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LONG BLOG

CBlog Recaps of 04/17/2018 - Dragon Rising

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LaTerry, can a Recap/-ism satisfy a Band of Bloggers entry? If so,

"Talk about dragons, Larx. You know you want to. ♪"

You got it, mister. Time to discuss...DRAGONS.

I mean, I grew up as a tyke watching a few dragons on the TV, for one. Eureka's Castle featured a dragon! So did, understandably, the schmaltzy film Pete's Dragon. Can't overlook those early glimpses. Nonetheless, the bulk of the dragons I've committed to memory originated in good ol' video games.

Warning: image cascade ahead. Ye've been summarily warned.

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Let's begin with Dragon Spirit, an old-timey vertical shmup. Ya play as a multi-headed dragon, flapping your wings in flight and generally attacking with dragon-style projectiles. Always a measure of fun to be had with this one, although I never owned it myself - and who knows if my cousin still held onto his old NES collection. I *very* highly doubt it, truth be told.

https://i.imgur.com/ovFNwQ8.jpg

The first game I owned prominently alluding to dragons would be, naturally, Dragon Quest III - then masquerading as Dragon Warrior III. Honestly, however, while the game enraptured little youngling Larx with its endless abundance of JRPG grinding, it withheld its dragoneering 'til near endgame. As such, I barely formed my attachment to its actual dragons!

https://i.imgur.com/7HA1PKX.jpg

Fast-forwarding into the PlayStation 1 era, the Bahamut trio of summons (esp. Bahamut ZERO) in Final Fantasy 7 certainly awoke me to the awe-inspiring power of dragons...that is, dragons which shoot beams of pure energy from their mouths, eschewing the traditional tiddly-winks fireball. Ha! Take that, my foes! All...oh, wait, 9999 piddly damage, so much for breaking the damage cap...*sigh*...

https://i.imgur.com/vqqIfzs.jpg

Legend of Dragoon I played a couple years after FF7, and I must admit, it certainly overloaded its keep with dragons. Each element corresponded to a dragon, as well as a dragoon in the fashion of a human (or Wingly! yay, race diversification!) charge for the Dragoon-ific power. Meru basically rocked that game because she could take like three turns to everyone else's one. If nothing else, this rough, uneven RPG gave me an appreciation for speed-based turns. No more stubborn equality for the slow-goers, nope!

https://i.imgur.com/M8vaQdi.png

Chrono Cross also featured several sweet-lookin' dragons, albeit cast under the damp net of late-era PS1 graphics. Seriously, they never really looked that great, even in their day... At least a couple of *these* dragons posed incredible challenge to the plucky band of protagonists! I still dunno how I cleared this game 100%. Madness...?

https://i.imgur.com/kcRjPhB.jpg

Fast-forward again alllll the way into the PS3/Steam era, and we alight upon the motherload of dragon focus: Skyrim. Dragonborn, Dragonfruit, Dragon-flagon, Drag-on-the-floor...DRAGONS, EVERYWHERE. ARE YOU A DRAGON. NO, I'M A DRAGON. OH RIGHT, SORRY DRAGON. NO WORRIES, MY DEAR DRAGON. Yeahhh, haha, wow, for all its redolent mystical landscapes, this game took obsession to new heights... At least the 'goodly' dragon was voiced by Charles Martinet, aka Mario. Think on that for a while, readers.

https://i.imgur.com/03RbUB2.jpg

Dark Souls 1 introduced a right bugger of a dragon who guarded the bridge spanning the zenith of the Undead Burg, and man, talk about an unfair advantage for said dragon. If it didn't char the Chosen Undead to an immediate crisp, lingering flames would stagger the poor 'Soul' into oblivion, or else failing that the freakin' Hellkite itself would swoop down onto the bridge and eat/stomp/peck the player to death! Game Over, You Died, Thanks Obama... Then of course we're supposed to chop off its tail to earn a nifty sword *and* pincushion it to death via 250+ arrows. Logic, eh?

https://i.imgur.com/QNPPbTg.jpg

Of course, Demon's Souls before it had unveiled not one but two colorful dragons, the aptly-named Red Dragon and Blue Dragon. The Red Dragon divebombed Boletaria 1-2 and generally typified a pain in the neck. Not exactly worth the effort to fell, yet not exactly worth the headache to ignore. No, the true terror of Demon's Souls wound up being the Blue Dragon. This freakishly powerful opponent guards the imposing Boletarian 1-4 staircase, and yikes does its flame breath obliterate like a fission bomb. Somehow, Biorr of the Twin Fangs in his Brushfire Armor Set can withstand the conflagration for a solid 4-5 minutes, but the Slayer of Demons had better hasten up past the flames (good luck baiting the Blue to ignore the player, 'cause it simply won't happen) and unload a flurry of arrows or spells into the dragon's facial region before it bakes Biorr to a cromulent crisp. One's reward? Uh, not much. 30,000 Souls? How about ETERNAL SATISFACTION at the death of the terrible war machine?!

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...Demon's Souls also includes a Dragon God, which sounds completely and utterly fantastic until the player realizes it lives trapped in a cramped cavern under Stonefang and only takes two harpoons + a handful of flicks to eliminate for good. Disappointment of the generation, by my vantage. (Also, technically, Chrono Cross up there contained a Dragon God, but...that one got complicated, for real. Oh well.)

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Currently, I keep getting rebuffed by this infernal and unkillable Primordial, Avalodragil, in Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana. It's not that the creature /won't/ die; it's that the creature CAN'T die until I can fashion weaponry suited to slaying it. Ordinary steel (and coconut) weapons bounce right off! What sort of twisted fiend ignores the damage capabilities of coconuts? A loony lark, that's what. If I were a gamblin' man, I'd wager the Primordials suit the role of 'Saurian' (or, say, dinosaur) over dragon, but myeh, close enough. I do believe a flighty Primordial soars above soon enough. Let's call ONE of 'em a dragon and be done with that!

SO, there ya have it! One concise, truncated, shorthanded synopsis of some of my VG dragon history. I may never become the Ultimate Dragon Fan, especially while LaTerry refuses to relinquish his title, but I'll stick pointy spears and fiddlesticks into whichever ambulatory dragon flaps my way in the next video game, 'cause the going holds true that dragons swoop into our video game adventures to be thwarted and shish-kebab'd - unless that game equals Shining Resonance, wherein *we* the gallant playables transform into...you guessed it: DRAGONS.

Also, personally, no offense here, but I most keenly fancy a symbolic dragon above all, these days...

The Dragon of Dojima.

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Discuss dragons below!

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* - Flegma makes an excellent case for the perks and benefits of the lost art of the video game instruction manual. Manuals often served as primers, loregivers, companions, comic relief...really, an impressively wide range of designs for 'em. Truly, they bespeak that dawning era, where games teetered toward their first foothold. I still recall the supplementary bonus materials included in several physical editions for games, too, like all the conspiracy-fueling miscellany bundled with the original Deus Ex. Man, those days endeared video games to me evermore. Thanks, Flegma, for resurrecting the cause long enough to honor it.

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B - A likely cockroach, cockaroach (yes, really), states Lavos' case as more of a patriarch than an absolute universal threat within the confines of the SNES legend, Chrono Trigger. I mean, didn't JENOVA basically drift and consume in the same manner? All these intergalactic entities just want a good stop and a good meal, y'know? Gotta wean the Baby Terrors somehow!

A - Boxed Swine presents a nifty rundown of Dusk, one of those (intentional) early-3D creepy pieces which really establishes mood and scene effectively. I seriously dunno if System Shock 2 would've succeeded in its breath-stopping atmosphere with modern tech, and I can appreciate games like Dusk which present unnerving journeys like unto that of Soldier G65434-2. Well shown.

S - Osc continues into the 4th entry concerning game development, and lemme tell ya, it never sounds any easier, dang. Shows the depth of work required simply to found the basics of a video game, let alone any gorgeous accoutrements. At least engines like Unity and Unreal exist popularly now to aid transition and ease into the process. Persevere, sir!

https://www.destructoid.com/ul/user/2/25438-444441-ContestoidBannerjpg-noscale.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/m6RAW4G.jpg

 Never actually played much Spyro beyond a couple demos, meaning that planned PS4 remaster zooms right up my alley for newness. Hey, anybody wanna purchase me it? Eh? Ehh?

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I - Not a newcomer, but a resuscitation all the same, our beloved Malika-chan returns to the fray with an explanation of all sorts of hectic (and not entirely encouraging) life developments. She and Juice represent two of DToid's finest, by my measure, and so any support thrown her way more than earns its keep. Seriously, friend, all the best to you, and better days to come to elevate your spirits!

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3509/4068256301_b326be1ecd_o.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/oVzTmEV.jpg

 In Raidou Kuzunoha 2, our persistent detective the 14th rides a golden Chinese dragon from place to place! How killer sounds *that*?

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2759/4068256383_1c3511b1fe_o.jpg

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 Disney showed no signs of shying away from dragons, in their pinnacle years.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2662/4069011026_f9da4eb021_o.jpg

 Yu-Gi-Oh! depicted a couple sweet dragon designs also.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2444/4069011256_1b9fa5905e_o.jpg

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 So daft. Okay, so, in Pokemon Gen 1, the *only* Dragon-type move, Dragon Rage, dealt exactly 40 damage. This meant no Dragon-type moves gained a same-type attack bonus (STAB) or type advantage (super-effective). People, this game was not balanced well! Beyond that, however, can we call this slight a massive and nigh-unforgivable affront to dragonkind?! Thank goodness for future Gens - Gen 5 in particular, the dominant Dragon-type era, ne'er to be rivaled again.

Larx out, homeslice~

https://i.imgur.com/r57J8WQ.png

 May you find solace at the silver dusk.

Today's title track: Dragon Rising
Producer: Takamatt
Vocaloid: GUMI | Kagamine Len
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csptx_Y2Eng

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About CblogRecapsone of us since 11:27 PM on 07.02.2008

About Cblog Recaps

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Current "Bloggers Wanted" assignment

Villains that did nothing wrong

Villains in all media, not just video games, can end up being a dime a dozen. Far too often, a villain's motives boil down to "I am a bad, and so I do bad things. Fear me." While this format has worked for countless stories, at this point in my life (the ripe old age of 20) I’ve become jaded and grumpy, finding myself rolling my eyes when I see yet another antagonist wreaking havoc with no background or reasoning presented as to why they’re being such a butthole.

What’s far more interesting to me is when a villain’s motives or actions come across as justified, perhaps leaving you rooting for them to defeat the protagonist [insert Elder God Tier villain meme here].

My favorite example of this would be Meruem from the Chimera Ant arc of Hunter x Hunter. While he doesn’t necessarily fit the exact mold I laid out above, he’s easily one of the most dynamic and curious villains I’ve ever come across. For the sake of not spoiling what is perhaps one of the most exciting, action-packed, and tear-inducing arcs in anime history, I won’t delve into the details of what makes Meruem so great. Instead I encourage anyone who hasn’t seen Hunter x Hunter to set aside some time and plow through the series. Really, it’s that good.

But hey, that’s just how I feel. I’m sure there are folks out there who prefer their villains to be simple. If I ever met one of these theoretical people I might have a panic attack, but I’ll deal with that should the time come. I’m sure after some deep breaths we would get along. Maybe we could even snuggle, should my husband allow such an event to transpire.

All said and done, we arrive at the topic of this month’s Bloggers Wanted: Villains that did nothing wrong. Due to communication errors, this entry in the hallowed halls of Bloggers Wanted is a tad late. Regardless, all you have to do is head over to the Community Blog section of the site, and whip up a Cblog about a villain who you feel was secretly the good guy all along.

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