In the past couple of months I’ve also slowly wormed my way through the two biggest Legend of Zelda titles: the original 1986 NES game, and 1998’s Ocarina of Time. The latter was a frequent rental of my childhood days, while the former was new to me (being slightly too young to see the heyday of the NES, most of my exposure to its library has come as an adult).
My prediction was that Zelda 1 would be a historical curiosity, while Ocarina of Time would be a nostalgia-drenched experience. What happened was almost the reverse: I quickly fell in love with Zelda 1, while Ocarina seemed to have lost some of its shine.
This is my attempt to articulate why.
Every year I keep thinking I’ll do some Halloween related stuff on this blog for October, and every year this doesn’t really happen. But in spite of a tight schedule I feel a bit more determined to carry this out. Or at least I’ll just talk about two movies in one post and call it even.
This season has a lot of sentimental value for me; I was born the day before Halloween, and, as a result, celebrations of my existence have always been mentally associated with autumn spooky stuff, and people wearing funny costumes (and as a kid it meant I got cake and Halloween candy within 48 hours of each other).
Anyway, the movies in question are both directed by one John Carpenter: Halloween and The Thing.
It looks like my next post at Beneath the Tangles is up. Since its kinda-sorta about Dragon Quest VII, I thought I’d take the opportunity here to give some more thoughts about it as a game.
My relationship with the Dragon Quest franchise is a bit complicated. The games have a laid back, quirky style to them that functions as a welcome break from the usual histrionics of the JRPG genre. Akira Toriyama’s character designs are among his most charming, and the classically trained Koichi Sugiyama’s music has a pleasant, simple elegance to it.
I seem to be full of these lists lately. At least they’re keeping me writing. Again, I’ve decided to completely junk a previous list rather than revise it.
Posted in fragments of culture, pop culture and its discontents, Uncategorized
Tagged 2001: A Space Odyssey, Aliens, Dr. Strangelove, Movies, Pinocchio, Spirited Away, The Red Shoes, The Secret of NIMH, The Thing, Top Ten, Watership Down
I’d never seen Disney’s 1973 animated film Robin Hood before. Theoretically it could have been playing in the background at some point during my childhood, but I don’t have any memories of it that can’t be explained by way of pop-cultural osmosis. Nevertheless, I went into it with some preconceptions: the first being that, as a rule, 70s Disney sucks; the second that, as furry trash, I’m supposed to adore this movie, as this is supposedly the flick that irrevocably warped many young, impressionable minds, single-handedly creating the first wave of furries – or so the story goes. And feeling like I ‘should’ like something on account of my belonging to a particular group rather than on account of its aesthetic merits makes me more suspicious and critical than normal (see also: the Christian film market). Even a critical darling like Zootopia wound up being merely ok in my books.
In spite of that I rather enjoyed Robin Hood.
In spite of giving Gene Wolfe’s Book of the New Sun top billing in my recent top 20 books list, I’ve long put off reading the other two series set in the same universe: The Book of the Long Sun, and The Book of the Short Sun. But, for whatever reason I was inspired to pick up the former, and have recently finished the first volume, Nightside of the Long Sun.
Nightside is an unusual book by Wolfe’s standards – his standard first-person unreliable narrator has been replaced by a more omniscient third-person one, and it’s lacking much of the feel that each chapter is a literary puzzle to be unraveled. The result is that it’s a much more straightforward, conventional read than most of his books, although the setting remains rather obliquely described.
So I designed a space princess. It was only a matter of time, really. I don’t have a name for her yet, but now I have become part of a long tradition going all the way back to Edgar Rice Burroughs’ A Princess of Mars, and forward all the way to (in some interpretations) My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic:
Which makes this into a sort of multiple-fandom milestone for me. Which got me thinking about fandoms in general.
Legend of Mana is a weird game. It comes out of what was, in retrospect, a pretty neat era in developer Squaresoft’s history: the unprecedented success of Final Fantasy VII gave them the capital to do whatever they wanted, and they decided to throw a lot of it at all these eccentric, experimental titles that filled the spaces in between subsequent Final Fantasies (and even Final Fantasy VIII wound up being an oddball by series standards).
Sure, a lot of them – Legend of Mana included – were a hot mess, but they were the sort of mess that could be deeply affecting if you were willing to engage with it on its own terms.