Tunnel rush unblocked

[TotK] [SPOILERS] Taking things in this game at face value.

2023.06.01 09:52 SvenHudson [TotK] [SPOILERS] Taking things in this game at face value.

Everybody's knee-jerk reaction to this game on here seems to be trying to fix it by saying a bunch of stuff isn't what it says it is so that the stories they're familiar with are set in stone.
Instead, I want to try saying the things in this game are what it says they are: Rauru is Rauru, Ganondorf is Ganondorf, the Imprisoning War is the Imprisoning War.
There is frankly a lot of material in this game that lines up with a straightforward interpretation. Landmarks of the past have a conspicuous resemblance to Ocarina of Time's landmarks. Events have a conspicuous resemblance to its events.
There are differences, too, but I think analyzing those differences is far more compelling than simply pointing at them and announcing that they are different. Retellings of stories often change details, add or remove things at the teller's whim. So instead of the conventional fandom idea of canon where each new story is truer than the last if they ever contradict, we could treat this series of self-proclaimed legends like there's possibly an underlying truer version of events that we can identify through parallels; our understanding of the "truth" (or at least "original story") is then fuzzier where things contradict between stories and clear where they align and there's a lot of room for personal interpretation in between.
That feels, to me, like what this newest game is asking us to do when it so deliberately invokes past game's stories in altered forms.
For example: In the first telling of the Imprisoning War, the seven sages were seven human men, one of them oddly short. In the second telling, they were a diverse group of fantasy races of varying ages and genders. And now in this third telling, the composition of the group is different once again. So the particulars of who was in this group are fuzzy, the particulars that there were some humans and a goron and a zora feel more solid than whether there were zonai or kokiri mixed in, but the number seven is very solid, as is their imprisoning of Ganon.
So let's ask some questions that this game raises.
Let's look at a big difference between the first and third tellings to start with: the location of Ganon's imprisonment. (The second is also different but doesn't matter in the context of this conversation because it's explicitly an alternate resolution rather than a different interpretation of the same resolution.)
In the first telling, Ganon was sealed in the Sacred Realm, the alternate dimension which is the home of the Triforce, which he had corrupted into the Dark World by the time the game begins. The Dark World as seen in the game is an darker version of the regular world the hero comes from, geographically largely identical (right down to the location of the only known populated village in each world) but all-around less friendly to traverse and populated with stronger monsters. Ganon has human followers that live there. Though Ganon isn't yet able to escape the Dark World, he is entirely able to send a out a puppet being called Agahnim to the home world to further his goals and, generally speaking, his evil is said to be seeping into the home world from the Dark World. Many portals in the home world exist that can transport one to the Dark World but they only work one way and it can only be re-exited by the hero due to a magic mirror he luckily happens to own.
In this third telling, Ganondorf is trapped in the Depths, a giant cave system underneath Hyrule. The depths are almost entirely pitch black, geographically near identical to the surface (but with verticality of surfaces inverted so mountains become canyons and vice versa), there are ruins of ancient settlements in the same relative location as contemporary above-ground settlements, the terrain is much more hostile than above, and the monsters that live there are empowered by Ganondorf's magical bad vibes. The humans you find down there are a roguish cult dedicated to supporting Ganondorf. Though Ganondorf does not yet seem able to escape the depths, he is entirely able to send out a puppet version of Zelda (and clones of himself) to the surface world to further his goals, all the while his potent gloom is seeping into the surface more and more. The Depths are entered by jumping into a chasm you can never climb back out of, and the only way to exit the Depths is the hero's unique ability to teleport out or use a magical ability to tunnel up through columns to the ceiling.
It's entirely possible that these two settings are two interpretations of the same place. Is it actually an alternate dimension? Is it actually a cave? Are they both kinda right? Both kinda wrong?
Perhaps the story told before had conflated the Sacred Realm and the Dark World into a singular location when they're actually two separate but related locations. What world is darker than the Depths? What land is more golden than the islands in the sky with their yellow grass and tree leaves? According to Skyward Sword, the Triforce's home was found in the sky, so the sky being what LttP's backstory called the Sacred Realm could track.
So perhaps the Dark World never was the Sacred Realm exactly but it was, instead, the other half of the same overall territory, historically populated by the same god-like beings but having always been dark, though still corrupted by Ganon's presence.
And could the Depths be more places, yet? Could they be Termina, accessed by falling into a horrifically deep chasm, Link rushing past floating lights in a black void on his way down? Could they be Lorule, a dark and hostile parallel world accessed through cracks in the earth?
On that subject, Lorule had its own separate Triforce set from Hyrule meaning Link Between Worlds's two titular worlds have six Triforces between them. I didn't mention this before but another difference between this telling and prior ones is the relic Ganon is fighting for: in prior tellings it was the Triforce and in this new story it's the Secret Stones. Are the Secret Stones a new interpretation of Triforces, then? There are six Secret Stones in Tears of the Kingdom (technically seven but one is a time-travel duplicate of another so it doesn't count), just as there are six Triforces in Link Between Worlds.
Zonai fashion shows an interest in similarly aligned triangles in their clothes that Link can wear; each ceremonial dragon-themed outfit as well as the archaic tunic has nine triangles arranged in two rows. Why nine when I've been talking about the number six, you ask? Those who consume a Zonai Secret Stone become an immortal dragon. Despite that all six of the Secret Stones are accounted for in Tears of the Kingdom's present day, there are also three immortal dragons. Seemingly, then, there were nine original Secret Stones, neatly matching the recurring motif of nine triangles to represent them.
Perhaps the Enneaforce is real, or perhaps these two stories just disagree about which of multiple separate types of magical relic Ganondorf was after and we're meant to interpret the world as having both Triforces and Secret Stones. Because, like, they're not not Sage Medallions, either: there's also known to be six of those and they're even linked directly to the Sages.
If Rauru is indeed a Zonai as this game portrays him, making the royal family in all post-Rauru stories part Zonai, this makes the subject of ears worth examining in some other games.
According to Link to the Past, the Hylian people are said to have magic-infused blood and abnormally long and pointed ears, said to make them better able to communicate with the gods. In the game itself, some human characters have long, pointed ears and some have more rounded ears like real people do. Also in the game itself, some long-eared characters are shown to be capable of telepathy.
And the series continues for a long time in this vein, games consistently have a mix of characters with pointy elf ears and roundy human ears that are presumably Hylian and non-Hylian, respectively.
The only time after Link to the Past it's called to attention, though, is Wind Waker: Ganondorf, searching for Hyrule's princess, has instructed his giant bird to abduct girls with long, pointed ears.
As of Breath of the Wild, suddenly all non-Gerudo humans are called Hylians and all humans, including Gerudo, have elf ears. Also as of Breath of the Wild, there's an indication that Hylians these days are no longer capable of telepathy: if offering to use your "brain powers" to signal Yunobo during the Death Mountain ascent, he'll comment that he heard that used to be a thing but didn't think Hylians could do that anymore. If we look in terms of difference from the general population rather than just the visual, this indicates that Hylians have lost the trait of having bigger and pointier ears and also lost the ears' associated magic.
But now in Tears, the first thing Zelda says when she sees a depiction of a Zonai is "holy fuck, look at their giant ears".
I think the clear takeaway of this is that what earlier games called Hylian is different from what Breath and Tears call Hylian: in older stories the "Hylians" were human/zonai hybrids but in these newer ones the name is basically synonymous with Hyrulean and there's just not enough zonai DNA left in their hybrid descendants to have any observable effect anymore.
That Ancient Hero you can morph into after completing all the shrines who "saved Hyrule in the past" and doesn't appear to be any known character? Maybe people who looked like him are what "Hylian" used to mean. Maybe he's this game's interpretation of another game's Link, when he's being displayed in a story where zonai are depicted as dragon-people instead of how Rauru looked in Ocarina of Time.
I have more thoughts I could ramble about but eventually I have to sleep so I'll shut up for now.
Interrogate my shit, share your own shit, whatever you're into. I'm just desperate to see any actual discussion of this game's lore instead of reflexive attempts to dismiss it.
submitted by SvenHudson to truezelda [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 09:08 Rangers_Forever Can BHVR please nerf toolboxes and the add-ons?

80% total gen repair speed stacked with prove thyself is fair how?
I'm not really complaining, just asking a question because I can start a chase with survivor and at least one gen pops in about 30 seconds.
Sure I can run corrupt intervention but then I have to more or less hinder myself until corrupt expires and it leaves me with one less perk slot.
Then there's times where I don't even find anyone and one to two gens pop in 30 seconds.
I have no choice but to tunnel and camp or slug at that point to slow the game down a little bit.
With Ghostie I can slow it down a little bit by using the driver's license add-on but that's all depends on if I'm not seen before fully marking the survivor at the gen.
Nerfing Eruption was a bad idea overall and in my opinion made gen rushing way worse.
Survivors can't complain if a killer camps,slugs or tunnels if they're going to gen rush.
submitted by Rangers_Forever to deadbydaylight [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 08:58 krettir The current bausff craze is making jungling easier

I happened to check what this bausff thing was about, and pretty soon started noticing when a lamer tried to go for it.
It usually doesn't work on it's own due to the actual players not being good at it, but what it does is it makes them easier to read, and in low elo they actually play to get towers instead of going for constant pointless fights. It's like people are transitioning from "I play so I'm able to stomp" to "I play so we can win".
It's so much simpler when you know that putting your own pressure somewhere in the map actually results in your teammates pressing that advantage.
They still have a post-it glued over their minimap, sure, but they're easier to wrangle into useful plays. It's easier if they don't know you're directing them, almost better if they are left wondering why they can just tunnel-vision on the enemy tower.
Gank top? He's going to push in instead of rushing back for that sweet longsword.
Enemy's low? Your lamer wants them out, it's safe to dive.
Gank bot? Well that's still a coinflip but you can't have everything. Though I did have one Sion bot trying to pull this off, didn't work out.
Anyway, point being, it's easier to help everyone win when you can somewhat anticipate that your lamers are going to act like an AI-generated bausff instead of a noobstomping smurftuber. They're almost as dependable as bots!
submitted by krettir to Jungle_Mains [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 06:06 EzekielWinters Draven, the Liberator of Zion [LitRPG, Cyberpunk, Fantasy] - Ch 1

Draven sliced through the neck of a feral mutant, his sword cleanly splitting throw its thick bone exoskeleton. The creature was a Marrow, a humanoid mutant creature that looked like a cross between a human and a gorilla. Thick white bone exoskeleton covered the Marrow as protective armor. Like all other mutants created through magic, Marrows were Hollows. Human beings that had their humanity hollowed by magic, transforming them into abominations.
The sense of impending death bombarded Draven’s mind, warning him of danger. He leaned to the side, dodging a bone spike launched. His hand shot out, plucking the bone spike from the air.
“Ari, turn the suit up to 100%,” Draven said as he locked on to the mutant who launched the bone spike at him. The creature was a Hollow Spike, longed limbed and thin like a rail. Sharp bone spikes protruded from its skin.
“Will do,” Ari, the AI part of his exosuit, voiced back. Steam drifted out of the air vents of the suit as the power core kicked into overdrive.
Draven launched himself at the Hollow Spike. Dirt exploded with every step he took as he blurred toward his opponent.
He focused his mind and dove into the Weave. Thousands of Sympathetic Threads become visible to his eyes, interconnecting every object around him. Draven focused on the Thread connecting the bone spike in his hand and the mutant Hollow in front of him. Mana essence flowed from his core and solidified the sympathetic connection.
Draven pulled the bone spike towards him, the spike taking on the weight of the Hollow as well now that they were bound together. The Hollow Spike came hurtling towards Draven’s charging form. Draven swung his blade, and flames manifested around it as it sliced through the mutant's midsection. Killing the creature in an instant.
Draven looked around, searching for more Hollow. But the only other person standing nearby was Master Sygvar. The rest of the Hollow had run away, seeking to live another day.
“Ari, disable combat mode.” Draven sheathed his blade as he approached Master Sygvar, “Do we give chase?”
Sygvar turned towards his disciple, “Yes, they might lead us to whoever is behind the attacks on the government.”
Sygvar looked towards the sky and whistled.
A mighty roar answered back, and the clouds parted as a massive object descended toward their position. Draven was in awe as the Fire Dragon Tywen plummeted towards the earth. The land quaked as the massive beast landed on the ground.
“You called,” the voice of Tywen was deep and gravelly. The dragon was massive, at least five to six war horses long. And easily taller than a two-story house. And Tywen was still growing. Black and red scales covered the dragon.
“Yes, we need you to follow the fleeing Hollow,” Sygvar said as he jumped onto Tywen’s back. He used a telekinetic push to give him a boost.
Draven followed after his master, using the same trick with telekineses to enhance his jump. He landed just behind Sygvar on Tywen’s back.
Welcome to the System!
Name: Draven Althorne
Age: 18
Ancestory: Fire Dragon Born (Tier 1 - Level 0)
Class: None
Sub Class 1: None
Sub Class 2: None
Sub Class 3: None
Feats: None
INT (Intelligence): 17 / 17
FIN (Finese): 14 / 14
WIS (Wisdom): 11 / 11
STR (Strength): 19 / 19
DEX (Dexterity): 17 / 17
CON (Constitution): 16 / 16
SPR (Spirit): 12 / 12
AFF (Affinity): 14 / 14
FOR (Fortitude): 19 / 19
/Attribute Points: 0
Stamina: 129 / 129
Vitality: 150 / 150
Mana: 135 / 135
Talents: 0 / 9
Path Points: 0
Paths: 8
Draven smiled, “Master, my system awakened.” Draven’s eyes roamed across his status sheet. All his attributes were at least two points higher than the standard starting nine points everyone gets on their 18 birthday. His Strength and Fortitude were his highest stats, each ten points higher than average.
Sygvar tapped Tywen on the neck, and the dragon took to the sky, soaring throw the clouds. Down below, Draven could see the Hollow feeling through the fields.
“That’s good. We’ll have a celebration later today. Now tell me the paths you have available,” Sygvar said.
Draven opened his status and selected the Paths tab.
The Way of the Al’Manti
Dragonborn of Fire
Mind Supremacy
Body Supremacy
Arcane Weaver
Exosuit Pilot
Al’Manti 5th Blade Kata
Draven read each off to his master.
“Pick the Way of the Al’Manti. That one will give you the Al’Manti Disciple class when you complete it. Now tell me the Talents you have selected.”
Draven selected the Way of the Al’Manti, and the other paths disappeared.
You have selected the Way of the Al’Manti.
The Al’Manti are an Order of Dragon Knights. Sworn to protect the Imperium and its five kingdoms. By selecting this path, you will embark on a long journey that will grant you great power and burden you with great responsibility.
Path Selected: The Way of the Al’Manti 0 / 9
Draven exited the Paths tab and opened the Talents tab.
Draconic Pyromancy
Mind Supremacy
Body Supremacy
Soul Supremacy
Al’Manti 5th Blade Kata
Exosuit Pilot
Arcane Weaving
Spatial Domain
Enhanced Senses
“Take Draconic Pyromancy, Mind Supremacy, Body Supremacy, Soul Supremacy, and Al’Manti 5th Blade Kata. You can fill the other four remaining slots with whatever you want.” Sygvar said.
Draven click the five Talents his master suggested.
You select the Draconic Pyromancy Talent!
You are a Dragonborn, born with the power of fire. Creating and controlling fire is as easy as breathing for you. Your draconic flames burn hotter than normal fire. Easily able to melt throw the toughest of metals. Go forth and set the world ablaze young Dragon. - Grants the ability to create and manipulate draconic fire - Grants the ability to create and manipulate fire
Techniques: None
You select the Mind Supremacy Talent!
You have mastered your mind, and it bends to your will. - Grants the ability to shape your mind
Techniques: None
You select the Body Supremacy Talent!
You have mastered your body, and it bends to your will. - Grants the ability to shape your body
Techniques: None
You select the Soul Supremacy Talent!
You have mastered your body, and it bends to your will. - Grants the ability to shape your soul
Techniques: None
You select the Al’Manti 5th Blade Kata Talent!
The 5th Blade Kata of the Al’Manti focuses on the offensive. Dominate your opponent with an unrelenting assault. End them with swift attacks. You are one with the blade. The blade is one with you.
Techniques: None
“Why those?” Draven asked.
“Because you have been training those five skills since you join the Al’Manti. Your skill level is higher than the common level 0 those Talents will start at. This means you will level extremely fast, and you will get Path Points faster for a short time.”
“Do you have any other suggestions?” Draven asked.
“If you want more Path Points, pick Exosuit Pilot, Sympathy, Apathy, and Entropy. If you want a more well-rounded build, go for Arcane Weaver, Synesthesia, Precognition, and Postcognition. Those will enhance your senses, especially when connected to the Weave.”
Draven nodded and closed his status. He was not in a rush to select his Talents. He had all day to think about it.
Tywen banked downwards, the wind blasting against Draven’s exosuit almost making him fall off. Draven leaned down, making his body more aerodynamic. Tywen landed with a thump, shaking the ground as he landed.
“The Hollowed went into that cave,” the Tywen said.
Draven jumped down from Tywen’s back, followed by Master Sygvar. They approached the cave on foot, Draven eager to try out his new Talents and progress his new path.
Draven followed after Sygvar as they entered the cave the Hollows fled into. He conjured a flame above his hand, providing light so that they could see. The cave was cold, and the air was stale from being underground. The floor was smooth, a sign that some type of machinery was used to smooth over the surface.
Then after a few paces, the cave opened up, and the walls transformed from their rocky texture to a smooth metallic surface of interlaying metal sheets.
“What is this place,” Draven asked as he took in the full view of the room they found themselves in. The room was three stories tall, with walkways leading into various rooms along the walls. Lights fixtures provided light, painting the room in a yellowish tint. Draven put out the flame above his palm, wanting to conserve energy.
“I hope it’s not what I think it is,” Sygvar said as he continued towards a computer console sitting in the middle of the room.
Suddenly, Draven heard roars, screams, and feet hitting the metal flooring. Sygvar drew his blade, and instantly a layer of flames began to coat the sword. Draven followed Sygvar’s example and returned his suit to combat mode.
Marrow and Spike Hollows flooded the room, screaming and pounding against the metal floor.
Draven threw himself forward, propelling himself with jets of fire from his feet. He flew towards a Marrow. Draven twirled, his blade leaving behind a fire trail as he cut through the Marrow like a tornado.
New Draconic Pyromancy Technique! Jet Step
Al’Manti 5th Blade Kata Level 1!
Draconic Pyromancy Level 1!
Body Supremacy Level 1!
Path Points: 3***
A bone spike sailed toward Draven’s head. He deflected it with the armor on his arm. Conjuring a fire blast, he sent it towards the Spike that attacked him.
New Draconic Pyromancy Technique! Fireball
The Spike fled as soon as the fireball came close to it. Draven used Sympathy and [Draconic Pyromancy] to steer the fireball toward the Spike. Upon contact with the Spike, Draven detonated the fireball, blowing the Spike to bits.
Draconic Pryomacy Level 2!
Soul Supremacy Level 1!
Mind Supremacy Level 1!
Path Points: 6
Draven took a punch to the gut, the armor around his exosuit taking the brunt of the damage. A Marrow had snuck up on him, roaring as it aimed to slam him into the ground with its fist.
Draven rolled out of the way, sending a fire current into the Marrow's face.
New Draconic Pyromancy Technique! Fire stream
The creature screamed as it pulled away. Hands covering its flaming face.
Draven sent out a telekinetic blast, knocking the Marrow off its feet onto the ground. Then he charged, denting the ground under him as he sliced through the Marrow's neck.
Two more Marrows came charging out of a tunnel, and a Spike followed behind them.
Al’Manti 5th Blade Kata Level 2!
Draconic Pryomacy Level 3!
Soul Supremacy Level 2!
Mind Supremacy Level 2!
Body Supremacy Level 2!
Path Points: 11
Draven connected his senses to the Weave. He dodged the bone projectiles the Spike sent flying toward him. He conjured flames around his blade and slashed toward the charging Marrows. An arc of superheated fire cut straight throw the charging Marrows, cauterizing the wounds made by the attack. The two Marrows fell into pieces before Draven.
New Draconic Pyromancy Technique! Flaming Slash
Centering his mind, Draven telekinetically pulled the Spike hollowed towards him. The creature sailed throw the air, impaling itself onto his blade.
Al’Manti 5th Blade Kata Level 3!
Draconic Pryomacy Level 4!
Soul Supremacy Level 3!
Mind Supremacy Level 3!
Body Supremacy Level 3!
Path Points: 16
Ancestory: Fire Dragon Born Level 1!
+1 STR
+1 INT
+1 SPR
+3 Attribute Points
Clapping echoed off the walls of the base. Draven turned his head searching for the source of the noise. Spotting a man in an exosuit guarded by two Bone Devils standing three stories up on a walkway.
“What do we have here?” The man said as he jumped down and landed on a cushion of air. The air manipulation was a sign of an Air Dragonborn. The two Bone Devils followed him, thudding against the ground as they landed.
“An Al’Manti and his little disciple? This should be fun.” A smile bled through the man’s voice as he drew a blade from his waist. He whistled, and the Bone Devils screamed, charging Draven and Sygvar.
Thanks for reading.
Any editing suggestions or critics are welcomed. Keep in mind that this is a rough second draft.
submitted by EzekielWinters to EmbryoVerse [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 05:39 Neodragonx2 Stormtalon's Backstory

As promised, here's the backstory of my shadowy boi Stormtalon! Feel free to give any feedback if you want :)
"There will be three, kin of your kin, who hold the power of the stars in their paws. But beware, for there is a fourth, a fourth of your blood, who walks with the shadows."
The medicine cats of the four clans knew of the prophecy that defined the intertwined fates of Jayfeather, Lionblaze, Hollyleaf and Dovewing, but failed to take into account the fate of an unknown four entrant...
Enter Stormtalon, the product of a brief but intense fling that Leafpool had with Hawkfrost before she met Crowfeather. The ambitious, cunning RiverClan tom, son of Tigerstar, captivated her with his charisma and confidence. It was at the rushing river that separated ThunderClan from RiverClan where he confessed his love for Leafpool, who reciprocated, despite the uncertainty she felt. The romance was brief, Leafpool eventually breaking free from Hawkfrost's grip after witnessing his assassination attempt on her father. (Hawkfrost still dies at Brambleclaw's paws as in-canon).
The narrative then continues as normal as the canon, with Leafpool believing that her relationship with Hawkfrost was but a shadow of the past... despite the fact that she still held lingering feelings. During the events of Leafpool's Wish, Leafpool receives notice from Spottedleaf and Yellowfang at the Moonpool that they sensed a hint of darkness within her. At the old, hollow tree, Leafpool gives birth to Jaykit, Lionkit, and Hollykit... but both she and Squirrelflight are shocked when a fourth, dark-pelted kit slides out of her, the mackerel-stripes across his back making it obvious who his father, and it definitely wasn't Crowfeather (inspired by the fact that queens can have litters with different fathers)
Yellowfang, who had assisted with the birth, and Feathertail warn Leafpool that the fourth kit would bring ruin upon the clans. Leafpool, unwilling to hurt her own kit, refuses to heed their warning. She names the little tom Stormkit, a hint of melancholy in her mind as she thinks about the intense storm where she had first met Hawkfrost on the border of RiverClan territory.
Events proceed as normal, with other cats noticing that Stormkit was considerably more aloof and introverted than his siblings. He is raised by Squirrelflight and Brambleclaw, as per the canon. Stormkit, now Stormpaw, is apprenticed to Thornclaw, who has a rather uneasy relationship with his brooding apprentice. During the fire scene, Stormpaw, who receives the warrior name of Stormtalon, takes Squirrelflight's revelation to Ashfur harder than his siblings, even Hollyleaf.
He becomes even more withdrawn, becoming vulnerable to the twisted influence of his father Hawkfrost and grandfather Tigerstar. They visit him in his dreams, although he is unaware of his true relationship with them yet. Bitter at the attention and love his siblings received, along with his internal conflict over the revelation that Squirrelflight and Brambleclaw weren't his true parents, Stormtalon joins the Dark Forest.
Jayfeather's revelation of his parentage continues as usual, but Yellowfang also drops a gleaming hawk's talon alongside the crow's feather, revealing the true father of his troubled half-brother.
The dark tom, who loved his siblings despite his brooding demeanor (having a particularly close relationship with Jayfeather) is utterly broken when Hollyleaf announces their parentage at the Gathering. He is consumed with self-hatred and bitterness over being the son of an infamous traitor and the grandson of one of the forest's greatest villains. His latent umbrakinesis awakens at that moment, unleashing a massive cloud of oily darkness into the sky.
Jayfeather and Lionblaze try in vain to calm their brother down while Hollyleaf runs away, broken. He is with them when their sister runs into the tunnels, supposedly never to be seen again. Stormtalon furiously confronts his mother, who tearfully apologizes for hiding the truth from him. As time passes, Stormtalon grows even more distant from his half-brothers and his mother.
He throws himself into his training within the Dark Forest with renewed vigor, believing that power and ambition were the only things that mattered in life. He grows close with his fellow Dark Forest trainee and ThunderClan warrior, Ivypool, eventually developing unrequited feelings for her.
During the Great Battle, Stormtalon initially fights for the Dark Forest, his umbrakinesis providing them a great advantage with his ability to manifest the shadows themselves to blind opponent, as well as allowing him to manipulate the unique qualities of gravity. He is confronted by his half-siblings, including Hollyleaf, along with his mother Leafpool. He pins them to the ground with a gravity well, fully intending to kill them, but his mother Leafpool whispered to him that she was sorry, with Jayfeather's normally sharp tongue softened as he reached out to his troubled half-brother. Stormtalon, finally realizing the errors of his ways, turns on Hawkfrost and Tigerstar.
He takes on both his father and grandfather in a furious battle. Despite his fearsome umbrakinesis, he is quickly overwhelmed by the two older toms, but manages to pin Hawkfrost down long enough for Brambleclaw to finish him off, while Firestar deals with Tigerstar.
Stormtalon's half-siblings drag him back to ThunderClan camp, where Leafpool and Jayfeather desperately tries to save him with herbs and poultices as he exchanges his final farewells with his mother and half-siblings. As the dark tom takes his final breaths, he dies with a smile on his scarred face, happy to have finally found his purpose in life. His spirit subsequently ascends to StarClan.
submitted by Neodragonx2 to WarriorCats [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 02:27 EzekielWinters Draven, the Liberator of Zion [LitRPG, Cyberpunk, Fantasy] - Ch 1

Draven sliced through the neck of a feral mutant, his sword cleanly splitting throw its thick bone exoskeleton. The creature was a Marrow, a humanoid mutant creature that looked like a cross between a human and a gorilla. Thick white bone exoskeleton covered the Marrow as protective armor. Like all other mutants created through magic, Marrows were Hollows. Human beings that had their humanity hollowed by magic, transforming them into abominations.
The sense of impending death bombarded Draven’s mind, warning him of danger. He leaned to the side, dodging a bone spike launched. His hand shot out, plucking the bone spike from the air.
“Ari, turn the suit up to 100%,” Draven said as he locked on to the mutant who launched the bone spike at him. The creature was a Hollow Spike, longed limbed and thin like a rail. Sharp bone spikes protruded from its skin.
“Will do,” Ari, the AI part of his exosuit, voiced back. Steam drifted out of the air vents of the suit as the power core kicked into overdrive.
Draven launched himself at the Hollow Spike. Dirt exploded with every step he took as he blurred toward his opponent.
He focused his mind and dove into the Weave. Thousands of Sympathetic Threads become visible to his eyes, interconnecting every object around him. Draven focused on the Thread connecting the bone spike in his hand and the mutant Hollow in front of him. Mana essence flowed from his core and solidified the sympathetic connection.
Draven pulled the bone spike towards him, the spike taking on the weight of the Hollow as well now that they were bound together. The Hollow Spike came hurtling towards Draven’s charging form. Draven swung his blade, and flames manifested around it as it sliced through the mutant's midsection. Killing the creature in an instant.
Draven looked around, searching for more Hollow. But the only other person standing nearby was Master Sygvar. The rest of the Hollow had run away, seeking to live another day.
“Ari, disable combat mode.” Draven sheathed his blade as he approached Master Sygvar, “Do we give chase?”
Sygvar turned towards his disciple, “Yes, they might lead us to whoever is behind the attacks on the government.”
Sygvar looked towards the sky and whistled.
A mighty roar answered back, and the clouds parted as a massive object descended toward their position. Draven was in awe as the Fire Dragon Tywen plummeted towards the earth. The land quaked as the massive beast landed on the ground.
“You called,” the voice of Tywen was deep and gravelly. The dragon was massive, at least five to six war horses long. And easily taller than a two-story house. And Tywen was still growing. Black and red scales covered the dragon.
“Yes, we need you to follow the fleeing Hollow,” Sygvar said as he jumped onto Tywen’s back. He used a telekinetic push to give him a boost.
Draven followed after his master, using the same trick with telekineses to enhance his jump. He landed just behind Sygvar on Tywen’s back.
Welcome to the System!
Name: Draven Althorne
Age: 18
Ancestory: Fire Dragon Born (Tier 1 - Level 0)
Class: None
Sub Class 1: None
Sub Class 2: None
Sub Class 3: None
Feats: None
INT (Intelligence): 17 / 17
FIN (Finese): 14 / 14
WIS (Wisdom): 11 / 11
STR (Strength): 19 / 19
DEX (Dexterity): 17 / 17
CON (Constitution): 16 / 16
SPR (Spirit): 12 / 12
AFF (Affinity): 14 / 14
FOR (Fortitude): 19 / 19
/Attribute Points: 0
Stamina: 129 / 129
Vitality: 150 / 150
Mana: 135 / 135
Talents: 0 / 9
Path Points: 0
Paths: 8
Draven smiled, “Master, my system awakened.” Draven’s eyes roamed across his status sheet. All his attributes were at least two points higher than the standard starting nine points everyone gets on their 18 birthday. His Strength and Fortitude were his highest stats, each ten points higher than average.
Sygvar tapped Tywen on the neck, and the dragon took to the sky, soaring throw the clouds. Down below, Draven could see the Hollow feeling through the fields.
“That’s good. We’ll have a celebration later today. Now tell me the paths you have available,” Sygvar said.
Draven opened his status and selected the Paths tab.
The Way of the Al’Manti
Dragonborn of Fire
Mind Supremacy
Body Supremacy
Arcane Weaver
Exosuit Pilot
Al’Manti 5th Blade Kata
Draven read each off to his master.
“Pick the Way of the Al’Manti. That one will give you the Al’Manti Disciple class when you complete it. Now tell me the Talents you have selected.”
Draven selected the Way of the Al’Manti, and the other paths disappeared.
You have selected the Way of the Al’Manti.
The Al’Manti are an Order of Dragon Knights. Sworn to protect the Imperium and its five kingdoms. By selecting this path, you will embark on a long journey that will grant you great power and burden you with great responsibility.
Path Selected: The Way of the Al’Manti 0 / 9
Draven exited the Paths tab and opened the Talents tab.
Draconic Pyromancy
Mind Supremacy
Body Supremacy
Soul Supremacy
Al’Manti 5th Blade Kata
Exosuit Pilot
Arcane Weaving
Spatial Domain
Enhanced Senses
“Take Draconic Pyromancy, Mind Supremacy, Body Supremacy, Soul Supremacy, and Al’Manti 5th Blade Kata. You can fill the other four remaining slots with whatever you want.” Sygvar said.
Draven click the five Talents his master suggested.
You select the Draconic Pyromancy Talent!
You are a Dragonborn, born with the power of fire. Creating and controlling fire is as easy as breathing for you. Your draconic flames burn hotter than normal fire. Easily able to melt throw the toughest of metals. Go forth and set the world ablaze young Dragon. - Grants the ability to create and manipulate draconic fire - Grants the ability to create and manipulate fire
Techniques: None
You select the Mind Supremacy Talent!
You have mastered your mind, and it bends to your will. - Grants the ability to shape your mind
Techniques: None
You select the Body Supremacy Talent!
You have mastered your body, and it bends to your will. - Grants the ability to shape your body
Techniques: None
You select the Soul Supremacy Talent!
You have mastered your body, and it bends to your will. - Grants the ability to shape your soul
Techniques: None
You select the Al’Manti 5th Blade Kata Talent!
The 5th Blade Kata of the Al’Manti focuses on the offensive. Dominate your opponent with an unrelenting assault. End them with swift attacks. You are one with the blade. The blade is one with you.
Techniques: None
“Why those?” Draven asked.
“Because you have been training those five skills since you join the Al’Manti. Your skill level is higher than the common level 0 those Talents will start at. This means you will level extremely fast, and you will get Path Points faster for a short time.”
“Do you have any other suggestions?” Draven asked.
“If you want more Path Points, pick Exosuit Pilot, Sympathy, Apathy, and Entropy. If you want a more well-rounded build, go for Arcane Weaver, Synesthesia, Precognition, and Postcognition. Those will enhance your senses, especially when connected to the Weave.”
Draven nodded and closed his status. He was not in a rush to select his Talents. He had all day to think about it.
Tywen banked downwards, the wind blasting against Draven’s exosuit almost making him fall off. Draven leaned down, making his body more aerodynamic. Tywen landed with a thump, shaking the ground as he landed.
“The Hollowed went into that cave,” the Tywen said.
Draven jumped down from Tywen’s back, followed by Master Sygvar. They approached the cave on foot, Draven eager to try out his new Talents and progress his new path.
Draven followed after Sygvar as they entered the cave the Hollows fled into. He conjured a flame above his hand, providing light so that they could see. The cave was cold, and the air was stale from being underground. The floor was smooth, a sign that some type of machinery was used to smooth over the surface.
Then after a few paces, the cave opened up, and the walls transformed from their rocky texture to a smooth metallic surface of interlaying metal sheets.
“What is this place,” Draven asked as he took in the full view of the room they found themselves in. The room was three stories tall, with walkways leading into various rooms along the walls. Lights fixtures provided light, painting the room in a yellowish tint. Draven put out the flame above his palm, wanting to conserve energy.
“I hope it’s not what I think it is,” Sygvar said as he continued towards a computer console sitting in the middle of the room.
Suddenly, Draven heard roars, screams, and feet hitting the metal flooring. Sygvar drew his blade, and instantly a layer of flames began to coat the sword. Draven followed Sygvar’s example and returned his suit to combat mode.
Marrow and Spike Hollows flooded the room, screaming and pounding against the metal floor.
Draven threw himself forward, propelling himself with jets of fire from his feet. He flew towards a Marrow. Draven twirled, his blade leaving behind a fire trail as he cut through the Marrow like a tornado.
New Draconic Pyromancy Technique! Jet Step
Al’Manti 5th Blade Kata Level 1!
Draconic Pyromancy Level 1!
Body Supremacy Level 1!
Path Points: 3***
A bone spike sailed toward Draven’s head. He deflected it with the armor on his arm. Conjuring a fire blast, he sent it towards the Spike that attacked him.
New Draconic Pyromancy Technique! Fireball
The Spike fled as soon as the fireball came close to it. Draven used Sympathy and [Draconic Pyromancy] to steer the fireball toward the Spike. Upon contact with the Spike, Draven detonated the fireball, blowing the Spike to bits.
Draconic Pryomacy Level 2!
Soul Supremacy Level 1!
Mind Supremacy Level 1!
Path Points: 6
Draven took a punch to the gut, the armor around his exosuit taking the brunt of the damage. A Marrow had snuck up on him, roaring as it aimed to slam him into the ground with its fist.
Draven rolled out of the way, sending a fire current into the Marrow's face.
New Draconic Pyromancy Technique! Fire stream
The creature screamed as it pulled away. Hands covering its flaming face.
Draven sent out a telekinetic blast, knocking the Marrow off its feet onto the ground. Then he charged, denting the ground under him as he sliced through the Marrow's neck.
Two more Marrows came charging out of a tunnel, and a Spike followed behind them.
Al’Manti 5th Blade Kata Level 2!
Draconic Pryomacy Level 3!
Soul Supremacy Level 2!
Mind Supremacy Level 2!
Body Supremacy Level 2!
Path Points: 11
Draven connected his senses to the Weave. He dodged the bone projectiles the Spike sent flying toward him. He conjured flames around his blade and slashed toward the charging Marrows. An arc of superheated fire cut straight throw the charging Marrows, cauterizing the wounds made by the attack. The two Marrows fell into pieces before Draven.
New Draconic Pyromancy Technique! Flaming Slash
Centering his mind, Draven telekinetically pulled the Spike hollowed towards him. The creature sailed throw the air, impaling itself onto his blade.
Al’Manti 5th Blade Kata Level 3!
Draconic Pryomacy Level 4!
Soul Supremacy Level 3!
Mind Supremacy Level 3!
Body Supremacy Level 3!
Path Points: 16
Ancestory: Fire Dragon Born Level 1!
+1 STR
+1 INT
+1 SPR
+3 Attribute Points
Clapping echoed off the walls of the base. Draven turned his head searching for the source of the noise. Spotting a man in an exosuit guarded by two Bone Devils standing three stories up on a walkway.
“What do we have here?” The man said as he jumped down and landed on a cushion of air. The air manipulation was a sign of an Air Dragonborn. The two Bone Devils followed him, thudding against the ground as they landed.
“An Al’Manti and his little disciple? This should be fun.” A smile bled through the man’s voice as he drew a blade from his waist. He whistled, and the Bone Devils screamed, charging Draven and Sygvar.
Thanks for reading.
Any editing suggestions or critics are welcomed. Keep in mind that this is a rough second draft.
submitted by EzekielWinters to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 00:22 lisztomaniax It’s been two years since my mom passed away

My mom passed away almost 2 years ago (July 1st 2021), yet the waves of this excruciating pain still consumes me at times. I was told that there will be light by the end of the tunnel, and sometimes I feel like I’ve reached the end of the tunnel, but most of the time it just feels like endless darkness. I guess there is no reward / consolation prize that the universe automatically gives after you lost your Mom, life is just the same constant shit and it gets worse each day. Sometimes the details of her last days come rushing in into my mind, and I’ll spiral from there, and I’m suffocating again. The pain is too much, I feel like dying. And remembering that the pain is constant (if not worse) these past two years, made me very anxious, because I don’t know if I can live with this kind of pain for the rest of my life. I just want to disappear.
submitted by lisztomaniax to GriefSupport [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 00:07 Aware-Material507 A Robotic Overmind for a Dungeon 22

First Previous
I rouse from my slumber as piercing rays of light shine across my metallic face. Rising to a sitting position I find myself still surrounded by my drones who remain ever vigilant. Now fully aware of my surroundings I opened the door to the room that I had stayed the night in and began moving down the road with my scorpions following close behind.
Arriving at the Outpost around noon I find that the drones that I had sent ahead of me have already arrived and have been helping out around the compound. The hornets have joined the veterans from the previous battles and have chosen their sniper positions. The two squads of new hounds have decided to split apart and are currently patrolling the area while the two remaining battle tested hounds acted as the alphas of their respective squads.
Letting my scorpions loose into the swarm I make my way over to my group of spiders, not including the ones deployed here from the transport moose. Opening up the build menu I order them to start making this outpost a more functioning forward operating base by constructing some basic drone production. As they begin scurrying around gathering materials for the project I start gathering up the current garrison to form up in front of me.
It takes a few minutes but they all eventually get to their positions. Looking upon the strike group I count two squads of six hounds each, a sniper team of five hornets, a triplet of scorpions, a few scout groups of rats, and a support team of three mooses and the spiders who are riding on them. Satisfied with the amount of drones at my disposal I opened up my territorial map.
My eyes drift around the map before landing on another of MAI's Outposts which is due north and about a day's worth of travel from my current position. My scouts have only done a few brief sweeps of the area due to its distant nature but from what they have seen, the Outpost is under defended which means it should be easy pickings. The outpost, from what my scouts could see, is located inside of a series of warehouses surrounded by a large fence. Oddly enough there was an abnormally large amount of holes around the fence which completely negates the effectiveness of it.
Anyways after this outpost is taken there would only be one more and the MAI's main base which are quite close to each other. Likely because of the proximity of the last outpost and the main base, from what my scouts have been able to glean, the outpost is heavily defended with a multitude of hornets, crabs, and scorpions. I don't think I can handle that quite yet.
Taking down my map projection I start making my way over to the far off outpost with my small army of drones following close behind.
My drones and I have been marching for about 6 hours and dusk is soon to hit. The remaining sunlight is able to light up the path enough to where I have a slight difficulty seeing in any of the shaded areas but it was manageable. As we continue moving, I notice that the buildings around me slowly start to change from being a mix of residential and commercial buildings into most of the buildings being under construction with scaffolding scattered all around.
I idly ponder on what these buildings were going to be made into before I start feeling a light rumble. Looking around for the source, I only find more unfinished buildings and stacks of more scaffolding. The rubbing slowly becomes louder and louder before it sounds like it is right on top of me and my drones.
Wait! On top!
"Everyone scatter." I yell out urgently to my drones while running over to some nearby buildings. Many of my drones are able to get a decent distance away from each other but for some it was not enough as three something shoots out from the ground and two of them manage to slam right onto some of my hounds. The sounds of drills digging through the lowly armored sides of my hounds fills the area.
My hornets were the first to react as they fired their armaments which managed to graze the front most ambushing drones and piercing another in the chest. My scorpions also charge up and fire on the enemy with three bright blue beams, stunning the two drones in the back. Last of the group to respond to the sudden attack, my hounds rush to their injured comrades and all rush towards the immobilized enemy.
As all my drones are doing this, I move forward to some cover near the enemy so I may get a better look, which I do get. The drones had sleek bodies and a spiral drill which encompassed most of their face. On their arms were two curved plates that looked like old medieval shields that were split in half. Also their legs were little stumps that were barely two inches tall which would have made them kind of cute if they were not trying to kill us. Hmm. They kind of remind me of moles if they decided their face was the best of their limbs for digging. As I observe the new drones, my hounds have closed the distance and the enemy mole drone uses its large shield legs as a barrier in front of itself.
My hounds, upon reaching the mole, form into a semi circle and start to move in to encompass the drone. The mole, realizing that it is alone, attempts to break out of the closing in line of hounds by charging straight into the left end of the formation. It moves with surprising speed, using its frontal claws to help volt the mole above the hounds that were about to champ down on its neck. As the mole lands it twists around and grabs onto one of the hounds with its claws and uses its drill to dig deep into the poor drone's cranium. As my hound falls limp in the moles claws, the rest of my hounds pounce on the offending mole and begin ripping it to ribbons.
While they do that my hornets have rearmed and now that the other moles are still stunned they fire on them. This time all of their spikes land their mark and hit the moles all over. One of the moles immediately falls over, dead, but the other mole regains its control and revs up its drill face and starts to burrow into the ground. One squad of hounds, realizing that it is trying to escape, breaks off from the main group and grabs onto the exposed legs of the mole and, with the help of one of the scorpion's claws, pulls it out of its escape hole and they start to ravage the mole.
I walk out from where I was hiding, as well as my spiders who immediately begin repairs on the injured, towards the impaled corpse of one of the moles and pop up the description description.
"The Deep Magma Tunneler or the DMT is a mining drone meant to dig to the deepest part of the mines where most other drones cannot reach due to the cramped spaces and excessive heat. Thus they are smaller than most driller drones and are decently heat resistant. They also are equipped with portable shields to help with protecting the less armored areas of the chassis from collapsing tunnel debris or other such hazards. Can be constructed at a Medium Drone Works."
"Nice, now I have something to mine out the ores in the outpost."
As I close the description I find that my hound drones are finished with enacting their vengeance and my spiders would need a bit of time before they could finish patching up the injured. I set my hornets to begin flying around to ensure no one sneaks in and ambushes my drones again. Ordering my ground based drones to protect me, I hop out of my vessel and start the usual check ups on the home base and the outpost.
As I look around I notice that my territory is woefully under defended when I leave. Seeing as I don't have anything else to do, I decided that tonight I would change that.
submitted by Aware-Material507 to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 00:01 sala344 All Zenyatta Voicelines

It's been hard to find some voicelines from Zen and i started looking for a video that compiles every line and fortunately there was one and with OW1 voicelines as well! (pls take the time to comment your fav voiceline in the link, this video was a bit hard to find with only 145 views) so i took the time to timestamp each one, there are a lot that repeat and english isn't my first language there will be a lot of spelling and grammatical errors, feel free to correct me. Well without any further ado here it is:
0:05 uh? (idk how to describe it... WHEN DOES HE SAY THIS??¿¿)
0:07 Noise
0:08 Noise
0:10 "Now we have both learned something"
0:13 "I'm grateful for what we have taught each other"
0:17 "I do not punish when one seeks forgiveness"
0:20 "I envy ants for their clarity of purpose"
0:25 "Perhaps i can share your burden?"
0:28 "There is a new sadness in you brother"
0:32 "Yes we wondered how many other omnics were doing the same"
0:38 "Change often comes uninvited what you make of it is up to you"
0:44 "Every challenge is an opportunity to rise"
0:49 "I am happy to serve"
0:51 "Mmm.. interesting"
0:54 "A chance for us all to learn"
0:57 "Experience festivity"
1:00 "Right down the middle and the pitch"
1:04 "Here's a little jin(?) music"
1:06 "That's the ball game"
1:08 "There's no crying in baseball"
1:12 "You're out"
1:14 "He goes down swinging"
1:16 "It goes down swinging"
1:18 "She goes down swinging"
1:21 "Zenyatta on the mound"
1:24 "The iris consumes you"
1:27 "Listen to the whispers of madness"
1:31 "Darkness envelops all"
1:34 "Be consumed by the shadows"
1:38 "Curses and madness be upon you all"
1:41 "Be one with the darkness"
1:45 "Walk in shadow"
1:48 "We walk in shadows my aprenctice"
1:52 "Embrace oblivion"
1:55 "Frightening"
1:57 "Expierience nothingness"
2:01 "Trick or treat"
2:04 "Pass into the unkown"
2:07 "Zenyatta is here"
2:10 "Zenyatta is everywhere"
2:14 "We must guard the objective"
2:17 "They've taken possesion of him"
2:20 "He would(?) be lost without our guidence"
2:23 "The enemy has stolen away our friend"
2:27 "Our teamate has fallen"
2:29 "We've suffered a casualty"
2:31 "We have lost a teammate"
2:34 "The door will not hold much longer"
2:37 "The door will soon be reduced to kinglin(?)"
2:40 "I am restored"
2:42 "You have my thanks"
2:44 "One day i will repay your kindness"
2:48 Effort noise (kick probably?)
2:49 Effort noise
2:50 Effort noise
2:52 Effort noise
2:53 "It was nothing"
2:55 "You are welcome"
2:57 "A turret lies before us it is quite real"
3:02 "A turret is in our way"
3:04 "We must proceed as one"
3:06 "Apart we can not continue"
3:09 "We must come together then we may proceed"
3:13 "The payload is on it's way"
3:16 "The payload advances as it should"
3:20 "I am accompaning the payload"
3:23 "We must hold the payload"
3:25 "I'm under attack assistance would be appreciated"
3:29 "I require aid"
3:31 "On my way"
3:33 "No."
3:34 "We must rest victory from the jaws of time"
3:38 "Time is an illusion but he illusion it's about to run out"
3:44 "No snowflake ever falls in the wrong place"
3:48 "We are in harmony"
3:51 "Doubt shrouds you"
3:53 "What torments you"
3:55 "It is nothing personal, Genji"
3:58 "Why the look of gloom"
4:00 "Your distress betrays you, Satya"
4:03 "A shadow hangs over you"
4:06 "Your anguish comsumes you"
4:09 "You must accept the pain"
4:12 "This does not bode well for you"
4:16 "Chaos hunts your path"
4:18 "The path ahead is thorny"
4:21 "How ominous"
4:23 "Attachment the source of all suffering"
4:27 Effort noise
4:30 "Revive me so that i may re-join the fight"
4:34 "I am in need of reviving"
4:37 "I am seriously damaged"
4:39 "Life is more than a series of ones and zeros"
4:44 "We most protect our flag"
4:47 "Defend our flag"
4:49 "A detonator)? approaches we must not let it come near"
4:53 "The end approaches quickly to the robot"
4:57 "Our time draws near, grasp the opportunity"
5:02 "We most claim both the robot and our destiny"
5:06 "Our collective effort is leading us to victory"
5:11 "Let us be grateful for our advantages"
5:14 "Fortune smiles on us"
5:17 "A blessing to be among such capable hands"
5:21 "We should make our preparations here"
5:24 freezing noise
5:26 freezing noise 2
5:29 discomfort noise?
5:32 discomfort freezing noise?
5:35 freezing noise 3
5:39 "We must clear this area"
5:41 "Form is temporary the spirit is eternal"
5:46 "My apologies"
5:48 "I was mistaken"
5:50 "To err is human... or omnic"
5:53 "I require armor"
5:55 "I need armor"
5:57 "We must deal with this assassin, she continues to be a problem for us"
6:03 sigh noise
6:05 sigh noise 2
6:08 long sigh
6:10 deep breath
6:13 deep breath 2
6:15 "We must take the objective"
6:18 "Let us capture the objective"
6:21 "The enemies teleporter is here, destroy it"
6:26 "My ultimate ability is ready"
6:28 "Ready for transcendence"
6:31 "The enforcer still poses a threat"
6:34 "The flags destiny lies with another"
6:37 "Dropping the flag"
6:39 discomfort noise
6:42 discomfort noise 2
6:45 dicomfort noise 3
6:47 discomfort noise 4
6:50 discomfort noise 5
6:52 "Zenyatta is here"
6:54 "Advance the robot"
6:56 "Move the robot"
6:58 Discomort noise 6
7:01 Discomfort noise 7
7:03 more discomfort
7:04 "The flag returns"
7:06 "I have set the flag on its way"
7:09 "The assassin is over there"
7:12 "There she is"
7:14 "but intimidating nonetheless" (idk if this goes with the last one)
7:16 "Get back! she's on me"
7:19 "In 3... 2... 1..."
7:23 "3... 2... 1..."
7:26 "Get ready"
7:28 death noise
7:30 death noise 2
7:32 death noise 3
7:34 death?
7:37 more death?
7:39 "Let us push together"
7:41 "And now we begin"
7:44 "Destiny backens us towards our destination"
7:49 "My ultimate is charging"
7:52 more sigh noise
7:54 deep breath asmr
7:57 relieve breath noise
8:00 death fall noise
8:05 death fall noise 2
8:11 more death fall noise
8:18 "Hello world"
8:20 "The assassin is no more"
8:22 "Worry not she's been dealt with"
8:25 "Defend as one"
8:28 "Defend with me"
8:30 "Alone i am a tempting target for the enemy"
8:34 "Our numbers will soon be replendished"
8:38 "My allies will soon return"
8:41 "Farewell"
8:42 "Go in peace"
8:44 "I have found the enemy shield generator"
8:48 "My ultimate is almost ready"
8:50 "Understood"
8:52 "Acknowledge"
8:54 "Of course"
8:55 "Indeed"
8:57 "I understand"
8:58 "Understood"
9:00 "The door shutters)?"
9:02 "The door is heavly damaged"
9:04 "This life is not finished with you yet"
9:07 "We are still in need of you"
9:10 "Invisibility is not invincibility"
9:14 "You manifested your own fate"
9:17 "One often meets their destiny on the road the take to avoid it"
9:22 "Those who rush headlong into battle would do well to protect their heads"
9:28 "A great distance for one is but a step for another"
9:33 "Think first then leap"
9:36 "An easy target is not is not always what is appears to be"
9:40 "Foresight is as viable as speed"
9:44 "Ask for death and you will receive it"
9:48 "Remember Genji at your most powerful you are most vulnerable"
9:54 "Capture the flag"
9:56 "Let us take the enemy's flag"
9:59 "Be reborn"
10:01 "Oblivion embraces you"
10:04 "Fade into shadow"
10:07 "May the Iris embrace you"
10:10 "Be at peace"
10:12 "The wheel turns"
10:14 "The darkness consumes"
10:17 "Let us clear them off the objective"
10:20 "Our enemies are ceasing)? the objective"
10:23 "They are taking hold of the objective, we must stop them"
10:29 "Fortune favors me"
10:31 Laugh (AAAAAAAAAA)
10:34 "The iris embraces you"
10:38 "It is my pleasure to serve"
10:41 "There is no weakness in asking for help"
10:44 "Does who seek help will find it"
10:47 "Consider the alternative"
10:50 "The world is a dangerous place"
10:53 "The help is it's own reward"
10:56 "How amusing"
10:58 "The end is near we must not hold back"
11:02 "Time runs short, attack!"
11:06 "We must wrest the victory from the jaws of time"
11:10 "Time is an illusion but he illusion it's about to run out" (Again?)
11:15 "Press forward for time is not at our side"
11:19 "Time is off the escence let us attack"
11:23 "An erradicator be on your guard"
11:26 "She still poses a threat"
11:29 "The sniper still troubles us"
11:31 "Can i interest you in a snowball fight?"
11:34 "Do i think? Does a submarine swim?"
11:39 "The turret no longer exists"
11:42 "The turret is no more"
11:45 "The objective cannot take much more of this"
11:48 "Our objective will soon be destroyed"
11:51 "Mercy swiftly delivered"
11:54 "The more one takes the less one has"
11:58 "Accomplishment always follows effort"
12:02 "Tragedy unites many"
12:04 "My generosity extends to many"
12:08 "Perhaps we only exist in the memory of a person now gone"
12:13 burning? (noise)
12:17 burning
12:19 burning 2
12:21 more burning
12:24 burns
12:26 "Patience"
12:28 "The damage doesn't look as bad from up here"
12:31 probably getting charged by Reinhardt?
12:34 same?
12:37 AAAaaAAA
12:40 critical health
12:42 "The objective is no more"
12:45 "The objective has been eliminated"
12:48 "I require shields"
12:50 "I need sheilds"
12:52 "The assassin is gone for the moment"
12:55 "She's disappeard"
12:57 "Victory is our destiny but we must all play our parts"
13:03 "Stay steadfast and we shall win"
13:07 "Victory is within our grasp hold strong"
13:12 "We must see this through to the end"
13:16 "Let us hold out until the end"
13:19 "Time is on our side we must simply endure"
13:24 "I'm feeling unwell"
13:27 "My systems are compromised"
13:29 "Disabling security protocols"
13:32 "Your recognition honors me"
13:35 "The cards have selected me"
13:38 "Our enemies return with vengeance"
13:41 "Beware they have returned"
13:44 "The enemy is utilising a shield generator"
13:48 "Enemy shield generator destroyed"
13:51 "Hold the robot we must end their push"
13:55 "Recover our flag"
13:58 "We must retake possession of our flag"
14:01 "Peace be upon you"
14:03 "I greet you"
14:05 "Hello"
14:06 "Greetings"
14:08 "We must reclaim our flag"
14:10 "The enemy has taken posetion of our flag"
14:14 "Come to me for healing"
14:16 "Come here for healing"
14:18 "The path to healing leads here"
14:21 "A shoked tire bears down upon us)?" (i didn't understand a thing)
14:24 "Shock tire over the breach)?" (same)
14:27 "The enemy posseses a teleporter"
14:30 "Energy transfers between us"
14:33 "I believe i won this round"
14:36 "A telling blow"
14:38 "A touch of wisdom"
14:41 "What profound impact"
14:43 "Scadoosh" (HAHAHA WHEN?? from a skin??)
14:45 effort noise
14:46 effort noise 2
14:47 effort noise 3
14:49 effort noise 4
14:50 effort noise 5
14:51 effort noise 6
14:52 "Over here"
14:54 coughing
14:59 coughing 2
15:08 "I have spotted an enemy bastion"
15:10 "Remember past succeses but always strive for more"
15:16 "This way"
15:18 "Here my friends"
15:20 laugh (I love him)
15:35 "I think therefore i am"
15:40 "When did you received this curse countess"
15:44 "Some believe that the full moon is a good omen"
15:48 "Did i say i trusted her"
15:51 "I do not sense the spark of life within you"
15:54 "Walk along the path to enlightenment"
15:58 "Ready i am ready" (Oh god...)
16:01 "I dreamt i was a butterfly"
16:04 "Frightening"
16:06 "There are null)? troopers ahead"
16:08 "No troopers spotted"
16:10 "The enforcer is no more"
16:13 "The flag moves with me"
16:15 "I have become one with the flag"
16:19 "Go to the objective"
16:21 "Let us head to the waypoint"
16:23 "Let us re group at the objective"
16:26 "The objective is near"
16:29 "Take care that you do not spend yourself before the battle is done"
16:34 "Our purpose is to show everyone that in the iris we are all one people"
16:41 "Rarely has my path crossed a warrior as cheerful as you"
16:45 "No one of note just one of thousands of like me)?" (what?)
16:50 "Do you think me so helpless"
16:52 "But one moment of clarity changed everything"
16:56 "There are times even i can not stand by"
17:00 "It is not magic but the power of the spirit that i channel"
17:05 "My believes are simply in the fundamental ways of life and nature nothing more"
17:12 "Simply a traveler of search of purpose and meaning"
17:16 "I'm following in my masters footsteps searching for enlightenment tho my path has not always been a stright one"
17:25 "Our objective has been damaged"
17:27 "Our enemies are breaking through"
17:30 "Fate is not without a sense of irony"
17:34 "Look in the mirror"
17:36 "We move with the objective"
17:39 "Let us see the objective to it's destination"
17:43 "The enemy out numbers us"
17:45 "We are outnumbered be cautious"
17:49 "I sense the reaper"
17:51 "I sense the presence of the witch"
17:54 "The summoner is here"
17:57 "Doctor Junkenstein so good of you to join us"
18:02 "The ground shakes"
18:04 "Junkenstein's monster is here"
18:07 "We should guide our flag back to safety"
18:10 "The enemy has relinquished our flag"
18:13 "We must move them from the door"
18:16 "They have reached the door"
18:19 "The summoner is no more"
18:21 "The witch is gone but she will reaturn"
18:26 "Doctor Junkenstein has laughed his last"
18:30 "Junkenstein's monster has fallen"
18:33 "The reaper is gone for the moment"
18:37 "I am made whole"
18:39 "My systems are restored"
18:42 "My systems are repeared"
18:45 "I am healed"
18:47 "Your dance grows more elegant Satya"
18:51 "You are adept at endings")? (idk)
18:54 "Well done my apprentice"
18:57 "Eventually all fade into oblivion"
19:00 "Well done Genji"
19:03 "You have ushered them to paradise"
19:06 "There is beauty in your actions"
19:09 "I did not teach you that one"
19:12 "Fall back"
19:13 "Likewise Satya i hope to repay you for your generosity at our temple"
19:19 "I served coffee"
19:21 "Then paint it with emptiness"
19:24 "How... fortunate for you"
19:27 "Why do you believe so?"
19:29 "I collected payments at a laser tag arena"
19:33 "Perhaps they believe we will not defend this place but if all the rest of the wolrd were to fall this would be the stand i chose to make"
19:44 "I like being near the ocean it reminds me of where i was born"
19:49 "I sense that your hardest battle is yet to come"
19:54 "What seems like magic is sometimes science we dont yet understand"
20:00 "Victory goes to those who maintain their focus"
20:04 "I was a life guard at a waterpark"
20:08 "It would be a pleasure"
20:10 "I drove a tractor"
20:12 "You have an intense gaze doctor"
20:15 "You spend your second chance at life walking a lonely road"
20:21 "I believe that Torbjörn's behavior has rubbed of on you"
20:25 "I owe my gifts to the iris"
20:29 "What makes you think i am a pacifist"
20:32 "Someone always cares you must simply seek them out"
20:36 "I dream of peace and sometimes falling"
20:41 "And yet you sound just like he did"
20:44 "A mirror reflects only what can be seen"
20:48 "Perhaps it is assumptions that are foolish"
20:52 "Try listening to silence"
20:55 "Our mission awaits us"
20:58 "Indeed"
20:59 "I massaged sheep on a free-range pasture"
21:03 "Shed the weight of your doubts, and your mind will become clear"
21:08 "Seeking progress by sowing chaos is like planting a tree in a volcano"
21:14 "Change often comes univited what you make of it is up to you"
21:21 "Quite a puzzle isn't it?"
21:24 "I embrace the unkown"
21:27 "And what of the enemy within"
21:30 "I focus on my breathing"
21:32 "Strangeness is in the eye of the beholder"
21:37 "My memories from before the awakening are blurry like a fading dream but i do remember somethings"
21:46 "In the coming battle you mean?"
21:48 "To find succes we must search in harmony"
21:53 "As long as there is free will i fear there will be evil"
21:57 "If a city never sleeps how can it dream?"
22:02 "Those who only seek to enrich themselves lives the most impoverished lives of all"
22:08 "True it also makes us great teachers for we can easily hide our disappointment"
22:15 "Indeed, why are we here?"
22:18 "Ask not who their maker is but what they mean"
22:24 "Is victory so important?"
22:27 "Fruition comes from within as does failure"
22:32 "I have always wondered what it is like being inside an orb"
22:37 "Over there"
22:38 "I need help"
22:40 "I require assistance"
22:43 "I pray that we can reverse this outcome"
22:46 "We are not deafeated yet"
22:49 "We must persist from the difficult times"
22:53 "This obstacle can still be overcome"
22:57 "Trick or treat"
22:59 "A temporary set back"
23:02 "We can overcome any obstacle"
23:05 "We must act and soon"
23:08 "Let us remember our purpose"
23:10 "Progress awaits us"
23:13 ""Perhaps we are forgetting something"
23:15 "We must eliminate this target"
23:19 "Caution"
23:20 "Be alert"
23:22 "Watch here"
23:24 "An enemy here"
23:25 "Here is an enemy"
23:27 "heal this one)???"
23:29 "We must guard the objective"
23:32 "Defend the objective"
23:34 "Even the teacher can learn from his student"
23:38 "It takes a hundred times to learn, a thousand times to understand" (My fav)
23:44 "One who fears loss has already lost"
23:49 "The cycle begins anew"
23:52 "True strength does not always lie in victory"
23:56 "Pain is an excellent teacher"
24:00 "Overconfidence is a flimsy shield"
24:04 "A reminder that life is never easy"
24:08 "Defeat cannot break one who perseveres"
24:12 "The cycle is broken"
24:14 "Adversity is an opportunity for change"
24:18 "A challenge presents itself"
24:21 "A temporary set back" (again..)
24:24 "Failure is acceptable giving up is not"
24:28 "The outcome is not preordained"
24:32 "Repetition is the path to mastery"
24:36 "Our fates are written in the stars"
24:40 "The enemy is here"
24:42 "The enemy desires a battle"
24:45 "Let the blessings of the season be upon you"
24:49 "I return"
24:51 "Press the attack"
24:53 "Let us all become one with the objective"
24:56 "Proceed to the objective"
24:59 "An enforcer is before us"
25:01 "Pass into the iris"
25:04 "Reflect upon your actions"
25:07 "Your set back is only temporary"
25:10 "Rest your soul"
25:13 "A cruel fate"
25:15 "Pride can not protect you"
25:17 "Your focus lacks focus"
25:20 "One day you will see that coming"
25:23 "Science cannot answer all questions"
25:27 "And now, you have found peace"
25:30 "You must learn from your mistakes"
25:34 "No fist has ever won against an open hand"
25:38 "Your answer lies in stillness"
25:41 "Good judgment comes from bad experiences"
25:45 "Regret is all-consuming"
25:49 "A resolution swiftly delivered"
25:52 "All ice melts"
25:54 "A beautiful swansong"
25:57 "I didn't go easy on you this time"
26:00 "And so the mask falls"
26:03 "We all represent unfulfilled potential"
26:07 "Greed has spent you"
26:10 "Silence answers all questions"
26:13 "A closed mind is already defeated"
26:18 "Let the sun set on your pride"
26:21 "Defeat is the better teacher"
26:24 "What goes around, comes around"
26:28 "Not everything should be taken seriously"
26:32 "When you soar you risk the fall"
26:36 "Move too quickly, and you overlook too much"
26:39 "What legacy is worth your life?"
26:43 "In chaos, more chaos"
26:46 "Do not hesitate"
26:48 "The lead awaits us"
26:50 "Soon the lead will be ours"
26:54 "We are being drawn to the lead"
26:57 "Tho i stand alone my teammates still fight at my side"
27:02 "The task falls to me"
27:05 "We are making progress upon the objective"
27:08 "The objective has taken damage"
27:10 "All proceeds according to plan"
27:13 "The rhythm is in you if you search within, get down into the iris, float to the beat"
27:22 "Ummmmm"
27:25 "Embrace the rhythm, embrace the beat, embrace the melody, move your feet"
27:32 "I humbly accept"
27:35 "I will become one with this reward"
27:38 "The universe shares it's bounty"
27:42 "I foresee great riches in my future"
27:45 "The experience is its own reward but surprises are nice" (oh)
27:51 "Join me"
27:53 "Group up"
27:54 "Group up here"
27:56 "We must join as one"
27:59 "Group up with me"
28:01 "Join together"
28:03 "I will not juggle"
28:05 "Yes"
28:07 "The door has open to our enemy"
28:10 "The enemy comes thru the doorway"
28:13 "We must destroy the objective"
28:16 "Focus our attacks upon the objective"
28:19 "That was your lesson for today"
28:22 "Our moments)?? run out do not leave him"
28:26 "Now we must focus, stay with our robot friend"
28:30 "I can sense your presence"
28:33 "Enemy detected"
28:35 "There is someone there"
28:37 "Let go of that that which weighs upon your mind"
28:42 "Behind you"
28:43 "Slicers approaching)???"
28:45 heavy sigh
28:48 sigh
28:50 sigh 2
28:53 effort noise
28:54 kick probably?
28:55 effort noise 2
28:56 "Join me at the objective"
28:59 "Come to the objective"
29:01 "To me my friends"
29:03 "What joy to share the path with another"
29:07 "A promising disciple"
29:10 "You've learned well Genji"
29:12 "Our minds aligned"
29:15 "It takes two hands to clap" (brutal)
29:18 "A meaningful union"
29:20 "One intention many hands"
29:24 "We must focus our attack upon the objective"
29:28 "I see the sniper"
29:30 "There she is"
29:32 "I will watch this place"
29:34 "Keeping watch here"
29:36 "Allow me to watch here"
29:39 "Meditation is all i require to sustain myself"
29:43 "It most be my many years of training, careful diet and simple way of life" (He's such a troll lol)
29:50 "You wound me"
29:52 "A pause in the battle and opportunity to re-center our minds"
29:57 "When i gazed into the iris i found great nothingness, it changed me"
30:04 "You've must have experienced the same"
30:07 "You blame yourself for the dragon's reign of terror but it is not your fault"
30:13 "Push forward"
30:15 sigh?
30:16 more sigh
30:18 relieve sigh
30:19 sigh 1000
30:21 "They have all perished"
30:23 "We are alone for now"
30:27 "Aaaaww serenity at last"
30:31 "Free your mind"
30:33 "The enemy steers we must hold them)?" (idk)
30:37 "Do not allow the enemy to proceed"
30:40 "The enemy begins to move along their path"
30:44 "Breach the door and our path will be revealed"
30:49 "We must break through"
30:51 "Remove the obstruction before us"
30:54 long sigh
30:58 deep breath
31:01 long sigh 2
31:04 DEATH
31:05 death 2
31:07 "Focus on the target"
31:10 "We must eliminate this target"
31:13 "Through here"
31:14 "Our path lies this way"
31:17 "I have dropped the item"
31:20 "Unfortunately i dropped it"
31:23 "I sense an enemy to the right"
31:26 "A shocked tire approaches to our right"
31:29 "Joy to the world"
31:32 "We must locate their teleporter"
31:34 "A shocked tire approaches on the left"
31:37 "Our enemy approaches on the left"
31:40 "I welcome adversity"
31:43 "A momentary set back"
31:45 "My thanks"
31:47 "Thank you"
31:48 "I am grateful"
31:50 "You have my thanks"
31:52 "Wonderful"
31:54 "Excellence is its own reward"
31:58 "Get out of there"
31:59 "I'm going in"
32:01 "We have injured the heaviest sold)? unit" (idk the word)
32:04 "A chance presents itself to strike him down"
32:08 "Talent trooper engaging"
32:10 "I see a sniper"
32:12 "Sniper!"
32:13 A lot of effort noises
32:22 "Always strive for improvement"
32:25 "Together we have taken the lead"
32:29 "AaaA progression"
32:31 "We advance as one"
32:34 "Your flaws are revealed... in the Iris"
32:39 "Know when to hold on, and when to let go"
32:43 "How far the mighty fall"
32:46 "A stumble is still a step towards a direction"
32:50 "A fall is merely a chance to rise again... later"
32:56 "Observe your environment; carefully"
32:59 "You may be missed... but not by me" (Brutal 2)
33:03 "What is descent, but a lesson in humility?"
33:07 "They have fallen... how unfortunate"
33:11 "Attack"
33:12 "Let us strike in harmony"
33:15 "Attack with me"
33:30 "Amid discord, we will find tranquility"
33:35 "He must be dealt with"
33:37 "We must find a way to deal with the heaviest assault)? unit"
33:41 "The summoners threat must be ended"
33:45 "Doctor Junkenstein must be dealt with"
33:48 "The reaper still haunts us"
33:51 "We must vanish the witch"
33:54 "Junkenstein's monster must be destroyed"
33:58 "Existence is mysterious"
34:01 "I have learned from my experiences"
34:05 "My mind is open"
34:07 "My spirit is strong now to strike"
34:12 "Energy flow through me"
34:15 "Every rooster crows in its own pen"
34:19 a lot of effort noises
34:23 "The payload it is at a stand still"
34:26 "Let us push the payload forward"
34:29 "We must unblock the payload"
34:32 "Incoming"
34:34 "The payload must me stopped"
34:36 "We must hinder the payload's journey"
34:40 "Let us hold that payload"
34:42 "I require healing"
34:44 "I need healing"
34:46 "How... disappointing"
34:49 "She's turned her attention to you"
34:52 "The assassin is targeting you"
34:54 "Take cover"
34:56 "Victory or defeat our destiny is not preordained"
35:02 "Be present in the moment"
35:04 "It is good to return but am i still welcome here?"
35:09 "Your will is strong my friend"
35:11 "But in time i know you will realize we are not so different"
35:17 "And i will watch your back in turn"
35:20 "Consider only victory make defeat an impossibility in your mind"
35:26 "Tell me your thoughts my friend"
35:29 "I can feel the embrace of the iris so strongly in here"
35:34 "I would be happy to teach you"
35:36 "It is rare that i meet one with such an unformed mind"
35:40 "It is good to fight alongside one of my brightest pupils"
35:46 "It does, my brother Mondatta, gave much to improve their lifes but it was not to be"
35:53 "A disciplined mind is your most dependable ally."
35:58 "A chance to focus"
36:00 "A warrior's greatest weapon... is patience"
36:05 "So this is where you grew up? You must show me around"
36:10 "If only human and omnic could learn to live in peace here..."
36:15 "I sense within you the same rage that once consumed your brother"
36:20 "What a fascinating place! Can science alone unlock the path to enlightenment?"
36:28 "Do you have any dreams, my friend?"
36:31 "And i do not understand much of how you heal doctor Zeigler"
36:35 "I suppose we must all take some things on faith"
36:42 "Existence is mysterious isn't it"
36:43 "An omnic on the moon is not so special. There are more robots than humans in space"
36:50 "To us all i miss him greatly"
36:53 "I believe that we must all do our part to find solutions to the troubles that are before us"
37:00 "It is sad to see a place that might have known peace... reduced to this"
37:06 "A noble but tragic sacrifice, i hope that you will honor it"
37:12 "I have not returned here for many years. I wonder if my brothers and sisters will be pleased to see me"
37:20 "Turring green)?? my brother's dream but not to be" (what)
37:26 "Time is a river it may be stopped for a while but it will always flow the same direction"
37:34 "I feel most unwelcome here"
37:38 "Genji how was your reunion with your brother?"
37:42 "Symmetra you speak of law and of order but you must know that life is chaotic by it's very nature"
37:51 "I believe that you could find peace, if you were to search within yourself"
37:57 "Indeed my friend, indeed"
38:01 "I hear that you've taken an omnic Torbjörn"
38:04 "The payload rests idle"
38:07 "The payload must be moved"
38:10 "We must move the payload"
38:13 Getting hurt i think
38:17 "This will be of use"
38:19 "I have what we seek"
38:21 "Here we are"
38:22 "I sense the presence of an assassin"
38:25 "An assassin comes for us"
38:28 "Experience tranquility"
38:31 "Our teammate is in need of reviving"
38:34 "Our teammate needs to be revived"
38:38 Pain
38:49 "Let us pave our path together"
38:52 "Shall we journey together"
38:55 "We must work and breath as one"
38:58 "We are all pilgrims on this mission"
39:02 "I am with you"
39:03 "We are as one"
39:06 "The path of fate threatens to diverge in the enemy's favor"
39:10 "The enemy draws near stop them"
39:14 "We must prevent the enemy from taking the lead"
39:18 "The objective nears destruction"
39:21 "We've almost achieved our objective"
39:24 "The enemy has pushed past us"
39:26 "We have lost the lead"
39:29 "The enemy's understandings surpasses ours"
39:33 "The enemy's teleporter is no more"
39:36 "I feel the darkness flowing through me"
39:40 "My soul ignited!"
39:43 "I am efervescent"
39:45 "My spirit burns!"
39:48 "An R-14 engage with caution"
39:52 "Remember me, for I will remember you"
39:56 "My heavy burden to bear"
39:59 "Virtuosity is an admirable virtue"
40:03 "A herald of victory"
40:05 "Mastery cannot be concealed"
40:08 "Our enemy gathers here" (>-<)
40:11 "I shall handle this"
40:13 "It is done"
40:15 "Allow me"
40:17 "We must see this through to the end"
40:20 "Victory is our destiny but we must all play our parts" (again)
40:26 "Victory is within our grasp hold strong" (again)
40:31 "I am in an agreement"
40:33 "We need a healer"
40:35 "The enemys flag is ours"
40:38 "I have captured the flag"
40:40 "If you do not change direction, you may end up where you're headed"
40:45 "Let us escort you along your path"
40:48 "We will unify our push with yours"
40:52 "Hello brother"
40:54 "Come with us"
40:56 "Go"
40:57 "I am attaining the objective"
40:59 "I am on the objective my friends"
41:03 "Join me on the objective"
41:06 "Death is whimsical today"
41:09 "Walk in shadow"
41:12 "Listen to my prayer"
41:15 "Harmony is within your grasp"
41:18 "Be whole once more"
41:21 "I release your suffering"
41:24 "A balm for your wounds"
41:26 "We walk in the shadows, my apprentice"
41:30 "Gaze into the unblinking eye"
41:34 "Embrace oblivion"
41:36 "Be one with the darkness"
41:40 "Be reassured you are not alone"
41:44 "Find solace"
41:46 "Overcome your pain"
41:49 "Your spirits lifted"
41:52 "Let me assist you"
41:55 "Allow me"
41:57 "Harmony follows you"
41:59 "Be soothed"
42:02 "I am with you my friend"
42:04 "Let me relieve your burdens"
42:07 slight effort noises
42:12 pain? effort? idk just noises
42:21 "I'm over here"
42:23 "I am here"
42:25 "My ultimate is ready proceed without fear"
42:29 "You are not ready to learn"
42:32 "Peace and blessings be upon you all"
42:36 death 200
42:43 "The attack comes form the above"
42:45 "The attack comes from the right"
42:48 "Our enemies are behind us"
42:50 "They attack form below"
42:53 "Our enemies attack from the rear)??"
42:55 "The enemy lies before us"
42:58 "Our enemies attack directly"
43:00 "The enemy is on the left"
43:03 "The enemy is below us"
43:06 "The enemy is above us"
43:08 "The enemy is on the right"
43:10 "The attack comes form the left"
43:13 "One moon shows in every pool. In every pool; one moon"
submitted by sala344 to ZenyattaMains [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 22:06 hilightnotes Highly detailed 'play by play' first impressions of PSVR2 and some games

Although I have not yet become a PSVR2 owner, I got to try the PSVR2 for about 10 hours over 2 days. (On my friend's PS5).
I tried the following games:
Horizon Call of the Mountain, RE8, GT7, No Man's Sky, Thumper, Rez: Infinite, Star Wars demo, Song in the Smoke demo, Drums Rock demo.
My primary goal was to see how I feel about the headset, specifically in a context where I don't even have a PS5 at the moment. I also have to budget thoughtfully, I barely spend money except on my basic needs. I was trying to get a sense of whether I would enjoy this system enough that it would be a healthy addition to my life, enough that I would spend ~$1100 for the console and headset.
I already own a Reverb G2 with a solid PC, so I especially wanted to know:
- Will I feel that much more immersed with this wider FOV and vivid colours and deep blacks?
- Will it feel a lot easier and appealing to put on and use?
- Will I want to play Thumper 24/7?
- Is it comfortable? Especially in the context that I was one of the unlucky ones who found the original PSVR uncomfortable despite my love for it.
- Will I be interested enough in the games, will I have fun?
I first fell in love with VR through the original PSVR. In some ways it's still my favourite headset to date with the rich colours and above average field of view, as well as some (unfortunately) exclusive games that I absolutely love. A couple years of owning PSVR saw me purchasing an Oculus Rift S. I enjoyed exploring the world of PCVR but always found myself missing the vivid PSVR colours and other qualities. To try and remedy this I sold my Rift S and bought an HP Reverb G2 when it released 2.5 years ago.
I'm definitely happy I picked up the G2 and despite the frustrating jank that comes with WMR it's stood the test of time as new headsets get released. Paired with a laptop 3080 GPU (approximately equivalent to a regular 3070), here's a little spoiler for my review: while using the PSVR2 I found myself simultaneously missing my G2 and also being reminded of why I loved the PSVR so much and how this carries over to PSVR2, with some advantages that my G2 can't touch.
I've also spent two weeks with a Quest playing wirelessly, and tried out Quest 2 connected to PC briefly (a horrible experience for me). Overall I can see the appeal of wireless and the lower cost Quest headsets but it's not what I'm looking for, personally, lacking in many areas I find too impactful.
A little spoiler, the arc of my 2 day experience was like this: great -> okay -> great -> unpleasant -> maddening -> good -> great.
I started with unboxing and setup. The controllers felt great to me right away, got me excited. The headset was peculiar, I've never seen/felt a facial interface like it, it was interesting and surprising even though I'd seen pictures and videos and reviews. Cool!
The setup was nice. Cool room scanning effect, easy room setup, IPD and eye tracking setup seemed great. Passthrough was the best I've experienced, and so easy to turn on. Oh and I've never seen anyone mention the fun VR playstation effect/logo at the end of setup haha. Nice!
The headset felt surprisingly light on my head, like lots of reviewers and users have mentioned. I was expecting the small sweet spot, and that it was. It reminds me exactly of the PSVR's sweet spot, which I found needed to be in just the right spot to be at its best. I didn't have any headband to wear and didn't try anything else to help the headset situate. I found it to be fine though, and was happy with how it looked after brief adjustment. I was assisted by all the reading I've done (wear it like a hat, band at the lower end of your head angled up), as well as actually looking at the instructions Playstation showed me on-screen!
With limited time to play I barely charged the controllers before setup, so by the end of setup the batteries were, unsurprisingly, dead. I set them back to charge and switched to Dualsense. No problem, because more than anything I wanted to try Thumper!!
My first PSVR2 experience indeed became Thumper, the very game that motivated me to buy a PSVR headset way back when, and one of my favourite games of all time (I really love it...). I've played it a ton already and was eager to see how it looked and felt on PSVR2.
Well, it looked and felt great. I was in love immediately. Although I didn't have my G2 headset with me to directly compare, my feeling was that the improved colours and overall feeling of presence was above my expectations. The haptics added to Thumper was a nice touch and between the two of course it felt like the best way to play Thumper. I did already notice the 'film grain' effect that gets called mura, but it was a non-issue for me. There was a similar effect on the original PSVR and even though it was very much there technically speaking, I easily forget about it and stop seeing it. It doesn't bother me at all.
Thumper looked and played wonderfully, and my very first impression was "I NEED THIS HEADSET!".
Then I remembered I've gotta decide here if I'd actually spend $1100 for this thing, on my gentle budget, and returned to earth! I gotta try more and spend more time with it.
Unfortunately the gods were not on my side.
Next up was Horizon CotM. Controllers were adequately charged to give it a go.
I turn on my controllers and boot up CotM. I see some introductory in-game menu choices. It tells me to press X to select the one I want. Press press press. Nothing's happening. I am using the gaze tracking, the option I want is highlighted. Press press... Hmmmm, I try my left controller lower face button. That works. Oh is that the 'X' button? I thought it was on the right controller? Next menu, I select it with the left controller bottom face button. Next menu, "recenter the headset to continue". That one I know is on the right controller. I hold it down. Nothing. Uh oh... I hold it down some more, nothing. I turn off the controllers and turn them back on. No change.
Time to troubleshoot! I do a quick google, and quickly find an answer. Some people have this problem. I've gotta close the game, turn off the controllers, open the game with the Dualsense, THEN turn on the controllers. Strange and not very pleasant.
I do it, it works, I'm in!
I wasn't expecting to love Horizon CotM. But I was expecting to be visually impressed. I got in, and... it looked good. But I wasn't very impressed. I think I had high expectations from reviews of games like Walking Dead S&S where the PSVR2 graphical power apparently matches high end PCVR. Of course, the PS5 is still just a PS5, I've heard it's roughly equivalent to a 2070, and yeah, that checks out. The graphics of CotM were not mindblowing. It did not feel like a flat PS5 game.
But, it was good. And when I remember that PS5 power is roughly equivalent to a 2070, which is the first GPU I used VR with, I was impressed. It did feel like it was pulling above its weight. On a 2070 and Reverb G2 I feel like I'd expect this graphical quality to come with not only reprojection but also stutters and such. On PSVR2 it was totally smooth. The reprojection was comfortable to me, though I used snap instead of smooth turning (I find this tends to be my preference on PCVR too when reprojection is involved, because of the 'screen drag').
Still, technical judgements aside, I wasn't in love with the visuals. The backgrounds felt a little fake at times with what I'd describe as a kind of '3D glasses look' instead of a 'VR look', something that of course was necessary to save on resources. I was feeling very judge-y of the graphics and just played for about 10 minutes before switching games. I was hoping this would be a game that, while I didn't expect to love it, I thought I'd have good fun with, but I wasn't feeling the pull.
Next up, RE8.
I really enjoyed RE7 on PSVR. Time to get to the real shit. An aesthetic I'd be into, and the game that many say is the best on PSVR2. Resident Evil Village. I haven't played it flat and avoided spoilers. Exciting!
I have the same issue on boot as I had with CotM, where the controllers didn't work at first. This time at least I know how to fix it, and sort it out quickly. On with the game!
Right away when I start the tutorial it's just so much better to me than CotM. Ah yes, we've arrived. I'm immediately immersed, everything feels great. I fire a pistol in the shooting range, holy hell, it feels amazing! So cool. Uh oh dark room. Yep this is where it's at.
I played the RE8 demo up until (including) the first bit of combat and the first view of the castle in the distance.
I enjoyed it very very much. I'm ready, I want to play the full game! I felt totally immersed even as I commented excitedly on everything I was thinking and feeling to my friend watching.
Unfortunately, as I neared my stopping point for RE8, pain started to grow in my head and eyes too. Pretty bad. I was reminded of my comfort challenges with the PSVR, and feeling very nervous all of a sudden. Maybe I could not go for this headset, maybe it just doesn't work with my head. I didn't have anything I'd read about to try to improve the comfort like a headband, or a top strap.
I took a break, hoping that this was something I could sort out for my next play session, and not an unsolvable problem for me.
Next up, GT7.
Break's over! About an hour or two later.
I haven't really spent time with a racing game since Need for Speed: Underground on Gamecube. And that, I learned quickly, is a different beast from GT7. I did try Wipeout on PSVR, and while I really enjoyed giving it a quick try, I actually refunded it because I just wasn't into the racing. I think between impressions I'd watched and my experience with Wipeout, which looked amazing on PSVR, I once again had my visual expectations set quite high.
With GT7 I was even more graphically disappointed than with Horizon. The graphical quality itself is not so great. I haven't played it flat but I would imagine it's much reduced from the flat version. Which again, makes perfect sense, I just had expectations too high. It did feel immersive still, but I was a bit bummed from this graphical disappointment, and having a hard time getting excited to learn GT7.
I was playing on a file with some tracks and cars unlocked, not too much. I made it my goal to do a nighttime race, which I'd heard was especially beautiful. I was rushing though. Although turning with motion controls (dualsense) felt good, my driving abilities were terrible. I didn't know anything about GT7 really, and I was picking arcade races that said "Night" but when I loaded into the race it didn't feel at all like night, and I got frustrated and quit out at the start of the races. I just wanted to see nighttime!
I got a bit fed up and quit GT7, ready to move on to a game I was actually decent at.
Next up, Song in the Smoke demo.
Keep in mind I'm coming from being annoyed and disappointed with GT7. Now I load up Song in the Smoke, a game I've played the beginning of on PCVR and have kind of been saving in the hopes that I'll have my first full playthrough on PSVR2. It's a game I'm really interested in playing in full.
I open the demo to the main menu, point at the menu screen, and suddenly all hell breaks loose.
Menu options are being rapidly selected as I hover my VR cursor over them. What?? Is the demo glitched?
I try to progress but it's awful, I can't navigate the menus, I'm so flabbergasted and confused.
I quit out and switch to the Star Wars demo. Same thing happens. That's not good. Time to troubleshoot.
It turns out I'm having an issue where my right sense controller trigger is constantly firing.
I try one suggested solution, it doesn't fix it. Then I try the Playstation suggested fix, which is to do a full reset of the controllers. But I don't have a pin to reset it. I ask my friend. I ask his boyfriend. Nobody has a small pin. AHHH!!
Well that's the end of Day 1. I can't play, the right controller is broken.
Despite my mixture of feelings, some very very positive, I come away feeling rather dismayed and downtrodden on the PSVR2... I had a lot of technical issues in a short time, that finally put a very sour end to the first day.
It started rough. I still didn't have a pin to do a controller reset. The right controller issue persisted. In a last ditch attempt I try something I read online that doesn't sound like it could possibly work. I pull the trigger all the way, blow into it, and let it flick back to starting position. I also did a couple other things but I'm pretty sure this is what did it. Cause yep, I got it working. Yay!!!
Day two is always better! Everything was different this time. It was night, I was alone in the room, my graphical expectations were in check, the system was setup, the controllers were working, I'd learned a bit more about how GT7 works, and I felt settled and relaxed.
First I wanted to try No Man's Sky. Another game I've played a lot of, I've even made a VR-focused quality of life mod for it on PCVR. How would I feel about it on PSVR2? I was very curious. My expectations here were low, I'd read about all the impressions, the low resolution and clarity.
Actually I was pleasantly surprised. Yeah it did have that low resolution and relatively low clarity. But I also have all kinds of performance issues on PCVR and I can never run it smoothly with a visual fidelity I'm satisfied with. Here, Hello Games decided for me what corners to cut, and I think they did a good job. I felt immersed and could see people enjoying No Man's Sky on PSVR2. That said, I'm a bit burned out on No Man's Sky and it wasn't a game I felt like I wanted to spend my limited PSVR2 time with.
I decided to spend the $10 to upgrade my REZ ps4 copy. I actually replayed Area X recently on PCVR, so I felt like I'd have a comparison in mind.
Not surprisingly, like with Thumper, I just loved REZ on PSVR2. First I played Area X, it was wonderful and definitely more impactful than on my G2 (which was still very good, don't get me wrong). Then I tried the main REZ game. I feel like Area X gets too much focus. Area X is a beautiful experience but damn the main game is such a jam.
I had a lot of fun. Of course I was using the eye tracked aiming and it worked great. Kind of a subtle difference in a way but I think it was impactful.
Feeling great, I decided I wanted to dig into a game a bit more rather than just keep rotating around. The obvious choice is RE8, but I felt like I should save that for if/when I actually own a PSVR2 for myself. I wouldn't have enough time now to finish it. Also I already knew from my brief test with it that this was a game that I'd want to play.
So instead I went back to Horizon CotM. This was a game I wasn't sure if I'd care at all about, but I wanted to give it another chance. I started over from the beginning, now alone and more present, and worrying less about whether the graphics met any preconceived expectation.
I also used the default, arm-swinging, control method this time. Why not give it a try?
This time I actually really did enjoy it. The arm-swinging was great! I'm surprised that it's not more popular, and I wonder how many people actually gave it a try. I'm a regular smooth movement user, but I felt like the arm-swinging was more immersive and fun. The climbing was fun. The story was fine enough to set a stage and I was worried there'd be constant talking but it wasn't like that (it was an annoyance for me in HL: Alyx, which I did not appreciate). I've never played a Horizon game but I felt engaged and felt like I was beginning an adventure I wanted to see through.
I ended up playing quite a bit. I got to the 'hub area', rescued a character, then went on a mission to get a scrap piece to fix an elevator. I also did the safari boat ride. And yeah this time I really did have fun, and if I do get a PSVR2 I'll gladly restart it and play it through. I don't expect it to be a favourite game by any means but yeah it was fun. And my visual criticisms still stand but I found myself enjoying the visuals as they are, looking down as I climb over beautiful rivers, sneaking through caves, pretty music... I liked the combat (I had aim assist turned off), found it engaging. Climbing felt good. Nice!
Also what about the comfort?
I realized that the comfort issue was mostly being caused by the way my headphones sat on the headset, pressing against my head in some way. Once I realized this, I remembered I discovered this as a culprit on the original psvr as well. A bit unfortunate, but I found a way to resolve it more or less by moving my headphone headband to the back of my head. (I wanted to use my own headphones which have very good sound quality). I think I'd need to sort out a different solution in the long term if I owned a PSVR2, but it did make me feel a lot better about the comfort. Besides that headache issue I had I really liked the way PSVR2 felt on my face/head, feeling light and easy to wear.
I took a short break, then dived back into GT7.
Feeling like I could take my time a bit more, this time I actually went into in-game settings, poked around... I turned off all HUD and HUD assists, but turned on some driving assists. This turned out to be exactly what I needed to enjoy the races.
I was still determined to get my nighttime experience. I did a full race that went into nighttime. Better, but I was still feeling disappointed, I wanted to be deep in the shroud of night and it was just not really dark and moody. Then I found the exposure settings! I turned exposure to its lowest, -1, and then also adjusted the temporary exposure to its lowest, -3. Ahhhh yes. I feel like the default is just tooooo bright. This is where it's at.
With exposure turned way down, now I'm where I want to be... I start to really enjoy the driving. I start to relish the shine of lights in the world around me, from tunnels or cars or city lights in the distance. I feel like I'm driving in the night. I feel like I have to keep my eyes focused to catch the shape of the track. But at the same time I feel way more relaxed.
In the end I played a variety of races, through different times of day. I kept the exposure very low and found that to be my preference in just about every situation. I started to really get in the flow of it all and I came away feeling like it is a game I actually want to play. I think I'd keep the driving assist on and just enjoy it the way that feels comfortable to me.
Time for bed!
Okay technically I had 3 days! I didn't know how much time I'd have on my final day. I decided to go back to Thumper and just enjoy one of my favourite games, played on the best system I could play it on, for the rest of whatever time I had left.
I ended up playing through Levels 2, 3, and 4. Had a great time as I expected.
And that's that! That's the end of my PSVR2 experience.
So, will I buy a PS5 just for PSVR2? Did I like it or did I love it? Would I recommend it?
I really do have to budget carefully right now.
I came away still unsure if I'll buy it. It's a big ask. I don't expect to use the PS5 for anything other than VR. I already have a good PC and Reverb G2, that has its issues, but I do still use it.
I do also think the PSVR2 is excellent.
So what about the Reverb G2 vs the PSVR2?
Whenever I try another VR headset I've been consistently rewarded in my G2 purchase. The G2 has amazing clarity, and I bought it for $600 which I think was a good price, but now it can be purchased for $300 on ebay or during sales, which is just amazing. Of course you need an expensive PC to run it, when I first got it I had a 2070 and I was enjoying it but it was a bit rough. Even with my 3070-equivalent computer, I often run games at reprojected 45fps, and many games will stutter. That said I had a great time playing Vertigo 2 recently, and I use my G2 for movies and also for a meditation app (DeepStates VR) and a music visualizer app (DMT: Dynamic Music Tesseract).
The PSVR2 does have better colours, better blacks, better FOV. In the end the PSVR2 has the better presence that I was hoping for. I did sometimes miss the clarity of the G2 and the graphical power of my computer. I felt this specifically in Horizon, GT7, and No Man's Sky, where I could imagine the PC providing a better experience if it's well optimized. At the same time, I don't even feel like I can play No Man's Sky comfortably on my PCVR right now because it's so intensive and I can never find a compromise between visuals and fps that I like since the last couple updates.
If I did not have any VR headset, but I had a PS5 and my current PC, I would pick PSVR2.
If I did not have any VR headset, and I also did not have a PS5 or PC, I would pick PS5 + PSVR2.
If I did not have any VR headset, and I did not have a PS5, but I did have a high end (3070 or above) PC, I would pick Reverb G2.
In my specific situation where I don't have a PS5 or PSVR2, but I do already have a good PC and Reverb G2, I am not head over heels dying to buy a PS5 and PSVR2. But I do want it. Goddamn I want it!! Will I buy it? I'm not sure. I'm expecting to make a little money over the next few months, but not sure yet exactly how much, so my decision will probably depend on that.
In the end I was surprised by how much technical trouble I had getting it all setup and working right. The controller issues were hugely frustrating. I felt really deflated after that first day. But once that was all done, and I got settled in with the headset, I did really love it.
This is a headset I would recommend. It exists in the real world with real limitations. It's not capable of the graphics a high end PC is capable of, but I also understand that it's easier to optimize for console vs PC and so it doesn't surprise me if some games do look as good graphically on PSVR2. And once you factor in the beautiful colours and blacks, and the above-average FOV, even when graphics are worse the presence is better.
It also is easier to use, once it's all working smoothly. Easy to turn on and get started. But also easier to feel like putting on the headset in general, because of the way that it does sit so light on the head even though its literal weight is standard to VR. The curious facial interface turned out to be a great design choice, feeling gentle and also allowing you to easily scratch your eye when an itch comes in! Comfort was excellent except for what seems to be a pretty unique headache issue I have that has something to do with my head shape + headphones, and based on my Day 2 experience I'm pretty confident I can resolve the problem. And I don't think this is a problem the vast majority of others will have.
Games-wise I feel great about the PSVR2, and I want to play games on PSVR2 that I wouldn't care about playing on PCVR because of the improved presence and haptics and overall accessible feel of the headset.
I love the controllers, the haptics are great, and the head haptics were a nice and subtle touch too.
And yes, I do want to play Thumper 24/7 on PSVR2.
submitted by hilightnotes to PSVR [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 21:52 Mysterious_Hat_4532 The After

I am writing this for everyone here who lost someone they loved recently and who can't see the light at the end of the tunnel.
The loss of my father to cancer has defined most of my last year and a half.
I just want to let you know that one day, one day you will rush on your bike home from work, seeing the storm clouds in the distance, hearing the thunder. You will try to pedal as fast as you can to get home safe and dry. You have no raincoat (you should have known better). On the way you will think ahead of places to hide if it catches you. You see cars sprinkled with water coming from where you're heading. It's inevitable. The storm will catch up with you 15 minutes before you get home. You seek shelter under a tree, but the tree can only do so much. The heavy rain won't stop and you decide to walk the rest of the way. Then it seems pointless to walk by the bike and you say, fuck it, and get on the bike and ride through the storm. All of a sudden, you ride through all the puddles, on purpose. People sheltered in cars look at you with pity, while you start to feel alive. You remember what it's like. To be alive. To be the main character in your own story again. You finally get home soaking wet and... happy. And it's the kind of happy you haven't felt in a while. And then you realise there is a life after. And it starts with moments like this.
The jist is.. This really happened to me today. It's not a metaphor, although it could easily be one.
You guys, you will have this moment too. The gift of being alive, that's all we have sometimes.
submitted by Mysterious_Hat_4532 to GriefSupport [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 21:38 Devine_Dead The Moscow Metro is alive

For a business venture I had to go to Russia, keep in mind this was long before the War in Ukraine, I was staying at a pretty high end hotel that was paid for by the company. The whole reason I was here was, the company’s headquarters was here and I was going to meet the CEO to discuss some boring business stuff but that doesn’t pertain to the story. On the day of the meeting I needed to take the Metro across the city so I walked to the nearest Metro station.
I headed down the stairs that looked like they hadn’t been walked on since the Soviet Union. As I walked it kicked up dust and I think a bit of soot. I walked down and made it to the platform to find a train already sitting there. I looked at where it was heading, realized I don't speak Russian and stepped on the train. I sat down on the hard plastic seats. These were also covered in soot and dust. As I sat there the train car started moving, strangely enough, without an announcement. I sat there for what felt like hours for what should have been a few minutes. Suddenly the train came to a screeching halt, then it collided with something, throwing me to the ground. I stood up and dusted myself off. I fixed my jacket as I looked around. I saw the doors to outside were open and a man voice came over a shitty PA system;
“Excuse me all passengers, please make your way to an open door, and start walking down the way we were heading, it is closer than walking back.”
He said this in perfect English despite having a heavy accent. I thought nothing of it and walked to the nearest open door, and stepped out onto the cold, hard ground. I started walking down the way and sitting in front of the train was a working flashlight. There was also a stopblock, like the one you’d find at the end of a track, but the track kept going. I picked up the flashlight and continued to walk down the track. By this point I had accepted that I would be late for the meeting, I was also absolutely terrified. I was hearing all sorts of noises around me, a scratch here, a short shout there, it was a living hell.I kept walking on and on, I eventually started to see a light, so I started running towards it. As I ran the ground slowly went from hard stone to a squishy flesh-like texture. I stopped and looked down to see I was in fact standing on flesh, I looked up to see the rest of the tunnel had turned to flesh. In the walls were people who looked to still be breathing. I felt sick. The light I was walking towards was a bio-luminescent bulb. I stepped back and started to run backwards.
I was scared shitless and wasn’t about to end up like those people. As the ground started to turn back into stone, I’m guessing the tunnel realized its food was escaping because it started to close its maw. I jumped forward, and it caught my leg. I stood up and started to limp towards the station I came from when a bright light was shown down the tunnel, then a loud train horn blared and I dove for the maintenance cove and ducked in there as the train came rushing past and I heard it crash into something at speed in the distance. I sat there stunned and wanting to go home. I stood up and started limping towards the way I came. It took hours but I eventually made it to the station that sat just the way I left it. I climbed my way to the surface to be greeted by several vehicles. As soon as I got up there a group of people were on top of me and questioning me.
I simply told them that I don't speak Russian and didn't resist as they stuffed me in the back of one of the cars. I was bagged and taken to a solid concrete room with one table. They took the bag off my head, someone came in, and for the next 5 hours I was asked questions. They then told me to forget all that I had seen and to never return to Russia. I sent my boss a text about the meeting and he told me that it was handled and I would keep my job. I was sent home in a private jet and was sent on my way when I landed.
I don't think I’ll ever recover from what I saw, it will stick with me and haunt me until I die. Take my warning, take it from someone who experienced this first hand, the Moscow Metro is alive and god forbid you ever come into contact with that thing.
submitted by Devine_Dead to nosleep [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 21:02 Trash_Tia My friends participated in a “special screening” for a well known game which has been almost ten years in the making. I don’t recognize the people who came back

Three days ago, my housemates were alive.
And I wasn't losing my fucking mind.
Three days ago, I awoke to my housemate, Misty, shaking me.
“Get up!!”
Misty was usually the last to roll out of bed out of all of us, so I figured it was something important. My housemate wouldn’t get out of bed for nothing. She valued her sleep—often comparing her bed to a safe haven. Her place of solitude. I was right there with her, until she startled me out of slumber. I opened my eyes to find her face roughly three inches from mine, her expression lit up with excitement I couldn’t justify this early in the morning.
She smelled of toothpaste breath and her raspberry scented body wash. Her thick black curls framing her face were still damp from what I presumed was a shower, hanging in tangled knots in front of wide, almost unseeing eyes. When I first met her, Misty Kang had been my crush for a while. With a Korean father and a Texan mother, she definitely caught eyes when we hung out. We had a thing in freshman year, which quickly fizzled out once we started living together. Never date your housemates.
I will just say that.
Over the last few years, Misty has become one of my closest friends.
When she knew I was at least conscious, my housemate was grabbing my arm and yanking me out of bed. “Get up!”
I was barely awake, and those were the only words I could fully distinguish.
I shooed her away for a moment and swung my legs out of bed, taking a minute to blink sunlight out of my eyes coming through the blinds. “Sam.” Misty was in front of me again.
I don’t think she understood the concept of being half asleep.
She wouldn’t leave me alone, waving her arms wildly. Her shadow under the soft morning light almost reminded me of one of those inflatable tube guys.
“Huh?” My voice was a low croak, and her smile widened.
“Guess who’s just scored tickets for an actual screening of the first five minutes of gameplay for the most anticipated game of the decade?”
“What?” Her string of words wasn’t making sense in my caffeine deprived mind. It just sounded like gibberish to me, initially.
Like we were in some cheesy commercial, she was the lead, and I was the confused NPC with the WTF expression. But when I went over it in my head, words started to slide together like a jigsaw puzzle. Misty didn’t get excited about video games. Well, she did. Though, my housemate was one to get excited on behalf of someone else. After living with her for a while now, I had concluded she was a follower.
By that, I mean whatever others thought or did or said, she copied it. If her Twitter followers were mad at bad takes, she would drop all of her own opinions on said follower and focus on what other people said. We had Korean barbecue for takeout the other day, and Misty clearly did not like it from the creased look on her face, and her very obviously spitting it politely into a napkin.
Jay, my other housemate, liked it.
And so did I. So, naturally, Misty announced she wanted more.
I had to watch her suffer through two more portions before she excused herself—presumably to throw up. Blinking at my housemate who was clearly excited for Jay, I resisted the overwhelming urge to roll my eyes.
“Slow down. What game? What are you talking about?”
I got out of bed and threw on my robe, half aware of the mess from last night on my desk. Another attempt to finish an essay which just wasn’t happening. The monster energy cans and takeout Chinese wrappers were embarrassing. I got a basic run-through as I headed downstairs with Misty right behind me, practically breathing down my neck. From what I understood, there was a Reddit post.
That was all I got from Misty’s squealing. She leapt down the stairs after me with a spring in her step. The clock above the front door told me it wasn’t even 9am. The smell of bacon, however, was quick to arise me from the dead.
Jay was in the kitchen making breakfast. I noticed his laptop was open on the table, and every so often he’d peer at it with wide, almost disbelieving eyes. Jay and Misty were complete opposites, which made them great people to live with. Jay was a quiet book who was slightly on the pretentious side, routinely quoting something philosophical to piss me off.
He had rich parents on the other side of the world, but the guy himself was fairly humble and had mostly detached himself from said family.
My housemate was usually well put together. In fact, I barely saw him in his pajamas, excluding game nights. That morning, however, he was a disheveled mess, still in yesterday’s clothes.
He offered me a grin. I glimpsed sauce from last night’s dinner still staining his chin. Jay hadn’t brushed his hair or even put on deodorant.
I caught a whiff of BO when he ducked in front of me, his gaze glued to his MacBook. It was rare when Jay ignored basic hygiene, so yeah, I was going to guess this was a pretty huge thing. “I did tell her not to wake you up, y’know.”
His slight aussie accent was always refreshing on a morning. Born in Australia and moving to the states when he was ten years old, Jay still had a slight tinge in his accent. I had seen pictures of his family, and the guy had definitely gotten most of his dad’s genes, thick brown hair, and freckles. While his dad was built like a pro wrestler however, Jay was leaner like his mom.
I shrugged. “I was already awake.”
“Liar.” He didn’t look away from his laptop.
Looking closer, I glimpsed the Reddit homepage.
“So, you have won something.”
Jay didn’t answer. I could tell he was excited by the way he could barely keep still, bustling around the kitchen, barefoot. “Coffee?”
His voice was more of a Misty-like squeak, and I half wondered for a moment if they had switched bodies, or he had at least become one with my other housemate through a chemical explosion. In our kitchen, which was yet to be cleaned after a cooking disaster several nights ago, I wouldn’t be surprised if something was living on the countertop. I nodded, slumping into a chair. “What’s going on? Why is Misty freaking out?” I nodded at his laptop. “She said you’ve won something?”
As if my housemate couldn’t hold it in anymore, he nodded, turning his screen towards me. “You know____, right?”
“Yes.” I sipped my coffee, eyeing a toaster strudel sitting on the countertop. "You mean the game which has been coming out for a decade."
He ignored that. “Well, what if I told you one of the developer’s posted on the official sub this morning?”
“For _____?"
He nodded with a grin, and I wondered it this was one of those rare times when Jay was blindly looking through a red flag to see what he wanted. I had heard of these types of scams, and Reddit was a breeding ground for them.
Gamers were pretty intense. I didn’t realize I was pulling a face until I caught his lips curving into a smile. Jay was usually the skeptical one.
“You don’t believe me.”
I downed my coffee to avoid replying. When I had drained the cup, he was still staring at me with amused eyes.
“You think it’s bullshit.”
I shrugged. “You said it,” I said. “I’m pretty sure that game isn’t even partway through development. Didn’t Twitter leak a still last year? Also, they’ll be bringing out a new console before that game comes out.”
I leaned back in my chair. “It’s more of a pipe dream, at this point.”
“The leaks were fake,” Even he didn’t look sure. “Anyway, that’s not the point. One of the dev’s posted on the official sub this morning. He asked if we were all excited for the new game, asked if we could post some of our favorite NPC dialogue, and he’ll DM winners.”
“Uh-huh.” I nodded at the screen. I had already checked my phone for an internet meltdown concerning this post, but there was nothing. “And where is that post now?”
Jay didn’t look at me. “It was deleted. So it only reached a certain number of people.”
“Oh, it was deleted?” I couldn’t resist a smile. “What a coincidence.”
When I laughed, Jay scowled, showing me his screen—navigating his trackpad to his Reddit DM’s.
To my surprise, there was actually a message from what I guessed was a throw-away account.
While I was skim reading the DM, Misty hurried in, all dressed and ready for the day. I peeked at her outfit from Jay's laptop. Cute.
Extravagant, but cute. My housemate cranked the radio up before bouncing between us, a toaster strudel hanging out of her mouth.
Misty was a living animated character. Ignoring her wide smile, I turned back to the screen. “Congratulation!!” The DM started with capitals.
It took me reading it twice to realize there was a clear spelling mistake. I sent Jay a pointed look, but he was too busy practically vibrating with excitement. If the guy had any more caffeine, he was going to explode. “Since when did winning DM’s start with a typo?”
“I knew you were going to say that.” Jay curled his lip. “They were clearly excited when typing the message.”
“But this is supposedly an official,” I said. “Surely they would make sure it’s professional?”
My housemate didn’t reply, shooting a look at Misty, who rolled her eyes.
“Wow.” I squinted at the screen. “I am so sorry for caring about your safety. You do realize these types of scam’s usually end up with you being sold on the black market, right?”
I shuddered. “I’ve heard horror stories about underground markets specializing in illegal organ harvesting.”
“Or…” Jay’s eyes were glued to the screen. “You could be happy for me?”
I frowned at the rest of the message, which was just a capitalized freak-out about the upcoming release of the game, before inviting Jay (and a friend!) to a five-minute preview of gameplay, as well as a Q&A. There was a location and a time, which was brow-raising. “10 at night.” I said. “Who hosts a gaming convention at 10pm?” I leaned my chin on my fist. “Unless they wanted to lure as many gullible people as possible, and ship them to some organ harvesting factory on the other side of the world.”
Jay scoffed. “That’s dark.”
“You’re actually considering going to a 10pm gaming convention in the middle of nowhere. I’m trying to wake you up.”
Jay nudged me that time. “It’s real. Relax.”
“And.” I pointed to the screen. “No phones? Why would they ask you not to bring your phones?”
“To stop us filming content,” Misty sang. “Duh.”
I groaned, leaning back in my chair. “You’re on his side? This is clearly shady!” I didn’t get mad unless something was seriously pissing me off, and this was one of those times. Jay was a smart guy. There was no way he was falling for this bullshit. I thought he was joking around when he spent the day tracking the location on Google Maps. I went to class like normal and got updates through text. At lunch, Jay agreed with me and said it was in fact shady, and he wasn’t going. By afternoon classes, he was texting me in paragraphs explaining his own skepticism but had found several “friends” on an online forum who were also going and had changed his mind once again. The guy couldn’t make up his mind. He was driving me crazy.
Misty sent me several videos of Jay pacing the kitchen with his MacBook in his hands. She was broadcasting his mental breakdown via Instagram stories. But then she started to send me pictures of herself in different outfits, asking me for my opinion on each one. At that point, I turned my phone off. My housemates had lost their fucking minds. I did my own research though, just to make sure I wasn’t actually going to lose them to a shady cult.
I searched for the game itself, but just as I thought, it was shown as still in development. Every “update” was just fan speculation.
There were YouTube videos and TikTok’s of fake leaks, but nothing was real. It was either AI generated, or badly edited. By the time my classes had ended and I had turned my phone on, I had a barrage of missed calls and texts.
Most of them were from Misty with her outfit changes, and Jay changing his mind again.
This time he was convinced it was all a scam, his texts full of typos and crying emoji's which he never used. Before it hit me that Misty was most likely using his phone to text me.
I was right. When I walked through the door, I was greeted by both of them sitting on the stairs. Misty was scrolling through Jay’s phone, while the boy had his head in his hands. According to Misty’s last text, he was back to being excited to go.
From the look on his face, eyes shadowed with sleep circles, light brown curls slipping from under his hood, I wasn’t sure what Misty meant by “excited”. The guy looked the complete opposite. His mind had been consumed by the game, and the idea of seeing new content.
When I dropped my bag and folded my arms, fixing the two of them with my best disapproving parent look, Misty jumped to her feet. “Sam!” she waved Jay’s phone at me. “Did you get my texts? We’re actually going now!”
The 100+ texts on both messenger and iMessage said otherwise.
I nodded, my gaze on Jay. “Both of you do realize it’s a scam, right?” I softened my tone despite growing progressively more irritated. We were grown adults, not kids. I could understand a group of teenagers falling for it, but two twenty-three-year-olds?
This time, I ducked in front of Jay. “Hey.” I pulled down his hood, and he groaned, burying his head in his knees. “I don’t want to freak you out, so listen to me, okay?”
I exhaled out a breath. “I’m not saying something bad is going to happen to you, because it most likely won’t—and yes, I admit I’m being paranoid.” When he lifted his head, blinking through bedraggled curls, there was a faint smile on his lips. “But.” I said. “You are most likely going to end up disappointed. Which I don’t want, because you won't shut up about it for weeks."
I was only partly joking.
For a moment, I thought my housemate was going to wake up, and nod, laughing at how crazy it was.
Before shook his head and jumped up.
“I’m going to take a shower, alright? I should start getting ready."
I admit, I exploded at him.
We argued while he was in the shower, and I paced up and down the hallway, coming up with multiple reasons why he was definitely going to die, and only two positives if it was in fact real. In the end, I gave up worrying all together. I didn’t say anything when the two of them were hurrying around looking for shoes and missing car keys. I didn’t realize they were gone until the door was clanging shut, and a text was coming through. I didn’t look at it until an hour later, and I had calmed down.
Jay: 1h ago: Stop worrying, lmao. We’re good! I’ll keep my phone just in case. I’ll make sure to avoid the organ harvesting 😉
Another from Misty a few minutes later: “Love you! Chillll, kay? 😭😭 It’s going to be fun! I’ll take pics!”

Followed by: “Oh shit, we can’t. I’ll try to sneak some!"
Attached to the text was a photo of the two of them. Misty with a wide smile and a peace sign, and Jay who looked like he was mid-shout, his eyes on the road.
Those texts were… at least comforting, I guessed. Maybe they were right. I figured I was paranoid, and they in fact would really be okay.
But that didn’t stop the anxious coil in my gut when I tried to force down takeout pizza. I attempted to focus on my essay to distract myself, but I couldn’t stop glancing at my phone, and checking Twitter. There was a hashtag on the DM, which was just “PlayStationGO.” When I searched for it, however, nothing came up.
Sure, it was a private convention and only a select few knew about it, but nothing could escape Twitter.
Somewhere, someone must be talking about it. After scrolling through endless tweets though, I realized I was wrong. There was nothing.
That put a bad taste in my mouth.
10pm came, and I held my breath all the way through a Netflix TV show I was forcing myself to watch, half asleep, slumped at my desk.
I could barely distinguish the plot.
I just had a vague idea of the character names, and some of their motivations.
Midnight passed, and I was struggling to stay awake.
I glanced at my phone.
No messages, just a notification from Spotify reminding me my favorite band was playing nearby.
Still nothing. I fell back to sleep.
This time, I stayed awake for a few minutes glaring at my phone before my eyes grew heavy.
3:16: am.
My phone buzzed with a text from Jay, but I could barely desipher it: "can't feel help my head hurts Canshdhsn727272_6798mi/!! _&go home please. (Sent from: PlayStationGo™️ BETA)."
3:27: am.
3:54: am. I was wide awake, blinking at a notification which had popped up from an unknown number. I was trying to figure out what number it was, when my phone vibrated again and I almost jumped out of my skin.
After a moment of hesitation, I answered it.
I was trying so hard not to think of the possibility of it being the emergency room, or even worse, the cops.
All of my worst nightmares had come true in a single second.
“Hello?” I whispered in a croak.
“Are they in the house with you?” The stranger’s voice came through in a hiss of interference.
His words sent my mediocre dinner lurching back up my throat. “What?” I managed to get out. “Who?”
“Your friends.” He said, and I leapt to unsteady feet, my gut twisting and turning.
“No.” I found myself taking slow strides toward the window, brushing back the curtain and peering out into the night. “Why? Did something happen to them?” I paused.
“How did you get my number?”
“That does not matter.” His voice rattled in my ear as I rushed downstairs, almost stumbling down the bottom two. “I need you to get out of that house. Now. Get as far away as possible.”
I could hear his rapid breaths.
He was driving. I could hear the rumble of the engine. With my phone pressed to my ear, I obeyed his instructions, pulling open the door and stepping out into the cool night, a brisk breeze grazing my bare arms was just enough to stop my thoughts spiraling.
I was barefoot, in nothing but a robe, staggering down the driveway. The night was calm and silent; our neighborhood was asleep, each window drowned in darkness. I couldn’t breathe, my clammy fingers wrapped around my phone, as this stranger broke down over the phone. “Whatever you do,” he gasped out.
“Do not, I repeat DO NOT remove the PlayStationGo—shit!! He hissed out, static rattling the call. The guy seemingly got ahold of himself, and the wheel, and continued. I started to walk—where I was going, I had no idea.
The stranger lit a cigarette. I heard the click of a lighter and his exhalation of breath. “It was a BETA version, but we had to rush it. This was not my idea. My boss is a greedy man. He wanted to release the game last year, which would have meant widespread infection. Luckily, that did not happen. We did manage to delay it, but only by a year.” His words barely made sense to me as I struggled to get a word in, peering in the dark. “It was supposed to be a virtual experience of the game—a whole new angle of gameplay. But testing was difficult. First, on monkey’s, we lost multiple subjects. Tonight was supposed to be a…well, I guess you could call it out first attempt on human subjects,” his laugh was bitter. “I knew the tech wasn’t finished. And I tried. Believe me, I fucking tried. I tried to blow the whistle, but these bastards know where my parents live."
Something squirmed its way down my spine.
“So my friends were lab rats?” I said stiffly. “You used them?”
I fucking knew it.
I knew it was too good to be true.
“Yes and no. Listen to me, the people I work for are hunting them down. Trust me, I don’t want my bosses to find them because a life of experimentation will await them. Torture. Do you hear me? It does not matter if subjects fail. They don’t care. As long as there is at least a light at the end of the tunnel for them, they will see it as a win, and bring the publication date closer. They will not be treated as humans. Your friends signed a contract before trying out the tech, where the small print stated that, under section 3, player engagement, all subjects must agree to offer themselves as participants in later updates. I silently cursed Jay for always skipping the terms and conditions when buying games." The man stopped to breathe.
“I have told you multiple times, and I won’t say it again. Get as far away from that house as possible. I will take care of them. I will make sure of it." The sound of squealing engines, and I stopped power walking, coming to an abrupt stop. The silence of the night around me, compared to the sound of the highway he was on, traffic horns and the wind rushing through the window was an eerie contrast, a disturbance to the heavenly bubble we were trapped in.
“What do you mean ‘take care of them?” I had to swallow a yell. “Hey! What are you talking about?
“I’m sorry.” Was all he replied with. “I’m afraid it is too late. There was once an opportunity to save the mind during the initial level of the demonstration. However, once the PlaystationGo has been fully attached to the base of the subject, we no longer have control of it. Once integrating itself into the cerebral cortex, the PlayStationGo can only be removed by signing out of the player’s account,” his breath was heavy. “On this unfortunate occasion, however, your friends are unable to navigate the system due to a malfunction which scrambled their brains,” He trailed off. “Which has left them stranded in the game."
I let out a breath. “Right.” I said. “That’s.. bad. I mean, it’s a fucked-up piece of technology, but they’re just playing a game, right?”
There was a pause, before the man laughed.
“Young man, I don’t think you understand,” he said. “The PlayStationGo was created to give the player a full virtual experience of our game. The PlayStationGo is not a physical object. Created with nanotechnology, it attaches itself to the subject’s brain and is supposed to create a personal gaming experience for each player. As I said, however, it is not finished. It is yet to be released to the public, and of course, we are expecting certain ethical arguments due to the controversial—”
I pulled the phone away from my ear, shaking my head. I didn’t need to hear his attempts at trying to save his own skin.
“You need to help them,” I whispered. “Do you hear me? Can you do that? Can you help them?!”
“That is what I am trying to tell you,” He said.
“I know you are upset and confused, and believe me, I offer my apologies. But you need to listen to facts. During initial testing, our subjects were conscious enough to know where their home was. We are unsure why this happens, though we have linked it to territory, as well as the main character of the game heavily influencing their actions. I have been tracking them from the testing facility, and they are incredibly close. Please get as far away from there as possible. If you are no longer in the vicinity of the house, I can end this quickly and quietly before we gain attention.”
I wasn’t sure what I was going to say. Maybe start fucking screaming at him, because he was talking about getting “rid” of my friends, after their mistake.
“Do you understand me?” He said, when I couldn’t reply. “Your friends are lost causes!”
Before I could answer, though, headlights were suddenly coming around the corner, and I found myself paralysed to the spot. The car which swerved twice, crashed into several trash cans, before reversing and coming straight towards me, was not Jay’s car. Jay’s car was an old hunk of junk he’d gotten from a scrapyard. Jay’s car had doors which were practically hanging off, and a stereo which exclusively played either static gibberish, or old tapes I had no idea how to use. This car was bright yellow, and definitely had an option to drive itself. When the car came to a stop, inches from careening into me, I lost all control of myself.
I was vaguely aware of my phone slipping from my fingers and hitting the sidewalk. But I was too busy staring at the two shadows in the front of the car. The driver, and the passenger.
And the muffled screaming coming from the trunk.
When the door swung open, a figure stepping out, I did not recognise my housemate.
The stranger told me I wouldn't, but I didn't believe him.
Jay had left the house in casual jeans and a sweater, bearing the game's logo.
Now, I found myself face to face with a man with my housemate's face and features, his smile and eyes-- but something had been severed in his eyes and twisted in his expression. For one, Jay was wearing a suit I knew he couldn't afford, the sleeves torn, collar pulled open, smears of red staining the front.
His pants had cufflinks, and the Rolex on his wrist had definitely been pulled off someone's corpse.
The silver was stained a revealing scarlet. Drinking in his face, he looked like Jay. His curls hung in front of his eyes, freckles speckling his cheeks, but everything else wasn't. It wasn't until I was glimpsing what was moulded into the flesh of his hand, did I remember how to move. But then I was taking all of him in, everything my mind had intentionally skipped, because I didn't want to believe the stranger on the phone. Nanotechnology, the man had said in a hiss.
Fiction, I had thought.
Before I saw the reality of it, a writhing metallic like substance glued to the guy's temple, and slowly, very slowly, inching down his cheek, already forming around the bridge of his ear, a very faint blue light flickering.
Something must have alerted him. His cavernous eyes left mine, and he twisted his head—and I heard the sound of his neck snapping, his head lolling to the left slightly, his eyes flickering. I watched his whole body seem to sway back and forth, ready to fall forwards.
Before the newly formed device on his ear turned red, then green.
It was almost like he was… rebooting. As if coming back to life, Jay lifted his head at an awkward angle, before looking straight through me. The blood vessels in his eyes had popped, rivulets of red beading down his face. He should have been dead, I thought. No. No, he was dead. That… that thing was keeping him alive. “Well, shiiiittt,” he said. I could sense the game dialogue which had taken over him, forming on his mangled tongue.
“I’m a man on a mission.”
In jerking movements, he turned and marched back towards the car, opening the door, and sliding into the front seat.
I remembered how to move, ducking to grab my phone, before something slammed into the back of my head—and I saw stars.
I didn’t remember hitting the floor, only the soft sound of her voice, a seductive murmur repeating NPC dialogue, and her kitten heel sticking into my spine, forcing me onto my face.
Misty. I was expecting her to get it over with. But when she dragged me to my feet, sticking the barrel of a gun into the flesh of my neck—I figured she was still playing the game.
Twisting around to meet her eyes, lifeless and empty, only filled with light from the device which had taken over half of her face, I felt sick to my stomach. This thing wasn’t a games console or a virtual reality headset.
It was an attempt at coercing and programming something you already don’t understand, to do something impossible.
I could see that in the way the things had visibly chewed and eaten through her flesh, devouring her from the inside and out. I could see what was left of the dress she had worn earlier, but something must have gone wrong with her too. Because Misty had thrown on another outfit over the top, a diamond necklace hanging from her neck.
I caught a thin river of red pooling down her right temple, trying to ignore the twitchy way she moved, just like a character. From the way Misty walked, stumbling, I already knew she was gone. My housemate had newly acquired strength, throwing me in the trunk of the car where three other hostages were, and slamming it shut on my attempts to reason with her. She didn’t tie me up or restrain me.
In the dim light I could just make out though passing streetlights, I could see the trunk opened from the inside. Which was too easy.
Still though, Jay was driving recklessly, and every time I tried to throw the damn thing open, I was knocked backwards, rolling into a screaming girl, who was bound by her hands and feet. It took me multiple attempts before I had the trunk open, freezing cold air blasting me in the face. I untied the other hostages, but when I told them to come with me, they just stared blankly at me, and continued begging for their lives—and it only took me glimpsing what was attached to their temples, a familiar writhing metal plate, for me to understand. They too were playing the game. This time, as NPC hostages.
I found myself gingerly touching the trembling metallic flesh of the girl's fingers bound in rope. It had a slimy consistency, and I swore, I felt something bite into me.
No way, I thought.
This thing was sentient, yes. But it wasn't living.
Listen, I wish I could tell you what it was like to jump out of a moving car, but I can’t.
I remember it as lunging out of the trunk, hitting the freezing cold air, before hitting the ground head first, neutron star collisions exploding in the backs of my eyes.
What I do remember is waking up on the side of the road. Hours later. The sky was bright blue, a scorching sun blinding me when I managed to force my eyes open.
The early morning rush hour flew by as normal, and I wondered how ignorant American people had to be to ignore someone knocked out on the side of the road.
It’s not like I was nowhere near civilization. There was a fucking Subway right next to me.
When I had gathered myself, I remembered I had no phone. I couldn’t go home in fear of running into my rogue housemates playing their own fucked up version of _____ in their head. My plan was to try and find my phone, get in contact with the stranger who blew the whistle on my friends being dangerous, and find them. They couldn’t be far., right? And even if they weren’t themselves… someone would be able to save them.
If someone could do this to them, surely they could reverse it.
I felt sick, tired, and I was starving.
So, with some loose cash I’d found in my pocket, I bought a Subway and a Coke.
The woman at the counter smiled widely at me. She leaned forward, with a wink. “Nice cosplay!”
I didn’t understand what she meant until I swore I felt something… move its way up my pant leg. I ignored it, and it happened again, this time it felt like something was… biting.
A bug, maybe? I had been laying on the side of the road for around six hours.
When I went to the bathroom, though, I found myself staring at an all too familiar glint of silver creeping its way across my temple. Like it was sentient, parts of it sider webbed towards my ear while the rest writhed into my hairline.
I pulled up my pant leg again, and there it was, a fungus-like metal substance which had already formed in two solid metal masses on my knees. I remember grazing two fingers across the thing beginning its slow feast of my flesh. I remember trying to pull it off, hissing in pain when I risked ripping off my own skin with it. I remember shaking my head and being in denial, even when the lights dimmed above me, and the bathroom door in front of me became more of a shadow. When I strode back through the Subway store, I began to see slight flickers of light above each person, highlighting something not quite there yet.
I could see it already starting, beginning to take over my thoughts. Cars which sped past were suddenly highlighted, and at the corner of my eye, if I concentrated, the outline of a map was starting to appear. Even now, when the room is almost completely taken over by shadow, and my thoughts are half my own, and half not—when a metallic device is beginning to form over my eyes—I know if I hold on, this thing won’t take me. I have considered killing myself, but that wouldn’t… be right.
How could I kill myself when there is so much left to do?
This developer was right. I don’t even know where I can sign out. There’s what looks like the beginning of some kind of index when I look up, but it’s not… finished. I can still see entangled pieces of code struggling to load what I’m guessing was log out. Whatever this thing is, it’s taking over me. Fast. Like a fungus, like a virus, it will not stop until it’s dragged me into the game, until it's leeched itself onto me.
I can feel it happening right now. It's been slow.
Almost painfully slow.
But maybe that is the point. Maybe part of the game is to feel my own thoughts beginning to unravel in favor of something else entirely.
Time is going by…. Fast.
Five minutes ago… I was trying to get home. But I can’t remember where I live.
I can’t concentrate.
I can’t think straight.
I have a phone—but I don’t know how I got it. Did I steal it?
Every time I move, the slowly emerging map comes to life at the corner of my eye jerks with my movement. There is a car parked nearby.
I know it belongs to the man with a child.
But a confusing blur of light is highlighting it to be something of importance. Reality is crashing in front of me, replaced with contorting shapes and bursts of color I have to blink through.
I keep hearing... sirens.
Jay is messaging me.
On what, I'm not sure.
But I need to find him.
I’m sure one mission won’t hurt, right?
submitted by Trash_Tia to nosleep [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 20:39 rightj223 Can't progress past Downtown?

I'm playing New Game+ in RCG as Kunio, but there's a problem. I made it to the Skid Row and the subway tunnel is blocked as normal, but the guy at the junkyard isn't showing up. I'm supposed to complete his quest (fighting zombies in the trash compacter) to get the subway tunnel unblocked so I can fight Abobo. I've done it before, as this is New Game+. Switching to Misako didn't solve the problem. Am I missing something, or is this a bug?
submitted by rightj223 to RiverCityGirls [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 20:36 coolwali I platinummed EVERY Spider-Man Game on VITA

Hello everyone. I recently patinummed every Spider-Man game on the PSVITA and would like to review the experience.
Lets start with the first game of this post: The Amazing Spider-Man 2012.
Overall, this game was pretty straightforward and fun to platinum. The main story is on the shorter side at around 8 hours and you can 100% it in around 15-20 hours. There's not much padding and the game relies more on spectacle. There are also no missable trophies so you can do everything in one playthrough which is nice.
The game has around 4 groups of Trophies.
The first group are related to the main story. This includes the usual unmissable ones for completing certain missions or defeating the bosses or completing the game. There are also 3 trophies for beating the main story on the harder difficulties and I believe they stack. The game however, is pretty easy regardless of the difficulty so hard isn't that much harder and you have the ability to instantly "web retreat" when your health is low so it's rare to die.
The second group of trophies are for the side missions in the open world. These are all marked on your map and generally straightforward and fun to complete. I especially liked the races and events that ask you to go fast in the open world. But was rather meh on the combat and stealth ones. They do sometimes involve bosses which was cool.
The third group are for the game's collectibles. I'd divide these into groups: the open world collectibles in the form of Comic Books scattered all over Manhattan, and the interior collectibles you can only collect during missions. Fortunately the game does have a mission replay feature so no collectible is missable. The game even tells you which collectibles you have and haven't collected in missions and gives you a % completion for them. I recently platinummed TLOU2 and one of my biggest criticisms there was that the game would “forget” your progression when you replayed past levels. So props to TASM1 for doing this aspect well.
In addition, another nice consideration is that even though you can't highlight or mark collectibles, the different collectibles emit a different coloured bright light and emit a distinct sound when you are near them. Magazines for example, emit a bright yellow glow that can light up a bit of the surrounding area. So even if the magazine is behind some boxes, you can still see some of the glow. Audio Logs have a white glow. Tech Pieces have a blue-ish glow. Photo Ops have a giant Yellow "Oscorp" Sign planted next to them. So if the game tells you you have found all the magazines and tech pieces in a mission but still need to find some audio logs, you just have to keep an eye out for bright white light sources. Most collectibles are generally placed in plain sight. Only a couple are hidden in a random vent or corner that is a bit out of the way. I don't recall any collectibles that required some long puzzle or massive amount of backtracking to find. So not the most unfair set of collectibles to find.
However, this is only true in the PS3 version. In the VITA version, the graphics and lighting have been heavily downgraded in order to fit the game. So the collectibles are barely illuminated or emit much light. Add in the smaller screen, muddier resolution and textures and worse speakers on the VITA and there were times on my first playthrough of the game where I was moving through linear hallways with nothing else in them but a collectible and I still missed it. I could have walked slightly more to the left and would have picked it up without even realizing there was one there. It was really embarrassing 😭.
When I was looking up where the collectibles were on my iPhone, I could see them more clearly. For example, in one of the later Oscorp levels, there's a brief cutscene where the camera flys over an area. On my iPhone, I could see the blue glow of a Tech Piece. But on the VITA, even when I was looking exactly at the Tech Piece, it didn't even look distinct.
This even extends to the Photo Ops. On the PS3, these are usually pretty easy to find since you're looking for a bright yellow Oscorp sign next to the thing you need to photograph. But on VITA, these signs blend into their respective walls and even the words can be hard to read.
One really surreal experience that happened to me was in one of the final Oscorp Bio-Generator levels. In this area, there is a central generator that requires you destroy 4 consoles in the surrounding rooms to activate it. The rooms are labelled with a sign that says stuff like "Room 204: Biotechnology" or "Room 206: Recycling" so you know where you are and where you haven't been. One of the guides I was looking up told me there was 1 collectible in room 204, 2 in room 205 and 1 in room 206's vent. Simple enough. But when I was playing through it, I found 2 collectibles in room 204 and couldn't find room 205 or 206. I was really confused. It was only after watching some other guides that I realized that the VITA version reuses or simplifies textures more than I thought. Every room in the level had the same sign that said "Room 204: Biotechnology" even if their layout was different. I had already collected the collectible from the actual room 204 in my first playthrough, just found the 2 from Room 5 and just needed to get the one from the vent in 206.
Just for the fun of it, I decided to then replay some of the missions where I already knew where the collectibles were and compared what the rooms looked like between the 2 versions. And it showed that some of the collectibles on the PS3 version sometimes had additional detail or clutter near them to try drawing your eye to them. For example in the Beltoit Psychiatric Hospital mission, many of the collectibles had graffiti or posters near or above them. These were either absent or so low res as to be indistinguishable on the VITA version.
Now, it's debatable how much I can really criticize the VITA version for this. It's very likely these collectibles were designed to be more easily findable because of how lit up they normally were on the main PS3 version that Beenox probably didn't realize they'd be much harder to find on the VITA version. And I doubt Beenox would have had enough time or resources to somehow redo or significantly change the VITA version to fix something most players probably wouldn't even care about.
But then again, part of the issue, I feel, is due to the artstyle and locations of the game. TASM1 uses a much more "grounded" and muted colour palette. A lot of the interior areas are sewers, warehouses, generator rooms, underground tunnels and Oscorp facilities and they do start somewhat blending together even on the PS3. Compare this with say Insomniac's Spider-Man 2018 game and that game almost never used standard sewer areas for its interiors. Or even as a VITA example, Borderlands 2 was also ported to VITA and it too was heavily downgraded in order to fit. With many areas looking muddy and hard to make out. But the game's cell shaded look and more distinct locations were able to still preserve some variety and clarity. TASM1's visuals may have been able to get by on PS3 thanks to the console's power but as a result, hurts the VITA version way more than if it had more interesting visuals or colourful artstyle.
I’ll leave it to the readers to decide if this is an aspect worth criticizing.
Still, I do think it would have been better if, at the very least, there was some optional upgrade or tool you could get as an endgame unlock to highlight you of nearby collectibles. I find that generally benefits many games regardless of their artstyle or setup (certainly helpful in the Arkham games and their collectibles were bright green glowing question marks).
Anyway, there are also collectibles in the open world Manhattan in the form of comic books. You can't read these but I personally find them pretty fun and relaxing to collect with Spidey's web swinging. They remind me of the Animus Fragments in Assassin's Creed Revelations where they were all over the map and pretty fun to collect with your parkouring skills. There's only a few issues. The first is that there are 700 comics scattered all over Manhattan. Some are static and don't move. Others fly around the map. You need to Web Rush/Zip into them to collect them. They aren't marked on your map. So yeah, it would be quite rough to find them all. The game does offer some help. The comics emit a faint yellow glow and a certain sound as you get close to them. So it's advised to try finding them at night with the voice and music turned lower. Obviously it isn't as helpful on the VITA for the aforementioned reasons but the faint yellow glow at night is at least more noticeable than many of the interior collectibles.
Once you find 500/700 comics, it marks the remaining 200 on your minimap as you get near them. On paper, I'd actually really enjoy this. You have to find 500 sure, but it's fun swinging around as Spidey and looking out for them. There is some leeway and you can start seeing the patterns of where some are likely to be (many are often placed around skyscrapers, behind fire escapes and billboards etc). So it is reasonable to find 500/700 without the aid of a map. But the final 50 or so are more annoying. For one, they are only marked on your minimap and not your world map. And on top of that, they only show up on your minimap if you aren't too far from them, both on the x and y axis. Meaning it is possible for some comics not be highlighted on your minimap if you are too far above or below them. The final 10 were quite annoying as I had to thoroughly criss-cross sections of Manhattan at different altitudes. The last one I only found when I climbed to the top of Oscorp Tower and saw a really small faint glow in the night sky. This comic was quite far and really high up which is why it wasn't showing up on the minimap.
Again, I did enjoy finding these comic books. I just feel it would have been better if they were either always on your minimap once you find 500 regardless of your height and/or show up on the regular map as well.
The fourth group of trophies are for miscellaneous challenges. These include things like: "Sky Captain - Chain 10 Web-Rushes in the city", "Clean Victory - Defeat a Hunter without using your Web-Shooters".
I will highlight 3 notable ones:
"Heavyweight Champion - Defeat 1000 enemies". There aren't 1000 enemies in the main campaign or in the side missions. So you would have to replay some of the missions to get them. I got this naturally when I was replaying missions when looking for collectibles.
"Keep It Together - Immobilize 6 enemies simultaneously with web". I missed this one during my first playthrough because there's no real reason to do it. It's not like Insomniac's Spider-Man 2018 where you have a web ability to cover an entire area in web so you have to manually run around and web enemies up with your infinite webbing. But the combat is so easy that it's much faster to just KO enemies directly rather than incapacitate or stun them.
"The Sky Is the Limit - Defeat the S-01 without touching the ground". TASM1 really wants to be a spectacle. The second mission of the game showcases this with a bossfight against this giant Kaiju sized robot called the S-01. It's certainly a visual spectacle but not much of a gameplay one since you can easily move to dodge its attacks, perch to web its weak points and the game does much of the damage against the boss as you often just need to swing around to its weak points and press L and let the game go into autopilot for a few moments.
This trophy, funnily, actually helps the game on both the gameplay and visual front. And is one of the better examples of how a good challenge trophy can elevate a section of a game. It requires you defeat this boss without touching the ground. This also includes perching on lamp posts or the sides of building. Which means you have to keep swinging and are always on the move. The end result is this much more hectic and higher stakes encounter as you're swinging around dodging lasers, knowing any mistake could set you back. Sections that were more trivial before like webbing up fans near its feet/knees are more tense since you need to then web them while free falling and either swing or Web Rush away before you hit the ground. It's not the most challenging and I was able to get it in one try but it certainly made the fight feel more climactic and fun. Like I was actually playing this section of Spidey fighting this giant kaiju robot more than before (granted, the automated sections do hurt that feeling). Hell, even on the VITA version where the framerate was tanking, it even added to the feel. Like this boss was so epic that the poor hardware can't keep up lol. The section is also short enough to be impactful without losing or diluting the experience.
This is something Insomniac's Game does more of. It has bosses like Vulture and Electro you have to take on while web swinging. But there's something much cooler and enjoyable about the way TASM1 does it. Maybe it's the fact you're fighting this giant kaiju robot in a small-ish park and you have to move around way more vertically.
I will point out the trophy completion stats of this game a bit. Only around 78% of players managed to beat the first boss (i.e complete the second mission) of the game. Around 31% of players managed to beat the game on easy. That drops down to nearly 19% for medium and 9.9% beat it on hard. More people got all 700 comics in the open world (8.5%) than got the around 190-ish interior collectibles (7.5%) and only around 7% of players got the platinum.
So yeah, this was mostly a fun game to platinum. If the collectibles were marked a bit more (especially helpful on VITA), I'd have no complaints.
As for the game itself, by VITA standards, it's pretty good as there aren't many games like it on the platform. Gravity Rush is probably the only one that's comparable. I am very nostalgic for this game so I'm probably praising it more than others would. I can see some people dismissing it or disliking it more. Especially for the game's performance on the VITA.
But ignoring the fact its on the VITA and comparing it with everything else, I feel it's.....decent at best. TASM1, I feel, is an awkward spot where very little it does is truly amazing or worth playing over other games for even if the experience itself is quite enjoyable and worth seeing at least.
For those who haven't played the game, the best way I can describe the game is that it's "the child of Batman Arkham City and Insomniac's Spider-Man 2018 (even though that game wouldn't come out for another 6 years)". From Insomniac's Spider-Man, you might recognize that TASM1 has more of a focus on Spidey zipping around in both combat and traversal, using multiple web blasts to immobilize enemies, a stealth system that involves getting above or close to enemies and pressing a single button instantly eliminate them with a web takedown. On top of that, the game has a faux twitter-like social media that you can see as the game's loading screen that updates and comments on the events of the game. The plot also involves a deadly pandemic that spreads across New York requiring Spidey to act (so I guess Insomniac plagiarized this game). It's actually really fascinating seeing how this game has ideas and concepts that would show up in Insomniac's game.
And from the Batman Arkham side, the game copies the exact same freeflow combat from Arkham. Right down to the same commands and moves. There's even a shielded enemy you cannot attack directly and need to jump over and attack from behind. The main issue here is that while TASM1 copied the surface level ideas of Arkham's combat, it didn't copy all the things that make it great. Batman Arkham's combat is fun because of 2 main factors. The first is that Batman has a wide array of moves that can be combo-ed and you must do so in order to get a high score from both the number of hits, the kind of move and the variation bonus. And the second is that the game introduces new kinds of enemies that can't be hit with your basic strike but either have a "designated weakness" and/or are vulnerable to any other kind of move. For example, stun baton enemies cannot be punched directly. Their "designated weakness" is that you can jump over them and then hit from behind. But that's not the only way to damage them. You can use a special combo takedown move on them, or temporarily down them with a baterang or other gadget, you can throw another enemy onto them etc. There are other kinds of different enemy types and later fights will start mixing groups so in order to get that high combo score, you need to juggle all your different moves and how best to use them to both manage all these different enemies and have enough variation. Arkham's combat is a lot closer to something like Devil May Cry (Arkham Origins even used an "S, A, B, C grading system that I wish was in all the Arkham games).
TASM1 doesn't really do any of this. Spidey only has basic strikes, a basic counter, jump attacks, automatic takedowns on weakened enemies, Rush attacks and the ability to stun enemies by webbing them and throwing them. There's no need to get good at countering or mix up your attacks. There's not even a scoring system. But on top of that, the game doesn't really have varied groups of enemies. The majority of human enemies you fight can be dealt with using basic strikes and counters. Some robot enemies need to be webbed up first to disable their shields but that's rather trivial and not something you need to plan doing or execute under much pressure. Mutated enemies can only be finished off with combo takedowns but you already get those automatically from just attacking enemies so they don't play much differently. Some late game mutated bosses have the ability to charge at Spidey and perform multiple claw swipes which you have press triangle multiple times to dodge (kinda like knife enemies from Arkham City) but that's really it.
If we compare this to Batman Arkham Asylum, released in 2009, 3 years before TASM1, Batman had basic strikes, basic counter, the cape stun, special combo takedowns, special combo throw, combo baterings, combo batclaw, jumping over enemies and the ground takedown. The game doesn't take long to introduce knife, baton, gun and titan enemies that mix up the experience and make you start working for those high scores. TASM1's combat, at its best, kinda feels like very early Arkham Asylum and doesn't evolve much from there. As a result, it starts getting repetitive quickly. At least the animations and moves from Spidey are pretty cool.
By the way, I am not criticizing the game for copying aspects from Arkham. But I'm of the opinion if you are going to copy from Arkham, copy more so you have a more fun combat system. Don't just take some aspects and leave it at that. Look at the Shadow of Mordor games. Those games copied way more from Arkham than TASM1 and the end result is a pretty fun combat system. TASM1's combat is in the awkward position where it doesn't copy enough to be good just by having all the good pieces, but doesn't add enough in its place to be different and good.
I already mentioned the stealth gameplay. But the one aspect I do feel the game actually has a really cool and original idea for and does quite well is the web swinging. Web Swinging in TASM1 operates in a somewhat similar way to Insomniac's Spider-Man where holding R allows Spidey to automatically shoot out lines and swing and pressing X allows you to jump while swinging. Though, webs don't have to stick to buildings which does somewhat limit the need to consider your environment. The animations are still really cool and the game does this thing where the camera zooms close to Spidey giving the swinging a more "cinematic flair". But the biggest new feature is the "Web Rush". By holding L, you enter a first person view of Spidey (complete with seeing through the lenses of his mask) in slow motion. You can point the camera and the game will highlight if you can get there. Releasing L will then have Spidey automatically go to that highlighted point. This can also be used in combat to give you some more breathing room and doing a web rush punch, and in stealth to move to points and perform stealth takedowns.
On the surface, this doesn't sound that impressive. I've even heard some people dismiss it by saying "it's just the web zip from every other Spider-Man game only more automated". But I would argue there is more to it. One issue I had with Web Zipping in Insomniac's game was that it was a bit more situational. You generally used it more to zip to specific points, or onto perches and lights to jump and carry your current momentum. It wasn't as useful in quickly changing direction while still conserving some momentum. Especially when trying to gain altitude
But in TASM1, there's a lot more utility and flair here. You can typically Web Rush anywhere around you and the game is pretty good at picking up on where you want to go and getting you there. On top of that, depending on where you Web Rush from, Spidey will do a lot of cool animations. If you're standing on street level and Web Rush straight up, Spidey will usually automatically bounce up nearby buildings quickly gaining height. If you Web Rush while swinging close to street level, Spidey will sometimes run along buses and cars and bounce of buildings. If you Web Rush when higher up and near buildings, Spidey will sometimes Web Zip and Bounce along buildings. This sounds like its completely automated and wouldn't be fun. And if you use it like that, that can be the case. But I feel there are 2 things that elevate Web Rushing. The first is that you don't need to use the Slow Mo feature. You can Tap L when looking in certain directions to have Spidey Web Rush there. Using this while swinging means there's a lot more of a need to time and improvise which both looks cool and allows you to go really fast. The second is "cancelling" Web Rush. You can press X during a Web Rush for Spidey to cancel the rest of the Web Rush. Or Look at a different direction and press L to chain addition Web Rushes. This can lead to some interesting cases when swinging. For example, suppose you want to get over a building and you're approaching it while swinging. Instead of wall crawling/running over it, you can Web Rush up to have Spidey seamlessly bounce off the building and jump up and then quickly look to another direction and Web Rush again to zip of the building. If you need to swing around a building, you can Web Rush to the side to change direction while keeping momentum before transitioning back into a swing. Combine these features and you have a Web Swinging system that both looks really cool with all kinds of fancy animations, requires you to make a lot of quick decisions and gives you a lot of control and speed. Even on the poor VITA whose hardware struggles to keep up, I often felt like I was moving around faster and had more agency than Insomniac's Spider-Man game.
Though, the game doesn't really make you really take advantage of the depth here. Most of the races and side missions are pretty easy and generous. So you can often get by with basic swinging and Web Rushing. I can't remember if TASM2 made the races harder. I do remember the web swinging being more engaging because webs would stick to buildings and you could control which hand Spidey would swing from using the triggers.
As for the story and missions, I kinda like what TASM1 is going for here. It feels like it's more of a "The Amazing Spider-Man 1.5" as the story takes place after the events of the movie and features its own plot of how a breakout of a Cross Species infection from Oscorp infects all of New York. Resulting in rising case/infected numbers as you play the game, people needing to be quarantined and the race to develop a vaccine to try saving people. Alistair Smythe of Oscorp tries to fix the infection issue by releasing robots designed to hunt down and kill cross species. Which include Spider-Man himself since he was bitten by a cross species spider as opposed to a radioactive one, as well as any innocent civilians that are infected. Spidey also has to tank his reputation here by breaking Connors out of Beltoit's Psychiatric institute and working with him to develop a cure.
The story isn't the deepest or has much of an arc. It's also not even the most original as Web of Shadows already had a similar premise but with Symbiotes instead of Cross Species. But I still feel TASM1 makes it entertaining. The spectacle in seeing New York get progressively more wrecked, or Spidey needing to fight giant sized Kaiju Oscorp robots, or fighting many typical Spider-Man villains in the form of these mutated monstrosities like Scorpion and Rhino. That's really cool.
I also liked some of the twists, comedy and drama the story does. Stuff like the first cure failing so Gwen further distrusts Connors. Or Spidey's powers being suppressed by nanobots so the robots don't notice Peter as a Cross Species anymore. Which forces Connors to become the Lizard since Spider-Man can't be Spider-Man anymore. The sequence of powerless Spidey running through New York's streets while all the robot fighting is going around him and his apartment gets blown up in the process was really memorable. Especially because in the lore, that apartment was Stan Lee's who is renting it to Peter. He even calls Peter during this segment to ask him if the apartment is clean.
I also like how there's even a bit of foreshadowing and connection to the TASM2 game. Connors tells Peter about how this will affect his reputation and will come back to haunt him (i.e the main gimmick of TASM2). And the TASM2 game even has sections that relate to the cross species incident of the first game as well as the plot of the movie (TASM2 game really is its own alternate universe).
In closing, The Amazing Spider-Man 1 VITA was a fun time. I enjoyed platinumming it. And, as someone used to the VITA's rather poor performance, I wasn't bothered too much by the poor graphics and framerate. The game wants to be a spectacle and I enjoyed its more wacky elements. The combat and stealth got repetitive but the web swinging was really fun. Though sadly, there is very little reason to revisit this game specifically. Other Spider-Man games like Web of Shadows and Insomniac's Spider-Man do the combat and open world gameplay better. The game copies from Batman Arkham but not enough to even match it. Supposedly, the game was only made in 1 year and coincided with the movie's release. TASM1 was able to be decent despite the deadlines. TASM2 sadly, wasn't so lucky.
Still, I do have a fondness for this game and universe. Part of me wishes we got more TASM movies and the games got more time. Perhaps TASM3 game would have been really cool.
Next up for me is platinumming every Batman Arkham game on VITA. See you then.
submitted by coolwali to patientgamers [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 19:07 Bard_of_Light [Spoilers Extended] LBJ: The Return of the Prince: Éowyn at the Trident

Video: Return of the King (1980) - Éowyn vs Witchking
“For she is a fair maiden, fairest lady of a house of queens. And yet I know not how I should speak of her. When I first looked on her and perceived her unhappiness, it seemed to me that I saw a white flower standing straight and proud, shapely as a lily, and yet knew that it was hard, as if wrought by elf-wrights out of steel. Or was it, maybe, a frost that had turned its sap to ice, and so it stood, bitter-sweet, still fair to see, but stricken, soon to fall and die? - Aragorn about Éowyn”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
This is part of a series exploring the hidden motives and actions of the main players during Robert's Rebellion, named LBJ in reference to the influence of Lyndon B. Johnson and the Vietnam War on GRRM's views and writings on war. LBJ also indicates considerations over whether Lyanna + Bobby B = Jon Snow. Previous installments include:
The last part examined evidence that the rebels lied to stage a rebellion to knock the dragons of the Iron Throne, ending with the question: If Rhaegar was taken hostage and prevented from defending himself against false allegations of kidnapping Lyanna, then how did he manage to return to fight at the Trident?

The Return of the Prince: Rhaegar at the Trident

Crowning Lyanna queen of love and beauty indicated to some that Rhaegar intended to set Elia Martell aside and make a new queen. So parallel to Arianne Martell's Queenmaker plot, which led to her solitary confinement in a tower, like Lyanna was confined in the tower of joy, Rhaegar, like the Queenmaker plot conspirators, may be imprisoned at Ghaston Grey in the Sea of Dorne. The precedent of the Mad King's imprisonment at Duskendale and the fact that Dorne has an Alcatraz-style island prison called Ghaston Grey - relating to Beauty & the Beast's Gaston, who imprisoned his romantic interest and lied to incite violence against his rival - supports that Rhaegar or his friends were imprisoned there. It's possible that Rhaegar is still alive; his status as the father of Elia's children may preserve his life. Martin stated Rhaegar was cremated, as is Targaryen tradition, when asked what happened to Rhaegar's body; this statement does not negate the possibility that an imposter's body was cremated in Rhaegar's stead. Or maybe he's truly dead, but there's good reason to believe Rhaegar wasn't present at the Trident where he supposedly died.
As mentioned in previous parts, it is strange that Rhaegar would supposedly leave three Kingsguard with Lyanna, while leaving Elia and their children, the first two heads of the dragon and the prince that was promised, in the care of his deranged father with no Kingsguard besides Jaime, who was kept busy guarding the King. Jaime's failure to protect Rhaegar's family haunts him...
"And the children, them as well," said Prince Lewyn.
Prince Rhaegar burned with a cold light, now white, now red, now dark. "I left my wife and children in your hands."
"I never thought he'd hurt them." Jaime's sword was burning less brightly now. "I was with the king . . ."
- A Storm of Swords Jaime VI
...but it ultimately fell to Rhaegar to ensure the safety of his loved ones, and the situation he left Elia and their children in was obviously dangerous, given that Aerys had to threaten Prince Lewyn with the safety of Elia and her children to convince him to command the Dornish troops. Some have argued that Rhaegar was so confident in prophecy that he underestimated the threat posed to himself and his children, but if that were the case, why bother guarding Lyanna and their alleged child? This failure, in conjunction with other evidence suggesting the abduction story was a farce, indicates that this person who returned from the south wasn't actually Rhaegar.
Recall that if Rhaegar truly abducted and impregnated Lyanna, evidence suggests he stayed with her at the tower long after she conceived. Dany claims to have been conceived soon before Rhaella fled King's Landing, and Martin stated Jon was born roughly 8-9 months before her, placing Jon's birth within a month of Rhaegar's death. Once he returned from the south, it would not have taken more than a few months tops to marshal the loyalist forces to oppose the rebel army. This implies he was at the tower for over a year, while a war raged nearby; why did he suddenly take an interest in the rebellion? Why not enter the fray sooner, when his help really could have made a difference? Walder Frey is ridiculed for arriving late to the Trident, but maybe Rhaegar is the one who truly deserves the moniker "the late lord". And if Rhaegar stayed away due to his love for Lyanna and desire to be with her, why not wait a couple more months so he could be there when she gave birth?
An obvious reason for Rhaegar to appear when he did is that Robert was starting to be taken seriously as a threat, and the crown prince gave heart to the loyalist forces during a pivotal battle; it's too bad this heart wasn't big enough to prevent the war in the first place. Crossing the Trident was also a tactically unsound move by Rhaegar, and it would have been to his advantage to draw the rebel army further south. During the War of the Five Kings, Stannis's forces also attempt to cross a river, the Blackwater Rush, but are spooked off by Renly's ghost:
My hirelings betray me, my friends are scourged and shamed, and I lie here rotting, Tyrion thought. I thought I won the bloody battle. Is this what triumph tastes like? "Is it true that Stannis was put to rout by Renly's ghost?"
Bronn smiled thinly. "From the winch towers, all we saw was banners in the mud and men throwing down their spears to run, but there's hundreds in the pot shops and brothels who'll tell you how they saw Lord Renly kill this one or that one. Most of Stannis's host had been Renly's to start, and they went right back over at the sight of him in that shiny green armor."
After all his planning, after the sortie and the bridge of ships, after getting his face slashed in two, Tyrion had been eclipsed by a dead man. If indeed Renly is dead. Something else he would need to look into. "How did Stannis escape?"
- A Storm of Swords Tyrion I
Like Garlan fought in Renly's armor at the Battle of the Blackwater, an imposter fought as Rhaegar at the Trident. "Rhaegar" wore black armor crusted with rubies, like Mance uses a ruby in a black iron cuff to disguise himself as Rattleshirt via glamor magic. Dany has a vision of her own face behind Rhaegar's visor, and red light glimmers through the visor like Melisandre's glamor-producing rubies glimmer redly.
And saw her brother Rhaegar, mounted on a stallion as black as his armor. Fire glimmered red through the narrow eye slit of his helm. "The last dragon," Ser Jorah's voice whispered faintly. "The last, the last." Dany lifted his polished black visor. The face within was her own.
- A Game of Thrones Daenerys IX
Lady Melisandre was seated near the fire, her ruby glimmering against the pale skin of her throat.
- A Dance with Dragons Jon I
The big square-cut gem that adorned his iron cuff glimmered redly. "Do you like my ruby, Snow? A token o' love from Lady Red."
- A Dance with Dragons Jon IV
This is a world with glamor magic, skinchanging, and Faceless Men, and so it cannot be ruled out that an imposter fought as Rhaegar at the Trident. Dany seeing her own face behind Rhaegar's visor hints that someone besides Rhaegar wore his armor. Even Arya, who is said to resemble Lyanna, makes use of the face-changer Jaqen H'ghar at Harrenhal, where all this began... Jaqen H'ghar's name is near anagram for Rhaegar, incidentally. It suspends belief that soldiers would stop in the thick of battle to scoop up rubies, making it easier to accept that ruby-assisted magic was afoot.
When Ned had finally come on the scene, Rhaegar lay dead in the stream, while men of both armies scrabbled in the swirling waters for rubies knocked free of his armor.
- A Game of Thrones Eddard I
Perhaps the strongest piece of evidence against an imposter, however, is that Jaime remembers a conversation with Rhaegar before the battle, in which there are no obvious indications of deception.
And all for naught. They found only darkness, dust, and rats. And dragons, lurking down below. He remembered the sullen orange glow of the coals in the iron dragon's mouth. The brazier warmed a chamber at the bottom of a shaft where half a dozen tunnels met. On the floor he'd found a scuffed mosaic of the three-headed dragon of House Targaryen done in tiles of black and red. I know you, Kingslayer, the beast seemed to be saying. I have been here all the time, waiting for you to come to me. And it seemed to Jaime that he knew that voice, the iron tones that had once belonged to Rhaegar, Prince of Dragonstone.
The day had been windy when he said farewell to Rhaegar, in the yard of the Red Keep. The prince had donned his night-black armor, with the three-headed dragon picked out in rubies on his breastplate. "Your Grace," Jaime had pleaded, "let Darry stay to guard the king this once, or Ser Barristan. Their cloaks are as white as mine."
Prince Rhaegar shook his head. "My royal sire fears your father more than he does our cousin Robert. He wants you close, so Lord Tywin cannot harm him. I dare not take that crutch away from him at such an hour."
Jaime's anger had risen up in his throat. "I am not a crutch. I am a knight of the Kingsguard."
"Then guard the king," Ser Jon Darry snapped at him. "When you donned that cloak, you promised to obey."
Rhaegar had put his hand on Jaime's shoulder. "When this battle's done I mean to call a council. Changes will be made. I meant to do it long ago, but . . . well, it does no good to speak of roads not taken. We shall talk when I return."
Those were the last words Rhaegar Targaryen ever spoke to him. Outside the gates an army had assembled, whilst another descended on the Trident. So the Prince of Dragonstone mounted up and donned his tall black helm, and rode forth to his doom.
- A Feast for Crows Jaime I
Then again, one wouldn't expect a skilled Faceless Man to give up the ruse... Actually, no, I don't think a Faceless Man impersonated Rhaegar at the Trident.

Lyanna fought Robert at the Trident

If I hadn't lost you already, I probably have now. But hear me out.
“And she answered: 'All your words are but to say: you are a woman, and your part is in the house. But when the men have died in battle and honour, you leave to be burned in the house, for the men will need it no more. But I am of the House of Eorl and not a serving-woman. I can ride and wield blade, and I do not fear either pain or death.'
'What do you fear, lady?' he asked.
'A cage,' she said.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
This is the first ASOIAF theory I ever thought up. I suppose I was influenced by Éowyn of The Lord of the Rings in my thinking. Éowyn means 'horse lover', like Lyanna was half a horse herself, an advantageous quality for the warrior maid who fought on horseback and injured the Demon of the Trident.
Video: Ode to Liane
Many who prefer R+L=J also reason that Lyanna was the Knight of the Laughing Tree and was discovered by Rhaegar, to explain why he fell in love with her, despite the folly of returning the mystery knight's sense of honor with an ignoble crowning (I prefer the reasoning that Ned was that mystery knight). Some also assume Lyanna's heritage made her a desirable broodmare to Rhaegar, despite scant evidence that he was interested in warg blood, besides the likely assumption that dragon abilities are related to skinchanging. Lyanna fighting at the Trident is a parallel theory which uses those same elements of disguising oneself to fight for justice, with the aid of House Stark's innate skinchanging ability. Yet this outcome is more impactful, because the stakes were higher at the Trident. The very idea that Lyanna would choose to chill in a tower for over a year fucking a married prince with two very young children while her family and countrymen died in droves on her account is wildly inconsistent with her character.
“Robert will never keep to one bed,” Lyanna had told him at Winterfell, on the night long ago when their father had promised her hand to the young Lord of Storm’s End. “I hear he has gotten a child on some girl in the Vale.” Ned had held the babe in his arms; he could scarcely deny her, nor would he lie to his sister, but he had assured her that what Robert did before their betrothal was of no matter, that he was a good man and true who would love her with all his heart. Lyanna had only smiled. “Love is sweet, dearest Ned, but it cannot change a man’s nature.”
- A Game of Thrones Eddard IX
Lyanna was a fighter, the type to seek justice out herself, as she did when her father's bannerman was beset by bullies at Harrenhal. Lyanna also healed the crannogman's wounds; likewise, she would do what she could to heal the wounds caused by her disappearance.
"None offered a name, but he marked their faces well so he could revenge himself upon them later. They shoved him down every time he tried to rise, and kicked him when he curled up on the ground. But then they heard a roar. 'That's my father's man you're kicking,' howled the she-wolf."
"A wolf on four legs, or two?"
"Two," said Meera. "The she-wolf laid into the squires with a tourney sword, scattering them all. The crannogman was bruised and bloodied, so she took him back to her lair to clean his cuts and bind them up with linen. There he met her pack brothers: the wild wolf who led them, the quiet wolf beside him, and the pup who was youngest of the four.
- A Storm of Swords Bran II
The rest of his father's words were drowned out by a sudden clatter of wood on wood. Eddard Stark dissolved, like mist in a morning sun. Now two children danced across the godswood, hooting at one another as they dueled with broken branches. The girl was the older and taller of the two. Arya! Bran thought eagerly, as he watched her leap up onto a rock and cut at the boy. But that couldn't be right. If the girl was Arya, the boy was Bran himself, and he had never worn his hair so long. And Arya never beat me playing swords, the way that girl is beating him. She slashed the boy across his thigh, so hard that his leg went out from under him and he fell into the pool and began to splash and shout. "You be quiet, stupid," the girl said, tossing her own branch aside. "It's just water. Do you want Old Nan to hear and run tell Father?" She knelt and pulled her brother from the pool, but before she got him out again, the two of them were gone.
- A Dance with Dragons Bran III
Arya is often compared to Lyanna, and Arya fought Robert's heir at the ruby ford where Rhaegar allegedly died. She practiced swordplay with Mycah using wooden sticks, like Lyanna and Benjen fought with sticks in Winterfell's godswood.
"It has a name, does it?" Her father sighed. "Ah, Arya. You have a wildness in you, child. 'The wolf blood,' my father used to call it. Lyanna had a touch of it, and my brother Brandon more than a touch. It brought them both to an early grave." Arya heard sadness in his voice; he did not often speak of his father, or of the brother and sister who had died before she was born. "Lyanna might have carried a sword, if my lord father had allowed it. You remind me of her sometimes. You even look like her."
- A Game of Thrones Arya II
"Mycah and I are going to ride upstream and look for rubies at the ford."
"Rubies," Sansa said, lost. "What rubies?"
Arya gave her a look like she was so stupid. "Rhaegar's rubies. This is where King Robert killed him and won the crown."
Beyond, in a clearing overlooking the river, they came upon a boy and a girl playing at knights. Their swords were wooden sticks, broom handles from the look of them, and they were rushing across the grass, swinging at each other lustily. The boy was years older, a head taller, and much stronger, and he was pressing the attack. The girl, a scrawny thing in soiled leathers, was dodging and managing to get her stick in the way of most of the boy's blows, but not all. When she tried to lunge at him, he caught her stick with his own, swept it aside, and slid his wood down hard on her fingers. She cried out and lost her weapon.
Prince Joffrey laughed. The boy looked around, wide-eyed and startled, and dropped his stick in the grass. The girl glared at them, sucking on her knuckles to take the sting out, and Sansa was horrified. "Arya?" she called out incredulously.
"Go away," Arya shouted back at them, angry tears in her eyes. "What are you doing here? Leave us alone."
Joffrey glanced from Arya to Sansa and back again. "Your sister?" She nodded, blushing. Joffrey examined the boy, an ungainly lad with a coarse, freckled face and thick red hair. "And who are you, boy?" he asked in a commanding tone that took no notice of the fact that the other was a year his senior.
"Mycah," the boy muttered. He recognized the prince and averted his eyes. "M'lord."
"He's the butcher's boy," Sansa said.
"He's my friend," Arya said sharply. "You leave him alone."
"A butcher's boy who wants to be a knight, is it?" Joffrey swung down from his mount, sword in hand. "Pick up your sword, butcher's boy," he said, his eyes bright with amusement. "Let us see how good you are."
Mycah stood there, frozen with fear.
Joffrey walked toward him. "Go on, pick it up. Or do you only fight little girls?"
"She ast me to, m'lord," Mycah said. "She ast me to."
Sansa had only to glance at Arya and see the flush on her sister's face to know the boy was telling the truth, but Joffrey was in no mood to listen. The wine had made him wild. "Are you going to pick up your sword?"
Mycah shook his head. "It's only a stick, m'lord. It's not no sword, it's only a stick."
"And you're only a butcher's boy, and no knight." Joffrey lifted Lion's Tooth and laid its point on Mycah's cheek below the eye, as the butcher's boy stood trembling. "That was my lady's sister you were hitting, do you know that?" A bright bud of blood blossomed where his sword pressed into Mycah's flesh, and a slow red line trickled down the boy's cheek.
"Stop it!" Arya screamed. She grabbed up her fallen stick.
Sansa was afraid. "Arya, you stay out of this."
"I won't hurt him … much," Prince Joffrey told Arya, never taking his eyes off the butcher's boy.
Arya went for him.
- A Game of Thrones Sansa I
The deadly consequences of Lyanna's disappearance, based on the rebel's lies, would enrage the she-wolf, driving her to confront Robert in battle if given the opportunity. Thus, "Rhaegar's" rash decision to cross the Trident makes sense in the context of an inexperienced warrior maid chomping at the bit to avenge her father and brother. It even mirrors Arya at the Wed Redding, when she recklessly runs towards the Crossing:
"Maybe we can save her . . ."
"Maybe you can. I'm not done living yet." He rode toward her, crowding her back toward the wayn. "Stay or go, she-wolf. Live or die. Your—"
Arya spun away from him and darted for the gate. The portcullis was coming down, but slowly. I have to run faster. The mud slowed her, though, and then the water. Run fast as a wolf. The drawbridge had begun to lift, the water running off it in a sheet, the mud falling in heavy clots. Faster. She heard loud splashing and looked back to see Stranger pounding after her, sending up gouts of water with every stride. She saw the longaxe too, still wet with blood and brains. And Arya ran. Not for her brother now, not even for her mother, but for herself. She ran faster than she had ever run before, her head down and her feet churning up the river, she ran from him as Mycah must have run.
His axe took her in the back of the head.
- A Storm of Swords Arya XI
Lyanna would jump at the chance to practice swordplay with her guards while in captivity, and in particular she'd be eager to learn from the legendary Sword of the Morning Ser Arthur Dayne, like Arya learned from Syrio Forel, the First Sword of Braavos. As Rhaegar's oldest and dearest friend, Arthur could teach Lyanna to pass as Rhaegar in conversation.
Consider that after hearing a song about a lady throwing herself from a tower in grief, like Ashara Dayne allegedly killed herself over her brother's death, Arya thinks the lady should have sought revenge:
It made her angry to see Dareon sitting there so brazen, making eyes at Lanna as his fingers danced across the harp strings.
He is a man of the Night's Watch, she thought, as he sang about some stupid lady throwing herself off some stupid tower because her stupid prince was dead. The lady should go kill the ones who killed her prince. And the singer should be on the Wall.
- A Feast for Crows Cat of the Canals
As argued in the section on Kingsguard loyalty, Dornish Arthur Dayne was complicit in the betrayal of his friend and king because his sister's life was leveraged against him, like (fake) Arya's predicament leads Jon to betray the Watch. Being threatened with Ashara's death if he deserted his post is like how Arya murders Dareon the singer for deserting the Night's Watch. And yet Dareon's desertion is understandable, given that he was sent to the Wall due to a false accusation of rape, after he was caught abed with a daughter of Lord Mathis Rowan. Similarly, Robert falsely accused Rhaegar of raping Lyanna, when he was in fact guilty of raping her... only once.
The king touched her cheek, his fingers brushing across the rough stone as gently as if it were living flesh. “I vowed to kill Rhaegar for what he did to her.”
“You did,” Ned reminded him.
“Only once,” Robert said bitterly.
- A Game of Thrones Eddard I
It would add a haunting dimension to Robert's claim that he dreams of killing Rhaegar every night if Robert glimpsed Lyanna once the rubies were dislodged and "Rhaegar" was in the stream. Alternately, if he knew Rhaegar had been killed already, he'd understand that he was fighting an imposter, and so Robert's allusion to Rhaegar dying a thousand deaths stinks of the rage the Mountain must have felt as Beric Dondarrion kept returning from death. Robert's inexplicable rage after his successful defeat of Rhaegar indicates something was off about this event in his mind.
"In my dreams, I kill him every night," Robert admitted. "A thousand deaths will still be less than he deserves."
- A Game of Thrones Eddard I
Not only does Dany have a vision of her own face, a woman's face, behind Rhaegar's redly glimmering visor, but she also has a vision of "Rhaegar" saying an unidentified woman's name in the stream.
And saw her brother Rhaegar, mounted on a stallion as black as his armor. Fire glimmered red through the narrow eye slit of his helm. "The last dragon," Ser Jorah's voice whispered faintly. "The last, the last." Dany lifted his polished black visor. The face within was her own.
- A Game of Thrones Daenerys IX
Rubies flew like drops of blood from the chest of a dying prince, and he sank to his knees in the water and with his last breath murmured a woman's name. . . . mother of dragons, daughter of death . . .
- A Clash of Kings Daenerys IV
The world of ice and fire app claims that Rhaegar said Lyanna's name at his death, but that source is only semi-canon. Both Jon and Robb say their direwolves names as they die, and so it's possible that "Rhaegar's" final words are related to skinchanging.
Jon fell to his knees. He found the dagger's hilt and wrenched it free. In the cold night air the wound was smoking. "Ghost," he whispered. Pain washed over him. Stick them with the pointy end.
- A Dance with Dragons Jon XIII
"Yes. Robb, get up. Get up and walk out, please, please. Save yourself . . . if not for me, for Jeyne."
"Jeyne?" Robb grabbed the edge of the table and forced himself to stand. "Mother," he said, "Grey Wind . . ."
"Go to him. Now. Robb, walk out of here."
- A Storm of Swords Catelyn VII
Dany also notes warrior maids with rubies, paralleling this idea that Lyanna was a warrior maid in Rhaegar's ruby-crusted armor.
warrior maids from Bayasabhad, Shamyriana, and Kayakayanaya with iron rings in their nipples and rubies in their cheeks
- A Game of Thrones Daenerys VI
Lyanna using a glamor to disguise herself is problematic, however, in that it wouldn't produce the iron tones in Rhaegar's voice that Jaime remembers, and her female body would put her at a natural disadvantage in combat, so skinchanging into a male body is a necessary component. But if Rhaegar's body wasn't available, the male she skinchanged into would then need to be glamored to resemble Rhaegar closely enough as to not arouse suspicions when she arrived in King's Landing. It also may be the case that Rhaegar's body was available, along with his armor, after torture left him comatose. Note that the ritual which leaves Drogo in a comatose state, in which Dany also goes into labor, involves shadows which parallel the shadows Bran saw in his vision of the Trident; these shadows may belong to Ned and Robert, as will be argued in a later part:
No, Dany wanted to say, no, not that, you mustn't, but when she opened her mouth, a long wail of pain escaped, and the sweat broke over her skin. What was wrong with them, couldn't they see? Inside the tent the shapes were dancing, circling the brazier and the bloody bath, dark against the sandsilk, and some did not look human. She glimpsed the shadow of a great wolf, and another like a man wreathed in flames.
- A Game of Thrones Daenerys VIII
We may assume House Targaryen has access to arcane devices, which the Kingsguard would be in a position to know about, given Bloodraven's use of a moonstone glamor in The Mystery Knight (which also depicts a warrior maid in black armor):
Dunk whirled. Through the rain, all he could make out was a hooded shape and a single pale white eye. It was only when the man came forward that the shadowed face beneath the cowl took on the familiar features of Ser Maynard Plumm, the pale eye no more than the moonstone brooch that pinned his cloak at the shoulder.
Mad Danelle Lothston herself rode forth in strength from her haunted towers at Harrenhal, clad in black armor that fit her like an iron glove, her long red hair streaming.
- The Mystery Knight
It's also possible that Lyanna had some sort of Faceless Man training; their ability to disguise themselves appears to be related to skinchanging.
"Mummers change their faces with artifice," the kindly man was saying, "and sorcerers use glamors, weaving light and shadow and desire to make illusions that trick the eye. These arts you shall learn, but what we do here goes deeper. Wise men can see through artifice, and glamors dissolve before sharp eyes, but the face you are about to don will be as true and solid as that face you were born with.
- A Dance with Dragons The Ugly Little Girl
Lyanna's defense of the crannogman, who travelled to the Isle of Faces in a skin boat to visit the green men, may have something to do with her access to these abilities.
"The finest knight I ever saw was Ser Arthur Dayne, who fought with a blade called Dawn, forged from the heart of a fallen star. They called him the Sword of the Morning, and he would have killed me but for Howland Reed." Father had gotten sad then, and he would say no more. Bran wished he had asked him what he meant.
- A Clash of Kings Bran III
"He passed beneath the Twins by night so the Freys would not attack him, and when he reached the Trident he climbed from the river and put his boat on his head and began to walk. It took him many a day, but finally he reached the Gods Eye, threw his boat in the lake, and paddled out to the Isle of Faces."
"Did he meet the green men?"
"Yes," said Meera, "but that's another story, and not for me to tell. My prince asked for knights."
- A Storm of Swords Bran II
So after receiving adequate training and equipment, a disguised Lyanna may then be allowed to leave her tower to confront Robert at the Trident, contingent upon her return in service to whatever oaths held Arthur at the tower against his will. A battle wound may then be the cause of Lyanna's bed of blood... Consider Arthur Dayne's legendary sword Dawn, likely inspired by King Arthur's Excalibur. During the fight at the tower of joy, Ned describes the blade as alive with light, like King Arthur once drew Excalibur and the blade shined so bright it blinded his enemies.
"And now it begins," said Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning. He unsheathed Dawn and held it with both hands. The blade was pale as milkglass, alive with light.
- A Game of Thrones Eddard X
Excalibur's sheath also had magical healing powers (keep in mind the dick and vagina symbolism of a sword and sheath). The legendary prowess of the Sword of the Morning thus may be related to his sword's hidden healing ability, and so after Lyanna sustained her chest wound at the Trident, she may be transported back south to be healed by Dawn. This seems unlikely, however, given how grievously wounded "Rhaegar" was.
If skinchanging was involved, then Lyanna never had to bodily leave the tower, and survived the Trident through spiritually returning to her original body, and her bed of blood was in fact caused by birthing Jon. If Lyanna had a consensual affair with her impressive guard Ser Arthur, it would dovetail nicely with another aspect of Arthurian legend, in which Sir Lancelot has an affair with Queen Guinevere at his castle Joyous Guard, despite his close friendship with King Arthur. The Sword of the Morning and the Demon of the Trident are not the only candidates for Jon's father; Oswell Whent is also a potential sire, in light of the parallel in which Cersei instructs Osney Kettleblack (who some believe is Oswell's son) to seduce Margaery to remove her as Queen; the rebels may have instructed Oswell to ensure Lyanna became pregnant, to dissuade Robert from marrying her so that he'd be free to wed Cersei to keep the Lannister's support, or to stage a death in childbirth so that Lyanna would be unable to spread the truth of her imprisonment. The idea that Lyanna became pregnant while confined also parallels Daena the Defiant's pregnancy despite her imprisonment in the Maidenvault.
On that note, unless Martin lied, it's indisputable that Lyanna gave birth to Jon... but when? Skinchanging removes the hinderance of a swollen belly and other bodily limitations, but if Lyanna did in fact fight while pregnant, she was perhaps not as far along as we're led to believe. If we accept that Jon was born roughly 8-9 moons before Dany, as Martin states, then the only way to adjust Jon's birth is to then assume Dany isn't who she thinks she is, that she wasn't born 9 moons after Rhaella's flight. Beyond typical lemongate reasons to doubt Dany's past, there's a discrepancy in which Viserys tells Dany of a midnight flight to Dragonstone, whereas Jaime recalls Rhaella and Viserys departing in the morning. This casts doubt on both Dany and Viserys's origins and allows us leeway to adjust Jon's birthdate. Lyanna giving birth before the Trident is possible, and though Robb is supposedly older than Jon, it's hard to pin down exactly when Robb was born; Jon could be older than Robb without it being noticed, as infants can differ greatly in size and development, as seen with Gilly and Mance's sons.
Speaking of Mance Rayder, I’m pretty confident he's Arthur Dayne.
So, given everything we're told about what kind of person Lyanna was, along with parallels between her and Arya involving swordplay and disguises, it's easy to see that rather than being the Knight of the Laughing Tree, Lyanna fought when it mattered most, to avenge her family at the Trident, against the man who truly dishonored her.
In the next part, we'll gaze into King Robert's magic mirror, Queen Cersei, to uncover strong evidence that he had Rhaegar tortured for the crime of crowning his betrothed. To preview where this series is headed, in its full audio/visual glory with greater detail, look here.
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2023.05.31 18:18 twinkletwat333 i saw my rapist at the bar

i (f22) was out at the bar this weekend with my friends, and i saw one of my rapists. i had quite a few drinks, so i didn’t believe it at first. ever since he did what he did, i’ve had terrible PTSD and a huge fear of men, so i thought my mind was playing a cruel trick on me.
it wasn’t until one of my friends i was with grabbed him, hugged him, and said, “heeeeey lorenzo!” that i actually understood it was really him. i immediately had tunnel vision, started sweating, and felt sick to my stomach. i never randomly just leave my friends, but i rushed to the bathroom as quick as i could and tried to breathe so i wouldn’t cry and completely lose it in front of everyone.
there were two extremely kind women in the ladies room who asked what was wrong right away, and i explained everything to them briefly. they were furious for what had happened to me, and just kept holding me. they asked what he looked like, and we all left the ladies room together.
it hadn’t even been 10 minutes since they walked through the door, and they had already left. the girls wanted me to point him out, but it was too late. after that i confided in my friend matt, and he was the only one concerned about me.
my friends never said a word about it, including my best friend, and it hurts me so much because they KNOW exactly what the fuck happened to me, and they KNOW it was him. i don’t know what to do or how to move forward from this.
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2023.05.31 17:41 VaticanCameos008 How do they react when you block them?

Hi, as the title says. How do they react?
After two years of abuse, terrible psychological problems I finally had power to block my ex narc from everywhere, this was about 2 months ago. But just up until now I’m feeling the trauma bond breaking and today I felt great, like there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
While thinking colder about the situation I started wondering this; How might’ve she reacted? I tried grey rocking and ignoring her during our past breakups, even blocked her once but unblocked in a moment of weakness and she always acted disgusted and offended. She said I was a cowardly and immature child who didn’t want to face reality. She got really pissed when I ignored her.
Now I’ve finally had her blocked for 2 months and I can’t help but think how she reacted. Did she even care? Did she even miss me? Has she moved on to a new supply? Is she healing?? To be honest it wouldn’t make a difference to me. I won’t unblock her… EVER. After a year of crippling anxiety and depression Im finally feeling better, but I had to resort to (prescribed) medication. So it’s safe to say I’m in a better place mentally and have seen the damage of the relationship. But one can’t help it.
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2023.05.31 15:14 In_Yellow_Clad If At First You Don't Succeed -- Part 71

I woke, as I would later learn, about four hours after I had collapsed. My shoulder still throbbed, but now it had progressed all the way down to my fingertips. I did not hear that voice any longer either, which was good or bad, I did not yet know, but at least I was still alive. That’s all that mattered. However, being alive was perhaps not in my best interest at the moment, though knowing to what degree I would have been reset was enough to keep me from just cutting my own throat to try and be rid of this damnable ache.
My eyes opened and I got a good look at the room I was in, or well the floor, as I was laying on my stomach in a hammock. Deja vu anyone? I pushed myself into a sitting position and looked about, trying to get my bearings. I really needed to stop ending up like this, otherwise I’d spend less time doing hero things and more time just lazing about all lazy like. The room was sparsely decorated and had a distinct sterile stench to it. One that nearly made me gag. But I could understand why it was like this, as it was clearly some sort of healing ward. There were others around me, though they had the fortune of actually being in a proper bed.
A sudden throb from my arm caused me to actually look at it and what I saw made my stomach twist. The carapace had twisted into something new and not all that dissimilar to what it had been originally. It looked diseased, but somehow healthy, if… wrong. My already claw-like fingers had elongated into actual claws and looked like they could have delivered some form of virulent toxin into whomever I scratched.
But the worst came when I turned my arm over a bit, and an eye opened up to stare directly into my own. I recoiled instantly, clapping my free and unaltered hand over it. Now that was just wrong, and I would for sure be figuring out some way to remove this affliction of mine. If that was even possible. For now I felt good enough to move, and since nobody was around to stop me I decided to do just that. Grabbing a roll of bandages I carefully wrapped up my altered arm and ensured that at least the eye was covered. I didn’t need it staring at me or anyone else.
Hauling myself through the room on unsteady legs I looked over the wounded. It struck me then that this was what a proper war felt and looked like. It was certainly not as bad as any modern war in the world I had come from, but it was still gruesome. As much as I wanted to get out of this place, I instead took the time to throw my afflicted arm in a sling and hide it away while I checked on the wounded.
Most were out cold, those few who were awake had a distant look on their faces and the rest were doing their best to not weep in my presence. I did what I could, offered comfort where it was wanted and utilized my magic to help heal. But it didn’t make me feel any better, and I knew it was only a temporary solution for these men. They had never faced a battle like this one, their only experiences with combat being fending off the odd beast here and there or dealing with criminals, not a proper army.
Once I had visited the last of them I found my strength had returned more fully, so it was time to get an idea of what was happening outside this room. Luckily the room seemed to be built with larger persons in mind, and by that I mean someone like me, or perhaps a centaur or something. Speaking of I’d yet to see an actual centaur since coming here, perhaps they didn’t exist or were incredibly rare.
Still, I was able to make it out of the room with ease, only to stop and witness yet more wounded. I did not linger, I don’t think my already fragile mental state could have handled it. I needed to get out and into fresh air, so that’s what I did. Picking my way carefully through the beds, cots and bedrolls that had been placed on the floor, stepping over those I could not avoid. I was thankful that nobody I stepped over was awake at this moment, I don't think they would have handled me walking over them too well.
But I made it, and I stepped out into clean, fresh air. It was such a welcome relief, till a voice broke my reverie.
“Just what do you think you’re doing?! You should be in bed and resting! Get back in there this instant!” An elf chastised, their robes stained with blood and clearly of the healing variety. They looked wise and knowledgeable, but also the sort of person you don’t argue with. The man peered up at me, pulling bloodstained gloves off and flapping them in my direction.
“I just… I just needed some fresh air.” I say, finding my voice to be coarse and low. The healer squinted, before sighing, nodding and plopping down on a bench, the weariness he felt becoming quite visible. I didn’t know what to do and so I just stood there, breathing in the rich, cool air as we both got a needed break.
“So… What have I missed?” I asked, and the healer lifted their head.
“Not all that much. The enemy has been regrouping and taking stock of their losses. Those spiders are preventing them from retrieving their dead it seems, which is probably good for you I suppose, since you’re a necromancer and all.” He snorted. “We took heavy losses, but nothing we can’t handle. But we took more wounded than we did dead, so our numbers are holding, there’s just many who can’t fight.”
I nodded, knowing, somehow, that wounding an enemy took them out of the fight in a way that was far more harmful than simply killing them was. All we’d done was lessen the load on their supplies whereas they had only increased the burden upon ours. But what they didn’t know quite yet was that their dead would soon be turned against them, only bolstering our strength. Considering the dead did not need medicine, or sleep, or even any weapons beyond what they already naturally had, they would not be a drain on any resource but my own.
We sat without a word, simply existing and resting. At least till the healer shifted and turned to face me a bit.
“I’m surprised you haven’t asked about your arm yet. Or freaked out because of it.” He said, and I glanced down at the bandaged limb with a contemplative look. As wrong as it all was, I found myself strangely unconcerned.
“I suppose I just didn’t think about it too much, what with everything going on. I’d rather think about others than myself. But…” Now that I was talking about it, I might as well learn what I can, right? “So, what happened to my arm, best as you can tell?” The healer hummed and collected his thoughts.
“Far as we can tell, the enemy has been infusing their arrowheads with some sort of pestilence. Or magic, we can’t tell which. Either way, it seems to be alive, as you no doubt already know. Had you died because of the arrow it wouldn’t have done anything, but since you lived well…” He trailed off and made a vague gesture at my arm. “Best we can tell it’ll slowly corrupt your body and presumably your mind and soul till you switch sides and fight for the enemy. Or not, it may just kill you. We don’t know and all attempts at knowing have met with little success.”
Oh how delightful. Just what I wanted to hear. My fingers curled into fists and I could feel my new claws digging into my altered palm.
“Guess I’ll just have to make the most of it won’t I?” I say, smiling softly at the healer and reached out to give them a pat on the shoulder, only to stop myself from doing so with my corrupted hand. He appreciated the attempt though, and did not stop me when I wandered off. There were things to do and I needed to get a better idea of the situation before making any sort of decision.
Slowly, but surely, I made my way for one of the command structures that had been erected at the base of the wall. From here I could just catch snippets of conversation, even as soldiers rushed around and talked loudly. I could hear Cameron inside the tent, and he sounded tired, far too tired actually. I’d have to make sure he got some sleep, or something. Maybe a nap at the most.
I ducked under the flaps of the command tent and it got quiet real quick. When my gaze rose to look over those that were assembled around a simple table, I found everyone looked rather battered, the blood on their clothes and armor was fresh. Which suggested to even an untrained eye, that something had happened while I was asleep.
“You’re supposed to be resting.” Cameron said, breaking the silence and I waved a hand dismissively.
“Why sleep when there is work to do? Besides, you all look like you could use some sleep yourselves.” I state, and the elves nod in agreement, but don’t make any indication that they’re about to go get some rest. “So, what’s the situation looking like?”
For the next twenty or so minutes I got a rather detailed report on all that’d happened since I had passed out. Not much really had happened, though apparently the enemy had been performing a two pronged attack, one from above, one from below. Where the surface battle had ended in victory for us, the other had pressed on. At least until the spiders had shown up and began burrowing. They’d accidentally broken through into the tunnels, a surprise to both the spiders and the tunnelers.
It didn’t end so well for the tunnelers, and many had panicked, burrowing the last few meters up behind the walls in a desperate attempt to escape the arachnids, only to run straight into the blades and magic of the defenders. Hence the fresh blood splattered all over them. It had been a minimal incursion, many didn’t even know it’d happened hence why the healer had made no mention of it.
I digested all of this and found myself wondering just how we were going to make it through this fight. The arachnid reinforcements could only last so long, and the undead I could raise only lasted for four hours. Perhaps if the other snow elf cities sent their own forces could Moraluna hold out without our heroic aid. Which is what it was eventually going to have to do, since I couldn’t stay here forever. I had things to do and people to find, both of which were impossible to do while stuck behind city walls.
But I wasn’t about to just leave the city to fend for itself, not yet. Not till I was confident it would survive without me or Cameron. So we discussed our options, refining them as quickly as possible and utilizing what supplies we had as efficiently as possible. It was a crude plan, but it would keep us alive a little longer. Considering the enemy had a spidery minefield to pick their way through now, we were confident that we had plenty of time to rest and recover.
So once we were done discussing things, that’s what we split up to do. I returned to the medical wing, slipping into the hammock that was still up and sighing as I closed my eyes. Only for them to shoot open not two minutes later when this terrible, shrill, piercing shriek rent the very air. It sounded as though it came from everywhere in the room, and I could barely hear myself think, let alone anyone else actually speaking aloud.
Scrabbling from the room I went to see if it was just me who heard this terrible racket. Unfortunately, I was not. The wounded writhed and covered their ears if possible, wailing as well, even the healers were subdued, some hunched over on the floor, trying their best to cover their ears as the shrieking wail continued to drone on and on.
I knew we couldn’t withstand such an assault for long, everyone was tired, their nerves frayed, such an auditory attack would only hasten some sort of breakdown in our lines, which would spell doom for the city. But the problem was that I could not locate the source of this noise, this fell sound that jammed spikes of pure agony into my skull.
Going outside only made it worse, and the agony only grew more intense the closer to the walls I got. Just as I reached the stairs and began to climb, the sound stopped, yet my ears still suffered from a ringing tone. My sense of balance was thrown into chaos and I staggered my way up to the battlements, bracing myself on a crenellation so I may not collapse in front of those still upright.
Shuddering, I stared across the bloody battlefield at the enemy lines, spotting the contraption which had made such a terrible sound. What I saw filled me with utter disgust.
submitted by In_Yellow_Clad to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 12:18 Ok-Kick832 Hi here is the second episode of my WWD remake

Edit: This is of Walking with Dinosaurs which can be accessed here
This is focuses on the fauna of Madagascar.
The Giant Island
It starts with a mother and father Adalatherium watching their young hatch. Several noises come from outside and the father never comes back from outside the next day she protects them well from several intruding Masiakosaurus hunting for crabs which the mammal eats instead. The surviving crabs escape to be crushed by a group of titanosaurs which engage in a fight with each other for some kind of plant. These interrupt the mother mammal and several Simosuchus with the mother checking her entrance while the Simosuchus rush out and crash into the others while mammal watches eventually the squeals of her offspring she returns to them and they have some milk.
At night a coupe weeks later a snake creeps near the mammal mothers burrow where it is eaten by a young Majungasaurus which is being stalked by an another one as they are cannibalistic but it is attacked by a subadult which chases it into the mother mammals burrow and an attack occurs outside when the two Majungasaurus fight one is killed and the other feasts on its body. The mother and her cubs meanwhile were hunting for the first time for little creatures when they spot one which is chasing after a crab in the dawn light before it is eaten by a giant frog bursting from the water ( a unnamed relative)and it crawls towards the mammals picking them off one by one as more come out only two and the mother survive. The mother mammal returns t the burrow to find it taken over by the juvenile Majungasaurus which makes the mother bleed.
The family wanders through the jungle with the juvenile marvelling at all the stock footage that it has been pasted excellentently onto. A prehistoric duck like bird rests in a tunnel which it has found and the mother mammal kills and snaps its neck the happy scene is filled with blood. The very next day the mammal are happy in their den when several Majungasaurus hunt several Masiakosaurus but are stopped by the titanosaurs so they go after the family of mammals and both of the juveniles are picked off and the mother mammal runs away but is attacked by a snake and almost eaten alive several mammals killing the snake and feasting on it while the mother watches. A few months later the mother Adalatherium mates with a new male and they successfully raise these ones to adulthood pretty quickly.
The narration alludes to Walking With beasts as the mother and father watch their young run away while several Simosuchus and Titanosaurs peaceful for once graze it ends with a Majungasaurus startling them from the side but the mammals have already left the area hours ago and the ending scene is a titanosaur kicking it into the jungle. a
submitted by Ok-Kick832 to fixingmovies [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 11:07 ifailedmaths Trip Report: 14 days end of spring trip, 9 pax, Tokyo and Hokkaido!

I'll try to be as brief as I can, otherwise this post will become an essay of me trying to promote Japan as the best vacation destination I have ever been to.
TLDR; Japan is great!
The trip took place from 13 May 2023 to 27 May 2023. 9 people, ages ranging from late 20s to mid 60s, family from both my side and my wife's, took part in this trip. The 4 youngest members, including yours truly, planned for everything in this trip which includes the hotels, places we visits, international flights, domestic flights, meals, routes to take. It also helps that our youngest member is fluent in Japanese, while the rest of the youngsters can understand simple Japanese, thus YMMV.
Tokyo (13 May - 18 May 2023)
Tokyo was probably the most hated part of our trip as it involves a lot of walking. And the 5 old people were definitely not keen on walking much. So we really had to spend a lot of time looking for places to chill after half an hour of walking, which really slows us down. Even in train stations, we had to look for elevators since they were unable to climb stairs. There were really a lot of stairs in Japan.
Anyway, for the most part, we stayed in Kyobashi in Tokyo. We chose this area as it provides direct access to Haneda Airport via trains. It was also really convenient as every location we went to in Tokyo was accessible from Kyobashi Station, requiring little to no transfers.
A short review of places we went in Tokyo
Asakusa - It was crowded on a Sunday. Sensoji was nice to look at. Lots of street food around the area if you explore west of Nakamise Street. Kappabashi Dougu Street sells kitchenware and handmade crockeries, which are slightly pricey but good additions to my dining set. Spent around 5 hours here.
Ueno Zoo - Oldest zoo in Japan. Houses many animals that we don't see in Singapore, like the snow monkeys and shoebills. Pandas were definitely the main attraction. We queued for 15 minutes just to see them for 3 minutes. There is a system in place so that panda viewing is not overcrowded. In total, we spent almost 5 hours here.
Ameyoko Street - Shopping street. We just walked through this stretch after Ueno Zoo when everyone was tired. It was quite a touristy place where we did not find it interesting.
Meiji Shrine - Very beautiful shrine. Everybody enjoyed the walk from Harajuku Station to the shrine. The canopy provided shade on a hot day. Coupled with the cool weather, the walk was pleasant. We were also lucky enough to be able to witness a wedding ceremony happening at the shrine while we were there. Get your Omikuji (fortune slip) for JPY200. It comes with English translation.
Harajuku - Very hip shopping street. We were just here for Marion Crepes, nothing else. But if you are into fashion, feel free to spend time shopping here. The clothes are relatively cheaper as compared to places like Uniqlo.
Shibuya - A lot of construction projects are happening now at Shibuya, so it was slightly harder to get around. We went to a planetarium, and sat down for a "show", which was all voiced in Japanese, no subtitles. Very cool even if you don't understand anything as the start of the show basically placed you right in the heart of Shibuya, and allowed you to see the skyline. The youngsters also had a chance to go to the Pokemon Centre and Disney Store to do some light shopping. Go if you like these kind of things. If not, I would recommend skipping them.
Tsukiji Market - A local, slightly more touristy fish market. A lot of fresh seafood to try. Uni (Sea urchin) was in season. The most popular items were the tamagoyaki (rolled egg omelet) and hotate (scallops). We also ate at a local sushi restaurant and I had my first horse meat sushi. The chef even advised me that I should eat it without soy sauce. Very cool experience, probably something I'll never try if I did not go to Japan.
As you can see from above, we didn't go to many places in Tokyo as the oldies were pretty much restricted by their physical abilities to take long walks. I should also share that eating out is more expensive compared to Singapore (where we are from), with each meal costing around JPY1500 or more per person.
Hokkaido (18 May - 27 May 2023)
Hokkaido was really the highlight of this trip. It was clear that everyone enjoyed Hokkaido more than Tokyo. For the domestic flights, we flew via Air Do. To get to Hokkaido, we flew from Haneda Airport to Asaikawa Airport. To get back to Tokyo, we flew from Hakodate Airport. In addition, we rented 2 cars to fit 9 people, with 10 medium to large sized luggage. The distance between each city was usually about 2 to 3 hours drive. Essentially, we went from the west of Hokkaido to the east. So.. That definitely took a long while. so I'll break down the locations by cities.
Monbetsu (18 May - 19 May 2023)
Kamiyubetsu Tulip Park - A tulip park recreated to make you feel as if you were in The Netherlands. Very pretty place especially when all the tulips were in full bloom. We spent about 2 hours here just taking pictures and taking in the view.
Takinoue Shibazakura Park - A park where everything is pink! I have never seen a place so pink. We missed the sakura season in Tokyo but managed to catch the blooming of Shibazakura instead. It is really a sight to behold. In the park, if you are able, I would recommend climbing all the way to the bell to get a stunning view of the whole place. There is also a 3 minutes helicopter ride for JPY600 per person to get an aerial view of the park.
The tulip park was the reason why we drove 3 hours to the small town of Monbetsu. I think the drive was worth it if you like looking at flowers in full bloom. On a separate note, I have been to Monbetsu on another trip in 2019. There is a crab claw statue, a sea ice musuem and a seal sanctuary to visit. The town is not as boring as one might think.
Asahikawa (19 May - 20 May 2023)
Ramen Village - Just a place where 8 ramen restaurants set up shop. I highly recommend eating shoyu ramen in Asahikawa since that's what they're famous for.
Otokoyama Sake Brewery and Museum - It's in the name! Go here if you like sake. There's free tasting. The museum portion just showcases equipment used in the brewing process. It even shows how it was brewed in the older eras. There is also a tap where anyone can collect the spring water that they use to brew the sake. So.. BRING YOUR OWN BOTTLE!
Takikawa Canola Festival - We were just in time for the event. Canola (oil?) is the main export of the town of Takikawa. The festival only runs for 2 weekends. We were lucky to have been able to see this. Anyway, the festival was packed with people. So to alleviate overcrowding at the fields, the organisers did not allow people to go to the fields directly. Everybody is required to go to the festival location and take a shuttle bus to the fields. The bus timings were about 10 minutes from the next one, so even if the queue was long, we didn't wait too long. With any festival, there will always be snacks and other merchandise. Feel free to buy them and support the locals.
Furano (20 May - 21 May 2023)
Ningle Terrace - I think there were a total of 18 small craft shops in the area. Anyway, it's a place where you'll want to go after it turns dark. That's when the fairy lights come on and make it look magical. Personally, I wasn't into the crafts. But I bet they will be good decorations for your office desk or home.
Farm Tomita - A farm famous for lavender. It was raining heavily when we were there. So.. It wasn't a great experience. Coupled with the fact that lavender wasn't really in season, we could only see a small patch of purple. Potatoes here were great though! I would recommend getting some potato wedges or croquettes as snacks.
Furano Cheese Factory - We went there on a weekend. So, there was pretty much no production viewing. But no loss, since we were actually there for the pizza! The whole complex, including a pizza cafe, ice cream shop, factory and museum is nestled in a small woodland area. So you get to enjoy pizza and ice cream in the great outdoors! I highly recommend the pizzas.
Sapporo (21 May - 23 May 2023)
Tanukikoji Street - Shopping street! There's a Mega Don Quixote if anyone's interested. Otherwise it is really just another shopping street. What's cool about it is that there is also an underground mall that's linked to Susukino Station. So, you can shop above and under ground.
Nijo Market - A fish market just like Tsukiji Market but on a smaller scale. It was already past noon when we reached so most shops were closed or closing. The local shopkeepers here were friendlier though.
Odori Park - We took a 15 minutes walk from Sapporo Station to this park. It was not very impressive without sakura blooms or festivals. The iconic Sapporo TV Tower was at the head of the park. We chose not to go up the tower as we went somewhere higher.
JR Tower 36 - I believe this tower is taller than the Sapporo TV Tower. It costs JPY600 per person to ascend the tower. It offers a 360 degrees (more like 90 degrees x 4 sides) view of the city. On a clear day, you might even be able to see Otaru from the tower. You can also see the trains leaving and entering JR Sapporo Station.
Mount Moiwa - Unfortunately, it was foggy the night when we wanted to go up the mountain. So, we decided not to go. From what we researched, it offers a very pretty night view of the city.
So.. In Sapporo, we ditched the car and travelled via trains and legs, like how we did in Tokyo. Parking is expensive in bigger cities. It was a shame that we didn't get to go up to Mount Moiwa as I personally wanted to go up there. But.. There is always an alternative (maybe even better).
Otaru (23 May - 24 May 2023)
Sakaimachi Street - The biggest shopping street in Otaru. The road is lined with shops of various sizes on both sides. Highlights include a glass warehouse, the Romankan (Romance House) and the windchimes on the river. At the end of the street (or the beginning depends on where you start), is an iconic clock tower. I think it rings and blows steam out of its top every hour. Under the clock tower is my personal favourite, LeTao! Their bestseller, the cheesecakes, is the best! But I love their chocolate biscuits, The Noir, better.
Otaru Canal - You may or may not know that Otaru was a port town. The warehouses that line up beside the canal has since been transformed into shops. According to my wife, it is supposedly a pretty place to go to at night, when lights brighten the canal. But when we were there, it was a sad sight. The lights barely lit up the canal. So.. GO IN FEBRUARY when the snow light path festival is happening! There is also a gondola ride on the canal if anyone's interested. We were not.
Sankaku Market - A really small market beside Otaru Station. We had our crab lunch here! 3 crabs totaling 4.6kg for JPY45000. I think that the items sold here are relatively more expensive as this market is catered towards tourists.
Lake Toya (24 May - 25 May 2023)
Mount Usu - A volcano which last erupted in the year 2000. We took the ropeway up. Trust me! It is worth the trip. There is a terrace right beside the ropeway station where you can enjoy beautiful scenery of the lake and surrounding mountains. The youngsters also managed to climb 320 steps to go closer to the caldera of Mount Usu. While you don't see any lava, you can definitely see some smoke.
Meisui-no-Sato Rest Station - This is not really an attraction. But I wanted to give it a shoutout because it was definitely the most beautiful rest station I have ever seen. A suspension bridge links the rest station to a small forested area. And in that area is a spring! It was unexpected to see everybody enjoying a rest there and drinking spring water directly from the mountains.
The Lake Ko no Sumika - Our hotel for the night at Lake Toya. This hotel resort is situated right beside the lake. The hotel is also part of the Toya Sun Palace. If you stay in Ko no Sumika, you get access to the onsen and facilities of both hotels. But it doesn't work the other way round. So it definitely feels more exclusive. The Lake Ko no Sumika has the onsen on the 8th level, giving you an unblocked view of the lake and its beyond when you're taking a bath. For those who don't know, from April to October, a fireworks show happens every night between 8.45pm to 9.05pm. The fireworks show takes place on the lake, starting from the pier near The Lake Toya Nonokaze resort, ending in the middle of the lake, right in front of my hotel room. Did I mention that there is a balcony in every room that looks out to the lake? That's where we enjoyed the fireworks show. There is also an onsen bath in every room of the hotel for you to enjoy if you are shy about going nude in the public bath. To summarise, The Lake Ko no Sumika was luxury on another level. I highly recommend this heaven.
Hakodate (25 May - 27 May 2023)
Onuma National Park - It's actually a quasi-national park. Not sure what the difference is. But it is a beautiful park where there are bridges that link small little islands together. It'll take around 1 hour to walk the longest route and 15 minutes for the shortest. Honestly, I love this park. It was picturesque and it was also amusing to see young couples (the guy) struggling to row a boat.
Mount Hakodate - Boasts the world famous night view. While I agree that the view is beautiful, it is too packed for anyone to enjoy. Everybody is holding up their cameras and crowding near the railings for anyone to take in the scenery. Of course, to counter this, you can always pop by the restaurant or cafe and hope that you'll be assigned a seat by the window so that you can enjoy the view. I recommend that to go right before the sun sets. At the top, you'll have to choose if you want to see the sunset or the night view. Because there is no way that you'll capture both since everybody will crowd to one or the other. It'll always be more crowded when the sky turns dark and everybody is rushing to get off the mountain. So.. Be prepared to wait! Good luck!
Hakodate Morning Market - The morning market is awesome. You have access to fresh seafood and other produce. You can even haggle! We spend our 2 mornings there for breakfast. Amazing place to get delicious and slightly cheaper seafood. There is also a stall which lets you catch your own squid and they'll grill it for you. Long queue though. For reference, we had 2 crabs, weighing at 4.2kg in total for JPY37000. They'll lead you to a restaurant where they'll cook the crabs for you, for free! Don't be afraid to haggle and discuss with the shop owners.
Goryokaku - A fort turned into a park! The famous star(?) shaped park is a beautiful place. When we were there, we saw wisterias and fresh green trees. There is also a structure, which I believe was the residence of someone, which you can pay to enter. Nothing to rave about. But if you want to see some architecture in the middle of a park, you can see it here. Come here if you enjoy walking around a big park. If not, give it a miss.
To sum things up
It is safe to say that all of us enjoyed our trip to Japan. For my parents, it was their first time in Japan. Our itinerary could have been more optimised to cater to the old folks but we planned what we could. Everything else was pretty much on the fly.
While most Japanese don't speak English, they do have some basic understanding if you speak slowly and give them time to process what you said. Alternatively, learn some simple Japanese phrases. It'll make life a lot easier there. For the most part, we relied on Google Maps and Navitime apps to get around Tokyo. We googled for Mapcodes for our drive in Hokkaido.
Hope you enjoyed this lengthy trip report!
submitted by ifailedmaths to JapanTravel [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 10:59 Kroftyy I just finished watching The Challenge S36: Double Agents for the first time. Here are some of my thoughts!

Hey all,
Back at it again after just now finishing Double Agents. A definite overall improvement over last season, but one that is still a bit of a slog to get through and not without its flaws. Let’s discuss.
Disclaimer: At this stage I have only seen seasons 5-36 of The Challenge, plus the VS spinoffs. Please refrain from spoiling any other seasons, or returning players. Thanks :)
TL;DR Summary
Double Agents continues with the skull twist introduced last season, forcing people to enter and win an elimination if they want to make it to the final. Whilst they try to tweak this twist to create a better season, it still negatively impacts things overall. The cast is pretty solid, but the boot order is rough and has a major alliance dominate through the whole season WotW2 style. There are a few standout characters which bring life to an otherwise boring season, and daily challenges are mostly ok. Eliminations quickly got old with the same set of 5 reused over and over, albeit with a few tweaks. Fortunately it has an incredible, tough final unlike something we’ve seen in recent memory (not counting WotW), and winners which feel mostly satisfying.
The Good
The Not So Good
The format
The format this season is equal parts good and bad.
It’s a partners season with shifting teams. Male/female teams are initially self-selected at the start of the season after the first challenge. I quite liked how they left it up to the contestants to choose their first partner - good drama and some really cool teams came out of it. These teams would not stick it out though, as the season introduced multiple twists to allow shifting and changing.
As always, we had our usual daily challenges, where teams compete, in their duos, for a win. The winners of a challenge become our ‘Double Agents’ for the week. After the challenge, everyone beside the Double Agents would participate in nominations to discuss who they want to put up for elimination. Individually, all contestants would then vote for the team they want to send into elimination (anonymously)
Following these noms, the Double Agents are privately shown the nominated team as well as all individuals that voted to send them in. They are then given the power to send in their opponent after arriving to the elimination arena and seeing the game.
Eliminations shake out like usual, albeit with a limited pool of games this season, but are played individually in male/female days rather than as duos. After an individual is eliminated, a few things happen. The losing contestants partner becomes a ‘Rogue Agent’ and will be left alone, unable to compete, until a new partner pops up in the next episode as a result of THAT elimination. The winning individual of the elimination can either stay with their partner, take the losing individual’s partner, or steal ANY other partner on the show, except for the Double Agents.
If this alone was the format - top tier. Whilst I loved some of those initial teams, the ability for them to shift around was fantastic. I loved seeing the drama involved with picking new partners, and how it forced some unlikely duos together.
Unfortunately, the winner of the elimination also gets… a skull… and this is what is required in order to run the final. They openly state a limited number of skulls this season, but it doesn’t do too much to alleviate the issues introduced by this twist last season. Everyone just lines up to take their turn in the elimination, and it slows down the season and makes it a struggle to get through. I hope to never see this twist again - it takes out so much unpredictability.
The cast
Look the cast is overall good this season. There are some flops but we have some great people around, and a season without Bananas at that. Unfortunately the boot order is a bit tough to watch - we lose a lot of the entertainment due to the dominant, bland alliance, and so the cast slowly gets worse over. I’ve got a LOT of contestants to get through so might try to keep things a bit briefer.
CT: I’ve been on a bit of a rollercoaster with CT lately. I keep wanting to see the CT we saw upon his initial return - that stint around Rivals - Exes 2. But I think the fact of the matter is that he’s different yet again. I found him to honestly be a little dull at times this season. The first 3/4s he really didn’t provide a whole lot. Then you DO get the drama with Big T, his showdown with Fessy, and his eventual win with Amber, so things do come around in the end and his win is cathartic if only because he wasn’t part of that majority alliance all season. I also like the full circle moment of him taking a win in Iceland after Exes (which I BELIEVE was also there?). I would have enjoyed a new winner on the male side though... getting Turbo/Rogan was nice, but it feels like we’re falling back into familiar territory with Jordan/Bananas/CT winning.
Amber: I really enjoyed watching and rooting for Amber this season. Her initial partnership with Darrell was fantastic, and one of my favourite pairings of the season. Unfortunately, she for some reason gets shafted by the edit through 80% of the season and barely gets to show any personality or narration capabilities. I love that she got to shine a bit more in the final few episodes though, winning the two (admittedly easy) Hall Brawls, and absolutely SMASHING that tough final. She in no way had to lean on her partner, crushing almost all aspects of the final and putting in a memorable finish and win - love seeing a rookie come through and take the crown. I really hope to see more of her, perhaps in more of a main character role, in the future.
Cory: Loved seeing Cory make a deep run again. Whilst he WAS aligned with the majority alliance, and thus pretty safe all season, he’s a great confessionalist that has only improved over time, and provides fantastic narration through this whole season. He’s also really funny in confessionals this time around, calling out the antics in the house in his trademark style. Loved to see him earn a little bit of money ‘for his family’, and was dying at his rotating door of female partners all season. A good Cory season.
Kam: Much like CT I find I am often on a bit of a rollercoaster with Kam. I think I prefer seeing her need to scrap from the bottom, because I found it hard to root for her this season as the leader of the majority alliance. She dominated from start to finish, and for someone that loves an underdog, it often put me in a position where I’d be rooting against her, and even disliking her. Her arrogance sometimes rubs me the wrong way, even though it IS sometimes earnt with how she has played in the past. In the end though, I came back around on her and was able to appreciate her presence and gameplay this season. I enjoyed seeing her take 2nd place too.
Leroy: Leroy’s ‘final’ season (tbd if that proves to be true or not), and what a way to go out. He may not have won, liked he set out to do, but this is Leroy’s best season through and through. He has agency over the game, and without Bananas to lead the pack, steps up alongside Kam to make decisions and actually have a say. It’s refreshing to see from him, and I enjoyed his usual placement as the ‘straight man’ amongst the antics of his house. Again, his placement in that majority often made it hard to get behind his plight, but I’m happy for his performance this season and think this will be a great way for him to finish his challenge career, if that proves to be true. Great daily performances alongside Kaycee, and a commendable final effort. Probably would have liked to see him secure the win here, although if that meant a Nany win I wouldn’t have been super happy.
Nany: Speaking of Nany… gosh since her return I’ve liked her less with each appearance. She had some really awful moments last season and continued to showcase some bad personality traits this time around, yet again betraying one of her ‘best friends’ Aneesa. Her proximity to the Big Brother alliance, even more so than Kam/Leroy due to how ingrained she is, also puts a big taint on her character, as Josh, Fessy and to a lesser extent Kaycee aren’t my favourite contestants at the moment. I hate that he storyline is the EXACT SAME every season. Line for line I feel like she has the same confessionals every time ‘I’m finally here to take my win after x seasons’.
Fessy: Holy crap. I actually haven’t outright hated someone on The Challenge in a long, long time. There was Paulie, sure, but I LOVED to hate on him. Fessy is my least favourite contestant in recent memory, and it’s not even close. Firstly, he has to be the least-charismatic villain the show has ever seen. He has the personality of a wet towel, and combined with his inflated sense of self and arrogance, it gives us a truly hateable contestant. He belittled and blamed his female contestants all season long, and then when he finally gets his ‘first choice’, he gives up in the final and tries to gaslight it into being Kaycee’s fault. Seeing him place last in the final was FANTASTIC, and I LOVED that everyone dogged on him for his choices. Production included with that fantastic Karma Chameleon needle drop. His ego is ridiculous, and I think he should have been DQed after his actions in that Nelson Hall Brawl. Just ridiculous and unsafe. The fact that he was allowed to compete in a second HB after that is an awful choice on production’s end. I need him to get humbled in elimination BAD. Preferably a physical one.
Kaycee: My feelings towards Kaycee are much, much less severe that Fessy. Kaycee suffers from just being boring. She’s completely likeable, and she seems cool. She’s a great competitor. But her personality doesn’t feel geared towards the challenge, and for someone making it so deep two season in a row, I’d hope to see a bit MORE from her. Whether this is productions’ fault or her own is yet to be seen, but if she continues to be on the show I’d love to see some more entertainment from her. I felt horrible for her in the final though, and was genuinely sad to see her go out that way, even if I was satisfied with Fessy losing.
Kyle: One of the three shining points of entertainment this season - Kyle is in strong form. He’s never in the majority, and often getting betrayed by the minority, and so we get Kyle playing this scrappy game all season long. He’s fantastic in confessionals this season, it’s almost a stand-out for him, providing non-stop comedy both there and in the house itself. His heart and determination is on display yet again too, following his injury in the final Hall Brawl of the season against Fessy. I would have loved to see Kyle take this one home this season - I truly do feel like he has it in him to win. I’ll be highlighting many Kyle quotes and moments below.
Big T: Yet another shining point of entertainment this season. I’ve mentioned how much I’ve enjoyed Big T in her fleeting moments on the previous two seasons, and I absolutely loved seeing her get a main-character season this time around. She is one of our main narrators and storylines from the get-go, quickly ending up as CTs partner and giving us a fantastic story of triumph and building confidence. She goes through ups and downs with CT as a partner when he leaves her for Kam, and eventually makes his way back, but all throughout she remains likeable and such a bright presence. Unfortunately I don’t think she’s ever going to be a winning threat… but in terms of entertainment value and personality, I think she should continue to do many more Challenges.
Darrell: Alongside Amber, Darrell gets done DIRTY this season. We have one of the most iconic vets of the game, and he’s reduced to a few fleeting confessionals here and there, with nothing in between? So disrespectful of Production. Darrell is absolute gold in confessionals, and the ones he DOES get are almost always memorable and fun. I wish we would have seen even more of him, and his relationship with Amber. One of the only true partnerships this season imo, never betraying each other and always being supportive.
Aneesa: This is going to surprise some of you based on how I’ve spoken about Aneesa over her last few appearances, but I actually think she brought it this season. She’s no physical-threat, or winning-threat, but entertainment-wise I actually think she was memorable. She won multiple dailies, with different partners, and earnt a gold skull as well, against Tori of all people, even if her eventual elimination performance is dreadful. The relationship with Fessy as her partner, as well as Kyle after switching, were both fantastic in different ways. Fessy because it was GREAT to see him constantly handicapped, and Kyle because they genuinely worked well together and had great chemistry. One of Aneesa’s more memorable seasons in a long time.
Nam: I feel so bad for Nam. Having Lolo as a partner for most of the season and then getting DQed with an injury. He was a little boring, but I’d like to see him back to get another shot. I think he could bring something given a better starting hand.
Gabby: I liked Gabby. I don’t think she’s anything crazy or unique from what we’ve seen before, but she had a strong confessional style and was able to speak well. Kinda hate that she eventually gave in an hooked up with Mr. Introvert though.
Josh: Josh this season was how I remembered Josh from Big Brother. It’s taken a while, but he’s gone from surprisingly ok back to what I first thought of him - loud, obnoxious and annoying. Fortunately, his presence this season was appreciated because he had a fantastic foil to his personality in Devin. The Devin v Josh stuff was the highlight of the season entertainment-wise. And seeing the true side of Fessy this season makes Josh look likeable in comparison.
Lolo: Wow, what an absolute flop. Lolo showed so much promise on the VS spin-off and is a complete let-down this season. She pretty much whinges from Day 1 when things aren’t going her way and constantly blames Nam for everything happening. And then she just quits? What a fail. They should have brought back Louise.
Devin: Devin’s first season in a little while, and what a memorable one. He almost single handedly makes the first half of this season. Much like with Bananas, he just has a way of getting under people’s skin like nobody else can. I LOVE it. The way he played Josh over and over and over never ceased making me laugh. ‘Big brother sucks’, ‘what’s 8x9’ and many more will be referenced further a bit below. He was comedy gold this season and the entertainment value dropped off significantly after his boot. Also adds Wes to his surprising elimination win list.
Amber M: Amber had quite a bit of exposure through the first half of the season - quite a bit of drama surrounding her and her relationship with Devin and others, but she ultimately didn’t lead enough of an impact to be all that memorable.
Mechie: Mechie seemed like a good person and the small insights we got into his backstory were good, but he’s not built for The Challenge and I’d be pretty surprised if we see him again.
Theresa: Theresa was an absolute STAR this season. This is my favourite season of hers ever. She may not have made it deep but she brought back her signature personality matched with a bit more maturity and it hit all the right notes for me. She was smart, feisty, and unafraid to back down from the major alliance. I loved her relationship with Jay and was rooting hard for the two of them to make a deep run.
Jay: As mentioned with Theresa, out of the whole season I was rooting the most for Theresa/Jay. I loved both of them and thought they complemented each other really well. It was nice to see Jay make it a little further than usual - he always seems to get targeted for his size, and he continued to be targeted this season, but he was fortunately able to make it a little deeper. Really likeable, love his never-back-down attitude. He’s a great player and I’d love to see him become a staple to the point where he isn’t targeted as much and can play the game a bit longer.
Ashley: Ashley was literally in and out of the house not once but TWICE. It’s a shame Ashley leaves so many seasons early because you can’t say she doesn’t bring drama and personality.
Lio: Nothing really to say about Lio - I don’t follow WWE so had no attachment to him, and he’s pretty low-key on the season up until leaving.
Tori: A surprising early finish for Tori, especially considering she lost to Aneesa. It was nice having her out a little early. We’ve seen a lot of her lately and I probably didn’t want to see a whole season of her again this soon.
Nelson: A brutal exit for Nelson. I think he got unlucky off the bat getting a rookie and things went downhill from there when he’s blindsided by Fessy to secure his own gold skull. A lot of heart shown by Nelson in that hall brawl despite the matchup. I wish Fessy would have been DQed here and Nelson stay in the game in his place.
Natalie A: Another Survivor on the show! And another Survivor to bring it. I really like Natalie, and her pairing with Wes was a dream come true. They have very similar personalities and ways of playing the game. Devastated that she had to go home for an emergency and I really hope we get to see her back in the future.
Wes: As said, a dream pairing for him with Nat A, but such a lacklustre season from him. I would have loved to see Devin, Kyle, Wes run that little minority, but instead we get a bit of a half-assed attempt from Wes where his head isn’t in the game. Wes’ appearances seem to go one way or the other lately: a deep run or out early. Lame.
Liv, Joseph I actually can’t remember, despite watching these early episodes less than three weeks ago. Oops.
Nicole Z: Wtf?!?! I was keen to see Nicole Z and then she’s medically removed so early? Absolutely brutal. I think her pair-up with Devin would have been interesting to see develop further.
The challenges
The dailies
We get some pretty interesting dailies this season, and some which are quite unique. Not all of them are memorable, but some of my favourites:
Ok I take back what I said most of these dailies SUCKED. I don’t know what I was on. Sure, there’s a couple nice ones. All Brawl is good, Road Kill is good, Decryption is good. But half the time everyone just works together or the challenge is bland/predictable.
The eliminations
I struggled with the eliminations this season. For such a long season, we only had six different eliminations, and some of them weren’t interesting or enjoyable to watch. I’ll touch on all of them though because they all have something worth mentioning:
The final
Dailies, mostly average. Eliminations, mostly average.
But the FINAL?!? ‘Finally, some good fucking food’
This Final was fantastic. It’s easily the best one since War of the Worlds, and I preferred the spectacle and visuals (location) of this one over WotW. It’s a beautiful final played over a rocky coastline, it incorporates a stunning ice cave, and is played at the tail end of a hurricane. The conditions are brutal, timing generally matters, and the first person to make it to TJ is the winner.
We had running/endurance along beautiful Icelandic coastline, a brawling checkpoint which recreated the first Decryption challenge (alright, that reuse is a bit lame), an eating checkpoint where Amber gets a glorious blood-beard, a kayaking portion, and overnight portion in a stunning locale, with an endless dripping of water and mental torture, some puzzles. It really ticked all the boxes and felt tough. CT and Amber’s win feels earned.
It was just a great final all-around. One of the best episode of the season I think, and if this is the new standard of final, I’m all for it. Makes me really reminiscent to like, the Rivals 1/2 or Exes final. Keen for more like this.
Random remaining thoughts from throughout the season
And there we have it. Fortunately Double Agents is an improvement over Total Madness. It’s nowhere near a perfect season and struggles with a boring storyline, some bland dailies, and the skull twist, but it also has a few individuals that really stand out, as well as good winners and a fantastic final.
Overall, I’m content with this one.
Next up I have All Stars 1 which I am incredibly excited about. I’ll be trying to do my usual predictions for it but I feel I’m going to get a ridiculous amount wrong. Lets see!
As always, let me know what you all thought of this season - keen to hear your thoughts on it, and please feel free to rag on Fessy with me. Thanks for reading!
Wild that this marks my thirty-fifth season of The Challenge. A cool milestone. I’ve placed this in a spot which surprised me a little, I didn’t expect it to be so high, but comparing it to some of the seasons below is what landed it here. It could change, as always with these rankings.
  1. S25: Free Agents
  2. S24: Rivals 2
  3. S33: War of the Worlds
  4. S21: Rivals
  5. S34: War of the Worlds 2
  6. S13: The Duel
  7. S30: Dirty 30
  8. S10: Inferno 2
  9. S29: Invasion of The Champions
  10. S20: Cutthroat
  11. S8: The Inferno
  12. S19: Fresh Meat 2
  13. S12: Fresh Meat
  14. S26: Battle of the Exes 2
  15. S22: Battle of the Exes
  16. S32: Final Reckoning
  17. S17: The Duel 2 (V)
  18. S15: The Gauntlet 3
  19. S18: The Ruins
  20. S31: Vendettas
  21. S36: Double Agents
  22. S28: Rivals 3
  23. The Challenge: Champs v Stars 2
  24. The Challenge: Champs vs Pros
  25. S6: Battle of the Sexes
  26. S14: Inferno 3
  27. S11: The Gauntlet 2
  28. S7: The Gauntlet
  29. The Challenge: Champs vs Stars
  30. S5: Battle of the Seasons
  31. S9: Battle of the Sexes 2
  32. S23: Battle of the Seasons (2)
  33. S27: Battle of the Bloodlines
  34. S35: Total Madness
  35. S16: The Island
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