Depth Note – Nintendo

Hello.

Nintendo – From Childhood to Adulthood

written by

N. „Guten Tag“ Burg 

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarin of Time. Aahhh … this brings back memories. We all remember our childhood. We remember the lightheartedness, our favorite toys, a harmless and innocent time. For my part, I owned the local skate park, rode my bike through our surrouding areas, and played videogames. My brothers and I had a blast figuring out Turok 2 (plus its multiplayer), enjoyed Bomberman (also multiplayer) and – of course – Nintendo games. It all began with Super Mario Kart for the NES. Quickly adapted to Pokemon Blue, Pokemon Snap, Super Mario 64 and one the greatest videogames of all time: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Which brings me back to …

Many of us owe Nintendo our childhood. We all had our certain systems and favorite games. All of us had a blast. The thing is, Nintendo is not actually for kids only. It was just the Zeitgeist. Gaming was coming out of the eighties, the nineties were about to end, and due to globalization and the internet; gaming, became a worldwide thing. People of all ages bought games or rented them. Games shared their cartridges and the rise of the CD made piracy a big thing. It was a fascinating and exciting time. We literally played everything on the market. There was no Steam store filled with 99% trash games. There was no digital market places for keys. All people – played all the games. And Nintendo reached – before it even began – its zenith.

In 1998, two game changing games were released: Ocarina of Time and Super Mario 64. There were no spin offs at the time. There were no remakes. There was only the Nintendo 64 and those particular video games. Nintendo managed to crack the 3D code and used it to its full potential. Both of them. And it lay the foundation for the Nintendo formula. Which meant: no progress, no change, no risk; only re-iteration. Let’s examine the factors by those two games. To say one thing upfront: Majoras Mask was an excpetion of such rule. And: Nintendo Sunshine proved Nintendo sucks at storytelling. Back to topic.

What does a Mario game consist? A few points. Coins. Stars. Some enemies like Koopas, Goombas, Boos, maybe other colored coins and stars. And of course the same story over and over and over again. Bowser kidnaps Princess Peach. The Legend of Zelda. A cursed land – Link needs to save it. Hyrule in OOT, Termina in MM, in WW, in TP, in SS and in BOTW. Other things include dungeons, specific items, and an overworld to explore. And let’s not forget the sidekick who helps you. Such behavior – or simply playing it safe – is foremost trying to please shareholders, which I can understand, and not trying to alienate the playerbase. Okay. I get it. But what problems arise from such business strategies?

Yet, you may say: It is creative. Everything in their own right. You cannot compare all game and generalize. Yes, that is true. Each Zelda dungeon is unique, each Mario level offers plenty of creativtiy. But times move on, you know. I am not a child anymore. You cannot please me with the same shit over and over again. I am a reasonable grown up now. I leaned to make decisions, learned to analyze, learned make up my own mind. As a kid I played everything. Because it was simply fun. But as an adult. I am sorry – I cannot waste a single dime on Nintendo anymore. I grew up – and Nintendo – did not.

(Break)

I don’t want to sound particularly cricital, because people will tell me: It is about the gameplay! Who cares for the story. And that’s the point. People do not care for storytelling. And that’s the point I am trying to make. As a child: Mario was simply fun. And I did not even care for the story in Ocarina of Time. Just wanted to explore the world and find dungeons. Yet, you cannot maintain this forever. People change, they evolve, they mature. And an adult wants to be taken seriously. Sure, sure. It is Nintendo, it is family, it is elderly; it is for everyone. But that is no argument. Yes, they are mature games with mature stories for mature gamers. Like Half-Life or Metal Gear Solid. But my question is: Why can’t Nintendo grow up too? Why can’t it change and evolve? Just because it is Nintendo? No. This can’t be it.

Nintendo is a master in stagnation without regression. It does not move forward, yet, it does not move backwards either. It just maintains the status quo. Re-iteration. What bugs me especially is the way we treat Nintendo. I find – and always found – it laughably that Nintendo games are always the best of the best. Every Mario and Zelda games get almost the best ratings every time a new game is released. Why is that? Yes, the games are good. But why can’t we be critical with them? Why can’t we critize re-iteration? The re-use of concepts and ideas, the implementation of one-idea-at-a-time-per-game? People seem to be satisfied with Nintendo games. Which make my plea totally pointless, huh.

People have zero demand. Literally. People swallow everything Nintendo offers them to eat. Which annoys me. The only exception are total and utter failurse like Star Fox Zero. But anyway. As long as people do not demand change; Nintendo won’t change. Yes, we get good games. Yes, they are often flawless; sometimes perfect. But that is no excuse to be a mature person. To question things, to explore things differently. To find new ways. To change. Why change? Why do I stess it so much? Why do I make myself so important? Because adults are not children. As long as we grew up. I perceive the world differently, I see things differntly. I cannot be pleased by the same meal at the one-thousand its time.

Nintendo won’t change. My video won’t change Nintendo. (Or anything else.) But at least I can find a way to critize it. To challenge known perceptions. I want Ninendo to be better. I want Nintendo fans to be better. We all can demand something different. Something like at least a new franchise. Or a grown up version of a known franchise. We can demand for Nintendo to listen to its playerbase and – in the end – its fans. My entire goal was, is, and will be, to improve gaming as a whole. To make it more enjoyable for everyone. And if all you can say is: Gaming is fine. Well, then at least I provoked a thought inside of you. Nintendo. I owe you a childhood. I wish I’d owe you my adulthood.

The next Depht Note will be about … telling interactive stories.

Valve soft where?


Yes, Valve Software, (now known as Valve Corporation), made great games. They made Half-Life, Portal and Team Fortress. They made CS:GO and Dota 2. But their corporate structure shot them into the foot. Let’s break it down. They never finished the Half-Life series. Their SteamOS flopped, the Steam Machine flopped, the Steam Controller flopped, VR flopped.. The only succesful thing they now have are Steam Sales. (Of which I am an avid customer of.)

I know, due to a page on their new website, that they are working on new games. And their corporate structure may be their greatest achievement, yet is is ineffcient, slow and, for my part, rather stupid. For those who don’t know. Here’S the deal: They do not have a boss. (GabeN is not the boss. Or others.) They work on what their employees desire. And they have tables with wheels to come and go and work and try new projects as they, well, desire. 

Okay, okay. It may work. At least for Valve and their employees. Yet, it defies the thing the customer wants: Finished stories. (Or at least a sequel.) Their, or rather GabeN’s obession, with trying to make multiplayer games viable, cost them at least, (not money though), respect and credits of the industry and the gamers. Okay, okay. You may think: Who cares? But as an avid and vocal member of the community, I must say: No. 

There is a rift we have to look at. One one hand: Do what the customers wants. One the other hand: Do what the studio wants. You can do it like EA or Ubisoft and flood the market with sequels and spin-off, or do it like Nintendo who do a new installment each four or five years to their respected franchises like Zelda or Mario. Whatever you may prefer: People at least get a finished product. People may not get what they want, (because Nintendo has their own mind and corporate structure), but the customer at least can be happily waiting for a new installment. 

Yes, there is the elephant in the room: Episode 3. I don’t want to go into a rant of how and when and who and why. Let’s just say two things: Why start with episodes to ‘release faster’ but then cancelling the end? Second: Why not talking about in more than 11 years? Why not say: We are working on it. (But slow.) Or: We are not working on it. You won’t blow anyone away with it today. Half-Life 2 was a game of its time and era. Times have changed and so did the customer. Episode 3 is joke people make nowaways. It has become the new Duke Nukem: Forever. It may be released. But people will only care due to its ‘infamous’ status. Or maybe it will be a success. (I can’t predict the future.)


You managed to make multiplayer games a service. Good for you. Could you go back to making new games now? You are talented, smart and creative. You have unique and original ideas. Why waste all that? Why waste you employees life on things that won’t come into fruition? I am not here asking or ‘demanding’ new games. I am a gamer, and fan, and since all the other studios let me down as a gamer and fan; I hope you will release new games that will challenge the parameters and push the envelope on gaming.

Thanks.

P.O.V.: Avengers: Endgame

P.O.V.: Avengers: Endgame

Did I like it?
Best. Movie. Ever.

I … I have no words. I mean … what the heck just happened? Was this a movie? Some lighthearted entertainment? Or something entirely different? For me it was an experience I have never ever experienced before. I never sat on the edge of my seat like this! Never was acting so good! Never has me a story more blown away! From bottom to top the best movie I have ever seen. Marvel manage to top everything that came before. Even The Winter Soldier. Even The Dark Knight. It was beyond everything.

+ Start me up 

Infinity War its beginning blew me away. There was no cluttered or clumsy introduction or some exposition. It was simply Thanos fighting the war. And Endgame managed to make it even greater with an even greater emotional and tensioned start. I won’t spoil it. All I can say is, that the Decimation plays a pivotal role and made me almost cry. (For the first time in an uproar of more to come.) It not only starts the motivation for the characters involved; it also gave me chills. 

+ Assemble

The acting was gorgeous. One critic noted, that the actors knew the whole world will see them and acted this good accordingly. It does not matter if or if not this is true; it hits the mark. The acting was terrific. I’ve never seen actors trying to deliver the emotional and human impact within a simple piece of paper a.k.a the screenplay. Chris Evans was great. Robert Downy, jr. was even greater. You could sense the urgency, but also the downfall and resignation of each individual character. Holy smoke was that good. 

Subvert me + 

Marvel is widely known to work by a simple formula: don’t do what is being expected. The twists were so damn good I did not see a single one coming. I had a theory throughout the movie but that was wrong. The whole story revolves around occasions and meetings of character you would never expect to show up or being brought up again in a vastly different way or execution. I don’t want to spoiler it, but you won’t see that one coming! I assure you.

The Overly Iron Man +

The best acting and best character development was attributed to Iron Man. He still dislikes Captain America (which does not spoiler much), he has a finished character arc. His whole fictional life comes full circle and it shows an Iron Man who is aged, worn and somewhat relaxed and happy with his life. He doesn’t want it any other way. He settled and began to live a life with his Iron Man persona being something that he was great in, but decided to let this thing don’t get in the way. 

Bottom line: Marvel at its finest.

Rudy’s Rating: No SchuG (No regret buying a ticket.)

Spotlight – Terrorist attacks

Again. And again. And again, and again, and again, and a fucking again. It has never hit the mainstream, so I will say it here: We cannot win the war on terror with sheer military might. The invasions in Middle East are not doing it. They made, and that has not hit the mainstream either, terrorists only stronger. It boosted their ranks, their morale, their financial situation. It only helped them. It made them stronger, better and more violent. Not only seeable by IS. I think we’ve created ourselves a problem we ourselves cannot solve. And to be honest: I have no answer or solution myself. Only indications. Like propaganda, psychological warfare or demoralization. How do we achieve this? I have no clue. Such attacks will plague us as long as we don’t find a proper solution. Why do we have all these alliances and joint forces when there is no one capable of finding a solution? It is pathetic. We will only prolong and prolong the problem until … well, until all of the Middle East has been bombed to dust. (But even that won’t stop them.) 

I don’t even know whom I personally should hate now. The U.S.? The CIA? Other parties involved? They all suck equally. They all do not seem to really care for the war on terror. All we, the people, can say is: Wow. Less freedom, more control and surveillance. Anti-terror-laws and acts. Cameras, AI based analysis, drones, rendition flights, torture in black sites. (Or wherever they torture.) Cases not based in Western jurisdiction and camps and mourning parents loosing a fallen son or daughter. Every person involved owes these victims of your war on terror. This war has never been a war on terror, but a war on freedom. We have to accept biometrical databanks, passenger flight record and secret services being less accountable and less controlled by their parliaments than ever before. No, we won’t win this war on terror like this. This war will rage on forever. 

Geht (trotzdem) wählen!

Ja, sie ist weit weg. Ja, niemand kennt die Kandidaten. Ja, die EU ist oft ein wenig skurril und voller Vorliebe für Verbote. Alles gut, alles richtig. Trotzdem steht die EU vor einer wichtigen und entscheidenen Wahl. Die Rechten sind im Anmarsch und wollen die EU übernehmen. Sie wollen ein „Europa der Vaterländer“. Unabhängig davon was das heißt. (Und ich nicht wissen will, was es heißt.) Solltest du den Rechten nicht das Feld überlassen. Sie sind Angetreten alles kaputt zu machen, wofür die EU mal stand und immer noch steht. Für Offenheit und Freiheit, Vielfalt und Recht und Ordnung. 

Und es gibt eben jene Dinge auch in der Politik. Es gibt Grüne, Linke, Konservative, Liberale und viele Zwischentöne wie Tierschutz, Öko- oder Esoterikparteien. Oder auch die MLPD. (Nicht, das ich die MLPD für gut befinde. Der Fairness halber sollte sie dennoch erwähnt werden.) Meinetwegen auch die Satirepartei Die Partei. Es gibt einen großen Querschnitt und viel Diskussionsstoff. Eben genug Möglichkeiten eine passende Partei zu finden. Und falls man keine passende findet, dann wählt bitte einfach etwasnichtrechtes. Dies ist immer noch tausendmal besser, als gar nicht zu wählen. Selbst, wenn der Begriff Protestwähler mir zuwider ist, darf der hier gerne ausgelebt werden.

Wir dürfen den Rechten nicht das Feld überlassen. Sie bekämpfen DEINE (!) Freiheit. Sie wollen Medien verstaatlichen und somit kontrollieren. Sie wollen die Grenzen schließen. Sie wollen die Religionsfreiheit einschränken. Und DU (!) lässt dir das gefallen?! Nein. Bitte nicht. Steh auf. Nimm dir ein paar Minuten Zeit am 26. Mai und mach ein kleines Kreuzchen. Wähl meinetwegen, wen du willst oder wer einen sympathischen Namen in der Liste trägt. (Und hoffentlich NICHT rechts ist.) Es steht so viel auf dem Spiel. Es gibt so viel was es Wert ist zu verteidigen. Heute mehr denn je. Bitte. Geh wählen. Bevor es zu spät ist. 

Willkommen im (C)lub (d)er (U)nterbelichteten


Ich finde es einfach bezeichnend, dass einerseits die evidente Politikverdrossenheit dazu geführt hat, das eine veraltete und stocksteife Partei wie die SPD fast verschwunden ist. (Und die AfD die drittstärkste Kraft geworden ist.) Aber die CDU noch bei knapp 30% liegt. Das ist so peinlich und lächerlich, wie es alarmierend ist. Die Linken und Grünen sind immer noch Teil der Nische. Die FDP hat sich durch Erneuerung erholt. (Schön für sie.) Aber was ist eigentlich mit der CDU/CSU Fraktion? Warum werden die nicht abgewählt? Warum sind die Regressiven immer so beliebt und werden immernoch gewählt?

Die CDU/CSU will “rechte Flanken schließen” und versucht “linke Republiken” zu verhindern. Sie schwadronieren über Leitkultur und haben jetzt endlich ihre verdammten Ankerzentrem. Die CDU ist doch die Partei ohne Profil, Vision und Ideen. Hat Angela Merkel eigentlich jemals ein Gesetz ins Gespräch gebracht? Sie hat viele Gesetze totgeredet. Mehr nicht. Das einzige Gesetz, an das ich mich erinnere, war das höchtlächerliche ‘Wachstumsbeschleunigungsgesetz.’ Und das war 2009!

Und hier sieht man auch das wahre Gesicht der CDU/CSU Fraktion. Wirtschaftskonformität. Und wer mir jetzt was dagegen sagen will, muss ich auf ein Zitat inhweisen, welches die Wirtschaftsgehörigkeit rechtfertigen soll: “Das ist soziale Marktwirtschaft.” Es war ein Kommentar irgendwann im TV und ich kann die Spuren leider nichts zurückverfolgen. Tut mir leid. (Erinnert mich irgendwie an den Satz der “Informationspflicht” zu Amokläufen und toten Flüchtlingen im Meer.) Die CDU/CSU gehorchen und kuschen allein vor der Wirtschaft. Bestes Beispiel ist der Abgasskandal. Es gab einen gehypten Gipfel und das Ergebnis waren Softwareupdates. Nicht mal der Satz “Das vernichtet Arbeitsplätze” lässt dies rechtfertigen. 

Aber wie ich schon sagte: Sie haben keine einzige Idee. Sie managen das Land und klammern sich an ihre Macht. Es ist einfach nur peinlich. Angela Merkel sondert immer nur Blödsinn ab. Man kann aus der Frau keinen vernünfigen Satz herauskitzeln. Wieviel Interviews musste ich schon ansehen? Wieviele Wahlveranstaltungen? Immer dasselbe: “Ja ja, wir machen was. Wir tun was.” Sie tat nichts für die Flüchtlinge in drei (!) Jahren, tut nichts gegen den Pflegenotstand, tut nichts gegen die Kohle, tut nichts gegen den Wohnungsnotstand. Sie ist eine Salzsäule, die ab und an anfängt zu blubbern und die Leute halten es für Progressivität. Das einzige was sie tatsächlich getan hat, war G8 Abitur. Super. Noch mehr Stress und psychische Belastung für die Schüler. Gut gemacht. Daumen hoch. (P.S.: Die Wirtschaft wollte das so.) 

Und der Spaß geht noch weiter. Knackpunkt Leitkultur. Unabhängig davon, das all unsere “Kultur” mit Alkohol zu tun hat. (Karneval, Oktoberfest, Weinfeste, etc.) Wird jetzt das jüdisch-christliche Abendland heraufbeschworen. Da sind einige Hosen voll, und einige Köpfe leer. Anstatt einen Schritt auf die Muslime zuzumachen. Anstatt zu sagen: “Willkommen. Wir respektieren euch. Wir haben aber eine andere Kultur wie in euren Ländern. Wir können co-existieren.” Sagen alle: “Oh Gott! Islamisierung! Umvölkung! (Die AfD benutzt diesen Begriff.) Wie sterben alle aus!” Und klammern sich an das bisschen Christentum was noch übrig ist. 

Volker Pispers hat mal ein tolles Beispiel gebracht: “In Düsseldorf gibt es Japaner, die nur Japanisch sprechen. Japanische Schulen, japanische Restaurants, japanische Läden. Es ist nebeneinander.” Und genauso fair sollten wir zu Muslimen sein. Lasst sie doch in ihren Parallelgesellschaften leben. Stören die denn? Machen die Probleme? In jeder Gesellschaft gibt es Problememacher. Doch wiegen wir auf: Was ist schlimmer? Deutsche Nazis die Migranten töten oder Muslime die in ihrer Parallelgesellschaft leben? Um es auf den Punkt zu bringen: Lasst die Muslime einfach in Ruhe. Und wenn es Salafisten gibt, wird sich der Staatsschutz darum kümmern. 

Die CDU/CSU Fraktion ist reaktionär, ohne Ideen und machtgeil wie sonst keine andere Partei. Sie will nicht den Sozialstaat stärken wie die Linken, oder die Umwelt retten wie die Grünen. Sie will nur möglichst alles so halten wie es ist, um so den Status Quo beherrschen zu können. Sie dienen nur der Wirtschaft. Und ihre Wähler sind wahrscheinlich genauso desinteressiert an Veränderung wie die Parteien selbst. Es ist peinlich. Um es abzuschließen: Wenn wir einen Feind haben wollen, und jemanden zur Verantwortung ziehen wollen, dann bitte nicht SPD, Linke und Grüne, sondern die CDU/CSU. Wer es am Ende Schuld war sollte jetzt jedem klar sein. 

Call to Act!on

Learn and absorb the following creed: Join. Promote. Fund. Support. (JPFS.)

These are the four principles for a – at least I think – a better world. 

There are plenty of non-government, UN-based or international organizations you can enter in order to help improving things. I wouldn’t claim these things “change” the world, but they have the right people, the budget, the know-how and publicity. I won’t list them here. Just search up ‘NGO’ or ‘UN organization’. It is quite important to know who your allies and who your enemies are. It is simple: If they want to make profit = enemy. If they want to improve circumstances = ally. So Greenpeace is an ally. Or WikiLeaks. Coca Cola and Nike are your enemies. It’s that simple. Why? Because corporations are responsible for the problems these organizations want to solve. Coca Cola buys water reservoirs so that the citizens involved don’t have it. Nike lets make shoes by kids in Third World countries. Capitalism = enemy; Improving = ally. Of course you cannot join every helpful organization. Choose which topic you prefer. Environment? Greenpeace. Truth and justice? WikiLeaks. I mean, you could potentially join them all, but that would damage the cause. Find your place and stick to your guns.

Because we need many more who promote. The UN is widely known and some know of their causes like UNHCR for example. Some know their camps and humanitarian causes. All true, all good. Most of the time the news report from such places. But this is way too little. If your mindset is: Yes, let’s try to make things better! Promote such things. If you know a soup kitchen in town, or you know clubs or other intstitutions that work in your local or national area; promote them. Let others now. Helping others is a widespread activity and plenty try to help. But most of the time rarely someone knows about this stuff. We must find a global and united voice to promote problems – but also – their solutions. I know it is not much. But every little piece helps.

Because someone has to fund them. These orgnizatoin are scraping the bottle of the barrel for every cent they can take in. Many humanitarian and supporting causes lack funding. We could potentially save the rain forest if the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) had more money. (This is of course just an example. The WWF has a lot of wealthy pledgers already.) The point is, things like the Plant-for-the-Planet (Look it up.) need more funding in order to “save” the planet from becoming a deserted wasteland – or worse – a planet so full of agricultural farming that nothing else survives. (And we already see the negative outcome of such politics and bahvior.) And coming back to the UN, yes countries spend millions on the UN, could also need every cent spent. But also things like Doctors Without Borders or Bread for the World. These things could need all a little bit more. You can feed a kid for 2 Dollars for example. Just find the right organization.

Because someone has to support them. I already told of a few causes. But it is up to the individual to find interest and engagement in such topics. We need to support meatless nourishment, less consumerism in general, a more calm, relaxed and serious discourse. All these things need to be supported. Everyone can start and do what I just said a few paragraphs before. Yet, it is all up to the single individual. It must ask itself: Do I want a healthy and intact planet? A more civilized and collected society? Less stress and hate? More reason and common sense? Every person has do dicide for itself and then find a way to express and join, promote, fund and support these good intentions. There are way too many idiots and a-holes around. Don’t be one of them. Don’t be all angry and hateful, don’t live a life wasted to hednosim. (It leads now here.) Give your life meaning by philanthropism and altruism. Ask yourself: Do I want to be part of the bad guys? Or do I want to be part of justice and hope? Time to choose.

POP!: Broken Bridges – Sonic Dash!!

We all know how abysmal the Sonic franchise is. It had a good trilogy on old Sega systems but never made it into a 3D environment. Even though I could design the gameplay too; I just want to present a full fledged campaign in order to represent good storytelling in videogames. The whole story for ‘Sonic Dash!!’ is intented as a reboot. We forget everything that has happened before. The story itself is presented with a serious tone and rather grown ups content. I wanted to bring former comic book-y characters into a more … mature. The reason is to push Sonic into new territories for all kinds of gamers. It may be enjoyed by grown ups, but kids play such games too. (Even if or if they do not understand it.) Don’t get me wrong! This is not about grittynes or realism. You can call me the Narrative Consultant.

It is a peaceful and friendly world. There is no war, no hate, no problems. But the world has to beware. A mad scientist is on the run. Banished from society, a man named Dr. Robotnik is working on a secret project. His company – which is his public face – found certian crystals in a mine. Fascinated by it, he does research on them and tests their effects on animals. His first attempt led to the creation of an abomination. The animal grew two additional tails. He now has three, which made Dr. Robotnik call him: Tails. 

He used a hedgehog on his second attempt. But the consequences were even greater. The animal transformed from animal to a hybrid. Half-human, half-animal. And – for better or worse – it can talk. Due to a side effect Dr. Robotnik can’t explain, he developed the ability to run at superspeed. Hence he calls him: Sonic. Dr. Robotnik begins to fantasize of an army of half-human half-animal beings under his control. He invents a collar that gives him total and utter control of his newly found servants. 

Tails and Sonic share a cell within the laboratory and become good friends. Both theorize about the crystals and Sonic dubs them: Chaos Emeralds. One day, Dr. Robotnik, tries to train his newly created army, only for them to break out and flee. All hybrids flee off into the world. Except Sonic and Tails, who stay together. Dr. Robotnik is raided by police force, only to unleash the entire power of the Chaos Emerals. The whole world is full of monsters, mayham and chaos. Sonic and Tails, now living in a forest, decide to destroy all evil beings by cleaning it all up. Their quest to save the world begins. (I won’t go into details about enemies or level design. This is just a story pitch.) 

The first level, and its stages, happen in the forest. The king of the forest, a half-human half-ape hybrid, is ruling it. In the first stage there uis no no end boss. In the second stage Monkida awaits them. He brags about his power and suppression of others. In the first phase, Sonic dashes at him 7 times. Monkida gets enraged and enraged to enter the second phase. The pattern is to use slow motion and hit him while he is about to punch. Repeat for 5 times. Then Monkida is almost beaten and recalls his memories of being a gunia pig and that he just enjoys his freedom. He considers his own actions ambigious, but also says he won’t change. Tails then monologues about power and the seduction by it. He continues with saying, that „people won’t judge your ambitions, but your actions.“ Then phase three begins. Now Monkida is following Sonic up three gigantic trees. Sonic has to flee while using Quick Time Events. Monkida is almost beaten and says he is, „Ready to die.“ His last phase is an enraged, slightly bigger version of him. The fourth phase is just him in the middle of the room, where Sonic has to hit four certain spots for a total amount of 3 times. Monkida dies. Sonic monologues about „the ambiguity of power. And that being consumed by it always makes you crash and burn.“ Both move on onto the next stage.

There is a cut scene between the forest and the next stage. Sonic races across the ocean while talking to Tails. Both theorize about the nature of the Chaos Emeralds. They reach the next overarching stage: The ice stage. Here he meets a race of ice-worms. They adapted their world and built a primitive society. They meet an outcast worm who tells his sad story of having not enough „cunning“ to be a part of the society. His name is Ekke. He tells a gruesome story of Noz Eisky; a gigantic ice-worm. They see his lair atop the ice stage. Sonic rushes through all stages and reaches the lair. The Noz Eisky is sleepting. Ekke tells of his weakspot, only for Noz Eisky to awake and tell of their futile mission to stop him. The endboss fight begins. Sonic runs around in an eight so to speak. He has to evade Noz Eisky’s breath and has to attack his four-part body. In phase 1 he simply dashes against the tail for 7 times. Then Noz Eisky laughs and flies in circles. Phase 2 begins. Sonic has to evade spike coming from the ground and attacking his second part. Attack for 5 times. A cut scene plays. Noz Eisky tells of his supremacy, that „certain beings will always be drawn to power.“ Because „they are able to fulfill their destiny.“ Phase 3 begins. Sonic has to attack the third part of his body. He has to „jump“ by using quick time events. The played needs to dash from ice platfrom to platform to attack his third part. Attack for 3 times. Phase 4 begins. Noz Eisky hardens his body with more dense ice. Sonic has to speed up so quick, so that his body melts. Sonic simply runs up the wall, attacks his body and then he begins to melt. Noz Eisky monologues in his demise, that „Dr. Robotnik is our savior…“ And „He will change the world… And therefore rule it.“ And „We are nothing but pawns in his twisted games.“ He dies. Sonic and Tails talk about Dr. Robotnik and reassure each other their friendship to end this madness. 

We cut to a cut scene. Sonic and Tails rush across the desert, as they talk abou the outcome of this madness. Tails concludes that „justice needs to prevail.“ Suddenly Sonic runs into sand that draws him into the ground, Tails tries to help him, only to be sucked into the sand, too. CUT TO BLACK. FADE IN. Both sit in a cave, trying to make sense of the situaiton. Sonic sits down, only to hear a voice. The rock is a living being. He brags about his misery and is eager to help, if they clean the caves from an evil mineral. Sonic and Tails agree and the stages begin. Stage 1 and 2 are in the cave. Stage 3 and 4 in the desert; ie the surface. And stage 5 is the endboss of a being sticking out of the sand. (Imagine Sandman from Spider-Man 3.) His name is Komma. He brags about his ability to turn everything into sand and his attempt to take over the world. CUT SCENE: Sonic tries to fight him. But he has no clue, until Tails mentions heat and SPINS his tail to propel heat. Sonic and Tails have to work togehter to defeat him. In phase 1 he has to simply hit his body in order to turn it into glass. Hit 7 times. In phase 2 his body hardend against heat and Sonic has to dwell into the ground to find lava. Sonic has to hit 5 rocks hard, so that they break. In phase 3 he is almost dead but Tails finds a piece of glass and heats up his body so it turns into glass entirely. Sonic and Tails rejoyce, as Sonic remarks that „world domination has had poisned so many minds. Even the Chaos Emeralds evoke it…“ Tails does not answer. 

We cut to another cut scene. Sonic arrives on an island. Sonic and Tails talk about „the plans of Dr. Robotnik and what he is trying to do. We start level 4. It happens on an island. It has 6 stages. Stage 1-3 are in the jungle. Stage 4-5 are around the volcano. And stage 6 happens inside the vulcano. They meet a huge blob of lava named Flava and he brags about „my misery. The heat. It is too much. I must let go… The pain.“ As he gets madder and madder with each sentence. Goal is to freeze him with Tails its wind he propels through his tail. This is phase 1. Sonic has to run in a circle around the endboss, with a second and third circle Sonic can jump up and down to. Sonic hits 7 times. Tails gets burned by fire and looses conscious. Sonic saves him and comes back into the volcano. The blob now has three hit points Sonic has to hit 3 times, so a total of 9 times. The blob is almost dead and wants to self-detonated, Sonic has to flee. He flees and the stage is done.

CUT SCENE: Sonic is trying to cool Tails’ wounds. Tails thinks he dies and monologues about the „finiteness of life. Every being needs to fulfill his purpose. Mine was to assist you, Sonic.“ Sonic decides to leave him in a safe spot and continues his ques alone. He rushes into the distance. FADE TO BLACK. CUT IN. Sonic sees darkness looming over a huge city. He decides to go there, hoping to defeat more enemies. He arrives in the city and sees Dr. Robotnik, who monologues about his power and domination. Sonic wants to fight him, but he runs off. Sonic gets ensnared by darkness and the fourth stage begins: Darkness.

In stage 1-3 he rushes through a weird, gloomy, dark world. (Imagine Giganthia from Pokemon.) He meets the Schuddy, beings of darkness, which are not evil. Sonic meets a new friend named Trix. Both become friends and allies. Both rush through stage 4-5 and arrive at the last level, where the endboss is waiting. It is a dark shadow calling himself Yagami. This being is bound to the darkness, but thanks to the Chaos Emeralds he can „free himself forever.“ Sonic and Schuddy try to defeat him, as a cut scene plays, where both debate a strategy. Sonic decides to use the light evoknig from his speed. In phase 1 he „burns“ Yagami, but he is not defeated. Yagami entrapps Schuddy in a cage, and Sonic decides to „scar“ the ceiling but rushing across it. Phase 2, he just runs up and down, evading the enemy. Light shines into the room. CUT SCENE. Yagami is presumeably dead, but he just evades out of his prison. He is in the city now. Phase 3. Sonic runs so fast, he can run across the air, so that sunlight burns him. Yagami is being defeated. Dr. Robotnik shows up and infuses himself with all of Yagami’s darkness power. He says, that he followed Sonic the entire time to absorb all the dead endbosses its powers. The final fight begins.

In phase 1, Sonic has to evade razor sharp leafs by trying to jump onto Dr. Robotnik’s head. In phase 2 Dr. Robotnik freezes the facade of a high rise, only to begin channeling his power of control across the city. The citizens become „zombies.“ Sonic has to rush up the high rise, only to confront Dr. Robotnik. Phase 3 begins. Dr. Robotnik summons sand platforms he tries to suck Sonic into, only for Sonic to jump on his head. Dr. Robotnik is almost defeated. He wants to flee, only for Tails to show up and finally defeating him. Sonic arrests Dr. Robotnik and puts him in a cage. Sonic, Tails and Schuddy rejoyce and talk about the „rise to power.“ That „those who have no morals, those have no borders.“ 

The game ends. Credits roll. 

In a scene playing while the credits roll, Sonic, Tails and Schuddy live in a forgotten laboratory. A little humorous, slap-stick scene happens. 

The end. 

P.O.V.: Arrival


Did I like it?

Not much.

Arrrival was one of those hyped Oscar contenders. I did not watch it in cinemas or even noticed a trailer. Then I bought it on Blu-ray and gave it a watch. And I was not very pleased with it. I could not think of much I liked or disliked since not much happened in the movie itself. It begins with a short introduction of the protagonists, both try to communicate with aliens and it ends as quick as it begun. I had two thoughts in mind. Let’s go ahead.

+ Strong directing

Denis Villneneuve is – as noticed and stated before – one of the most talented directors now working. He does it so good. He knows how to be subtle, observing and giving the actors and scenes its needed place. I liked the scene in the beginning, where he zooms onto the protagonist and on the left side of the frame are jets flying. Wow. That shot blew my mind. It looked so simple, yet looked so good. And every scene following was as magical as the ones before. You could follow the story through the eyes of the protagonists and how they perceive the ongoing story. Nothing distracting was there, nothing annyoing. Only the actors and the scenes. Such talent is really impressive.

– Weak writing

The potential for Arrival was immense. You could explore how mankind deals with aliens and how they would be contacted first. But that big part is only a small part. Most of the time we get to see news and media reports and some experts. No big and fancy debate. I know this movie is not about this topic, but it could have been a greater part of the overarching story. The writing itself was not bad in itself; just too limited. I don’t know the source material though. Even if I knew it: It could have been expanded. To how the people would react etc. (Something ‘Man of Steel’ tried and failed.) The characters are a bit pale. Even though I admit: How can you boast up a scientist? The dialogue could have gotten bit more into the details of the characters. How they perceive the first contact and how they dealt with it. It seemed like it was no big deal that aliens landed. It could have been a bit more full of depth. How angry they got ‘cause they don’t understand. How they doubt and struggle. It is unfulfilled potential.

Bottom line: It did not deserve its Oscar nominations.