Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Movie Rules Rule

A long time ago, a friend of mine, we'll call him Bradley Sattler, posted a status on Facebook that said, "Explain the Rules!" which was a Tracy Jordan 30Rock quote, but him being surrounded by the friends he has, like me, we took it in a different direction.

I compiled 15 of my favorite rules that were posted in response, just the ones I found to be "rule-like" and entertaining.

Thoughts on the movies themselves? I'm sure I'll get around to writing about them sometime.

Rule #1: Don't Talk About Fight Club.

Rule #2: Don't Get Into a Battle of Wits with a Sicilian When Death is on the Line.

Rule #3: Don't Fall Asleep.

Rule #4: Don't Expose the Mogwai to Sunlight, Get it Wet, or Feed it After Midnight.

Rule #5: Nobody puts baby in a corner.

Rule #6: One does not simply walk into Mordor.

Rule #7: You can milk anything with nipples.

Rule #8: There's no crying in baseball!

Rule #9: Don't Feed the Plants.

Rule #10: Don't Cross the Streams.

Rule #11: Do or do not. There is no try.

Rule #12: Clap if you believe.

Rule #13: No One Under 18 is Allowed to Compete in the Triwizard Tournament.

Rule #14: Never Leave a Fellow Crasher Behind.


Monday, May 20, 2013

8 Nightmare-Inducing Moments from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

So scenic. You'd think this game was like one of the boring Chronicles of Narnia (all of them).

This infamously wonderful video game was released in 1998 for the Nintendo 64, and to this day continues to be a gold standard against which other games of its nature (and even many not of its nature) are compared. And why shouldn’t it be? It is one of the most successful, best-selling, and highest-reviewed games of all time. It was the first game of the Zelda franchise to go 3-D and was one of the most time-occupying games on the N64, which had no shortage of monopolizing enterprises, though certainly none so successful.

Well, maybe just one.
But I wasn’t thinking of all the praise I could throw at this game. It’s gotten more than enough of that. And I wasn’t thinking of writing about its flaws or what makes the game difficult. Besides, writing about that latter subject, this whole thing could be just about that fucking Water Temple. The only way I could imagine that thing being designed was if Magneto and Sauron from the Lord of the Rings got together and stole the twisted brain of M. Night Shyamalan and told him to create what will be the last level of the game. Then they moved the level to the halfway point of the game. And then Satan took a shit on it. And that’s how the Water Temple was born.

But again, I’m not talking about that. No, I’m here to talk about another element that, by the end of this, I’m sure you will have no choice but to agree with me. If you played this game, you know what I'm talking about...

Recently, I played the game and I was scared shitless out of my mind. How did I possibly play this game when I was 11? And that’s when I remembered. Hours spent playing this game cost me dearly. I had repressed nightmares of some of the creepiest stuff, the most torturous nightmares I'd ever had, which were born from playing this game. Everything from when I was 11 came flooding back to crap all over the relatively normal dreams I’ve been having (if you consider pirates vs. dinosaurs or ghost aliens normal).

That's right. Ghost Aliens. ...Who look like opened bananas.
So here they are.  

The 8 Most Nightmare-Inducing Moments from The Ocarina of Time.

1.       A Family Cursed

The skulltula were your standard-issue spiders with a standard giant skull affixed to where the body was, implying that their whole thorax (all I remember of biology) was a face, and a dead one at that. The skulltula were an interesting enemy to deal with. And the Gold Skulltula were a fun sidequest to occupy your time with.

That's when you get to Kakariko Village. Ah, yes, Kakariko. The peaceful shadow of Death Mountain (coincidentally, one of the least scary places in Hyrule...Yeah right...right after Rape Valley and Republican Knoll) overhead, the calming music, the playful carpenters frolicking on their unfinished architecture....Yes, it was a wonderful little village, away from the hustle and bustle of Hyrule Castle Town. It was a place to relax, savor the local culture, maybe go in to a few houses and meet some of the townsfolk and...HOLY FUCKING SHIT WHAT THE SHIT ARE YOU?!

Is that...is that an ARM!?
That's right. Hidden in one of Kakariko's houses is a family (THAT'S RIGHT, THERE'S A FAMILY OF THESE THINGS), cursed by some evil, to live out as Skulltula. But the transformation didn't go quite right and now, this step-child of a half-breed is calling out to the only person who had the balls to walk into this house of horrors. Sure, these things go back to normal as you destroy more and more Gold Skulltulas out there, but isn't that worse? Then there's these kids hanging out with these things. They're family sure, but do they hug? Can they play Charades?"

The answer is no. Unless every clue is "Brown pants."

2.       The Free-Falling Wallmaster

Many of these things on the list rely on it being the first time you're playing the game and you don't have the Nintendo Power Guide next to you (why are you playing with a guide anyway, ya pansy? And don't use the NP guide! Those things don't help you do shit! Get your ass to a Brady or Prima, if you're stuck. Nintendo Power, pffftt..) And trust us, most of us didn't. We'd spent all our allowance on the game, who could shell out extra for the guide?

Anyway, tell me if this was your experience in the Forest Temple:

"Alright, okay, the music's kinda making me anxious, but that's okay...It's quiet enough. Man, it feels like this whole thing's haunted. Whoa, this corridor's crazy, it's all twisty and stuff. Oh, good a room. Wait, the door's on the wall? There's a ladder on the ceiling and a treasure chest in the corner next to the ladder? What the hell do I do in here? Guess I'll go down to the floor, look for a switch or something. Hmm...Nothing down here. Let me just stand here while I try to collect my bearings...Now, I came in through that door...and...what's that whooshing sound? It sounds like something's falling...Wait, is my shadow getting bigger? But nothing's happening...OH GOD!!!!"

Yeah, of course you did. Because that's how every one of my nightmares starts. The music. The whoosh. The shadow. The look up. Wallmasters were in the 2-D games. But those were pushovers compared to their 3-D cousins. Fuck these things. They grabbed you and pulled you into the infinite nothingness above you. They were disembodied hands. And their relatives, the Floormasters, weren't fun either. They walked around like spiders, they multiplied when you cut them up, and then if you didn't finish off the pieces fast enough, they each grew in to their own, full-sized disembodied hand. I don't know about you, but my balls retreated into my body an hour ago.

3.       No Redemption: Re-Deads

Like I said before, when you first played, and you didn't know what these things did, you can't deny that you didn't have a bit of a nervous breakdown.
He's not poised for battle, he's paralyzed with fear.

Re-Deads are the Hyrule equivalent of a zombie. The same lifeless, shamble, the low-pitched moans...Except these guys could paralyze you if you got in front of them. Navi told you to attack them from the back (but no one listens to that fucking annoying fairy anyway) but you didn't listen, did you? You said, "Hey, I'm a big-shot Link now, I have the Master Sword, evil can't touch me." Oh, but they can. And they will. And they will do so inappropriately. And then that ungodly scream that could have only been taken from an actual snuff film.

And then the humping. OH. GOD. THE HUMPING....

Please...Make it stop...
At least they're not the ones from the Wind Waker. Good thing I didn't play that when I was 11...
Fuck that shit.

4.       The Organ Grinder Loses His Shit
"Guess what part of me is in the box?" asked the doctor from Wonderland.

Also located in Kakariko Village is the prominent Windmill. Within its bowels is the windmill's operator, who also fancies himself a great organ grinder. That's not a porn euphemism. Although I found out coke snorter is. Please don't explain to me what it is. Anyway, his name's Guru-Guru and he seems to be a kindly gentlemen, rather a mix between Mr. Miyagi and Mr. Magoo.

But come back seven years later and he's frustrated. You find out it's because of the Song of Storms, a song that, when played, causes spontaneous thunderstorms, whether it's outdoors or indoors. It's like the Harlem Shake, only water is often useful to humanity.

Then go back in time and play the Song of Storms for Guru-Guru. Then you get to see Mr. Magoo if he were a zombie. Or Mr. Miyagi if...he...were...a...zombie.

This is the last face I see before I wake up from a nightmare.

This, like the tunnel sequence in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, has no business being in a game Rated E for Everyone. (As in, Everyone Shits Their Pants for How Damn Disturbing This Is.)

5.       Death of the Tree

Very early on in the game, in fact, the very first level, you've just barely learned to use your dinky sword and shield, you've scrolled through how to use a Deku Stick several times already, and oh yeah, you learn THAT DEATH IS REAL.

Put yourself in Link's position for a moment. You've lived your very brief life thus far amongst tiny, child-like sprites full to the brim with immortality. They're accompanied by fairies who are arguably immortal-er than the children, and also plants. Plants that are hundreds and hundreds of years old. Now, plants eventually have to die, that's just THE CIIIIRRRRCLE OF LIIIIIIIIFFEE! ahem. Sorry...And that would be all well and good, except these plants fucking talk to you. And the Deku Tree? He is the guardian of not only the forest, but the children! THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

No, it's fine to think about her. She's like 100 years old. Fuckin' cougar.
First of all, it's creepy enough that the Great Deku Tree asks you to go inside him. That aside, even though you defeat the evil within, he still dies. Not just dies. He has like a Boss battle death. His leaves and bark change color, his branches and trunk creek and shrivel, and then all is silent. And Link hesitantly runs away. And Navi....oh, my dear sweet Navi...She has one final backward glance before continuing on.

And then Link has to tell everyone that dad is dead.

"Also, you're adopted."

6.       Another Taste of Death...Then...The Hyrule Castle Town...2012 Style

I didn't think there could be a death more traumatic than The Great Deku Tree's. I was naively thinking that for a children's game, they would only try and work in one grisly touch with the reaper.

But oh wait, there is one more. And this is the most soul-crushing of all Zelda moments.
If you go into the back allies of Hyrule Castle Town after you've seen Zelda flee the castle, make your way around, and you'll find a guard lying there. Talk to him. But don't skip his dialogue! Because you'll only get to read it once! After that? He dies. He fucking dies. You actually see someone that's not an enemy that you're supposed to defeat, DIE. Go on. Z-Target and press the Talk button again. He doesn't respond. And then, of all things, Navi delivers the spine-chilling answer: "...He's not moving anymore..." F you, Navi. Just go back to saying, "Hey, listen." Oh, what I wouldn't give to hear her say hey listen than have to think about that guard anymore.


Fast forward seven years and complete and utter devastation is the fate that awaits Hyrule Castle Town, once you exit the Temple of Time. You think, "I'm an adult now. I'm grown-up. I'm bad-ass." But nothing makes you run faster for Hyrule Field than a ReDead infestation and not a sign of civilization in sight. Everything is destroyed. No cheery music. The castle is floating over a lake of lava with skulls strewn about for good measure. No dogs running around, no soldiers, no nothing. And then that ReDead moan starts up.

Then John Cusack shows up and does the best acting job of his life: Acting like he's interested in the movie 2012.

7.       The Well

You know what? I take it back. Kakariko Village is a fucking horrible place. I mean, really? There's the graveyard of course, then the crazy organ grinder, and the Spider family. Not to mention, the constant threat of a volcanic eruption, Pompeii-style. But all that is child's play compared to the horrors in the Well.

Nothing well could come out of there.

There's blood on the walls, there's things that are invisible, there's Floormasters and Wallmasters (or WELLMASTERS! Am I right!?) and there's torture racks everywhere.

Perfect. A serial killer's basement is right there, at the bottom of the well. And consider this: underneath most of those bloody crucifixes are bottomless pits which, if you jump down them, you'll land on a pile of skulls. Yup. Skulls. Remember, you play the well as a kid.

Also, this is where everyone in Kakariko gets their drinking water from. Maybe that's why they're so fucked up.

8.       Dead Hand

The name of this villain is just vague enough to make you go, "Oh, well, if it's dead, how bad can it be?" But the hand is only half of this nightmare.

At the end of the well, the boss of sorts, is a villain known as Dead Hand who re-appears later in the Shadow Temple. Well, what the fuck is a Dead Hand, you ask? The villain of my fucking nightmare, is who he is.

I'm not getting paid enough for this shit.

Please, first of all, note the skulls that line the walls and floor. There are also piles of them in the corners of the room. It took me forever to notice detail like that because I was busy changing my pants and wiping my tears off my controller.

When I entered that large empty room, the metal bars shutting behind me, and I walked in to a group of anonymous bloody arms shooting out of the ground like Satan's Cabbage Patch, and then one grabbed me until that bloody body popped out of the ground, with its mishapen hands and long neck, concealing the terror of a face above, and then it lowered its eyeless face to take a bite out of me with its huge overbitten grin, in that moment, I understood EXACTLY how Link felt. Link, the Hero who had been asleep for seven years, and had missed out on the formative years of his life...I KNEW I would never get my childhood back either.

Thank you Ocarina of Time. Between sleepless hours playing you and then sleepless hours trying not fall asleep because of getting killed there, you took my childhood. And humped it like a ReDead.