The Bar at the Center of Existence

Imagine a world where something like this ACTUALLY MADE SENSE…

I would KILL for a setting where this makes sense. Fortunately, I have one.

There’s a lot of ways you could go with the material: time travel, meta-fictive, even recursions from Bruce Cordell’s The Strange. Forget about people meeting themselves, trippy as it is. I want to go in a different direction. Instead of those specific characters, think in terms of archetypes.

Imagine a place where a cyborg cop, a cyborg assassin, a dhampir, two psychic warrior-monks, several mob bosses, a godling from a dimension of agony, various alien races, a bad-ass martial artist, a robot, and nearly any other being imaginable could meet in a club and fight it out.

That is Storm Knights (and its predecessor, Torg), and in that game world something nearly exactly like this is possible. It is, in fact, the entire point of the game. (Plus, it allows you to add in elves, wizards, costumed super-powered heroes, paladins armed with the power of God, and much, much more.) And yes, there is a spot in the game world where a club EXACTLY like that exists.

I like it. I like it a lot.

Speaking of Tharkold…

(That’ll only make sense to the readers who are also on the Torg email List. Sorry. (Wait, no I’m not.))

Seems like Microsoft skipped backwards compatibility on the XB1 so it could charge you even more money for a game you’ve already bought on the 360 and maybe even the original XB. In addition to the Halo remakes, the GTA V remake, and (for all I know) a remake of Aliens: Colonial Marines, they’re releasing updated and upgraded versions of the post-apocalypse FPS’s Metro: 2033 and Metro: Last Light.

If you’re a Torg fan and if you want to know what it’s like to live in Tharkold, those two games are your best bet. The starkness and difficulty of keeping civilization alive in a hostile post-apocalyptic environment filled with monsters is well-demonstrated throughout both games. Plus, aside from a stupid sequence or two, they’re both quite enjoyable.

They’re based on Russian-language sci-fi novels (and made by Ukrainian developers), so they approach the aftermath of the Apocalypse from a distinctly non-American viewpoint. Just as a change of pace, that alone is worth it.

And they drop this summer! (My XB1, OTOH, drops later today. Assuming UPS gets here on time.) Polygon has the gory details.

Budofa Otaku

Budofa is a contraction of Budou Fantaji (“Martial Arts Fantasy”), a manga published in 2011. Budofa became a bestseller in Core Earth’s Japan, a true crossover hit. The series was translated into, at last count, 30 different languages and reprinted worldwide.

Budou Fantaji tells the story of the ronin Tenshi, a beautiful woman who dresses all in white (boots, jeans, turtleneck, trenchcoat). She arrives in Tokyo suddenly, during a rainstorm, pursued by several deformed Yokai. She is accidentally saved by a group of street punks, who carry her off into the night.

The series revolves around Gokuraku, an otherwordly realm much like Kamakura-era Japan, where The General (Shougun) has taken control of the Emperor and his family, and rules unjustly in their name. Wandering ronin, masters of fantastic martial arts, fight The General and his nobles (the Daimyo). Agents of The General had also crossed over into the real world and begun establishing his authority there.

In the end, Tenshi banishes The General’s agents from Japan, but at the cost of her life. Students of hers, including survivors of the original street gang, were taught martial arts, and carry out raids in Gokuraku.

Stylistically, Budofa shares a lot of elements with other martial arts manga. Its biggest proximate inspiration, however, is the flying swordsman wuxia stories of China. Budofa is, in many respects, a Japanification of wuxia.

This is no accident.

Nippon Tech is the Wuxia Reality, and Budofa is a relatively straightforward adaptation of the Reality. The devoted fanbase of the manga (and its anime) — called Budofa otaku — are all prime candidates to Support the Reality.

Note: Due to personal circumstances, this is my last “Countdown to Armageddon” post for a while. I do have several others written, and ideas for many more, but I’m unable to complete them right now.

I’ll resume the series as soon as possible.

BuDoFa is a BFD!

Posted: 09-01-2015 | 3:15 PM

Ain’t It Great News Exclusive!!!!!!!!!!

I’m in LA, at McCormick’s Chinese Theater, on the red carpet, walking into the premiere showing of Budou Fantaji!!!!!!

The size of the crowd here is incredible. I never thought I’d see this many Americans coming out to see a subtitled, animated, foreign movie. BuDoFa really is a phenomenon.

I’m right behind “Aftermath’s” Kent Anderson, supposedly a rabid anime fan. (A little bird told AIGNews he’s up for the Mori Sadao part in the live action American adaptation. It’ll probably be shit, but…) He’s got some vapid starlet clinging to him.

Behind me is Gina Ferrari, giving an interview to “Celebrities Tonight”. What is up with her hat? Ren-fash, LOL!

I think I even saw Kaito-sama somewhere up front. I’ll try and talk to him, to thank him on behalf of all you Gorillas. AIG FoEvAh!!!!!!!

Going in now, have to put away the Blueberry. I’ll be twitting from inside the theater, as long as the ushers don’t catch me. Updates tonite!

See all you apes in the forums!

[Retrieved 03-JUL-2015 from Original source: ]

Choosing Life

The edeinos religion is unplayable. Period.

Taken seriously — that is, if someone tried to roleplay its tenets, or a character who believed in them — the result would be a character who simply couldn’t interact with any other PC’s, or engage in the globe-travelling cosm-hopping that is the raison d’etre of Torg. For Storm Knights, I’ve rewritten the religion.

In fact, I’ve rewritten nearly all of the Living Land, to fix problems with the game mechanics, World Laws, and several other areas. Just recently, at the request of a fellow Torg fan, I compiled, edited, and posted all these rewrites. You can most easily find them here:

Revised Keta Kalles is about life and living it fully and well. It isn’t about sensualism or murdering people who use technology. (There is a bias against tools that aren’t alive, but edeinos have the ability to craft living tools, meaning they can have spears and such, made from living plants.)

Accordingly, these precepts — how to live a full and vibrant life — hold for the Temple of the First Mother, as it’s the religion Baruk Kaah created to create Supporters for his invasion. Some of the Templers do embrace a back-to-land ethos (the “Hipster Amish”), but it isn’t required.

What the Temple does preach is that focusing on material things takes you away from living your life. You should be running, swimming, talking with others, not polishing your car, buying a huge house, or playing video games. People can do those things, but it’s better to live life rather than focus on your things.

Yes, you own your possessions, but your possessions also own you. By choosing life, you also choose freedom.

Choose Freedom

[Advertisement. Published in the New York Herald, Jan. 8, 2015.]

Are your things choking out your life?

[Picture: A lawn, with flowers, growing in and around: a car, a computer, and a house.]

If life is a garden, things are the weeds.

Choose freedom. Choose joy. Choose life.

A message from the Temple of the First Mother.

[Retrieved 3-JUL-2015 from Original source: ]

The Heritage of Ancient Egypt

Pharaoh Mobius doesn’t invade. He liberates.

He finds a downtrodden and oppressed ethnicity, and preaches to them liberation and vengeance. He uses his armies and Reality to lift them up and carry them to greatness. He has done this nine times before.

To a medieval England, chafing under the rule of the Franks. To Imperial China. To the Mongols. The Aztecs. And more.

He conquers their cosm, eradicates their Reality, and replaces it with his own. Medieval English pulp. Imperial Chinese pulp. Mongol horde pulp. Aztec pulp.

He then uses their armies to conquer the next cosm, to liberate the next downtrodden minority, to create his next empire.

His Empires are very much blood-and-soil 1930’s dictatorships. Each Empire is ruled by an Overgovernor, and Mobius rules the Overgovernors.

The National Heritage party believes in the ancient past of a subjugated Egypt. Believes that Egypt is weak because foreigners have used and abused her. Believes that a great ally shall appear, to lead Egypt back to greatness. It has come to power, because many other Egyptians believe the exact same thing.

Mobius isn’t a conqueror. He is a liberator. And the people of Egypt are ready to follow.