I watched Captain America: Civil War this last weekend, and for the most part it’s what you’d expect in a film adaptation of comic book superheroes. The movie was entertaining, but there were several things about it that bugged me (heh heh, well, besides Antman and Spiderman). These issues were what made the movie work, and so I can’t fault it too much. I guess.
And here it is: misplaced guilt and illogical arguments. This was throughout the movie and was a basis for the split between Captain America and Ironman. A bad guy with a grenade tries to blow himself and a hero up in a crowd, another hero steps in to save the first and the crowd. . . only to blow up part of a building resulting in different people dying. So that means that second hero is responsible for those deaths, according to the movie.
Wait, what? So the hero is the one who killed the bystanders and not THE GUY WITH THE GRENADE?! The hero made a snap judgement that resulted in those in the surrounding area surviving, including the two heroes who will continue to save the world another day. Could the hero have changed the trajectory and saved everyone? Maybe, but there was only a second, if that, to respond.
And this illogical argument is seen repeatedly throughout the movie. Remember the last Avengers movie when the bad guys lifted a huge hunk of earth and that crashed down on a bunch of people when the Avengers ruined the bad guy’s plan? According to this movie, it was the Avengers’ fault all those people died, not the bad guys who, you know, caused the hunk to fly around in the first place.
And perhaps what irks me most is that this misplaced blame leads to the Avengers agreeing to be under government control. Because no government has ever killed anyone before or made any horrid mistakes. . .
A more minor thing that would bug me is that Ironman is the one to agree with it fully and immediately. Ironman, the guy who told the government to piss off, those were his super suits. I can forgive this so long as it isn’t an oversight and is intentional, demonstrating Ironman’s change in character, but it’s hard to determine if it was a mistake or if the creators are actually developing the character. It would make sense to me for Ironman to stick with the decision to the end out of stubbornness due to his ego, but I need that reassurance that he would have made the initial call. . . which the movie provides. The movie built up on this a bit, using that misplaced blame to guilt him into it. I would hope an alleged genius could see through the illogic, but again, I can forgive this because of Ironman’s arrogance. Due to that, he might see the results as his fault because he thinks he could have prevented it. Consider me appeased.
What I can’t forgive is Vision following the same fallacy. Vision should think logically, like a computer. The fact that he also misplaces the blame for these events onto the Avengers really irks me. I understand his actions for trying to help one of the heroes by not letting her leave because he is concerned more for her public image and her own acceptance than because he thinks she’ll go out and kill more people (even though that’s the just of what he said to try to get her to stay), but he still supports the argument that the Avengers should have supervision (heh, superVision. . .) because of all the people they “killed.”
Overall, it was a fun movie and I’m glad I saw it. I just wish one character would have stood up and said, “You guys are all as egotistical as Stark if you think all these deaths are your faults.” Nobody asks, “What would have been the alternative if the Avengers hadn’t taken action?”
Featured image ripped off from the vast expanse of the interwebs
I just finished The Witcher, and here are some of my thoughts on it. First of all, I realize that I started playing it long after the third and most recent game came out, so I know it’s a little outdated. That said, I played the first Neverwinter Nights just before playing Witcher, and one of my favorite facets going into it was seeing all the mechanical similarities that they shared since Witcher runs off of basically the grandchild of the Neverwinter Nights’ engine. And knowing that this game was released about a year after the Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, I still think the graphics looked amazing. There was some goofiness as creatures in the distance moved around jitterly, but most graphical and mechanical flaws were minor and things that, unfortunately, can still be found in modern games.
The first chapter was great, not too long, interesting enough, and provided the setting; I thought I was going to thoroughly enjoy this game. And then the second and third and fourth chapters happened. The rest of the game dragged on until the fifth chapter; by the fourth, I felt like the game was more work than fun, and I didn’t even get satisfaction after completing said work. Kill these things, go here and talk to these people. Now run clear across the map back where you were to collect these items. Thankfully, a little bit of teleportation was offered to the player about midway or I think I would have given up.
The fifth chapter was better than the first, so the game was like a shit sandwich where the shit part is draggy and work. I don’t play video games to work. I work so that I can get money to play video games. To anyone who has an abundance of patience, I would recommend playing through the first Witcher game as it was most definitely fun and made up for the bad parts, but if you don’t have patience, don’t bother as you will lose interest and would have wasted your time. And don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed killing monsters and banging broads, and I’m glad I pushed through to finishing the game. But god damn, am I even more glad to be done and moving on.
Through the narrow tunnel, the door to which shut behind them, the cave was that from Aeris’ dreams. Half of Corwick could fit comfortably within these walls! Spread before her in rows were bunks and occasionally cots or mats where some were stirring into wakefulness and others were turning in for the night. How anyone could sleep over the merry voices or the clanks of practicing swordplay or the thump! of arrows hitting targets, Aeris hoped she would come to know.
“I’m Eydan, by the way, Eydan Frye.” She glanced at the man leading her to the mats. He seemed to be expecting something from her.
“Nice to meet you, Master Frye.”
He continued to stare; she stared back. Finally, he sighed and asked, “And you are?”
She hesitated another few steps before replying, “Aeris Faulkner.”
“Aeris. . . Nice to meet you, Aeris.” He grinned widely, and she responded with a small smirk. “Here’s your mat, don’t go anywhere, and we’ll talk in the morning.” And then he was gone, so suddenly she jumped a little, eliciting chuckles from the few around her.
She shifted and blushed slightly before asking, “Does he do that a lot?”
“We all do,” laughed a bare chested man a few cots down in the adjacent row. “We’re thieves, after all. It’s our business to disappear.”
“Right. . .” She slowly sat on her borrowed mat and took in her surroundings some more before lying down.
After failing for what felt like several hours to convince herself to fall asleep, Aeris quietly sat back up and surveyed the scene once more. The activities were much the same, only the participants changing, but all those in her near vicinity somehow slept. Incredulous but restless, she cautiously stood up, checking for any deviation that might indicate awareness of her movements. No change. Taking in a deep breath and affixing on her face a determined, confident expression, she stepped lightly further back into the cave.
No one challenged her as she made her way to the back nor as she began to walk through a narrow corridor. She checked behind her as she entered, feeling as if she got away with something. Satisfied that either no one had noticed or they didn’t care, she continued through the tunnel.
The corridor seemed deceptively long, twisting this way and that like a snake. At its end was another cave, much smaller than the first yet still the size of a mansion. This space was empty save a metal door at its back and a large, metal circle embedded in the floor. Engraved on this circle was what looked like a symbol of some sort, depicting a dark cloaked figure running through a dark mask with naught but a star as its left eye. Carved into the cloak were two small, rough Ss like lightning bolts.
“Our emblem. The Ss stand for Shadowstriders.”
Aeris jumped and whirled around. Eydan chuckled as he walked beside her, smirking at her fight-or-flight posture. “The mask is that of Norgorber, the Reaper of Reputation, Blackfingers, The Gray Master. . . I wondered there for a bit if you’d make it. I almost thought you were going to be boring.”
“What do you mean?” she asked and let down her guard, feeling foolish.
He squatted next to the emblem, gazing at it as he spoke, “Oh, nothing important now. Just a simple test. You had me nearly concerned when you just sat there for so long. . .” He stopped talking, glancing over his shoulder at the tunnel before continuing to contemplate the circle.
A couple of minutes passed, and finally Aeris broke the silence to ask, “What happens now?”
“Now,” the commander’s voice came from right behind her, “we determine what to do with you.”
Eydan grinned widely as he stood and said, “See? She’s learning. She hardly even jumped that time.” She gave him a small glare, which only made him give a short bark of laughter.
The commander glided between them to stand in the middle of the circle and turned to face them, looking first at Eydan then meeting her eyes. Two others, the figures from the cave’s entrance, similarly walked to stand on the commander’s left and right. The first was slim and tall and the second short. . . a child, perhaps?
Eydan’s smile dropped to a serious, solemn expression, though he remained in place.
“Who will advocate the Visitor?” the commander asked the air. Aeris glanced at all four and noticed they all seemed to be staring straight ahead.
“I will,” Eydan replied.
“She cannot follow basic orders, as evidenced by her presence in this sacred chamber.”
What? She had received no orders. . .
“A Shadowstrider obeys no man; a Shadowstrider only answers to him –or her –self ultimately.”
“A Shadowstrider must respect her fellow members,” the figure to the commander’s left replied. Aeris then focused on these two. The one who spoke was female with slightly pointed ear tips. . . an elf? And the other much shorter one she had thought a child, but now that she looked at him, she noticed mature sharpness in his cheeks, eyes, and chin. That would make him. . . a halfling. She could not be sure as she had only heard rumors.
“By what qualities do you think her viable?” the Halfling asked, and Aeris realized she had missed something in the exchange.
“The Visitor is quick and dexterous in her current state with much room for improvement, yet she can learn our ways, I’m sure of it. She embraces the darkness as a Shadowstrider must. Most of all, she sought us out and extracted our location from hearsay.”
“Do you, the Visitor, have anything to add? Do you desire to join our guild?” the commander asked, now looking at her, through her eyes and into her soul.
Aeris swallowed and wet her lips. “Yes. I cannot advocate myself for I have much to learn, but I very much desire to join you.” Out of the corner of her eye, she thought she saw Eydan smile and look down; the commander’s eyes seemed to soften.
“Very well, let it be so.”
“Let it be so.”
“Let it be so.”
And so it was that Aeris Faulkner joined the Shadowstriders. She would live with them for several years, experiencing her first sensation of happiness. Aeris, so accustomed to prejudice and exclusion, did not know how to respond to acceptance let alone fondness. But her time there would prove to be short-lived.
Denna, the Fetchling Bard
Exiled from the Shadow Plane (being a fetchling) and her throat mutilated so she couldn’t use her beautiful voice at the age of 13, Denna’s family was killed as a punishment for something they did, about which she doesn’t know the details. After the assailants cut out her voice box and dumped her in the material plane, she made her way to a nearby temple where clerics were able to heal her but were not talented enough to restore her voice.
Being a penniless orphan, she didn’t have the coin to spend to go outside of the city for a long time, playing music in taverns when she had to in order to buy food, even though she hates getting all the attention. She wandered around sleeping under the stars on rooftops or in the woods outside of town. Eventually, she made her way outside of the city, but by the time she arrived at anywhere where they’d have talented enough clerics, the wound was too old.
Desna Starsong, goddess of travelers, gamblers, and musicians, had pity for Denna and so sent one of her followers to guide Denna to a long lost artifact that allows her to speak through it for twelve hours so long as she spends an hour charging it with her own life force. Once the two recovered the artifact, the clergyman left Denna to her own devices at the closest city.
And thus we have a semi-mute bard! The way I would role-play her is that she would still try to mime out what she’s trying to say most of the time to conserve the charge in the artifact. As an introduction, for example, she would first write her name. If the person was illiterate, she would then try to doodle a cave with a bear outside of it, point at the cave, and then play the “A” note on her lute. If the person had no idea what she was trying to convey, she’d slump her shoulders in defeat and say her name through the artifact.
Upon reaching the cave, Aeris found it to be quite empty, small, and uninteresting. Forlorn, she sat on a big rock at the cave’s entrance and tried to think past her disappointment to what she should do next. It took all day to reach this cave, and the nearest city was back the way she came. She couldn’t go back, wouldn’t, but the closest city besides Corwick was a couple of days away. She had little food left.
Blast it all! Why did the rumors, so convincing, have to prove untrue!
As she sat there thinking thusly, the dusk turned to night. She remained sitting, unconcerned, for she had discovered early on that darkness did not disturb her in the slightest. In fact, her eyes only irritated her less, her vision changing to tones of gray that easily picked up details even 20 yards away.
“Lovely night, hmm?”
Aeris jumped and scrambled off the rock to face the voice. A hooded figure leaned next to the rock, dressed in leather armor with daggers strapped to every limb. He looked completely at ease as he regarded her. She suddenly realized how foolish she was, leaving on her own with naught but a walking stick to defend herself.
The man laughed and held his hand out in peace. “Jumpy little thing, aren’t you. I mean you no harm. I would like to know, however, what you are doing outside our door.”
Aeris looked behind him uncertainly and noticed a gap in the cave’s wall exposing a before hidden tunnel. Out of this entry way walked three more figures, similarly equipped. She quietly gasped and felt excitement and cautious hope begin to bloom.
“Are you them?” she blurted.
“Them?” the man asked with an arched eyebrow and a quirked half smile.
“The band of miscreants, rogues, thieves, mercenaries?”
“Miscreants?” He sounded amused.
“Please! I heard rumors that there lived some band here that lives by their own law, one that questions not people’s lives, a group that I might join.”
“Hmph, well, you heard incorrectly,” a new deep voice joined in. One of the other figures approached them. “We certainly question people’s lives, and I’m not so sure you’re up to the task of joining.”
“Commander, you should have seen the way she sprang when startled, and the darkness does not trouble her.”
“We have no time for this right now. . . Hm, well, in any case, we can’t have her running around exposing us. We will also need to know where she heard those rumors. . . Very well, take her inside and give her a mat. And don’t let her. . . wander.”