Saturday, October 9, 2010

Mythological Creatures and Update.

    First the update.  Mythological creatures won the poll, so this poll will center around it.  The following blog entries shall go as the following; Movie suggestions and reviews, culture and religion, horror art, Youtube clips and movies, book recommendation, and book suggestions.  The order of the posts is primarily based on what was voted on the most, the tied subjects I placed in my own order.

   As a special treat for winning first place by a landslide I have personally illustrated doodles of every creature featured in this entry.

1. Wraith

   Originating from Scottish descent, a Wraith would most commonly be known as a shadow person now of days.  Essentially a ghost or spirit, the Wraith is often thought of as a harbinger of doom, a foreshadowing of tragedy.  People said to have seen a Wraith come to encounter horrible events; their house burning, a relative dying, and all other kinds of misfortune.  There is a variation of the Wraith that may be the most horrible, when the Wraith takes the form of yourself, you are given a death sentence and only have a short matter of time before you die.  The version of the Wraith that announces your death is often compared or confused with a Doppelganger or Evil Twin, but the notable difference is that The Wraith only trumpets death, where as a Doppelganger or Evil twin actually try to murder you.  The Waith has been used a lot in popular media, and most recently was seen in The Lord of the Rings.

2. Cockatrice.

Maybe this is a little too dynamic.  Dragon Cockatrice.

   The Cockatrice is an evil creature that is a hyrbid between a Chicken and a lizard (most commonly a toad or snake) whose only job is to turn living things to stone.  If it breathes on you, touches you, or even looks at your, you're fucked and made of stone now.  Strangely enough, only a Weasel is immune to the stare of a Cockatrice, it is also said that if a Cockatrice were to hear the crow of a Rooster it would instantly die.  The legend of the Cockatrice is very old and even has roots in the Bible, crazy right?

3. The Hungry Ghost.

   Hungry Ghosts are wretched spirits whose insatiable desires from their living days bites them in the ass.  The Buddhist version tells of people who could never appreciate their lives as they were, or the moment they lived in, unmitigated consumers who are now the damned.   I like this ghost because it is tailored to the person as they were in life.  Hungry Ghosts are grotesque figures with bloated stomaches but withered limbs and an elongated neck, the image itself plays with starvation victims.  The Hungry Ghosts writhe on the ground, empty to the full sense of the word, crying and laying in pain as they hunger for objects that could never quell their appetite.  Another key to this ghost`s doom is it unwillingness to correct its consuming desire and its attachment to its living past.

4. Basilisk. 

   Basilisks are mean, kill-you-in-the-process-of-killing-it-mean.  The King of Serpents, a dreadful lizard who can kill a person with a simple glance and even wears a crown.  The Cockatrice and Basilisk share origins and stories and both share a weakness to Weasels (think ricki-ticki-tavi in weasel form), a reason I wanted to post both in the same entry.  Basilisks can kill you with a look, have poison breath, and venomous blood.  Blood of a Basilisk can even crawl up a spear or sword it is stabbed with and poison the person holding it, so even in death a Basilisk can rack up a head count, they always had a high W to L ratio.  To think about fighting the Basilisk was a death wish and often assured no one would mess with it.  Just to further emphasize the "meanness" of Basilisks, there are stories of them being such resentful jerks that when they cannot kill an animal with a glance, they instead stare at every herb, plant, or source of food and turn them to stone so that the animal either starves or has to leave the immediate area.  

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Flash Games Flavor

Sorry for the wait everyone.

Today`s blog shall be about flash-games that suit the theme of this blog. I would not consider any of these games horror, aside from the implications of two, but they definitely have a dark lining around them. All of these games share a unique aesthetic, some flashy and others simplistic. The truly notable connection these games share is not only the darkness but the emphasis on story and motivation. If you are expecting a shooter or something action packed I would suggest pass on these games.

1. Looming.

   I really enjoy Looming, it is a game wholly based on discovery.  The landscape is barren and unusual, set all in gray-scale.  You take the role of an anthropologist and research this forgotten land called Looming.  The aspect I enjoyed the most about this game is that when I was roaming the land it never felt like I came upon the ancient cultures or an abandoned civilization, no, it always felt like I was in a cemetery, which in instances it truly is.

   The atmosphere and discovery is what fuels this game.  The creators efforts to create this land, as well as the history of it and its conflicting inhabitants shines.  A highly refreshing game that acts itself out in a haunting yet fascinating method.

2. Loved.

   Loved is a game that challenges you, both in terms of game-play and thought.  The graphics are very simple and the objectives run the line between easy and moderate at best.  You play an "object", as the narrator may imply, that is to do as its commands.  Your task is to either comply or disobey as your navigate a platform based game.  The world changes with choice and the narrator is always with you.

   I want to say more and what I believe are the intentions but that would ruin the experience.  This game is very short yet poignant, worth digesting.  Do as I say and play this game.  Trust me, I only want what is best for you.

3. Coma.

  Coma may be one of the most well illustrated games to be ever be made.  In art direction alone, it is commendable.  Basically a collection and puzzle game, you play the protagonist and make your way collecting items and traversing this eclectic land.  Coma itself is highly suggestive and at no time gives you a straight answer, even at its end, you get a lot of pieces and put them together in forms of dialog, landscape, and color.

   Another short but sweet work.  The efforts of the creators deserves accolades for creating such a rich, well illustrated, and cryptic work that is not over-the-top abstract or surreal.  Even if you do not understand all the events and areas you feel them from the setting and colors.

4. Don`t Look Back.

  Any of you college students or fans of mythology may instantly realize the basis of this game right from the start.  Your role begins as a pixelated figure lamenting over a tombstone.  You turn away and begin your story.  At some point, which I am willingly keeping secret, the game changes as far as mechanics, you will know when.

   Another monotone game that is both short and easy.  The game has a core idea that is identifiable without any words while at the same time it has successfully disguised as a platformer with all the required jumping and shooting.  As simple as it looks it does pull you in, and the ending really leaves you bittersweet.

5.  The Dream Machine.

  I saved the best for last.  The Dream Machine is an "in works" game that is not yet complete.  You can go to the main site and sign up for free to play the longest demo available at this time.  Sign up is well worth the effort because once you get into it you realize there is a creative story with an attention to detail and atmosphere.   You begin the game in a dream that seems a bit too coincidental, yet rational.  You wake up and the story flows.

    The Dream Machine is a beautiful point-click-collect-use game all done in the style of claymation.  The visual style itself is a seeming fusion of The Brother`s Quay meets Grim Fandango put best.  My hats-off the artists of this game for the work they put in all the unique sets, fluid motion, and grotesque characters, it it impressive to say the least.  The story is shaping up great from what the demo mention, and as I mentioned, this is one of the two actual games that have shades of horror.  At this point, I am glad the game only has a demo out, it seems episodic and in turn very suitable.  Play it!  By the end you should be very disturbed.  Highly recommended.

Take care guys.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Penderecki: Horror and Violence Within Sound.

Halloween is arriving soon and I am sure some will be hosting or attending parties. If there ever comes a time when you want the party to stop, play some Penderecki. Why? Krzystof Pendrecki`s works will create such an unsettling environment that it will make people uncomfortable and want to leave, I have had second party testimony to this occurring and I am sure you will understand more after you listen. Start with the top two videos with the lights on or off, around others, or any other comfortable or agitated setting, the compositions are so disturbing it will not matter. I am not saying this is the equivalent of a man in a mask with a chainsaw jumping out from a corner and killing your family in front of you, but this shit is no joke. Play this at a party and people will get the fuck out.

"The dream of Jacob".
Anyone not familiar with the Biblical story should look into it. It is about Jacob dreaming, in this dream he has a vision of the angels climbing and descending stairs/a ladder from Heaven to Earth. Mind you, these are not the smiling-faces-on-postcards-angels. These are old-testament angels, ones of fire, beings so powerful and immaculate you either go insane by looking at them, or cannot even turn to peer at them. The music is suiting.

"Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima"
I am listening to this as I post. Once again, an incredibly suiting work when you try to imagine both the moment of impact and following confusion, chaos, death, dying, and other terrors that arrive. The violins match screams and tension. Panic and devastation ring out. Works like this are the definition of "powerful". If you can listen to Penderecki`s works and not feel anything from them, I am worried about you.

Now this is the composition "Henry Plainview" from There Will Be Blood by Jonny Greenwood. Notice the influence by Penderecki? I personally think it is quite strong and would bet on Penderecki`s presence.

I fully encourage you to seek out more Penderecki if interested. Both "Polymorphy" and "Dimensions of Time and Silent are fantastic. If you have an idea of what Polymorphy or Polymorphic refers to, and apply it to a more science-fiction or abdominal creature, it takes on this wonderful form of imagery that directly applies. The work Polymorphy describes through sound constant metamorphosis, destruction and recreation, and the ending is its final form, a triumph or something close to perfection/ godliness that has stopped mutating. In fact, I shall include "Polymorphy" here.

Have fun and thanks for the poll response and support guys! It is nice to see this blog is getting constructive comments and genuine interest. I truly appreciate it.
Click here to get 1 Million Guaranteed Real Visitors, FREE!