3 Awesome Fictional Swords

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I don’t think this needs an introduction. Josh, tell us about swords!

Swords seem to appear in many of my major interests; reading, television, movies, and games. Often taking quite a pivotal role in the epic tale where the hero draws upon the power of a mighty sword to slay a mythical dragon. So I’m going to take this chance to list a few of the most awesome and badass blades. They aren’t all conventional and probably won’t appear in many people’s list. Also about that hero I mentioned, they also probably weren’t wielded by him. Read on to find out more.

Image Sourced from: http://mugen.wikia.com

Image Sourced from: http://mugen.wikia.com

Frostmourne –Video Game – Warcraft 3 and World of Warcraft
“Whomsoever takes up this blade shall wield power eternal. Just as the blade rends flesh, so must power scar the spirit.”

Frostmourne is the cursed blade wielded by the Lich King. It’s power of corruption are beyond measure. Upon taking hold of the forsaken blade you forfeit your soul to the Lich King, in trade for his immense power and command of the undead scourge. Not a bad trade really if you want to go on a bloody crusade slaying thousands. Humans, orcs, elves and even demons fear this blade as many of their kin have been laid to rest, before being reanimated, and commanded by its wielder. Not a bad trade indeed.

Image Sourced From: http://forum.malazanempire.com/ (username: caladanbrood)

Image Sourced From: http://forum.malazanempire.com/ (username: caladanbrood)

Dragnipur – Book – Steven Erikson “Malazan Book of the Fallen”

This sword is my personal favorite on the list. Its badassary knows no bounds. From the outside the sword doesn’t seem too special, it is a silver hilted bastard sword, with an inky black blade that absorbs light. Now I know you’re saying that’s really not that badass. What makes the sword really cool is that everyone slain by the blade gets trapped in a magical realm. These souls are chained and forced to pull an immense cart pursued by the forces of chaos. But as the souls within the sword fall from lack of strength they add to the weight of the cart making it heavier, meaning Dragnipur’s thirst for souls can never be quenched. What makes it even more awesome is that the guy that carries it can turn into a dragon and took the sword from an elder god before trapping him for eternity to drag the cart.

Image Sourced from:  http://www.comicvine.com/ (username: Archaon)

Image Sourced from: http://www.comicvine.com/ (username: Archaon)

The Slayer of Kings – Game – Warhammer

The Slayer of Kings is the blade wielded by Archaon, Lord of the End Times. Yes, I know what you are thinking, anyone with a name like that you don’t want to be on the wrong side of. What makes him scarier is his sword, not only does it have a demon imprisoned in it, but a demon driven insane with rage and fury. Got to say that’s a pretty awesome sword. Once the demon imprisoned in the sword is unleashed it’s anger is all consuming meaning that it may even turn on the wielder. Really, to be using a sword of this incredible power you got to be a badass who feels he can hold his own against one pissed off demon.

So that ends my list of 3 awesome swords, I know there are a lot out there that didn’t get a mention, but these are swords that I think are amazing. I would love to hear if any of these swords would make your list or what sword would.

Josh

So do you have a favorite fictional blade?

Shouting At An Abyss That Just Stares Back – Contrarian Commenters

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Adam yells about people on the internet, knowing full well the futility of it.

I am an individual pretty much consistently consumed with rage. Anger is the only basic emotion I have mastered, and I am known for my misanthropy and fury. I’ve decided to turn this into a semi regular article called ‘Shouting At An Abyss That Just Stares Back’ in which I will discuss something that has irked me particularly that comes under the umbrella of topics that The Lost Lighthouse covers, really as an outlet. I won’t as a general rule rant about every day occurrences, mainly because I live in London and really don’t have time to write a new article every time something pisses me off, which averages out about once every 37 minutes. I’ll also round off each instalment with a list of the things I’m enjoying at the moment, to end on a positive.

So the thing that has been p*****g me off this week is people that are intentionally contrary or combative in comments threads for no f*****g reason. I know comments are a wretched hive of scum and villainy at the best of times, and a shower of c***s the rest of the time, but for now I specifically mean someone who reads an article or a comment from someone else, then contradicts or points out something totally f*****g pointless for no other reason than making themselves look better or to p**s people off. I’m not just talking general internet trolls either (though I f*****g hate those time and space wasters too).

One example of what I mean was when finishing a recent game, there was a particularly great story moment that was both natural and unique in its own way, for which the developers received a fair few deserved pats on the back including from the LGBT community for the particular story elements involved. Even the majority of the comments were particularly positive for once, nothing heinously homophobic. But then some d**k starts saying how it isn’t a big deal at all saying (paraphrasing) “Oh my god, why are people praising this? This should be something that is happening everywhere already, this isn’t newsworthy”. Correct, it should be something that should be accepted. It would be great if one day we don’t need a news report about LGBT issues in games (or other media too really, gay superheroes make news headlines) highlighting the achievements of those willing to push the boundaries to include this stuff, because those boundaries will have already been pushed and this will be as acceptable and expected as anything else in the media we consume. But we aren’t there yet, so the people that get us closer to that absolutely should get the props they deserve. It just struck me as someone being contrary ostensibly just to show how much more progressive they are, so progressive in fact that they don’t even care about the issue.

Another recent example was following the very sad news of Harold Ramis passing away, on a retrospective piece looking at his career. The piece was on a relatively nerdy website, so there was a focus on Ghostbusters and his role as Egon Spengler in both the article and the comments. Then some p***k decides to intentionally rile people up/try to make themselves look more knowledgeable or insightful by pointing out that Ghostbusters wasn’t the only thing he ever did (something clearly discussed in the article) and that it wasn’t that great anyway. It being that sort of site, of course there would be an Egon focus because that is the role that meant the most to people like us. That is what people will miss the most. Being contrary and arsey about it specifically in that forum doesn’t achieve anything. I guess I don’t post opinions often enough in comments threads, but I really see it in the same way as in normal conversation. If I don’t have something positive or interesting to add to a discussion, on or offline, I just don’t f*****g say anything! Just because you don’t have to open your mouth to say something doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give the same level of basic thought about what you are saying as you would if you were verbalising it

Maybe my problem is just a larger one with comment threads. They can be full of pointless little fan-boy wars that don’t hurt anyone, or they can be minefields of the most deplorable arseholes that use the anonymity of the internet and hide behind cowardly little prefaces like “I’m not (blank) but…” to be disgustingly prejudiced against people they have never and will never meet based on their gender, race, sexuality or religion. Spouting toxic s**t about any of that stuff isn’t acceptable in a group conversation, why should it be OK just because you’ve got a witty username concealing your real identity? Anyway there are much better reasons to hate someone, like their personality. Or how s**t their witty username is.

*Disclaimer – rants can and will stray off topic, and then end abruptly.*

What I’m playing – Mass Effect 3 Insanity playthrough

What I’m reading – Bad Pharma by Ben Goldacre

The Last of Us: American Dreams by Neil Druckmann, Faith Erin Hicks and Rachelle Rosenberg

What I’m listening to – Altered State by Tesseract, Something Witchy (new He Is Legend track), Howlin’ Wolf: The Collection

What I’m watching – Star Trek the Next Generation Season 2

Some Motherf*****s Are Always Trying To Ice Skate Uphill

Adam takes a look back on one of his favourite action trilogies for no apparent reason.

After re-watching the Blade trilogy recently, I decided to do a very timely retrospective about why I enjoy it so much, because this website is all about bleeding edge stories and breaking news. Blade II was one of the first comic book films I saw and really responded to. My Dad and I rented it from Blockbuster (remember when that was a thing?) when I was about 14 on a weekend when my Mum was away visiting her folks, and as an 18-rated film that really reflects my Dad’s approach to parenting (he also bought me Doom II when I was about 7). We both loved it.

So I obviously watched them out of order, but I got hold of Blade very soon after so lets start there. I am of the opinion that the first Blade film has one of the best opening scenes in any film. It opens with some clueless moron being lured into a secret club which turns out to be full of vampires. The sprinklers start spraying blood all over the revellers, and their intended victim is knocked to the ground. Things are looking bad for him as he crawls through the blood, when he arrives at a pair of unblemished boots. Everyone backs off from this newcomer, as the camera pans up to the only man who has ever managed to wear sunglasses indoors without looking like a d**k. It being fairly clear that this is our titular character Blade (Wesley Snipes), we are then treated to an excellent action scene in which he dispatches half of the clubgoers with a dizzying array of fantastic weapons, including a badass sword and a throwing glaive. Even if the rest of the film was s**t it wouldn’t matter.

header_blade

We are soon introduced to several other characters, including Blade’s friend and mentor Whistler (played for some reason by country singer Kris Kristofferson) and the big bad Deacon Frost who is trying to turn himself into a vampire god. The film culminates with another pretty decent fight, with some now pretty shonky looking special effects (it was 1998 admittedly) and an excellent victory line of “Some motherf*****s are always trying to ice skate uphill”.  Everyone should check out the alternate scene in the DVD extras “La Magra”, in which Blade basically fights a blood tornado with Frost’s face occasionally poking out to taunt him. They claim it is unfinished, but I can’t think of any “finishing” that would make it not s**t.

Blade II came out in 2002, and starts off again with a great couple of scenes, one with Blade hunting down vamps to discover the whereabouts of Whistler, and another setting up the threat of the film,“Reapers”, which are a new breed of vampires who hunt other the normal kind and have faces that are a terrifying combination of the Sarlac and very aggressive female genitalia. The vampires panic and recruit Blade to help them kill the reapers for reasons, teaming him up with a squad trained to hunt him that includes Ron Perlman and Danny John Jules which is excellent. Blade also picks up a new tech sidekick played by Norman Reedus, long before he became a one man zombie killing machine. Shockingly they betray him, even though he says “You obviously… do not know… who you are F*****G WITH!”. Also somewhat predictably, the vampires plans go to s**t because they were idiotic anyway, Blade takes a swim in a pool of very thin blood and once again kicks all sorts of ass (throwing a suplex into one of the fights for good measure). The special effects are considerably better, but seem to be overused in the last fight and don’t quite look right, but it is still a fun smack down.

Blade-II-003

Blade Trinity then came out in 2004. Despite some issues with plot holes (and a weird scene introducing a really cool weapon that is never used in the film), I saw it a couple of times in the cinema. 17 year old me thought it was a brilliant film, and to be honest 25 year old me still enjoys the hell out of it. The film opens with another hunt, with Blade getting filmed killing a human. The FBI rock up and arrest him, then he gets sprung by a group called the Nightstalkers. The only two properly fleshed out members are the ones on the posters, Jessica Biel playing Abigail Whistler (sponsored by Apple) and Ryan Reynolds playing Hannibal King. Reynolds gets a lot of flak for some of the poor films he’s been in, but he is the best part of this film (also one of the only good things in the Green Lantern film, and before the film goes to shit he plays a great Wade Wilson in X Men Origins: Wolverine). Consistently funny, has a great brawling fight with Triple H (who is not terrible in this) and he delivers with excellent venom what remains my favourite ever insult – “you c**k-juggling thunderc**t!”. The films plays out with Blade fighting Dracula (or Drake, whatever) because why not, when asked “are you ready to die?” responds with “I was born ready motherf****r”, then we get a keep fighting the good fight sort of ending. Definitely the weakest of the three, but a very easy watch.

So there are some thoughts on a trilogy that I have always had a lot of time for. They may be a bit cheesy and predictable, but they are brilliantly stylish and violent vampire flicks that were some of my favourite action films growing up, and even now I think they are incredibly fun to watch.

Would You Kindly Get Me Into the Gaming Industry? Chapter Two

Our contributor Nathan continues his journey into games design.

For those of you who want to know, I passed the introduction to my course WOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! So off to a great start and now I can really dive in and get started.

I received the next part of my course and got straight on it. First section was entitled “The Game Development Cycle” which shows the complete process of design and development of a game. I knew games required a lot of planning but I was blown away by how much. I won’t go into detail as to how much there is, but there are approximately 12 processes a game goes through from concept to release. A very brief lesson to begin with but with enough information to give a basic outline of each concept.

The next section was all about game genres. Luckily through my many years of gaming, I knew a lot of genres so this section was a breeze, however I feel they missed one huge genre out. Why would you skip horror and everything it includes? Horror games are huge at the moment, with the latest release of Dead Rising coming out with the new Xbox One and then series like Dead Space and Resident Evil being the pinnacle of the genre. Have to say I was a little disappointed.

The next section focused more on the business sides of things. It was SWOT analysis and Competitive Game analysis which is nice to know about as the developers aren’t just people making video games, its a business and money has to be made.

The next section was called “Hardware Formats”. This section I found very interesting. It was all to do with the different hardware formats games can be played on, such as Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo and PC. It goes into detail on how each system has different requirements and what is included. Playstation have a document called the Technical Requirement Checklist, Nintendo has Lot Check and Xbox has Technical Certifications Requirements and all these are checklists used by developers to make sure that the game they develop can work on the specified console.

The last section starts on the basics of documentation. I won’t lie, it was pretty boring but I stuck with it. It talks about how to pitch the game and the documents needed to pitch it and a unique phrase called “Razor X” which is a one-line summation of why your idea is a winner. There are also mock examples of these documents to allow you to get a better understanding.

That’s all for this section on my journey into the gaming industry. Next time I will talk about my registering for GameJam 2014, where students on the course meet up, design and make games over a 48 period. I have already been entered into a team and we will see how it pans out unless I end up punching them all in their stupid heads because their ideas are stupid and they’re stupid.

Nathan

The Lost Lighthouse: The Weekly Rapture Ep 2 – Hooked On A Feeling

Welcome back ladies and gentlemen, for the first “proper” episode of The Weekly Rapture, brought to you by The Lost Lighthouse. This week we chat briefly about our general excitement levels after seeing the Guardians of the Galaxy and Godzilla trailers, Gary tiggles his gooch and Adam decides he hates 2014.
We also have our main talking point, which for this week is the topic of the next-gen consoles. We discuss how well the PS4 and Xbox One seem to be doing so far, along with the games, graphics and price comparison between the two, as well as talking about which we are more likely to buy if we can ever scrape together enough doubloons from the ocean floor to afford it. We also briefly touch on the WiiU and Steam Boxes.
If you have any thoughts. questions or opinions on our terribly misinformed blather you can as always get in touch through Facebook or on Twitter @lost_lighthouse, email us at thelostlighthouse@live.co.uk or sound off in the ‘leave a reply’ box at the bottom of the podcast page on the website.

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Enjoy!

Gary’s Top Three 2-Player Games

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The dreaded top 3 list! They are difficult for anyone to write, particularly when the subject is something they are passionate about. I was toying for ages with this one. 2-player games are something of a precise art form. It needs to be engaging enough to keep both players hooked. With more than 2 players you tend to get the banter between the other participants while one person decides what they are going to do. With 2-player games you don’t get that grace. So with a lot of thought, here are my top 3 in reverse order:

3. Cube Quest

This is a perfect little game that doesn’t take itself too seriously. In a nutshell, two waring armies made up of cubes are secretly set up on opposite sides of these nifty mouse mat battlefields. Then the generals – you and a friend – take it in turns to flick the warriors (cubes) at each other to try and knock the other player’s king off the table. How are the glorious kings represented you ask? Well…they are just other cubes…with a crown sticker on.

2. X-Wing

Is it a board game or a miniatures game? Well it says miniatures game in the title but it’s made by one of the biggest board game publishers around, Fantasy Flight Games (FFG). Ether way I don’t care, it’s awesome! Do you want to be looking up one of a hundred possible manoeuvres then cross referencing it with your opponent’s? No, of course not. You want be snapping necks and cashing cheques! X-Wing uses an innovative manoeuvre dial system so your opponent’s move is a secret to you and your’s are to him. They’re then revealed in order of who has the best piloting skill. I highly recommend picking up the core set. It is futile to resist.

1. Netrunner

Yes yes I know it’s a card game but I still think it counts. Netrunner has exceeded all expectations I had. Also published by FFG, it will have you pulling your best poker face all game. It’s an LCG (living card game) not a CCG (collectible card game) like Magic: The Gathering. Which means you won’t be spending lots of money trying to find that illusive rare. You can just find the card you want from the expansion it’s in.

I very much consider this game a combo of risk management and high-powered bluffing. If you read easier than a Beatrix Potter book then it’s time to get practicing, as you’ll have nowhere to hide. One player represents the “runner”, a cyberpunk hacker who wants to show the corporation as the dirty, lying, stealing thugs they are, while taking a few credits for themselves along the way. The other player represents the aforementioned dirty, lying, stealing “corporation”, trying to secretly score “agenda” points.

This, to me, is the best card game on the market and I can’t get enough of it. You can pick up the core set for around £30. Well worth it in my opinion. I have two! I wanted three of each card – I know, I know, WHAT A NERD!

Well that’s my top three 2-player board games, though none of them really uses a board. Oh well they are all awesome anyhow. X-Wing and the Netrunner core game can both be picked up from Element Games.

See ya soon, cockers!

Gary

What are your top three 2-player games?

The Lost Lighthouse: The Weekly Rapture 1 – Statement of Intent

Hi there folks, and welcome to the first episode of The Weekly Rapture, the weekly podcast brought to you by The Lost Lighthouse.

This being our inaugural episode, it is just a short one really just to explain what we are planning to do with the podcast and what the site (which you can find at thelostlighthouse.com since you asked) is all about. Those familiar with our old podcast probably won’t be surprised at how quickly we stray off topic and ramble a lot.

Next episode’s topic will be the next gen consoles. We will chat about the systems and how well they seem to be doing, which we are more likely to go for and why, and the games we are looking forward to the most.
Please send us any questions you guys have, opinions on the games, and if any of you have already got a PS4 or Xbox One, let us know how your experiences have been with it so far!
You can get in touch through Facebook, via email (thelostlighthouse@live.co.uk), on Twitter @lost_lighthouse or drop us a reply on the podcast page of the website.
Enjoy

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