It is eminently appropriate that the person of King Solomon rises as a central figure in the traditions of both magic and Masonry, for it is written that Solomon was not only a great and wise man of God, he was also the most powerful magician the world had ever known.
The biblical Solomon is downright dull when compared to Solomon the magician of other traditions. Judaism and Islam seem to meld into a magical mist of fable and fantasy in the person of Solomon. He is at once a Hebrew king, a Prophet of Allah, and an audacious oriental wizard. Solomon the magician could talk with animals, fly through the air on a magic carpet, and cause others to fly through the air to him. He could control the powers of nature and was master of the denizens of the spirit world, the demons, the afrites, and genii of Shahrazad’s A Thousand and One Arabian Nights. A recurring theme in these tales is the assertion that Solomon enlisted the services of genii and other maleficent spirits to construct the Temple of God.
Lon Milo DuQuette -The Key to Solomon’s Key: Secrets of Magic and Masonry
Super Mario Brothers was one of the most successful and important video games in video game history, one that would launch a multi-billion dollar franchise and mold Nintendo into a major player in the video game industry. Super Mario Brothers 2 was also very successful, but it was certainly an oddity among the Mario Brothers series. Instead of smashing bricks and stomping goombas, Mario (and a host of other characters) threw weaponized turnips and massacred new enemies called “shy guys”.
Instead of the main antagonist being King Koopa, Mario 2’s boss was a villainous toad named “Wart”. Mario 2 is especially strange because its sequel, Super Mario Brothers 3 continued the theme of the original Super Mario Brothers, as did the rest of the Mario franchise, for the most part. This always led to an interesting question which I pondered during my childhood; why was Mario 2 so different from the rest?
After the release of Super Mario Brothers in 1985, Nintendo decided that a sequel was needed to continue the success of the Mario franchise. In 1986 Shigeru Miyamoto, the original designer of Super Mario Brothers, along with designer Takashi Tazuka, created a new sequel. The sequel was essentially a collection of new levels to Super Mario Brothers, using the exact same engine, animation, and character sprites. There was one major difference between Super Mario Brothers and the sequel, the sequel is much, much harder. Some twists that tazuka added were things like poisoned mushrooms, wind gusts that can blow you to your death when jumping, and secret level warps that can actually set the player back farther in the game. Peashooter has played it before, and its gameplay can be best described as punishing. The sequel was released in Japan on the Famicom Disk System as Super Mario Brothers 2, and was very successful. However, when the game was tested by consultant Howard Phillips of Nintendo America for a possible release in the North America, he had one major problem. The game was too damn hard! Phillips stated that the game probably would not be popular among North American gamers and advised that Nintendo not release the game outside of Japan.
In 1987 Nintendo and Fuji Television Network released the game “Yume Kojo: Doki Doki Panikku” (Dream Factory: Heartbeat Panic) in Japan for the Famicon Disk System. Doki Doki Panic added a new dimension to the classic sidescroller. First, it introduced vertical scrolling, where characters could jump or climb vertically into new environments and screens. Secondly, characters could pick up objects. In fact, the main way to kill enemies was by picking vegetables out of the ground and throwing them at enemies. Doki Doki Panic also featured four playable characters, each with different strengths and weaknesses, with the main character having balanced abilities. The setting of the game can be best described as “Arabian Mythical”, similar to Sinbad or Arabian Nights, and the theme was especially reflected in the characters; Imajin, Mama, Lina, and Papa.
With the successful introduction of Doki Doki Panic, Nintendo developers stumbled upon a interesting idea; why not use Doki Doki Panic as the basis for a Super Mario Brothers 2 release outside of Japan? Thus Doki Doki Panic was converted into a Mario game, replacing the characters Imajin, Mama, Lina, and Papa with the characters Mario, Luigi, Toadstool, and Princess Peach. Some minor changes to the graphics were made, as well as some changes to the layout of the levels, gameplay, and difficulty (The Mario game being less difficult than Doki Doki Panic), but for the most part, if you’ve played Super Mario Brothers 2, you’ve played Doki Doki Panic, and vice versa.
The new Super Mario Brothers 2 was released on July 10th, 1987, and would sell over ten million copies, the third highest selling game for the NES. It was later re-released on the Gameboy Advance handheld system and for the Wii U system in 2014. The original Japanese Famicom Super Mario Bros. 2 would be released as “Super Mario Brothers; The Lost Levels” in North America.
An Arabian Nights-themed tarot box, for my LS Arabian Nights deck. the main relief was particularly hard to cut. Also, apologies for the uneven gold dotting thingie. not particularly good with using a paintbrush (unless it’s for faux effects).
As of Bubbled it is now confirmed that gems of the same kind do not necessarily have the same weapon. Given that most of the homeworld gems we know have been duplicates, this is some pretty interesting news.
Before I go, here are some of the rules gem weapons seem to follow
1: The term weapon is not necessarily literal: helmets, yo-yos and shields are all valid weapons 2: If a gem’s gemstone is too small or too awkwardly placed for them to reach into the weapon will simply appear in a flash of light. Since they don’t need to be drawn being removed from the stone, they are often much wider than other weapons 3: Weapons usually have a symbolic connection to their user, such as Ruby thinking with her fists, Steven wanting to protect, or wild amethyst having the weapon of a beast-tamer
Okay, let’s begin!
Yellow Diamond: Sword
This one shouldn’t be surprising. Swords are the oldest symbol we have of warfare. It also forms a sharp contrast against Steven’s shield. The sky arena even features a statue who some believe to be Yellow Diamond.
Interestingly enough, in the tarot suits and modern western mysticism, the swords are often a material symbol of elemental fire, and are used in place of an easily extinguished candle or as a ritual implement. Yellow Diamond herself seems to employ exclusively hot-head, and her mural in the Pyramid Temple shows her wreathed in a heraldic sun.
Blue Diamond: [Bottomless] Goblet of corruption
In The Arabian/1001 Nights, sorceresses were frequently depicted transfiguring hapless victims into beasts by splashing them with water from a chalice of crystal or silver. This is possibly an intentional reference on the part of the SU crew and would likely function in a similar manner.
Given her three motifs of water, fantasy and arabia, it seems natural that a goblet would be Blue Diamond’s weapon. Her supposed mural in the pyramid temple shows her bending water and ice in the same manner as Lapis, and a bottomless goblet would give her a limitless supply to work with
Just as swords are used as symbols of fire in tarot and mysticism, ornate goblets serve the same purpose for water, usually containing holy water, rose water, or wine
Pink Diamond: Pentacle Coin
Admittedly speaking, the evidence for Pink and White Diamond’s weapons is going to be a bit less concrete than the others seeing as we have yet to even see them in person, but we do have at least some evidence to go off of with PD.
Just as YD and BD were associated with Fire and Water, Pink Diamond is connected to elemental earth, both through her ownership of the earth and her servant Rose’s plant manipulation. In wicca and tarot, the element of earth is often represented with a pentacle, a five-pointed star, etched onto a coin or pendant made of metal.
Oddly enough, the crystal gems who were once part of PD’s court now use the pentacle as their insignia, which may be sort of a trophy.
How the coin would work however is anyones’s guess.
White Diamond: Wand
Given the fanon that White Diamond is connected to technology, it may seem weird to say that WD’s weapon is a wand, but once again I’m returning to the wicca and tarot motif which has seemed to align with the evidence and motifs for the other diamonds. As you may have guessed, the wand is often the symbol for air in these mystic practices, though it sometimes swaps elements with the sword and fire.
While White diamond’s only connection to elemental air seems to be through the pigeon-hole principal, all suspected members of the white court, including Pearl and the Pyramid Gem have had a strong thematic connection to light, and as fellow homestuck fans know, light, wands and science really are compatible
That said, it’s not clear if anyone on the crew besides Lauren Zuke are homestuck fans.
Blue Pearl: Stiletto
Blue Pearl’s given her slavery to a monarch, her sheer outfit and arabian theme, I think it’s safe to say that Blue Pearl is meant to resemble a concubine (here comes the hate mail) despite the fact that gems don’t technically have sex.
History and fiction are littered with tales of concubines and sex slaves taking up a stiletto and using it to cut the throats of their abusive masters while they sleep. We know little of Blue Pearl’s personality, but if her expression is anything to go by, she is not happy being the toy of a vile queen.
Yellow Pearl: Letter Opener
Whereas Blue Pearl may wield a knife made for regicide, Yellow Pearl would be armed with something a bit more suitable for the life that’s been forced upon her. Introduced answering her master’s phone in a nasally 1950′s accent, I think it was the intention of the writers to depict Yellow Pearl as more of a secretary than a sex slave. While I doubt homeworld uses paper envelopes, they do still use melee weapons and a sharp letter opener is lethal in the wrong hands
When I first started writing this theory, I originally thought Doc would get a revolver, for no reason other than a dirty harry reference (Did I fire six shots or just five?). That said, the Ruby crew were sent as a group for a reason: Rubies are relatively weak soldier intended to be fused together in order to fight, hence why they are always deployed in groups. With that in mind it stands to reason given their large numbers that the five rubies would be deployed with compatible weapons in mind.
In this case. Doc would come armed with a chestplate, and her companion rubies would fill out the suit (except for Eyeball, who provides the actual weapon)
(Also, in retrospect Xiaolin Showdown was really goddamn racist)
Army and “Shouldy”: [Spiked] Pauldrons
Given her brutish personality, I originally thought that Army would wield a club. However, with the new armor model in mind, spiked pauldrons make more sense, and would allow her to bull-rush her enemies.
One of Ruby’s old teammates, “Shouldy” likely has the same weapon, although in her case, the pauldron would be on the opposite shoulder. Given that two rubies would need to be added to the Ruby squad in order for them to complete the 7 Dwarves motif, I don’t have an issue with adding “Shouldy” and “Handy” to the Ruby Squad Group
Leggy: Boots or Thigh Plates
Given her gem location and anxious depiction in Hit The Diamond I can’t imagine Leggey with anything other than a weapon that would let her run away. Given that Garnet and presumably Ruby’s gauntlets can fire off like rockets, I can imagine Leggy’s boot would allow her to fly around. Of course without a second boot it probably wouldn’t be possible for her to steer, but for the sake of our entertainment let’s hope she doesn’t realize that
Of the original ruby armor set I envisioned, Leggy having a boot is the only one I felt certain about. However, given her gem location it’s still very much possible that she would have a thigh plate, however, this is conditional on what weapon Navy comes armed with
Navy: Tasset or Shield
While shorts may be comfy and easy to wear, shorts made of plate steel are not. The tasset on the other hand was a more convenient protective garment. Roughly speaking it’s a skirt made of interlocking plates of metal. Given that Navy is the most feminine of the Ruby squad, I don’t think she’d have a problem wearing an armored skirt, one which would likely come up to her navel due to the given how small her torso is relative to her gemstone. In this case, Leggy would have the boots
Alternatively, Ruby could have a shield like Steven or Rose, with whom she shares her gem placement. Given her non-violent nature this is possible, but I personally like the skirt better
EDIT: I forgot to mention. The Navy above was not my own drawing. Oddly enough, a fellow fan had the same idea today, but they are a much better artist than me.
Like Ruby, he old teammate with gem on the back of her hand would likely have a gauntlet as her weapon, albeit with a gap on the back for her gemstone.
With the the seven rubies combined, the resulting septaruby would be armored shoulders to toe, with Eyeball providing the sole weapon. As an added bonus, on the off chance Jasper is uncorrupted and redeemed, she herself could easily end up leading the ruby squad given their respect for her, with her helmet topping the fusion off.
Interestingly enough, this fusion would also be compatible with our own Ruby, whose gauntlets would complete the set.
The Super Mario series is a partial American release of the oldest video game series in Japan, the Mushroom Kingdom Saga. Mario himself is considered a side character in Japan, where Princess Toadstool is the main character. Assumptions about American gender roles and racial superiority complexes led developers to assume a game series about a young Japanese woman would not be as popular in the United States as one about an Italian man, who was in the original saga merely the castle’s plumber.
In Japan, Mario and Luigi got their first game only after 19 previous entries into the series, all featuring the Princess. The saga in general takes the form of a post-apocalyptic RPG in which a fungal “Toxic Jungle” has taken over the world in the wake of a third world war. The princess, who generally flies around on a jet glider is tasked with preserving peace in her valley after the airship of a rival kingdom crashes nearby, revealing a biological weapon of mass destruction that survived the war. That kingdom had intended to eradicate the Toxic Jungle with the weapon, not realizing that the jungle was Earth’s mechanism for filtering out the toxins of the war. The Princess’s fight with, and death by these intruders founded the premise of the first six games. She was reincarnated for the seventh.
Another major difference in the American versions is the introduction of King Koopa to replace the less-than-subtle villain from the original series, President Truman. Named for the American president who dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the arch nemesis of the Princess was originally the resurrected corpse of the man responsible for the apocalypse, which in Japanese culture was all too real and not too far into the past. The popularity of the series was very much rooted in the allegory for post-war Japan under the allied occupation and subsequent socio-political reorganization of the region. The princess’s original enemies included veiled iconography of the war, including turtles (Tanks), Lakitu (Bombers), and Goombas, there named “Kuribo” (Literally chestnut people, a reference to the imposition of Christmas by occupation forces to eradicate the Shinto religion).
The second “Mario” game released in the United States abandoned the saga completely, keeping only four of its characters in graphic form only, and dismissing the Mushroom Kingdom itself in favor of a dream world based on assets from another game, Doki Doki Panic, which was originally an Arabian Nights themed series, hence the flying carpets, deserts and other middle eastern tropes. The third Mario game in the U.S. was a remake of the 43rd Japanese game, which also substituted diverse themes to conceal the vehemently and righteously anti-American sentiments of the true saga. As times changed and the Super Nintendo was released, Nintendo saw fit to allow a few more elements to slip through. The American obsession with sports was retained in the form of Football and Baseball themed villains in Super Mario World, and the presence of Yoshi himself as a starring character took center stage in Super Mario World 2.
Yoshi is best known in America as Mario’s trusty dinosaur steed. Few realize that Yoshi is the name and likeness of the Imperial Japanese Dragon, Yossy:
(Japanese Battle Flag, 1943)
Yossy was once the emblem of the nation-at-war and remained after 1945 an icon of dissent from American culture and interference. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island essentially reduced the white European to a baby on the back of the nationalist dragon, and proclaimed Japan “Yossy’s Island,” a vital and bold demonstration of native Japanese power over their own land despite the infantile encroachment of all things western. Recall that Bowser or KIng Koopa was originally a caricature of President Truman, here also reduced to an infant, or at the end a giant baby throwing a tantrum.
As of 2016, the Mario series has degenerated, or ascended depending on your political views, into a pure rally against the west. From the quadruple Bowser climb up a financial tower in Super Mario 3D World to the gold grubbing debacle of New Super Mario Bros 2 for 3Ds, capitalist society is under attack out in the open. The Upcoming 3DS adventure, “Super Mario 3D Land 2” looks to be an even more bold attack as it reintroduces the Arabian themes of Mario 2 to pit the western brothers against the middle east in an overt parable for American interference during the Iraq war and the fight with modern terrorist groups.
The original Japanese Mushroom Saga is now 278 games long, in contrast to the American 73. Most of these games will never be played in America. The depth of the metaphor is more complex than most audiences here will ever know and the effects of the series on Japanese culture remain to be seen- Is this the dawn of a new imperialism? Is this the self-aware criticism of a culture torn between two ideals? Will this artistic gaming movement become political? We at FIJMU cannot claim to know.
ok so in light of the recent explosion of worship regarding Ganondorf’s luxurious mane in the upcoming Hyrule Warriors, I thought I should share this thought of mine– one that I’m pleasantly surprised to find kind of supported by this development.
It’s my belief that Gerudo do not have White People Hair. This would make no sense, considering there are no white people in this game– even if the setting is kind of vaguely European-ish sort of in that there are “castles” and “knights” it’s a Japanese game with enormous slatherings of rehashed Shinto creation/divinity-of-the-emperor myth buttered into its lore. We can say that the Hylians are racially dominant in the setting (and we can assume they have a lot of the advantages such a position would imply), but even they aren’t white. They’re more of an analogue for the Japanese, and even then they’re a fantasy elf race. The Gerudo are even father away from what we’d consider real-world racial analogue, other than that they are a people of color that obviously are considered a pariah race/society by the dominant Hylians. The alternative is that they’re “supposed” to be representative of middle-eastern peoples and ew ew ew the “Arabian Nights bellydancer girls” theme is pretty racist and not great so let’s just keep away from that.
So it’s my belief that the Gerudo have very thick, dense, coarse hair– but straight. It’s not silky or sleek, and if left alone sticks straight out and droops down like a shaggy mane. Cut short, it stands almost straight out from the head and can be brushed back or down neatly but does not lay flat without serious help. In the oppressive sun of the desert, Gerudo hair is thick enough such that it protects and prevents sunburn on the scalp, and does not pick up parasites or nits as easily as the finer hair of other “human” folk with rounded ears (such as the peoples to the South, such as the Ordon province.)
However, it retains water and takes a very long time to dry out if it gets wet and can be quite heavy when soggy – not common in the desert, but another reason why the Gerudo famously dislike swimming. Most day-to-day maitenence is taken care of with combs and fine powder (we would call this talc, and it is easily gathered on the mountain line between the desert and Hyrule proper that keeps the area arid), but hair washing with oils and soaps is considered a great luxury and indulgence, and often is enjoyed every few months, or after a battle, great achievement, or a childbirth. Other forms of washing are of course mandatory to stop irritation from dust and sweat– with less precious water than drinking or cooking water, and then the water is re-used for tasks such as laundry or boiled to sterilize bandages which then will bleach in the sun.
Gerudo wear their hair short and long, depending on preference, fashion, status, and occupation/job. While some positions are made more hazardous or dangerous with long, loose hair (smithing, building, stablekeeping) just as many wear elaborate braids, plaits, cornrows, buns, as cut their hair short. Others may feature elaborate updos, but just as many can be found with simple ponytails. Beautiful combs and hairpieces for these hairstyles are fashioned out of wood, bone, bulbos ivory, steel, or even precious metals like silver or gold, depending on the Gerudo’s status and individual accomplishment. The most accomplished or distinguished Gerudo may even wear bejeweled ornaments in their hair and as jewlery, beyond their own individual diadem of status (often topaz, tourmaline, or amethyst). While the Fortress pools its wealth, most individual Gerudo are permitted to keep one or a few spoils or rewards for their work, and because they live communally, Gerudo tend to wear their personal possessions rather than store them or invest them into private endeavors– there’s no individual houses, or private property to worry about. Hair combs or jewelry are popular, and portable choices.
As for hair color, it does vary among Gerudo, but shades of red and orange are considered the most common– with some red-brown and red-yellow in Gerudo of more diluted traits (the “can only produce babies with hylians except for a little while once a century” thing and all.) As with all things color varies individually but typically gerudo hair is very vibrantly colored, and bleaches highlights in the sun. Guards, scouts, riders, and builders who work primarily outside may be seen with more copper and less rust shades, though all Gerudo but the most fit and hardened guards (and the young girls whose duty it is to bring them water) take shelter when the sun is highest and most dangerous.
So basically, when we see Ganondorf with his elaborate crown, tightly-twisted hair rolls, or a long shaggy mane, he’s dressing like other Gerudo– it makes no difference that he’s coded more masculine than they are, he wears the same clothes and styles his hair the same ways they do. When his hair was short in OOT, we saw him being an emmisary to the Hylians, and that was also when his clothes were the most “different” from his sisters– possibly not to freak the sensitive and patriarchal Hylians out… and seven years in the future he had not reconnected with his people (possibly because getting his hands on the Triforce of Power was not great for his state of mind.)
In Wind Waker, not only are there no more Gerudo, he’s also been alive in a world without them for quite some time. While he keeps some of their customs and manners of dress, there’s no one who could have plaited his hair for him, so he’s cut it short.
In Twilight Princess, there’s no more Gerudo as well… but we also see him in the PAST at his execution when presumably there WERE, and his hair is done to Gerudo custom. When he resurrects his body after hitching a ride out of the Twilight Realm on Zant, he seems to merely re-create the form he had at the moment of his execution– including the touch of some sister that did his hair, hundreds of years after her death.
I really like characters in the franchise who have white hair and dark skin. I would really like to play a game where the village is based on whatever country Amir is the prince off–maybe a cute town with a Turkish or Arabian theme. I think it would be really interesting, and a breath of fresh air. I get kinda bored of the typical Old English style most of the towns seem to have.
Just incase you haven’t heard yet it was confirmed that Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio will both be wearing a fantasy bra in the 2014 VSFS!
The two bra’s are both worth $2 million and were designed by Mouawad Jewellery!
I am feeling extremely surprised by this turn of events and I definitely did not see 2 fantasy bra’s coming but I think it’s pretty cool and if they were going to do a dual bra I am happy it went to Adriana and Alessandra.
I am feeling a but of an arabian theme here but let me know what you think of the whole situation!
Do you guys think this could signal both of the angels last year with Victoria’s Secret?
I’ve not worked in the service industry but my father has and I’ve heard tons of customer related stories. Also this account has helped me realise how we (the customers) can be real tools at times. I’ve always tried to check myself and thought the customers in these posts are such idiots.
Last week I was out with an old friend a couple of times. While at a popular restaurant, we (a group of 5) were ushered to the bar to wait till we got a table to ourselves. The bar was a standing bar so my friend tried to pull up a few chairs for us. The bartender quickly asked her to refrain from pulling up chairs. She argued back and said why not. He tried to explain how it wasn’t allowed but she argued asking “who said so?” And it’s not written anywhere. I had to pull her back and point out how chairs would block the entire aisle and cramp up this side of the restaurant. She grudgingly kept quiet after.
Another time, 3 of us were at an Arabian themed place. We were getting ushered to a 4 seated table for obvious reasons, but my friend pointed out to the spot in the corner with the typical Arabian style seating with couches and pillow that were for a party of 10 people. The staff politely said that they couldn’t seat us there because that was their prime spot and they keep it open only for larger groups but my friend had to argue. She said we don’t mind getting up and changing places if a bigger group came in. Finally they let us sit and I felt terrible. Midway, a larger group did come in and we moved but my friend grumbled because we had to move.
This is my friend who has also worked in Disney for over a year. I’m so sorry guys. Thank you for your wonderful service and for doing your job so well. You don’t deserve to be treated like this. Non-service industry people, if your friends or family behave like this at restaurants and stores, please correct them. Stand up for what is right!
TL;DR I’m a customer and I appreciate everything you do and I try my best to handle my unruly friends.