The Slant Step is an eccentric, near-mythic object in the annals of 1960s Bay Area “funk” art. A found object, it looks like something produced in junior high shop class that didn’t get a passing grade.
Imagine meeting the Winchesters in their hunt for a mythical object.
(gif not mine, credits to the owner)
“So you’re telling me, there’s an actual Hades?” Dean asked. “Yeah, I mean, we did see Zeus himself.” Sam answered, shrugging. “So he’s like the King of the Underworld, right?” Dean asked and Sam nodded. “So underworld and hell, different things?” Dean asked. “Not really, as a matter of fact, daddy knows Crowley. He’s like the ‘watcher’ of souls in hell, so he has like his own section of hell.” You spoke, appearing behind them.
They jumped, turning around to you. Dean looked around the motel room and there was no sign of how you got in. “Oh please, I’m a goddess.” You said, rolling your eyes.
“Who are you?” Dean asked, pointing you his gun, the same as Sam. “I heard you two talking about Hades, well, he’s my dad.” You said, shrugging. “Oh, it’s not like he’s working for Crowley or vice versa, Hades is a God, Crowley, well, he’s a demon that’s just currently ruling hell.” You said, leaning against the wall.
Both men knitted their eyebrows.
You groaned. “I’m (y/n), Hades’ daughter, read the books damn it.” You said, rolling your eyes. “We really don’t care about your little history, why are you here?” Dean asked. You narrowed your eyes at him and Sam saw that as a warning. “Dude–” Sam whispered harshly. You pursed your lips and looked at him. “That’s no way to talk to a goddess.” You said, your eyes flashing blue.
They stepped back. “I mean, you’re looking for a cursed object, right? It’s a mythical object, haven’t you done research?” You said. Dean gulped and Sam warily nodded. “Since I’m on my free time, might as well join the infamous Winchesters in their little hunt. You might need me at some point, seeing as I am, again, a Greek goddess.” You said, smirking.
“Wait you’re really Hades’ daughter?” Dean quietly asked. You nodded. “Yeah, I kinda also overheard you two talking about my dad so, hey, I’m crashing in with you two. What do you say?” You asked, smiling sweetly at them.
The brothers looked at each other and then to you and they slowly nodded.
DEADPOOL V GAMBIT #2 (of 5) Ben Acker & Ben Blacker (W) • DANILO BEYRUTH (A) Cover by KEVIN P. WADA VARIANT COVER BY TBA • Deadpool and Gambit have put aside their differences to pull one last scam… • …swindling an object of mythical power out from under a Chinese businessman. • Spoiler: It doesn’t go according to plan. Can they talk their way out of this one? 32 PGS./Parental Advisory …$3.99
Variation of tension is a vital storytelling principle. You need to pull back on the throttle every now and then, or the Big Moments won’t have as much impact. That’s not to say narrative oases have to be boring or one-note. Good storytellers use breather episodes to let the characters collect themselves and engage in some introspection, determining what’s been important about the journey so far.
Tyrion’s time aboard the Selaesori Qhoran is a classic example. After the orgy of worldbuilding on the Rhoyne and in the Volantene delta, GRRM knows we need some time with just ship and sky and sea, even lampshading the transition via Tyrion’s grouching:
On the river there had been wonders to behold: giant turtles, ruined cities, stone men, naked septas. One never knew what might be lurking around the next bend. The days and nights at sea were all the same. Leaving Volantis, the cog had sailed within sight of land at first, so Tyrion could gaze at passing headlands, watch clouds of seabirds rise from stony cliffs and crumbling watchtowers, count bare brown islands as they slipped past. He saw many other ships as well: fishing boats, lumbering merchantmen, proud galleys with their oars lashing the waves into white foam. But once they struck out into deeper waters, there was only sea and sky, air and water. The water looked like water. The sky looked like sky. Sometimes there was a cloud.
Without much big-picture stuff going on, Tyrion’s eighth and ninth ADWD chapters have a laserlike focus on character, and not just Tyrion’s. My focus here will be on the relationships he develops on board the Stinky Steward, and what they may hold for his chapters in TWOW.
Dev Blog: Building the Myths of Rise of the Tomb Raider
John Stafford: Senior Narrative Designer Cameron Suey: Narrative Designer
[Leading into the launch of Rise of the Tomb Raider, we’ll feature a variety of developer blogs that lift the curtain on the creation of Lara’s first great tomb raiding expedition.]
Building the world and mythology of Rise of the Tomb Raider started with Lara Croft. After surviving the events of Tomb Raider (2013), Lara was filled with questions about what she had experienced. She emphatically states in her final monologue of the first game, “I need to find answers… I must understand.” We wanted to be true to her character and create a sense of continuity in the overall story of the franchise. With her motivation in mind, we thought about it from her perspective. What exactly did Lara see? What would that experience drive her to seek out next?
On Yamatai, Lara encountered what she could only describe as “evidence of the immortal soul.” With that concept as our starting point, we began a phase of research into myths concerning immortality and the human soul. To create a compelling and unique story with roots in reality, we borrow from real myths and legends, but then add our own twist – perhaps a different interpretation, or a way of looking at it that is missing from the records. This allows us some freedom to come up with fresh ideas and play in our own space, as well as allow Lara to use her academic knowledge and intuition to put pieces of a new puzzle together.
We like to think that if elements of our game entice players to explore real mythology and history, we’ve done our job! Many of us here at Crystal Dynamics are history nerds, and on the narrative team specifically, our goal is to weave a connected tapestry of layered history and mythology across the entire game - from the environment, to the collectibles, and through the main storyline.
Armed with the findings of our research, and avoiding previously explored territory from the extended Tomb Raider universe, we began a process of elimination that involved a number of factors.
Was it already explored in popular media? Then it’s probably something we wanted to steer away from. We looked at movies, TV shows, and other games… and soon enough, we distilled our ideas to a solid initial list. Survival is also a central theme in Lara’s journey, so we wanted to make sure she found herself in the most remote and dangerous locations - places that could have remained hidden for many years, and that she was uniquely capable of discovering. Additionally, the art team was drawn to a cold environment in order to contrast with the lush, tropical setting of the first game. This narrowed the focus even more until we were left with our strongest concepts.
In the end, we examined two intriguing stories, both based in Russian mythology: The Lost City of Kitezh and Koschei the Deathless. In the original story, Kitezh was a mythical city that rested on an island within Lake Svetloyar in Central Russia. The legend says that on the eve of an invasion by the Mongol Horde, Kitezh sank beneath the waters of the lake, never to be seen again. As a destination, Kitezh seemed like a fantastic setting for us to build the signature “tombs” of Tomb Raider and to create a rich blend of myth and history.
But we also needed a reason for her to go there. This is where the myth of Koschei the Deathless comes in. Though we don’t specifically name this myth in our story, it’s absolutely the inspiration for the artifact that both Lara and Trinity are racing to find. In the myth, Koschei is a dark figure who achieved immortality by hiding his soul within a series of objects akin to a nesting doll. We took inspiration from this myth when creating the mythical object at the heart of Lara’s adventure: The Divine Source.
Once we had found a compelling way to merge the two myths, we had a framework that could be feasibly inserted into existing history. Next, we set about creating connections to real history, specifically the Byzantine Empire, which, like the myth of Kitezh, is also largely unexplored in popular culture. Merged with real history, and the lines between fact and fantasy blurred; our version of the myth began to feel mysterious, fresh, and totally plausible. We hope that you get as much enjoyment uncovering the history and legends of Kitezh and the Deathless Prophet as we did in interpreting them.
“Then he gave the hammer to Thor, and said that Thor might smite as hard as he desired, whatsoever might be before him, and the hammer would not fail; and if he threw it at anything, it would never miss, and never fly so far as not to return to his hand; and if be desired, he might keep it in his sark…”
In Norse mythology, Mjölnir (myol-n(ee)r) is the hammer of Thor, the Norse God associated with thunder. Mjölnir, meaning “that which marks and pulverizes to dust”, is depicted in Norse mythology as one of the most fearsome weapons, capable of levelling mountains. An account of the origin of Mjölnir is found in Skáldskaparmál from Snorri’s Edda: In this story, Loki bets his head with Sindri and his brother Brokkr that they could never succeed in making items more beautiful than those of the Sons of Ivaldi. The brothers conquer their task, winning the bet against the Trickster, though legend says it’s characteristically short handle was due to a mishap during manufacture brought about by Loki himself.
The hit game from Japan is coming soon to international shores. The 3DS title will have you helping various unique characters through the use of ordinary objects and mythical creatures, and will be published by Nintendo themselves.
Yo-Kai may resemble ghosts, but they’re an entity all their own. Invisible to the human eye, but everywhere around us. Sooky! Hopefully we get to see this game in action soon.
full offense i hate academic text so much and any papers i publish are going to be 100% accessible and understandable because reading shit like “It can be seen that to purport to discriminate
among mythical objects according to their
substance would be entirely illusory” is hell
Since we don’t really know all that much about the origins of Billy Braddock, AKA Spider-UK, thought I would come up with a theory. We know he is from a universe where he acts as both Spider-Man and Captain Britain, so it would make sense if his origin story was a mixture of the two. Here is my idea:
Billy Braddock, aristocratic science enthusiast, attends a science demonstration in London where a spider is accidentally irradiated and bites him. The irradiated spider venom begins to mutate his DNA, but unlike the Spider-Man of Earth 616 it is too much for Billy’s body to handle and it starts to kill him. On his death bed, Billy is visited by beings from another dimension: the great Wizard Merlin and his Daughter Roma. The two beings present him with a choice between two mythical objects which could save his life, the Amulet of Right and the Sword of Might. Being a man who has always valued intellect and morals over brute force, Billy chooses the Amulet of Right, transforming him into the Captain Britain of Earth 833, thereby saving his life and stabilising his mutations through the Amulet’s magic. Fully cured, Billy begins to use his newfound spider-like abilities to save those in danger both in his own world and in others under Merlin and Roma’s guidance as a new member of the Captain Britain Corps.
One of the problems with the Web 2.0 world is how it’s affected what news is covered. Before the Internet revolution, “News” was as the name described news. The newspaper and the nightly news were your only window into getting the events of the next day. If you didn’t read it, world-changing events might silently pass you by.
And it, well sort of, grounded in the culture in a certain groups of events. Newspapers, like video games, are one of those things where the first one costs half a million, and the second one cost pennies to make. You could be a consumer for pennies, but to print your own was an undertaking. This gave the mainstream press incredible control over what was discussed. 20 years ago today regular people were legitimately discussing the Mir Space Station, for two reasons, one it was a big deal at the time, and two because the “news” was covering it.
There was still gossip of course. Who was sleeping with whom in your community was a popular topic of discussion even among those who didn’t read the paper. The newspaper did have an entire sections devoted to printing the press releases of the stars of course, as well as the “leaked” information from their publicists. But the media was focused on facts, even if they weren’t completely true.
One of the untold stories of the time concerned Entertainment Tonight. ET was relatively unsuccessful at its start. The ad sales were easy but the viewers were poor. When the series began, it focused on what movies were being released, who was in them, and where you could watch or listen to the content. It was more of an on air review of the latest media trends, than a gossip blog. The apparently mythical objective review there has been so much discussion about.
When Entertainment Tonight really started becoming profitable was when they moved away from being reviews, to being a news show. Suddenly those press releases became breaking news, breaking news that warranted interviews with the celebrities involved, or their publicists, or eventually people who were just tangentially related to the issue at hand. The assumption before was that viewers would see through this manufactured drama, but results showed that while many did they were more likely to discuss it with others. Giving sensationalized information was actually better as it not only attracted attention but also discussion, much of which was refuting the points made. All this discussion good or bad made it must watch television.
Howard Stern once said words to the effect of, the people who like my show listen to it once, the people who hate my show listen to it twice so they know where to get offended. In the rating of a show there is no column marked, viewed ironically.
What history forgets is the way the Internet started out. The Internet was more or less a free printing press when it began. If you look at the early net, you actually saw people concentrating on technical news, world news and events (As well as a massive amount of pornography.) The first online publication were surprisingly respectable, almost to counter the assumption by the public at large they weren’t. But just like Entertainment Tonight, they all slowly moved away from covering information objectively and instead focused on the emotions of the issue. Before, discussion on a news story was free advertising, but online with comment threads, message forums, referral links, and online ads it was a way of making money. It’s telling that Reddit, “The front page of the Internet” in not a news site, but merely a means of commenting and organizing existing news.
We’ve been tracking various websites that discuss events around TFYC, /r/GamerGhazi inevitably has more comments and more interaction with us than /r/KotakuInAction. KotakuInAction normally approves of what we are doing and nothing ruins a conversation more than approval. While at the same time GamerGhazi has tons of points to discuss, a surprisingly high number which aren’t true. When we discuss the issue with Anti-GamerGate “journalists” (A term we use only because it’s clear they have a bias), everything becomes about emotion and drama. No Anti-GamerGate reporter has ever asked us about feminism, in fact the only interviews where people have asked us to STOP talking about feminism were clearly Anti-Gamergate.
What fuels the fires of GamerGate is the outrage against it. Just like with Howard Stern people have more or less quit their job, to watch it not once but twice so they know exactly where to be offended, which fuels the other side anger. Commenting on the news shouldn’t make the news. But so much of the GamerGate discussion is not on what happened but what someone said about something that may have happened. @radicalbytes has less followers than we do but he’s retweeted more by his “enemies” than his followers, so he’s much more visible. Crash Override Network has 22 articles not because it’s news, or because of journalistic corruption, but because it drives traffic, and people want to add their own opinion by repeating what others have said.
I regret that in the end the main limiting factor of TFYC might actually be that we don’t fight enough to make enemies with the minorities we are trying to help, and too much time working with them to make the world a better placeI think it’s a sad message when that’s the best way to survive in the current media space is to hate everyone. We don’t know what to say, because all people in social justice want to do is talk about them selves.
But then again, in the current media space I might be saying all of this for attention.
P.S. Boingboing stop linking to articles about us that have no facts in them