
- People, poor people incapable of joy, saying Armor sucks.
- Some of them finally found this site! I would say it was slower than I expected, but being slow and incapable of processing new information is pretty much their deal. Hilariously some of them think you can just post offensive images on every site just like their festering home-forums, having never heard of this amazing thing called “comment moderation”. Why yes, it was a meme image featuring a homophobic slurs, how did you know?
- People saying that the list should have included Storm, and Captain Marvel, and the new Ms. Marvel (who faces problems you can’t punch), Dazzler, Kitty Pryde, the Montoya Question, and many more, and all being absolutely right. More adventures is the entire point of comic books and movies.
More comic thoughts in Overanalysis Theater: Iron Man Is Earth’s Mightiest Hero and Continuity Casualties: Lady Blackhawk.
Dashing into Victoria Station I was desperate to make a connection between London and Oxford, and between my digestive and their sewage system. The latter dominated despite involving only part of my body because these connections weren’t commutative. Which is to say, if I didn’t make the connection to Oxford in time, it wasn’t going to ruin the sewage system for everyone else.
Hunting through the station I found a fast food burrito place, so they were legally required to have a toilet. That’s just cause and affect. I think the legal term is casus belly: if they’re allowed to push reheated organic matter through warm tubes they have to deal with the consequences. My accelerated penguin-waddle found the toilets, and that’s where I suffered the greatest indignity an adult can face while still making it to the public toilet in time: being forced to pay.
London Victoria is the second busiest terminus in the country, and they’re trying to tax our busiest terminii too. The toilets were armored with the turnstiles of shame. Cash tribute was demanded to defecate, which is optimistic at the best of times – based on every public transit station I’ve ever visited, you’d think they’d pay the patrons to use proper receptacles instead of the rest of the station. If your entire function is “keeping people waiting and filling them with coffee”, outflow facilities isn’t an optional extra, they’re the most basic necessity. But harvesting cash from those does seem to be the recent British trend.
Paying a large company for the privilege of reducing their mopping bills philosophically offends me, but for the first time I couldn’t simply step over the stiles, as even that much extra stress on my colon would have rendered the fee moot.
(You’re always entirely safe stepping over the stiles, as any staff paid to guard toilets are not paid enough to deal with an urgent case of diarrhea. Because if they try to collar you, it’s definitely diarrhea – just shout it as you sprint to a stall and explain through the toilet door that you’ll be delighted to pay as soon as you’re finished, but had no coins, an urgent need, and decided to later get change instead of having to change.)
All of which reveals the worst part of this poo-fare: bullying old people. They’re not after the young, they’re extorting money from those too infirm to ignore those shitty charges. If you were in a pub and saw someone refusing to let an old man go to the toilet until he paid a toll, you’d call the police. They’re definitely motivated by evil because they want 30p. Did they find that too many people actually had 10 or 20 pence pieces, so they decided to demand both to increase the odds of an urgent shortage of change? If nothing else I hope this 30p is applied as a rebate on those burritos.
The final insult is when you pay the fee and face signs inviting ladies and gentlemen to move on. No lady or gentleman has never been made to pay to shit in public. That is the exact opposite of every definition of nobility. Even the proletariat were never forced to fork over money for this for fear of starting a revolution. They view your output into a natural resource they can harvest for profit. They’ve turned your colon into a coal mine.
As I sat on the thoughtful throne, I realized it was another application of the evils of corporation cash-extraction. They don’t make you fight them directly, because the very second people are realize on this visceral a level that it really is us vs corporations, they’ll all cease to exist. Instead they make us fight our own finer urges. You can’t be a dick to minimum wage call center worker, because they hate the corporation more than you do. But the fact they can endure – an endurance which helped humanity survive millennia of awfulness to take over the planet – is now being stolen along with our lives and that planet to make them money.
Likewise the tolled-toilet is taking us hostage with our own decorum. They’re inverting our dignity, setting it up so that our own self-respect makes us pay to poo. We must break through this trap if we’re to end the trend of every basic need being charged for. We must show them what it means to prevent people from going to the toilet. And we have everything we need to fight back: all we need do is bath these turnstiles in ammonium disdain, bury them in our stinking contempt, and before long they’ll all be gone.
And then the same strategy will work on the bastards selling the NHS.
- LEGRASSE INSTITUTE
- SECURITY: BELOW DEEP SECRET
- FILE ID :>ERROR< >NUMERIC SEQUENCE UNCOUNTABLE<
- >Commander REDACTED speaking<
The Old Ones roused in their cyclopean tombs, rose from their stygian depths, and fell right the hell back down under our saturation thermobaric bombardment. It turns out sleeping until your prey discover artillery is a mistake! A highly exploded hare and the tortoise, if you will. Doesn’t matter how many-angles you make a blockbuster bomb fall through if it’s still two tonnes of trinitrotoluene when it lands.
But that is not dead which can eternal lie in millions of giblets. The buggers rapidly reformed from any injury. We accidentally discovered that the only way to prevent the flesh reforming was to consume it.
Well, when you have an entire army setting literal sights on the face of madness there are plenty of discharges by reason of insanity. I think we caused the sixties, actually, but it was worth it.
The thing is, eating the flesh doesn’t destroy its power, but transfers the urge to transmit madness which destroys human sanity. But we still had to get rid of all this flesh in the middle of the Pacific. And the Japanese eat a lot of seafood. Have you seen their TV?
After a while we had to spread the load, so we tried shredding the Old Flesh even finer and feeding the West with fish fingers. Ugh, ghastly idea. Fish with fingers. That should have warned us. Still, the idea was that the insanity transmissions would be harmless now that they were just empty filler utterly devoid of any texture or structure. And that’s why reality TV is our fault too.
Still, slightly less damaging to human progress than the return of R’lyeh and the complete destruction of all sanity.
Though we’re continuing to monitor that.
Every writer wants to create something new. The most popular story is about creating everything new, an awfully grand meta-myth invented by every culture in history several times each. Any author can create their own characters, but creating characters which then create the author to create them in turn? It would be brilliant if it wasn’t already the most popular fiction ever written. It’s especially unsatisfying when this primal urge to create is directly written down without any interesting action. The created creator is often badly unrealized, conjuring the universe for no adequately explained reason, his ways are left mysterious, and in most modern versions he doesn’t even have a name! That’s just bad writing. The only upside is how any writer will recognize the feeling of the seven-day rush job. Though that doesn’t make up for the obsessive fan club.
Luckily there are a few thousand creation myths to choose from. The best can be found in Robert Grave’s Greek Myths I. Just behold this book’s gorgeousness:
The contents are even better, reading like the great Greek myths retold by a roaring fire by a wonderfully intelligent favourite uncle who’s a poet returned from the first world war to enjoy a cosy study. Which is almost exactly what it is. Graves’ imaginative interpretation has been criticized for a lack of accuracy. But the sort of person who thinks you should be serious about swansex of the Gods shouldn’t be listened to, so screw them and enjoy yourself. Which was Zeus’s strategy all along.
The first volume starts with a story every writer should read: the original creator’s creation story!
The Pelasgian Creation Myth
*Pelasgians: Even older Greeks than the Ancient Greeks.
The creatrix Eurynome rose naked from Chaos, and finding nothing to stand on she divided the sea from the sky. So that’s the first line anyone ever created. Your first line can’t be any harder than that.
She danced south — becoming the only person to be absolutely sure they were dancing like no-one was watching — and turned the wind this caused into the serpent Ophion. They danced and fun happened and she had sex with the giant snake, because neither Greek myths nor Robert Graves were big on subtlety. Big snakes are better! She became pregnant and also a bird, laying an egg which released everything else to exist was from a single ovoid. (Most other creation myths aren’t quite so compatible with the big bang.)
They lived on Mount Olympus and everything was great until Ophion started being even more of a dick, which was pretty difficult for such an obvious avatar of cock, but he managed it claiming that he was the one who’d authored everything there was.
And now I’m going to quote directly:
“Eurynome and Ophion made their home upon Mount Olympus, where he vexed her by claiming to be the author of the universe. Forthwith she bruised his head with her heel, kicked out his teeth, and banished him to the dark caves below the earth.”
Eurydamn yes, that’s how you respond to plagiarism. She shoots straight into ending everything about his position and his ability to even make the claims. I love the staccato sequence of attacks, the rule of three ass-kickings, you can read the rhythm of high-flying kicks smashing his face and mouth and the rest of him out the window of Olympus.
That’s the creator’s creation myth, with plagiarism as the original sin. It’s also a damn fine origin story for any woman dealing with a guy whose only claim to superiority is both having and being a dick. So screw being a spare rib in other stories: start up your own entire universe, and kick every asshole all the way from the highest peaks to the darkest caverns.
More divine inspiration with The Guide To Better Blasphemy, or more railing against stupid stealing-dicks with 5 Ways Shia LaBeouf Could Be More of a Jerk and Why Shia LaBeouf Is Hollywood’s New King of Jerks.
You’ll have noticed from the few minutes of blessed silence that your C-3PO unit has been downloading its very first software patch. We realize that forty years is a long time to wait for an emergency update, but we’ve been busy somehow becoming a galactic robotics company despite copying our only model from something made by an nine year old slave out of junk in his spare time.
But better late than never! If major motion pictures which are meant to be about laser-swashbuckling can dedicate endless screentime to a mincing whiner, the least we can do is update its software! (Besides, the only other particle of Star Wars which hasn’t already been written up into four extended novels and a comic series is “Instructions for Wookie Lice Shampoo”).
- Software now compensates for an accidentally-reversed verbal diode which caused the C-3PO to constantly talk when it wasn’t needed, and to say what it thought instead of directly translating when it heard alien languages. Turns out this is the exact opposite of what a translator is meant to do!
- WARNING: extended exposure to C-3PO bronzium coating will interfere with the flying rocket motors and harpoon guns of R2 units, because extended exposure to C-3PO makes everything of every kind start to suck.
- C-3PO can now tell when he’s pissing people off. Which you’d have thought a protocol droid would be able to do in the first place. I mean, the entire point of a protocol droid is to make things go more smoothly between other parties, not annoy everyone all by itself. But what can you expect from a child worker so whiny that when he builds a robot to help his slave mother, he doesn’t build a killdroid to vaporize her shackles with laser eyes, but builds something to help her please her masters better?
- REFUND POLICY REMINDER: C-3PO unit can not be returned for refund, even though translators are so common that even one-man X-wing fighters are fitted with minor sub-screens which can translate things like astromech droids just as easily.
- POST ANNOYANCE STRESS DISORDER WARNING: C-3PO is so annoying that even people who live in a desert with nothing else to look at for their entire lives will still completely forget that they’ve ever seen him.
WARRANTY NOTICE: C-3PO units still break apart like full-body Mr Potato Heads. When customers inevitably decide to smash the golden ninny into chunks, we feel it should burst apart in a shower of gold like a video game villain, but even more satisfying to kill. It’s not a bug, it’s a feature ;)
Feel the ridiculously dangerous plasma flow through you with Lightsaber-Chucks in 8 Fictional Weapons Too Dangerous To Actually Use, enjoy 5 Awe-Inspiring Stars which — unlike the Wars — don’t suck the more of them you see, or bring balance to the sci-fi-mockery by laughing at the The Worst Moments In Star Trek Movie History.