General

random small story bite, “In the town of Albrook…”

…The brisk air passed through her hair, and through her skin. Walking along the stone pier with only her footsteps to keep her company. She didn’t find her friend in the city. She searched until the sun had gone to sleep. No one she asked could recall seeing someone matching his description. The people she asked were too busy focusing on Kefka’s reign. Light of Judgment, eight dragons, imprisoned monsters loose, a tower of junk, and an entire world chopped up into pieces.

A boat. A Fully sized boat tied up, and still as a mountain. She passed onto it from the dock, almost as if she was possessed. The shipped stirred feelings inside of her that were foreign, yet familiar. It was a trickling of something different from the torrent of despair she had become accustomed to since waking up. 

On the deck, housed next to a fuel tank, stood a Magitek armor. One touch chilled her deeper than the sea breeze. But the sensation of familiarity brought warmth to her heart. It was made perplexing by her memories from serving the now dead Emperor Gestalt. These machines are feared by many, and home to few. 

Home. Her home was gone. Cid is gone. Terra is gone. The Empire is gone. 

But this armor. 

This suit, she examined and climbed in, was her home. She curled up and felt the seat on her face. She closed her eyes. Her cape now wrapped around her, the wind no longer passed through. She escaped the night in her dreams. And for once, they were okay. 

***hello! hope this was enjoyable. I’m running through FF6 (owned by Square Enix not me, I don’t own any of these characters or claim them), and this just came to me in a moment of inspiration, so I thought I’d give a try at writing it out. I thought it turned out really nice.***

Standard
General

***original story idea*** update 2

Hey there! It’s only been a few days, but I have some updates on the new book idea I’ve been drumming up. Actually, I have pictures!

I wanted to use some self-made illustrations to help guide others more towards my idea, and give a little substance to help me as well.

There’s not much to say this time around, but enjoy the hand drawings, and if you like, or dislike, or want to know where I get the inspiration from, comment below! (please excuse the poor quality, and amateur style!)

I might have another character coming, and maybe some world build up, thanks to my awesome wife! She is into cosplay and has made an angel character, way before I had this idea. But she has totally given me permission to use her, and some of her world building ideas to craft mine a little further.

In regards to the angel flying next to our bald, Kratos-looking angel demon slayer, I was thinking of using it as some form of comic relief to counter balance the gruff, serious, attitude of the soldier for light persona.

Standard
General

***original story idea*** update 1

Wouldn’t it be cool if there was something out there that was good versus evil, but not cheesy? Like, what if there was a Bibleman that explored the harder questions, and took liberties that everyone was cool with?

(something probably IS out there, let me know if you know something!)

What if there was a game, or graphic novel that was like the styling of Devil May Cry?

You’re asking, why that game? Well I’m infatuated with the idea. I have played nearly all of them (glaring over at 2, and DMC), but do plan to have them all under my belt.

I know it’s really easy to think, “something like that may not be able to be taken seriously, or be made enjoyable, because the depiction of wholesome religious things wouldn’t fit”.

Well I think after some planning, lots of thought, and one final piece to my quandry, I believe the darkness can suck it, because the light has, and have some terribly awesome things yet to be explored and romanticized, while at the same time being respectful and not over stretching.

The tale as old as time, good versus evil, demons needing a good knocking, is largely popularized by half humans or demons with growing humanity being the ones to take care of the job.

So like in part of this idea, some of the prophets have some cool things if they are taken literally. Like in Zechariah 1:18-21 is speaks of the four horns that destroyed Judah and the four craftsmen who will destroy them. That could work as a side-quest, or as the overarching plot.

And the Bible has some crazy visions, which for the fantasy-avidant like me, thinks would look awesome, personified, or literalized.

In Genesis 15:17-18, the vision of the fire pot and flaming torch spark a lot of inspiration. They are two items, but they could be easily combined. Make it a staff with an eternally flaming torch with iron teeth and base, and the other a brass nickel smoking pot. One end for attacking, and the other for for capturing and releasing. Yes, this takes away from its purpose of making promises, it is a pure liberal decision for the sake of appeal, and charm.

I mentioned earlier, that there was a final piece to my puzzle, that was missing in this very vague, baby of an idea. And the answer comes in the form of angels.

Not the rbe wearing, harp toting, or baby bare butt angels, but the OTHER angels. The ones that 2020 has become enamored with. The floating rings covered in eyes, the ones covered in six wings, with only a head. The ones that immediately have to tell humans to “be not afraid” as soon as they arrive, so everyone will not lose their mind.

THOSE angels.

In this day and time, it’s surprising that no one finds them desirable as video game/ fantasy / novel / graphic novel material. I think there’s a huge mine there of resources to pull from. Having them on your side to instill that fear within demons, or to have them protect you from harm sounds great for a story about physical confrontation against the supernatural.

Up until now, I’ve only been using Judeo-Christian based inspiration for ideas. There are others, that are more obvious to pick from, like the Phoenix. While not based in Christianity it is very Christ-like in nature. Sacrificing itself and being reborn again for the sake of goodness makes itself a great candidate for someone fighting for the sake of goodness.

But I am infatuated with using Judeo-Christian based ideas, because I want to prove it to be a great source, if you look hard enough. I mean leviathans aside, there’s lots to explore. And granted, the Bible’s purpose is to tell the story of Jesus, so the side details are not to be higher than the main point. But this is a mix of creating a story, what kind of story I’m trying to tell, and to entertain and captivate the audience/reader.

What is the story?

I don’t know yet. This is an instance where the world building has come first.

I am very inspired by the tellings of Devil May Cry, Supernatural for this idea, obviously. I am also inspired by Veggie Tales. You know Veggie Tales? The thing made by Phil Vischer that is a wonderful marriage of good storytelling, theologically based teaching, animation, and humor? How about Adventure in Odyssey? Those two are some of the best children’s Christian teaching programs ever made.

Well I sure would like to be like those creators. But dealing with something a little more mature. Something for teenagers maybe. We all know that’s a rough field. It’s it’s not trendy, or cool, or popular, then it’s yesterdays news.

But get in there, and you can be really motivating, moving, and persuasive to the current social network apps.

SO, if this inspired story can bring some messages while entertaining, then my dream and ambition will be complete.

I’ll keep posting about this, making rough sketches, and posts as I continue.

Standard
General

Stop Being Great, Be God

This is going to be a little long. But for the sake of God, and spreading the Gospel, I have had an inspiration from reading the Bible, and it has not let me go. I’m taking that as a sign that maybe this isn’t crafted from my imagination, it’s coming from something above me, and that maybe someone needs to hear it. So I hope in the vast sea of internet data, this reaches its intended eyes. The title of this article I hope is enough to help those struggling with their identity to be more Christ than anything else.

I believe the Lord has a timely message for certain Christians in regards to the current events of 2020, laid out in black and white. This isn’t for everyone, but if you’re reading this and know someone, then I hope this gives you some perspective to give to them. Here’s the passage I read, and in between the verses will be my thoughts.

The Test of Greatness

Luke 9:46 An argument started among them as to which of them might be the greatest.

Luke 9:47 But Jesus, knowing what they were thinking in their heart, took a child and stood him by His side,

Luke 9:48 and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in My name receives Me, and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me; for the one who is least among all of you, this is the one who is great.”

Chasing down the meaning of these verses means sliding up to the table of an ancient discussion about the meaning of the least of these, and hearing the back and forth of different ideas.

The passage in Mark does not speak of Jesus pulling a child to His side to emphasize the point of “the least”, but both have the commonality that those who are in trouble, and those that can benefit from a helping hand, should be cared for if you call yourself a follower of Christ.

And recently, we have all raised up our ideas of who is the “least” of us. Warning: I am a low/mid income, white, straight, male, Christian. I am burdened to write this, and to speak out my thoughts about the current issues intimidates me. Nevertheless, I am tired of remaining silent, and more importantly losing friends because of it. But I am not an intellectual, just a geek with a keyboard, and a heart for God. So I pray before you and I both proceed, we stop, pray for an open mind, and a passion for discussion to Truth (absolute, and Christ-like).

Okay.

Black Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter, All Lives Matter. I hesitate to even put them together in the same sentence for fear of being known as grouping them together. Because it’s not fair to do that. When we just group everyone, we disregard those distinctive parts which are sometimes most crucial in seeing the truth.

It’s like saying a child is an adult. Children can’t fight in a war. Children cannot take the tasks required by a competent older human being. But we cannot generalize the problems of races no more than we can generalize children and adults the same.

By the way, being black, brown, red, or yellow does not mean being a child. And it sure as heck does not mean being white means we’re the adult, or the chosen of God. We are dealing with a different scenario in this day and time.

We are dealing with inequality. It was in the hearts of the disciples, it’s in the church, it’s in the United States.

The truth of the matter is, I do believe we all need help. Sin is everywhere, so it’s safe to say sin is in the American system, as much as it is to say sin is in our churches. Is there systematic racism, and white supremacy in America? Probably! Just because it may not happen in your city and state doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist! I mean, look at this census from last year, yeah it probably does! Why else would people be talking about it? I know there exists conspiracy theorists, but even so, we as Christians, cannot take any thought lightly. In fact it’s biblical to take hold of every thought, meaning be intentional, be serious, actually give a care about what all the outcry is.

These are just honest thoughts from an understudied guy, finding links, and Bible verses as he is writing.

And that’s another thing. We. Don’t. Know. And that’s a big statement for a lot of discussion. What do we, ‘not know about?’. A lot of things. We don’t know who is lying, who is telling the truth. There’s multiple factors to think about: who is speaking up? Who is is not speaking up? Sin. Lying is a sin. Not speaking up, is a sin. But the biggest sin; is assuming.

Okay I’m not 100% positive on that, but like in Edgar Allen Poe’s tales of ratiocination, we just can’t make truth out of a particular frame of thought (*cough*assuming*cough*) that doesn’t consider all of the evidence. If we omit the orange hair because it doesn’t make sense, we’ll never see that it was the orangutan all along! We’ll end up putting an innocent man to the stocks.

And speaking of innocent…

Luke 9:49 John answered and said, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name; and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow along with us.”

Luke 9:50 But Jesus said to him, “Do not hinder him; for he who is not against you is for you.”

No one is less than you just because they don’t be Christian like you, and don’t go to your church. And I realize that there is the possibility of a wrong church, but- we. don’t. know. This long passage starts out with the disciples’ hearts wide open to Jesus. A bunch of guys seeing who is the greatest among them. And Jesus, with all His patience gives us the answer: It’s not about you, it’s about me (Jesus). And here He tells them it’s about Jesus. Jesus was preparing for the cross, and while His closest students still couldn’t get his message, someone else did!

Did we miss that part in Sunday School? Spreading the Gospel, in the name of Jesus, while He was still alive. That guy understood it faster than the almighty chosen twelve, and was doing things. But one of the disciples just thought that it had to be their way, and not any other way.

Jesus slammed that notion down. And these two verses give us a clear and definitive description of how to handle others. They were casting out demons in His name.

Done.

Only through Jesus is anyone delivered. And as long as Jesus Christ is the one you’re behind, and the one you’re praising, then you’re for your other brothers and sisters doing the same thing. If you feel that Jesus wants you to help by protesting, or to help refugees, then go in blessings of Christ almighty. Jesus will cover you, protect you, guide you, lead you, help you.

And if you see someone doing that, let them be. At least they’re trying.

Luke 9:51 When the days were approaching for His ascension, He was determined to go to Jerusalem;

Luke 9:52 and He sent messengers on ahead of Him, and they went and entered a village of the Samaritans to make arrangements for Him.

Luke 9:53 But they did not receive Him, because He was traveling toward Jerusalem.

Luke 9:54 When His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?”

Luke 9:55 But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of;

Luke 9:56 for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” And they went on to another village.

This gets me heated. This probably is the sole reason for this essay. Let’s just get to it.
“Lord, do we call fire and kill them for rejecting you!?”

We didn’t start dehumanizing human beings during World War 2 in order to make the evil Nazi’s easier to kill. We’ve been doing it since Adam and Eve fell.

James and John of the Jesus Circle didn’t hesitate to ask Him if they should vanquish the nonbeliever.

I’m sure it can be seen as intense passion and defense for Christ. It exists, dear Lord does it exist. People believing and hoping in one man, that they will die, or kill, for the sake of their love. Sound familiar? Reminder, this is October of 2020, and Donald Trump is our nation’s leader. This is to help give context for the time of this article.

James and John were people like that too. Rome? It was bad. The people of God needed a leader, they needed a hero. They need the proclaimed Messiah, that warrior that would uproot the mighty empire and establish God’s throne on Earth. And they, the chosen disciples would be right there, at His side, basking in greatness, in glory, victory, and a happy ending to their tale of persecution and woe.

And then Jesus Christ shows up.

The disciples are open to calling down holy power upon some people, not worthy enough to get their names written in the Bible. The wording for the NASB is particularly jovial, “consume them.” My, my, that’s quite gruesome, young Christians. Surely followers of Christ would never wish that upon people!

(taking a break to laugh and cry at the irony)

Jesus says, “You do not know what spirit you are of.”

What!?!? You mean my passionate love for Christ is the wrong… spirit?

This personally saddens me because I know friends who are so passionately against people living in sin, that their first answer to sin is to excommunicate, cast out of the church, or just leave the church.

That’s not a spirit of Christ.

eso no es un espíritu de Cristo

ce n’est pas un esprit du Christ

это не дух Христа

Das ist kein Geist Christi

We’re not here to hurt, shame, shout, point fingers, call fire, or excommunicate someone because they don’t think like us, because they have a scarlet letter on their chest, because they’re liberal/conservative in political views, or because they don’t want Christ in their home. All of that, is the wrong spirit.

Whoa, an absolute statement?

Yeah, it’s wrong.

The Son of Man came to save lives, not destroy them. Anything that isn’t of a heart to be like Christ, is wrong, and destroying. It’ll destroy that person, it’ll destroy your testimony. If Jesus isn’t in us, something else is; a frame of mind that is incapable of not seeing everything, condemning innocence and blind to Jesus.

Yeah, it’s complex. Walking in the Holy Spirit is a day by day process, and there’s gonna be failures and successes. Speaking and acting upon complicated topics isn’t about simple one word or one sentence feel good quotes anymore.

Yeah, it’s going to be complex. We can’t just sit and do nothing because the problems seem too hard, because if Christians don’t give Jesus’ love then something, or someone, else will get them that isn’t love.

Yeah, it was complex, but Jesus made it simple. He confounded those that thought themselves wise.

Those with the spirit of being great, are walking with a spirit that is not of Christ, or God. There’s the compulsion to say, “Let’s not make America great again, but make America About God again”, but something in me won’t stand behind that yet. I would love a country where God is sought and leads our decisions, but too many Christians, like the disciples, still don’t get it. We’re not here to destroy, we’re here to save. We’re here to lead the lost to Jesus. Let’s not forget where we came from, for all have sinned and fallen short. Let’s change our intentions.

Let’s stop assuming and find content in not knowing. After all, we who believe in a God that is all powerful, yet all loving, and do not see Him, but somehow hate those we can see?

Then, after all that, and we receive those who need help, and we’re all living equally, we can start making about God.

And we can do it!

We really can!!

Standard
General

Preview: Monochrome RPG

Monochrome RPG, a game made by DVNC Tech LLC, is a top-down role playing adventure dealing with lots of inspiration from the 1920’s aesthetic. It stars a young rabbit named Ottomess Bohlts, a joker just trying to live life until bugs start taking over his house!

As I booted the game up I received some exposition cleverly disguised as newspaper headliners. The Town of Vaudeville is under the pressure of seemingly bad things trying to get rid of amusement.

Otto realizes this when a Buzzers fly around his house univited. What’s even more is a rave of Creepers and a big boss known as The Grackle have taken over his basement. Otto takes it upon himself to protect him home and furniture to deal with the pests.

Upon first playing it, the radio inspires you to learn how to move thanks to the radio sponsor: WASD Movers. “If you wanna Move, use WASD. I gotta chuckle out of that. The other obvious puns were there, along with the bouncing furniture with faces that we’ve come to know and love. It’s nice to see that Cuphead has garnered appreciation for the classics, and it’s even nicer to have developers make games and give players more of what they love.

The controls are simple for moving around, but its the combat that is intriguing. Taking cues from Undertale, Otto has a couple of ways he can deal with the precocious home wreckers. He can usher creatures to attack (you gain creatures by winning them in fights), or he can tell jokes!

The jokes are various, mostly insect themed, and have four possible subjects to choose from.

You start the fight by clicking on the microphone in the middle of the stage, and selecting your creature, joke, or healing ability. The jokes are started randomly, but always need the same answer. The words of the joke will begin to light up like a karaoke song, and players must choose an answer either before the subject is inserted, or right as it about to be spoken. If successful, it will give the most love. Choosing late will not get much love from the creature.

Walking around the house offers Otto the chance to interact with lots of his appliances, furniture, and household objects. They can provide witty comebacks, puns, or advice.

Right now, the demo version is accessible on itch.io, and its a nice chunk of game to get a feel for what it will be. It’s in very early stages, losing all of your health means restarting the whole demo, and after the fight with Gackle, it’s finished.

I think there’s some definite potential with this little title. Like I said earlier, I like that developers are using more of the 1920’s cartoon style. The added black and white is a nice touch, it keeps it simplistic, which works to its strengths.

The music is spot on. The demo gives a few tracks and they stay just long enough to not wear out the welcome.

The battle mechanics are gruesome at this point. Just getting hit a couple times means game over, but as a counterpoint, that is also true for the enemies. It’ll be interesting to see how it matures, the early, perfect, and late mechanics are an interesting means of keeping the joke telling a fun challenge.

My overall observation was everything is slow. But I consider that a nitpick seeing how humble the game is. Ultimately, I’m wishing the best for this game, and I’m excited to see this Vaudeville that I’m supposed to save!

Standard
General

Hidden Gem: Last Pick (series) by Jason Walz

I would like to shed some light upon a graphic novel series that takes place in a fictional United States. Aliens have invaded, they’ve taken a lot of people hostage, and are making their lives very difficult. They use them as labor force on other planets, or for entertainment. The aliens are particular about who they take, only fully functioning humans from young to near older age.

There is a small group that the aliens do not abduct and they are the physically challenged, and the mentally challenged. And our main character, Wyatt struggles, but also shines when they underestimate just what humans are capable of despite.

Wyatt is not alone. Though he searches for his parents, he has the aid of his rough-and-tough sister Sam. Together they sneak around post-invaded Kentucky gathering supplies, information, and people. They meet challenges every step of the way, pushing Sam and Wyatt to become better, to draw closer to each other, and ever closer to finding their mom and dad.

The story finds Sam and Wyatt getting separated, but their indomitable will to overcome the challenges from within keep them going, and finding strength in the people around them.

If you think that sounded a little too vague, well you’re right! But I’ll not apologize for keeping other specifics secret. Hopefully what I’ve said piques your interest to look into the series because it’s worth the time. The characters are three-dimensional, have feelings and goals, including the aliens. The sheriff antagonist I really enjoyed hating, and staying interested in his development. The characters also develop and grow, especially Wyatt, and it’s incredibly precious to watch him lead people and garner their respect.

Accompanied by the stylish art, the visuals are essential to the narrative. And they do what I’ve seen for the first time animate sign language.

The 3rd installment is coming out soon, and I am excited to pick it up. Now is the perfect time to get this series.

Standard
General

Proverbs 13: 6

“Righteousness guards him whose way is blameless, But wickedness overthrows the sinner.”

Living right is like posting a guard for your life. Every choice for good sets into motion other opportunities for good. Evil choices follow the same pattern, but in the opposite direction. Each decision you make to obey God’s Word will bring a greater sense of order to your life, while each decision to disobey will bring confusion and destruction, The right choices you make reflect your integrity. Obedience brings the greatest safety and security.
—Life Application Bible Tyndale House

I don’t know about you, but with ADHD, confusion and destruction make life hard to enjoy, and see the goodness that God is, does, and brings. Seek righteousness.

Standard
General

Anime Highlight: BNA

BNA | Netflix Official Site

You should check it out. BNA is about a young girl who was mysteriously transformed into a beastman; a tanuki. She travels to Anima City (animosity?) to seek refuge. But she finds the world of the beastmen is different than she expected. It’s not… human.

In a commentary on lesser races ruled by higher, it’s an interesting take since recent race issues are covering the news. I haven’t finished it yet, but it’s leading up to something different than the power of friendship it seems.

The animation looks highly similar to Gurren Lagann, my favorite anime of all time. Which helps keep up with the extreme humor and action BNA runs through.

The characters are nice. Nothing unique or strong. The wolf detective reminds me of Bigby Wolf from Fables.

But it’s totally worth checking out!

Standard