Thursday, December 19, 2013

A Log on Mods: Skyrim and New Vegas

Skryim is already over two years old. With mods, however, it easily competes with the best games released this year.

Well hello again reader. After a long hiatus (let's call it being busy as hell for several months in a row), I am back to provide you with what will hopefully be an article of at least average quality.

I recently acquired a new laptop for college, that, luckily for me, is also capable of playing games fairly well. Thanks to the magical service that is Steam, I was able to download a number of games at a criminally low price. The ones I play the most by far are Skyrim and Fallout New Vegas, both of which I had previously owned on the Xbox 360.

Now, you might ask, why buy the same game twice? Well, for one, it was cheaper to buy the games plus all of their DLC as a complete package on Steam than it was to download the pieces of DLC I still needed on the 360 versions (what a complete joke that is). Second, I knew from previous experiences with PC gaming that these versions would be FAR superior.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

iPhone 5S criticism is unwarranted

The iPhone 5S in black, gold, and white.

The iPhone 5S has had a mixed reception, to say the least. Unsurprisingly, most Android users hate it, citing its screen and apparent lack of value. Even iPhone users have made some complaints, with one commentator on a post saying that "the 4S will be my last iPhone, because I can no longer [use them for reading]."

At first glance, these would appear to reveal a general sentiment among consumers that iPhones are declining and quickly being surpassed by its competitors.

Upon closer inspection however, the same criticisms people have for the iPhone 5S can be leveled against the entire smartphone industry. As I argued in a past article on this site, smartphones have hit a tremendous wall of diminishing returns, so much so that from one year to the next it is hard to tell if these devices are actually getting noticeably better.

Is criticism for the 5S even warranted with this taken into consideration? Is it even hypocritical to some extent? For instance, Android users claim that their phones are filled to the brim with features that remain inaccessible to even those who will buy a 5S. They are right in some ways, as Apple has yet to add features such as NFC or a true HD screen. That being said, what exactly has Samsung or HTC done to significantly change the face of the smartphone industry? Sure, both are adept at producing monstrous phones with beautiful screens and a handful of software gimmicks, but is what they have done truly any more innovative than what Apple has done with the 5 or 5S?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Please ban the word "feckless"

"Obama has been feckless in regard to Syria! Rabble rabble rabble..."

I mean really? Did these people dig this word out of the dictionary just so they could criticize the President? A simple Google search would reveal that there are several synonyms for "feckless," some being "useless," "worthless," "incompetent," and "inept."

All of those roll off the tongue better than "feckless." Additionally, if you wanted to make a point of criticizing Obama, then you already failed by using this word. Indeed, most people won't even understand what you are trying to say if you use "feckless" all of the time. It sounds more like some arcane medieval curse word than a proper modern day adjective.

That is all. If someone with connections could contact Greg Gutfeld and get him to make this his banned word of the day, I would be forever grateful.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Aliens in the Kuiper Belt

The Kuiper Belt encases our solar system. In my mind, it would provide a hyper intelligent alien race the perfect real estate by which to establish observational posts.

I have explored in this blog previously the Fermi Paradox. In short, this is the idea that despite the fact that our galaxy is so old that it should have fostered thousands of intelligent species by now, it appears to us to be entirely devoid of anything resembling life as we know it.

This article will serve as a rebuke to that paradox. To frame this discussion, I will start with this question: what if there were aliens in the Kuiper Belt?

For those who do not know, the Kuiper Belt is the disk of asteroids, comets, and other planetary materials that circle the sun at a distance far beyond Pluto. In simple terms, it is an asteroid belt that circles the solar system.

If I were a hyper intelligent alien race wanting to contain possible upstart civilizations such as humanity, this would be the region where I would establish my first line of defense.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Claimed by the wastes

(Restart Story)

You decide to take the boat across the lake, thereby saving you a trip through the ghoul infested forests that encircle it.

As you reach to put your hand on the side of the boat to give yourself some balance as you enter it, you find that your hand goes completely through as if the boat were not even there.

It's an illusion!

That is your final thought as you fall face first into the freezing waters of Mirror Lake. Whoever created the illusion must have cast a spell on you as soon as you hit the water, as you are unable to move any limbs. As you sink to the bottom of the lake, you see several ghastly figures moving towards you, looking to feed on your soon to be corpse.

As everything goes black, you wonder to yourself if things could have gone differently had you made smarter decisions...

The End

Cooler heads prevail

(Restart Story)

You know that something bad is about to happen. In preparation, your pour all of your magical energy into your wards, and cast several incantations designed to expel dark magic around yourself.

As if on cue, the shack begins to crumble around you. The rotted wood turns to ash, the only thing left after a few seconds is the tome, which remains in the air, levitating in the spot where it had been sitting on the desk moments before.

A pale hand appears out of thin air and grasps the tome. As seconds pass, the hand's owner is revealed.

It is human in form, though totally pale. His skin appears to be decomposed in several areas, revealing alabaster bone underneath. Despite this, the rest of him looks to be relatively healthy.

"And here I was hoping you would be an easy kill. Ah well, I suppose that would have been too much to ask for something with a soul as powerful as yours." He grins at you, devilishly.

"You've chosen the wrong target, lich. Prepare to die."

"Who are you?"


(Restart Story)

You panic, attempting to run out of the shack mindlessly towards the forests surrounding Mirror Lake.

You barely make it two steps out of the decrepit building when you are completely frozen in place.

A ghastly figure appears before you. He looks like a human to you, but it is clear that he left that part of himself behind a long time ago.

"Hmm, what a disappointment you turned out to be. Still, your soul should prove quite valuable to my work."

He raises his right hand, palm facing towards you. At first, it appears as if your mysterious assailant is doing nothing. But as you move your eyes downwards, you see that he is using his powers to extract something from you.

Initially you think he is only harvesting your magical energy, but it is clear that what he is doing goes far beyond that. The pain becomes excruciating; it feels as if your bones are being ripped from your body one at a time, your blood boiling within you simultaneously.

This goes on for what seems like an eternity. Finally, the pain stops. You look up to the Lich who stole your soul, and feel nothing besides the desire to serve your undead master for all eternity.

He smiles at you, revealing unusually white teeth.

"And now, your true journey begins..."

The End

A worthy opponent

(Restart Story)

You take a step forward, and stand before the tome. You place your hand on it, and call forth the reserves of magical energy within you. Pure energy rushes down your arm, out your palm, and into the tome. You do not wish to destroy it; this is merely a spell meant to discover the magical properties of a particular item.

When your spell is completed, you stagger backwards in amazement. The amount of spells packed into the tome are too numerous too count. Indeed, they are beyond your understanding, and though you are a powerful mage in your kingdom, it would take years for you to gain the ability to use any of these spells.

A deep and sinister voice interrupts your thought processes.

"It has been a long time since a...human...has made their way this far out into the wastes."

The voice seems to be coming from all directions, despite your best efforts you cannot discover its origins.

The voice laughs softly. "How pitiful if this is the best humanity can offer. And here I was hoping you would prove to be a worthy challenge compared to the ghouls and skeletal soldiers who normally stumble into my lair."

You attempt to respond, but you find you cannot open your mouth. In fact, you find that every passing second it is becoming harder to move any of yourself at all. You only have a few moments before you are completely immobilized by this being's magic.


Cast defensive magical wards around yourself

The strangely supple boat

(Restart Story)

There's probably nothing of interest in that old shack.

You instead choose to inspect the boat, walking up towards it cautiously. When you reach it, it appears to be in great condition. The wood is pristine, its light brown hue nearly glowing in the winter sunlight. It is smooth to the touch, with no splinters, and appears to be equipped with provisions and an oar.

While you inspect the boat, you get the strange feeling that someone, or something, is watching you. You turn around, searching near and far with both your eyes and your magic. You find nothing, though you do feel a faint magical signature coming from the small shack in front of you.

When you focus on the dark opening to the shack, you think you see a pale, grinning human face. But when you blink, it is gone.

Investigate the shack

Take the boat out onto Mirror Lake

The tome in the shack

(Restart Story)

You saunter up to the small building, and slip inside. In terms of size, it is little more than a glorified closet, though you still have room to stretch your arms out in all directions. Still, whoever used to man this dock managed to make the best of the space, as you notice in one of the small corners there is a piece of blackened soggy wood jutting out about a foot, a small tome placed atop it. Tucked away beneath the desk is a stool, though you would not try your luck by attempting to sit on it.

Besides the small working space in the corner, there is little else of note in the room. As you are about to leave, small black marks etched into one of the walls captures your attention. It appears to be some form of runic language, though one you are not familiar with.

As you attempt to decipher the writing, you feel a strange magical disturbance emanating from something close by. You inspect your immediate surroundings, and conclude that the only thing it could possibly be coming from is the old tome placed upon the miniature desk.

You reach out to the object with your arcane powers. It calls to you, stretching icy magical tendrils into your mind. You recoil instinctively and place barriers around your consciousness to block any attempts at mind control.

There is no telling what kind of magics exist this far into the wastes. You should proceed cautiously.

Interact with the tome

Leave the room and inspect the boat

The boat by the lake

(Restart Story)

You run towards the path on the right, and keep running for what seems like an eternity. Your magical powers allow you to move at a near sprint indefinitely, though you still maintain a keen awareness of your surroundings so as not to attract the attention of the undead.

After many hours of travel, you make it to the edge of Mirror Lake, a medium sized body of water surrounded by dead trees and a grayish blue landscape. Ahead, you see an old long abandoned dock. The wood it is made out of has long since rotted, though the boat tied to a slowly disintegrating wooden post attached to the dock looks to be in relatively good shape. Across from the post is a small, degraded shack.

Search the small building on the dock

Inspect the boat more closely

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

World of Warcraft will never be killed

Every year mmorpg gamers await the next "WoW Killer," the fabled game that will finally destroy World of Warcraft and cause it to lose the entirety of its player base.

If you are smart, you would know that this will never happen. That is right, never. You will never see an mmo that will kill WoW, and you will never see an mmo that will match WoW's success in our lifetimes.

A lack of foresight

(Restart Story)

You assume a cross-legged position in the snow, entering a state of meditation. Due to the amount of energy expelled, it will require a prolonged amount of time to recover, especially since you suffered severe injuries due to the blast wave.

Unfortunately, while meditating, your senses are dulled, and you do not sense the hordes of skeletal soldiers bearing down on your position, sent by the Undead King to investigate the massive explosion caused by your magical assault on his sentry.

By the time you realize what is going on, the skeletal soldiers are already upon you, with several of beginning to hack away at you while you are still in a half meditating state. When they are finished, your body is unrecognizable.

The undead knight leading the skeletal soldiers recovers your sword, and delivers it personally to his King. The sword allows him to enhance his power greatly, and as a result he and his armies easily conquer your kingdom.

The End

Stealth wins

(Restart Story)

You stealthily creep up upon the lumbering figure, still distracted with the task of finding whoever started the fire. Using a little bit of your magical reserves you silence your movements as you close in on the undead knight. Just as you draw your blade, the figure twists around and faces you. Unfortunately for him though, it is too late. You rapidly stab the knight through his helmet with your sword, twisting it to the side for good measure. Then, you raise your right leg and kick him to the ground, bringing your blade's point down upon and into his chest for good measure.

With the undead knight defeated, you watch as his energies are absorbed by your blade, strengthening not only the weapon but you as well.

Closely inspect the body

You didn't see that coming?

(Restart Story)

The figure looks humanoid enough, and though he is likely undead you figure you should at least try to find a way to communicate with him before you go on the offensive.

"Can you understand me?" You must shout to be heard over the constant wind.

The figure stares at you, calculating you coldly.

"What are you? Why are you attacking me?"

Your continued line of questioning gets no response. In fact, it only seems to anger the construct, who begins to charge at you, howling in a blood curdling inhuman manner. You only have moments to respond. With no time to draw your sword, you have no choice but to call upon your magical reserves.


A sentry in the snow

(Restart Story)

You approach the undead knight's remains, hoping to learn something more by inspecting it closely. It's strength was impressive for a singular minion of the Undead King, indeed, you have never fought anything like it before. Its armor is etched with small runes that you had not noticed before, and reading them you can see that they are enchantments designed to ward off magical attacks.

From the strength of the enchantments, you are glad you decided to attack with your sword.

Furthermore, there is a medallion hanging around his neck. You easily break the small chain tying it to the construct, and inspect it. It is also inscribed with runic words of power. These, however, do not provide protection, but instead boost the wearer's offensive capabilities. 

For what you could tell, though the knight proved no match for you in close combat, it would be more than capable of defeating a great number of ordinary soldiers, which explains all of the missing scouts in recent months.

From what you can surmise, these constructs are likely sentries, produced at great expense by the Undead King to monitor the edges of the frozen wastes that border your kingdom. As such, they are exceptionally powerful.

As you go deeper into the wastes, you expect to find fewer of these sentries.

Continue on to the abandoned fort

Your first kill

(Restart Story)

You decide to attack him head on. You draw your blade and charge. The figure senses your approach and assumes a defensive position. You are far quicker than this lumbering construct however, and are able to stab him several times before he is able to react. As he attempts to lop your head of with his gigantic sword, you leap in the air, dodging the attack and landing on his shoulders. You raise your sword, and bring it down, end first, into your assailant's helm.

There is a burst of light, followed by a small explosion, which throws you off the figure. Your magical wards protect you from all of the damage of the blast. When you regain your footing, you see the corpse of the knight lying before you.

What remains of this creature's energy is absorbed by your sword. As the stream of bluish light leaves the figures armored remains and enters your blade, you feel greatly empowered.

Closely inspect the body

A successful plan

(Restart Story)

You draw up a small fraction of your magical reserves, and hold you hand out in the direction of the campfire. Moments later, it blazes to life. The bones surrounding the fire glow a sickly orange color.

You had hoped that your ploy would attract any nearby assailants, and luckily for you, it has. A figure emerges out of thin air near the flames. He is encased in a blackened steel armor adorned with numerous sharpened barbs. He carries a tremendous sword strapped to his back. The figure kneels down and seems to gaze at the fire, confused, and looks around to to see if there are any potential victims about.

You are hidden quite well, and so he fails to see you. Nonetheless, the figure draws his sword and begins to lumber around the immediate area, scouting about for whatever started the fire.

Sneak up on the figure and eliminate him with your sword

Attack him head on

Using your brain can be useful

(Restart Story)

Using your talents gained serving as a ranger in your earlier years, you stealthily approach the smoke up ahead. Taking a longer route along the edges of the trail that straddles the forest line, you creep up a small rocky incline that gives you a birds eye view of the area below.

You see a recently put out campfire, along with the bones of what look to be one of several scouting squads sent out by Fort Iceward, the outermost bastion of military power your kingdom has.

In this region, the state of their decomposition means little. They could have died yesterday and had their organic bodies melted down instantly by a dark magic formulated by the Undead King used by many of his skeletal minions. Or, their bones could have been picked clean by the many large birds of prey in the area. Either way, it meant that whatever killed these men could still be nearby.

Use your magic to rekindle the fire from afar

Sapped of strength

(Restart Story)

You continue on to the fort. Without any energy, magical or otherwise, the journey is excruciating. The brutal weather slows you tremendously, and the threat of more undead like the one you just defeated forces you to remain cautious and take longer, stealthier routes.

Before you are even halfway to the fort, you begin to falter, your energy reserves depleted. You make camp next to a blackened tree, and fall asleep.

In the night, the temperature falls to levels unheard of in your kingdom. Without magical wards protecting you, you are as vulnerable to them as any other man, and die in your sleep.

Years later, after the King of the Undead's forces have swept through your kingdom, refugees find the spot where you succumbed to the cold. They greedily steal your weapons and armor, though are quickly found and executed by undead forces. They take your sword to the Undead King, and he uses it to attain immense levels of power.

The world enters a period of darkness that has no end in sight.

The End

Unlimited power!

(Restart Story)

You decide that your previous magical attack was lacking in duration and strength.

You wind back your right hand, assuming a practiced stance for emitting a massive magical strike. Charging the enormous amount of arcane and elemental energy in the palm of your hand is difficult, and it leaves you feeling drained. If the attack fails, it is likely that you will succumb to your foe.

You release your attack with mere seconds to spare. The gigantic orb of bluish energy impacts the undead knight with such force that you are blown back hundreds of feet, the blast wave removing century old layers of snow from the ground, cracking ancient ice, and leaving a crater many meters deep.

You are incapacitated by the blast, and it takes you several moments to regain enough strength to pick yourself up and stagger towards the site of impact. Within the crater, you see the undead knight, or more accurately, what is left of him. Only a pile of smoldering ashes, bits of steel, and pieces of his weapon's hilt remain.

Though you defeated your enemy, you are completely drained, and lack the resources to heal yourself. Your magical wards were also taken down by the blast wave. In essence, you are now completely defenseless.

Continue to the fort

Rest and regain your strength

A wreathe of flames

(Restart Story)

As the black figure charges at you, you begin to expel from the palm of your hand an immense wreathe of flames that hits your enemy with tremendous force.

As the cleansing fires encase him, you hear him emit a ghastly scream that betrays a hint of his former humanity.

To your surprise however, the now blazing undead knight is still rushing towards you. In your momentary disbelief, he closes the remaining distance between you, winds up a tremendous attack with his greatsword, swings, and sends you flying backwards several feet.

Magical wards on your armor saved you from suffering any severe damage, but you are still winded and have trouble regaining your footing. You are fairly certain that you broke a few bones as well.

The undead knight has recovered from the momentum of his attack, and is bearing down upon you once more.

Throw all the magic at him that you've got

Draw your sword and finish him

A magical response

(Restart Story)

You call upon your vast magical reserves, shooting flames from your fingertips. The fire does not hurt you, but quickly melts the ice that had been encasing your body. The armored figure before you responds by charging forward with his enormous blade, with the intent to run you through.

Use your magic against him

Show him that when it comes to swords, size does not matter

Your first foe

(Restart Story)

You draw your rune inscribed blade and rush towards the smoke. You quickly reach a small clearing that is roughly in the shape of a circle. In the middle is a smoldering camp fire, the cause of the smoke you saw earlier. Other than that, there is no sign of anything, living or dead, in the area.

As you look for clues in your immediate surroundings, you notice that the air around you is becoming far colder. In fact, it is becoming progressively harder for you to even move. A few seconds later you become completely immobile, frozen where you stand.

Before you, appearing out of thin air, is a hulking armored figure. He is about your height, but with a far bulkier frame. He is encased in a form of blackened steel you are not  familiar with, equipped with numerous barbs protruding from various angles on its surface. He holds a greatsword nearly as large as his body.

Use your magic to free yourself

Negotiate with the armored figure

The path towards fortifications

(Restart Story)

You decide to go left, as you assume that the fort can provide you with shelter from the brutal weather and unrelenting undead.

It is not long after you begin your trek however that you notice smoke further ahead up the path.

Charge ahead with your sword drawn

Investigate stealthily

Story #2: Can you survive?

You are an elite member of your kingdom's military. In fact, you are so skilled with a blade that the King rarely moves about outside of his palace walls without you.

Today however, is an exception. You have been sent on a solitary expedition to scout the borderlands that connect your kingdom to a massive expanse of frozen wasteland. Within this realm exist many threats, the greatest of which is the King of the Undead and his horde of mindless minions.

Your kingdom's great armies have kept them at bay for some time, but news has arisen of an undead horde roaming the wastes that is far larger than any you have ever fought against before.

Your commander has chosen to send you alone, without any help, because he does not want to attract the King of the Undead's attention.

This shouldn't worry you however, as your skill with a blade is unmatched. Furthermore, your sword is enchanted with several runes that allow you to absorb the energies of everything you slay, allowing you to grow stronger with every victory. Finally, you have a command over the magical arts that is surpassed only by the King's personal mages. Overall, there is little in the known world that poses much of a threat to you.

Still, in the frozen wastes, it is best to stay cautious. Despite your immense powers, you cannot defeat an entire army of undead by yourself, and foolish decisions can still get you killed. 

You left the outermost portions of your kingdom yesterday, and have already reached the small sliver of contested territory straddling the realms of the undead and the living. Before you are two paths. The left one takes you to an abandoned fort, once meant to serve as the first line of defense against a potential undead invasion. The right takes you to Mirror Lake, a ghastly area plagued by wraiths and ghouls, which also contains a garrison of the Undead King's skeletal soldiers.

Go Left

Go Right

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Being a jerk

(Restart Story)

Your question catches the Principal off-guard.

"Excuse me?"

(A) "Are you deaf now too, old man?"

(B)  Remain silent

Looks like you gotta level that skill up some more

(Restart Story)

Your persuasive abilities fall on deaf ears.

"Be that as it may, son, we have a zero tolerance policy at this school when it comes to trouble makers like you. I'm afraid you'll be placed in study hall for the remainder of the quarter, and if you happen to commit another infraction you will be suspended indefinitely."

He looks at you smugly, obviously a fan of punishing problem students.

(A)  "You can't do this to me, old man!"

(B) Accept your punishment

Drastic measures

(Restart Story)

The principal's eyes flash in surprise. Before he has a chance to react, you leap across his desk and throw a pointed punch at his neck, putting as much force and power into the blow as you can.

His neck snaps, and he dies instantly.

(A) Leave his office quietly

(B) Yell for someone to call 911

A confrontation

(Restart Story)

You throw your question at Rick with as much venom and hatred as you possibly can.

His eyes fill with rage, and he rushes towards you. Colin reacts just in time to hold him back.

"Whoa, hold on guys! Do we really need to fight over this crap? Jesus..."

Colin is exasperated, and struggling to hold off the larger Rick. You just stand there, ready to react to anything. As you stare at the scene before you, you also notice Natalie walking out of a classroom in the background.

(A) Goad Rick some more

(B) Leave Rick and Colin and go to Natalie

Defusing a touchy situation

(Restart Story)

Colin exhales, and Rick seems to assume a far less hostile stance.

"That's fine, I thought something must've been up with you. You are totally welcome to get lunch with us man." Colin smiles in an assured manner as he says this.

Rick stares at you and adds, "I still think you're a bit weird but I guess you can come along." He begins to walk towards the school gate.

Colin motions for you to walk alongside him, and the three of you head off to go somewhere for lunch.

(A) Ask if Natalie will be joining you

(B)  Suggest you all play hooky

Anger leads to hatred

(Restart Story)

The pitiful display before you does nothing but enrage you further. You thought you made it clear to these fools that you wanted nothing to do with them, and yet still they persist in badgering you with questions.

Suddenly, you feel something rise to the surface within your mind. Almost like a faint nudging against your skull, a power or force that wants to be let out. It wells up inside your head, ramming itself against the back of your forehead until the pain becomes nearly unbearable.

To onlookers, it appears as if you are suffering from a severe migraine.

"The hell is wrong with you?" Rick's question doesn't help, and only furthers your anger.

The pain suddenly goes away. You feel a rush of energy crackle down your arms and into your palms. When you look down however, you fail to see any visual changes to your exterior. Still, you know something has changed.

You raise your right hand, holding it up in a claw like manner, pointed directly at Rick.

"You will bother me no longer!" You scream your proclamation at the top of your lungs, scaring students who happen to be walking by.

Then, you release your energy. It feels like a burden is being lifted from your very soul, an itch you could never scratch finally being relieved.

You look at Rick fiercely as you unload your mental energy at him. At first, nothing seems to happen, and he and Colin start to laugh at you.

Then, Rick goes silent. He starts coughing, slowly at first but picking up speed at a rapid pace. His feet leave the ground, and soon he is hovering about a foot off the floor. Both of his hands are grasped around his neck, flailing about trying to stop whatever is choking the life out of him.

It's a futile effort. After a few more seconds, Rick's arms drop and his head goes limp, his chin falling with a thud against his chest.

You release your grasp upon him, and he hits the ground sounding like a burlap sack filled with sand and saltine crackers.

Colin staggers backwards in fear. He tries to speak, but only manages to stutter and emit unintelligible and guttural noises from his mouth.

(A) Kill Colin

(B) Run home

Monday, August 12, 2013

The consequences of your actions

(Restart Story)

You blew Rick and Colin off earlier because you thought they were morons. Despite your inner desire to just walk away, you decide to listen to what they have to say.

Colin starts first.

"Dude...what the hell was that earlier?" He peers at you, his tone reveals not anger so much as it does confusion.

Rick glances at you, then shifts his gaze to Colin.

"Come on man, this chump is a lost cause. Let's get back to Nat and Jaime and get some food..."

Colin looks from Rick to you, thinking things over. He's clearly angered by your earlier display and wants to know what would cause you to be, well, such a dick.

(A) "I'm sorry for what I did earlier Colin. I'm not a morning person and I've been going through a rough patch. Can I get lunch with you guys?"

(B) "Who the hell are you calling a 'chump,' Rick?"

(C) [Force Choke] "You will show me some respect!"

Terrible odds

(Restart Story)

You smirk at the aged police officer, his two deputies, and the smattering of other school officials surrounding you.

A fire rises in your your eyes. You target the cop who you assume is the leader.

He notices your interest.

"Son...don't try it." He places his hand on his holster. His deputies already have their weapons drawn.

"If I'm going to go," you snarl, "I'm going MY way!"

You charge at the officers, closing half of the distance in moments. At that point, you leap into the air, shifting into a flying jump kick position aimed right at the central officer. Time seems to slow down. Your foot touches down on the officers chest. His gun his drawn. He looks you in the eye. You see what appears to be a glimmer of regret.

Then, they begin to fire.

Your kick connected with the officer, causing him to fly backwards several feet. Unfortunately, as soon as you made impact several bullets flew into you at speeds much greater than your foot could ever hope to achieve.

When you leapt into the air, you were alive. Now, you are dead.

The End

Self defense

(Restart Story)

You raise both your hands in the air, and get on your knees.

"Officers, I don't intend to give you any trouble." You motion with your head towards the barely breathing bodies of Rick and Colin.

"These two were going to harm me. I was only acting in self defense. Is it a crime that I was instructed in martial arts, and they were not?" You end that sentence with a bit of dramatic embellishment.

One of the officers, the one that looks to be in charge, responds.

"We'll figure out the facts of the case for ourselves. For now, you're coming with us!" He approaches you with a pair of handcuffs, two other cops flanking him with guns drawn.

They take you into custody.

Months pass until your trial. Eventually, given the evidence and the brutality of what you described as "self defense," the jury finds you guilty. You languish away in prison for several years, and never actually finish High School.

The End

When a professional lightweight meets an amateur heavyweight...

(Restart Story)

Though Rick's defense reveals a clear opening to his upper body, you decide to go for his legs and eliminate his mobility. You throw a few jabs at him, testing his defenses. He is slow to react, but he manages to cover up his face and chest with his forearms. Even so, your hardened blows are sure to have inflicted a decent amount of pain even if they only connected with his defense.

Your jabs and straight punches keep him off balance. After a few more seconds of meagerly assaulting his upper half, you go in for a sweeping lower kick to take Rick off of his feet.

Sliding effortlessly to the ground, you place your left hand on the pavement to balance yourself, then pivot your right leg around in a counterclockwise movement aimed at Rick's shins. Before he realizes your shift in strategy, your attack has been completed, and he's on the floor.

However, before you have time to recover and regain your footing, Rick is upon you. On the ground, his over six foot frame and weight advantage over you gives him the upper hand. He performs what is essentially a body slam, knocking the air out of you. Then, he pulls back his right arm and drives a furious hook into your face, loosening a few teeth and causing blood and spittle to spray into the air. This brutal assault continues for several seconds.

Just when you are about to black out, you manage to gather your strength and grab his right fist in midair, stopping another devastating hook from connecting with your face. You raise your knee rapidly, hitting Rick squarely in the ribs and probably cracking more than a couple of them. This loosens his hold over you, and you are able to weakly slip out from under him, rolling a few feet to the side.

You stagger upwards, a nauseating sensation rushing to your head as it adjusts not only to the several blows inflicted on your skull, but the rapid change in altitude. Rick rises as well, holding his ribs tenderly.

You stand, staring each other down while breathing heavily for several seconds. Finally, Rick breaks the standoff with a roar, charging at you. His image flashes in and out of existence as your failing eyesight attempts to register his movement. You block his first blow, barely, at this point relying more on your instincts than on your senses. You then perform one of the deadliest counter attacks you know, a move your instructors had told you to use only in an emergency. You deftly grab his right forearm, restricting his movement. Then, with your last ounce of strength, you drive your right hand as far as you can into a small region of Rick's neck. You hear an audible snap, and he falls before you, lifeless.

You only have a moment to savor the victory before your head injuries become too great for you to bare. As you collapse to the ground, everything goes black.

The End

The bigger they are...

(Restart Story)

Due to Rick's amateur defensive posture, you see a clear opening that will allow you to easily do some heavy damage to his upper body.

You deftly slap away his extended arms, eliminating the entirety of his inexperienced defense. Next, you grab his neck, wrapping your hand around it and squeezing with all your might. Rick's eyes widen with fear; he thinks you are trying to choke him out. He tries to unhinge your grasp with his hands, but your vice grip is too strong. You pull him closer, within reach of your other hand's fist, and drive several powerful blows into his face. Blood pours from his nose.

Finally, using an enormous amount of effort, Rick dislodges your hand from around his neck, and staggers backwards. He looks delirious, his lumbering frame teetering back and forth, his eyes unable to focus on any one thing. He approaches you haphazardly, swinging his arms wildly, blood still gushing from his nose and other gashes in his face.

You dodge his attempts to harm you easily, and finish him off with a powerful flying kick to his jaw. He flies several feet to his right, landing with an audible thud near his similarly defeated friend, Colin.

As you stand above them, laughing at their unfortunate state, you fail to notice the crowd gathering around you. It takes a few moments of you looking around to notice that these aren't students, no, they are mixed collection of campus supervisors, yard aides, and even a few police officers that arrived to campus during the time you were beating up Rick and Colin.

(A) Surrender

(B) Charge!

Beating down the hipster

(Restart Story)

You don't have time in your schedule to listen to the lamentations of these fools. Just as Colin opens his mouth to yell at you, his right index finger rising to point at you, you rush him.

Using a series of moves, you brush aside his hand, knee him in the chest, backhand slap him with your left hand, and finish him off with a perfectly executed headbutt. He collapses to the floor in a heap of blood and broken bones.

Next is Rick, who witnessed your lightning fast assault on Colin and in response has assumed a defensive position. All around you, other students are screaming and running for the nearest school official.

You examine Rick. He's tall, well built, and overall a much more impressive specimen than Colin. Still, your vast knowledge of the marital arts reveals that his defensive posture is little more than a farce; in other words, nothing you will have trouble overcoming.

(A) Focus on Rick's upper body

(B) Go for the legs

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Guild Wars 2's comatose game world

Hey all, today I want to put some thoughts down into writing in regard to Guild Wars 2. Released last year, it was heralded as the MMO of 2012, and as such it was dubbed a "WoW Killer," much like Star Wars The Old Republic and countless others before it.

A year later, and it is evident that though Guild Wars 2 is a great game, it is not a WoW killer. Not even close.

Why is that? Well, from my experience with it, its main fault is the rather comatose game world.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Your situation keeps getting worse

(Restart Story)

Anderson examines you suspiciously.

"Be that as it may, I have no patience for class clowns. To the Principal's office. Now." He crosses his arms and glares at you.

(A) To the Principal's office

Uh oh

(Restart Story)

Mr. Anderson is taken aback.

"What...what did you just say to me?" His cheeks turn red, his contempt for you boiling over.

"You heard me," you chide. "What are you going to do about it, teacher?"

Sweat beads down Anderson's face. His rail thin six foot five frame trembling with rage.

"You insolent little worm!" You can tell Anderson forced himself to not use any profanity. The rest of the class has their eyes fixed on you and him. This type of face off is quite an unusual occurrence at an upper middle class school such as this one.

You rise up from your desk, and stand before the teacher, goading him.

"Well come on, chump. Take your best shot!" You set yourself into a classic kung fu pose, perfected after years and years of martial arts training. Anderson charges. Due to his long stride, he'll be upon you in seconds.

(A) Block and Counterattack

(B) Let him attack you, then accuse him of assault on a minor

Seeing the man

(Restart Story)

You nod at Mr. Anderson.

"Fine, big boy, you win." You rise from your desk, stride out the classroom door, and head straight for the Principal's office. Anderson called ahead and notified him of your arrival, so by the time you arrive at his front door, he's already waiting for you.

"Take a seat, young man." The Principal beckons to you from inside his office, motioning towards the vacant seat facing his desk.

"Mr. Anderson tells me that you've said some highly offensive things to him. And all on the first day! What do you have to say for yourself?" He stares at you inquisitively.

(A) [Kill] "I only said those get to you!"

(B) [Persuade] "Come on, like you said, it's the first day of school! I was only joking!"

(C) "What are you staring at, old man?" 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Taunting the wannabe lawyer

(Restart Story)

You can tell by the stunned look on Mr. Anderson's overly botoxed face that you've touched a nerve.

" dare you!" He stammers mid sentence, his indignation at your comments apparently disrupting his oratory abilities.

You calmly and confidently stride to a seat next to the popular students. They look at you with a new sense of respect.

Anderson continues to glare at you. "You think after comments like that I'm going to just let you sit there like nothing ever happened?! Get down to the Principal's office. Now."

Mr. Anderson's face is burning with rage, his index finger quivering as he holds it towards the classroom's doorway.

(A) Reply with, "Fine, I'll go see him now."

(B) [Threaten] "Do you really think you can tell me what to do, chump?"

(C) [Persuade] "Come on, it was all in jest! Give me a break, it's the first day of school!"

Locked away

(Restart Story)

You decide that at this point, it's best to cut your losses and turn yourself in. You are already looking at a severe punishment from your parents, the school, and the justice system, so it makes sense to not make things any worse for yourself.

Maybe next time, you'll make smarter decisions.

The End

An almost perfect escape

(Restart Story)

Perhaps because of your unimposing outer appearance, the officer seems to ease up as he walks you to the Principal's office. His hands becomes loose on your shoulder, and you sense an opening.

You quickly duck from under his loosening grip, and whip around so that you are now behind him. You then throw two well placed kidney punches, that, although lacking power, are sufficient in causing a great deal of pain. To finish the job, you pull out one of your lockpicks and jab it into the back of his head, knocking him unconscious, but not permanently injured.

Besides the cop, the school's office was surprisingly devoid of any other staff or faculty, so you manage to slip off campus relatively easily.

As you cross the first street leading away from the school, you hear a voice call out behind you.

"Hey, where do you think you are going?!" You turn and see that it is one of the school's yard aides. They usually keep an eye out for students who are ditching classes, and unluckily for you, this one seems to actually care about doing their job.

On the other hand, he doesn't seem to know about your assault in the office, so you might be able to surprise him...

(A) Reply with, "Uh, nothing sir, I'm just going off campus to get some food."

(B) Reply with, "Go screw yourself, old man."

(C) Attack

Becoming a lifelong criminal

(Restart Story)

You and the officer face off. You pull out two lockpicks, brandishing them in each of your hands. You begin to charge, but instead of foolishly taking on an armed police officer head on, you feign midway into your attack and roll to the side, simultaneously throwing your lockpicks directly at the officer's eyes.

It's a direct hit!

Though not a mortal wound, the officer is incapacitated long enough for you to grab Natalie and place a lockpick to her neck. As the officer recovers, he looks at what you've done and raises his hand in a conciliatory manner.

"Don't do this," he pleads. "Think of the consequences!"

You know exactly what the consequences will be, which is why you don't plan on harming Natalie. You keep Natalie as a hostage, shuffling along with her down a few hallways, eventually reaching the school's office entryway. Once there, you throw Natalie towards the officer, who had been following you cautiously at a distance, and make a break for the exit.

Before the officer can recover, you are long gone. Your talents in lockpicking allow you to steal a car and be out of town by the end of the day. Using your unique talents, you are able to live off the land like this for the rest of your life, always a step ahead of the law. 

But really, is this the best ending you could have gotten? Play again to find out...

The End

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

I admit defeat

(Restart Story)

You know when you are defeated. After all, it would be foolish to go up against an armed police officer when all you have is a couple lockpicks and your unimposing stature. You go with the officer peacefully, and the two of you begin to walk towards the Principal's office.

(A) Perform a surprise attack on the Police Officer

(B) Face the music

This reminds me of a scene from Indiana Jones

(Restart Story)

You and the police officer face off. The scene looks like something out of an old western. You pull out two lockpicks, one for each hand, and charge. The cop smirks at you, pulls out his firearm, and squeezes off three rounds; two in your chest and one in your head.

Unspurprisingly, you die!

The End

You should have just left her alone...

(Restart Story)

You decide that Natalie hasn't had enough. You rush back outside, but find that Natalie has finally snapped out of her frozen state. You walk into the nearby school office to investigate.

"There she is!"

You turn to face the source of this voice, and see Natalie standing next to the campus police officer, pointing an accusatory finger in your direction. The officer starts to move towards you.

(A) Use your lockpicks to fight him off

(B) Surrender

(C) Take Natalie as a hostage

Three possibilities

(Restart Story)

You walk into your classroom, holding your breath. Mrs. Andrews, your teacher, hasn't started class yet and is still sitting at her desk, reading something on her computer screen. The rest of the class is talking amongst themselves. You slip quietly into a seat on the far side of the room. The people sitting around you look like they are mildly interesting. 

Talk to the clean cut brunette boy to your left
Compliment the outfit of the red headed girl sitting behind you
Tap the shoulder of the quiet boy sitting in front of you  

Liam Neeson would be proud

(Restart Story)

Despite the awkwardness of your current situation, you manage to come up with a brilliant idea.
That's it! 
"Natalie...," you begin, "I doubt you know this about me, but I have a very particular set of skills. Skills that could make me a nightmare for somebody like you."
You flash one of your lockpicks at her. He eyes gaze at it with amazement.
"If you don't go out with me the movies, I'm going to use this here lockpick to break into your house and steal everything you love!'
Your face is now less than a couple inches away from her's. Her eyes are filled with fear.
"I'll tell you what," you add, "here's my number. I want you to let me know your decision by the end of the day. If I don't hear anything back from you, then, well, you know..."
You flourish the lockpick in your hand, and start walking towards class. Natalie is frozen in place. She still hasn't moved as you round a corner and head into one of the school's main corridors. You see your classroom at the end of the hall.

Go to class

Go back outside and taunt Natalie some more

Monday, August 5, 2013

The consequences of raging hormones

(Restart Story)

Despite your best efforts, you can't get Natalie out of your head. Her hair, her face, her body, all of it calls to you. You can no longer resist your natural impulses. You lunge upon her in a fit of primal lust, twirling her around and bringing her lips to yours. You and her stand there like that, lips locked for several seconds. When you release your embrace, she backs away, a shocked look on her face. She was very serious when she said she didn't "go that way," and your sexual harassment didn't help your case at all. Natalie runs away, tears forming in her eyes. You feel terrible about what you did, that you couldn't contain your feelings for her. Natalie ends up reporting you to the school's office, and eventually you are expelled and your family is forced to move to another city. Though you will always cherish the memory of kissing your crush, you live the rest of your life wishing you had been able to contain yourself.

An example of awkwardness

(Restart Story)

"Oh right, James!" You smile at him. Before you can catch your tongue, the following words escape your mouth.
"I really REALLY liked you last year!" You only process what you said several seconds after you already said it, and find yourself extremely embarrassed.
Maybe James really did like you, but he seems taken aback by your forwardness.
"Heh, well, alright then. I sort of liked you too, as a friend. That's what you mean right?" He looks at you tentatively.
Though you had hoped for more, you reply in the affirmative. "Right! Right! That's what I meant...haha."
The bus pulls up to the stop.
"Well," you state awkwardly, "I gotta go!"
Smooth, you think.
James is left with a confused look on his face as you rush to class.

(43F) Go to class

Rebuffing his advances

(Restart Story)

"Listen here, James," you state with a vicious tone, "I'm not interested. So back the hell off!"
He seems stunned at your response, unable to reply with words. His lips quiver and he awkwardly turns away from you, trying to avoid eye contact for the rest of the bus ride. After a few minutes, the bus arrives at the school. James rushes past you, his eyes awfully watery, and you head to class.

(42F) Go to class

Creating a stalker

(Restart Story)

You know, despite Larry's beady eyes, severely hunched back, rotted teeth, nasally voice, and narcissistic personality, you actually find him to be kind You face him, a sultry look on your face.
"Hey Larry...," you state. He was already looking at you, drool dripping down from his lips.
You grab his head with both hands and bring his face to yours, locking lips. You kiss for several seconds, causing several other students in the bus to gasp or gag in disgust. You aren't the prettiest girl in school, but nobody would have expected you to stoop to this level. You and Larry start to feel each other up. Evidently, that is the final straw for those sitting in your general vicinity, and they rise and retreat to the back of the bus, doing all they can to avert their eyes. By the time you reach the school, you and Larry have practically melded into a single person, and as a result the other students have all positioned themselves as far away from you two as humanly possible. Before you can take it too far with Larry, the bus driver pulls you away. She also pulls your shirt back down, which was dangerously close to revealing what was underneath due to what Larry would describe as "his work." Though you aren't officially punished by the school for your disgusting public display of affection, you are socially shunned for the rest of your senior year. It gets so bad that eventually you are forced to switch schools. What is sad is that you realized soon after the bus incident that, in reality, you actually did think Larry was creepy and gross. Unfortunately for you, he stalks you for the rest of your life, and you are forced to get a restraining order after several years of attempting other methods to keep him at bay.

Dealing with freaks

(Restart Story)

The enigmatic school creeper, Larry, is beginning to get on your nerves. Not only is he inching closer towards you every second, but he's breathing heavily on your neck. Additionally, you are fairly certain that he is trying to get a look down your shirt.
That's it...I've had enough!
You twist around in your chair in a flash, your right hand transforming into an open palm that you use to slap Larry across the face, breaking his glasses and causing him to bleed from his nose.
He yelps in pain, his nasally voice echoing throughout the bus.
"Gwahawww!" He brings his hands up to his face, applying pressure to ease the pain. As the bus comes to a stop in front of the school gate, you give Larry one more slap for good measure, and rise from your seat triumphantly. Other students on the bus give you an approving pat on the back or other words of encouragement for your act in repulsing the school's resident creeper. Larry recoils into his seat, not leaving the bus until everyone else has disembarked. You see him walking to class, his beady eyes scanning the crowd. He walks with a severely hunched gait. You almost feel bad for him, but it only takes a second for you to throw that thought away.

Three possibilities

(Restart Story)

It only takes you a few minutes to reach your classroom. You walk in, holding your breath. Mrs. Andrews, your teacher, hasn't started class yet and is still sitting at her desk, reading something on her computer screen. The rest of the class is talking amongst themselves. You slip quietly into a seat on the far side of the room. The people sitting around you look like they are mildly interesting. 

Professing your love

(Restart Story)

You look at Natalie and come to the sudden realization that you are the kind of girl who likes other girls. You don't know why Natalie has such an effect on you, but you cannot deny the feeling bubbling up to the surface within you.
You intercept Natalie and look her in the eye.
"Natalie...I...I think I love you." You stop talking. There is an awkward silence. Natalie shuffles her feet uncomfortably.
"Jess...I mean...I like you, but I barely know you. And even if I did, I don't like other girls. I'm sorry..." She looks at you with a genuine look of despair etched across her face. You can tell from her body language however that she is recoiling slightly, away from your direction.
"I...," you mutter a few unintelligible words. Then just say "I'm sorry." You feel like bolting in the opposite direction, preferring to flee rather than continue this awkward conversation. You avoid eye contact with Natalie while you decide what to do.

Force yourself on Natalie

Threaten to rob Natalie's house if she doesn't go out with you

Go to class 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Knowledge is power! Or not.

(Restart Story)

Screw it, what's school good for anyways? I'll just use my lockpicking skills to become an international superspy!
As childish as that thought may be, it consoles you enough to where you are able to fall soundly asleep in your bed, without a care in the world. You don't wake up until around 3:30pm, when your phone rings due to a received text. Instead of checking to see who it is from, you fall back asleep.

Sorry to say, but because you slept through your first day of school in a story called "first day of school," this is the end of the line!

A sweaty proposition

(Restart Story)

With the bus gone, you decide to literally run to school. It's not too far away, but even at a sprint it would take you about ten minutes to get there, and you aren't in good enough shape to sprint the entire distance. By the time you make it to your school thirty minutes later, your dress is sticking to your body and your hair is a mess due to the wind. You try to smooth out your clothes and untangle your hair, but for the most part its a futile effort. When you finally get to your first class, you're about five minutes late. You walk in, holding your breath. Luckily, your teacher, Mrs. Andrews, hasn't started class yet and is still sitting at her desk, reading something on her computer screen. The rest of the class is talking amongst themselves. You slip quietly into a seat on the far side of the room. Mrs. Andrews fails to notice your late entry. The people sitting around you look like they are mildly interesting.

(36F) Talk to the clean cut brunette boy to your left
(37F) Compliment the outfit of the red headed girl sitting behind you
(38F) Tap the shoulder of the quiet boy sitting in front of you

A rude response

(Restart Story)

You explain to your brother, in a very pragmatic manner, that you would appreciate it in the future if he could get ready faster. He gives you a wry smile.
"Sure, I can do that. Starting tomorrow" He winks at you, and you sigh heavily. Guess you won't be brushing your teeth today.

(35F) Get to the bus         

You're a mean mean person, you know that?

(Restart Story)

Today, you've decided to teach your brother a lesson in respect. You move your right leg backwards rapidly, and then swing it forward, aiming directly for the place where you know you can hurt your brother the worst. The forward momentum of your attack is tremendous, and the blow causes your brother to stagger backwards several feet. He yelps in pain, collapses, and is reduced to a whimpering ball in the middle of the bathroom floor.  After some thought, you realize that what you did probably wasn't very smart. With that in mind, you book it out of your house and to the bus stop, hoping it takes you away before your brother informs your parents of what occurred.

Things could not have gone worse

(Restart Story)

You turn tail and run away from your hulked out brother as fast as you can. Unfortunately, in your haste you miss a step as you are flying down your house's steep staircase, and break your neck, dying instantly. The guilt leads your brother to a life a drugs and depression that ends up causing him to commit suicide at the age of 25.

A powerful threat

(Restart Story)

You apologize to your enraged brother.
"Fine," he states, "just don't let it happen again or I won't buy you anymore Starbucks!"
As a coffee drinker, his threat carries a lot of weight to you, so you decide to back off for now. 

The number one cause of blindness in teens is...

(Restart Story)

Hey it's the author here. Remind me to never get on your bad side!
 You grin and think, How foolish of him to act in such a way towards someone who is armed...
You grab the lockpick you had just used to open the door, and jump a foot into the air while simultaneously sweeping your lockpick equipped right hand upwards. It's a direct hit! You land on all fours, and raise your head to see the result. You can tell that the lockpick is lodged about an inch deep through your brother's left eye. He's screaming at the top of his lungs and writhing in pain. You hear your parents' heavy footfalls getting closer and closer. Before you have time to react, your mom and dad are both standing, mouths agape, in the bathroom doorway. Their focus switches from the bloody lockpick nailed into your brother's eye to you, as if they cannot fathom that you could have done this. Eventually, they snap out of their shock, and your dad restrains you while your mom calls the police. Your brother ends up testifying against you in court while wearing an eye patch, and though you get a reduced sentence due to the fact that you are a minor, the judge locks you away for ten years. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

That guy you kind of remember

(Restart Story)

When you think about it, you hate Natalie because she made fun of you in junior high, and Larry is just plain creepy. You decide to tough it out and stand, holding onto a stainless steel bar near the back exit of the bus. As you stand there, trying to maintain your balance, you hear a voice.
"Hey, it's Jess right?" You look down to your left, and notice a boy sitting in a chair next to the aisle. From where you're standing, it looks like he's directly across from you.
You smile at him.
"Remember me?"
He pauses for your answer, but continues when he notices your apparent inability to recognize him.
"It's James, remember? We had classes together all of last year. I think we even worked on the same group project." He looks at you admiringly, waiting for an answer.
Now that you think, you do remember James. He was a pretty nice guy who you sort of had a crush on last year, but he never really made it apparent that he felt anything for you.

The freak in the seat beside you

(Restart Story)

You decide to shake things up a bit and sit next to Larry. Usually you try to stay fairly humble, but you are confident in the fact that you are way out of his league. You sit beside him and shimmy over to the far side of the chair, as physically far away from Larry as possible. As if to compensate for this, he moves to edge of his chair that is closest to you. You can feel his eyes staring in your general direction.

The initial spark

(Restart Story)

You eye the seat next to Natalie, and decide to sit there. Natalie looks at you with a slight smile, and you return the favor.
"Hey, weren't we partners in chemistry last year?"
You think about Natalie's question for a second, trying to remember. Math and science courses usually fade from your memory quickly.
"Oh yeah," you reply, "I remember." You nod slowly while speaking.
"Yeah we were a pretty good team! I wonder if we'll have any classes together this year..."
Since she brought it up, you compare each other's class lists. Turns out you share English class together, right after lunch. You aren't great friends with Natalie, really, she's probably no more than a mediocre acquaintance. Still, it's always nice to have someone to talk to. You and Natalie get off the bus together once it arrives at school, say bye, and being walking in separate directions to your first classes.