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Team J.A.F.


Relationship Songs

Posted by xccj , Oct 01 2007 · 36 views
Think about it. Lots of popular songs have to deal with a significant other or a search for one. Sometimes, they’re love songs… two people meet randomly and like each other, and then there’s a nice melody and lyrics and everything to make it sound good and all. There are the breakup songs, songs about having that significant other cheat on them or walk out on them and all that. I don’t mind these songs… sometimes they’re really good songs, which are after all about the music and lyrics more than the meaning… a meaning’s just an extra thing, but not something that decides whether you like the song or now (for me, anyways).

But what gets me is how big a proportion of songs out there involve “love” about boys or girls or that such a thing. For general, I’ll label this genre “relationship songs” for lack of a better term. Now for some experimentation.

Part 1

Go grab your music player and set the thing to random (like every other music thingy out there in BZP blogs). Go through the first ten or so songs (if you want to continue with this through however many songs you have, go ahead, but ten makes it better for creating percentages afterwards.) Listen to the individual songs and determine if they’re a relationship song or not (of course, there is some leeway, as some songs might not quite fit in the category). Do this for the first ten songs, then say the percentage of those songs that were relationship songs.

My example. Out of my first ten songs, three were relationship songs. That’s only 30%. However, out of my first twenty songs, ten were love songs, so that’s 50%.

I’m curious to see the statistics on this, so if you have some time to quickly do this, please post your results, at least for part 1. Please. smile.gif

Part 2

Okay, now go through your songs and find the first ten songs that are not relationship songs. (Or how ever many you want to post) If you want to, describe what the song is actually about.

My example… (note, my taste is music comes from the lyrics and music and everything you get out of song at face value. So if I get one of the song descriptions off, don’t bother correcting me, because I don’t really care…)
  • “We Got the Beat” by The Go-Gos: I interpret it as a dance song, which doesn’t have to be with a significant other…
  • “Blue Collar Man” by Styx: About getting a better job.
  • “Jamming Me” by Tom Petty: He’s talking about stuff he’s fed up with.
  • “Learning to Fly” by Tom Petty: Metaphorical song about moving on.
  • “Come On, Come On” by Smash Mouth: A village crazy’s (or something of that equivalent) view of life.
  • “Won’t Back Down” by Tom Petty: He’s just telling people he’s not going to back down (excellent song, BTW)
  • “Kung Fu Fighting” by (???- I don’t have the artist recorded. Huh?): Well, come on, it’s about kung fu fighting!
  • “Rocky Mountain High” by John Denver: Talking about some guy hanging out in the beautiful rocky mountains.
  • “Our House” by Madness: I doubt this is a love song, since it appears to be talking about a family on face value… from a kids point of view.
  • “Welcome to My Life” by Simple Plan: by some guy who’s life is obviously a lot worst than yours.
As you can probably tell, I’m into Tom Petty, and a lot of it is because he has lots of songs that go in other directions rather than just a “Boyfriend together with girlfriend” or “girlfriend totally dumps boyfriend” theme. I like songs that vary in themes other than Relationships, and one of my favorite songs (not yet listed) is “We Didn’t Start the Fire” by Billy Joel. If that song doesn’t have a different theme, then I don’t know what does. tongue.gif In my opinion, too many relationship styled songs, no matter how cool a tune, will get old after a time, without some new theme thrown in every now and then. (Plus, when you have to do school assignments or something like that which relates to a song, relationship songs never seem to work out.)

Anyway, I’m interested to see some music statistics from members who read this blog occasionally, so for once, I’ll ask you to please reply. smile.gif



Spider Crab

Posted by xccj , Sep 30 2007 · 50 views
News and Updates
*Note, I have not yet seen The Simpsons Movie, but I have seen a few trailiers*

Presenting, Spider Crab!

Just because reading all my boring writing can get old for reviewiers, so needed to put in something more graphic. tongue.gif



Inika Analysis

Posted by xccj , Sep 29 2007 · 71 views
Epic Reports
Before the Inika/Mahri ever became Toa, they were well known Matoran in the Bionicle universe (heck, four of them were the first Matoran ever released) For the most part, I’ve written stories including every single one of them (‘cept Matoro). Everybody likes to complain about how the Inika aren’t like their Matoran counterparts, me included, but that’s because I established their characters on my own, without Lego’s help. (Well, okay, they invented the characters, but I better developed them.) So, thus, this blog entry is devoted to describing the characters who became Toa in my universe.

Matoro: (Appearing as a very minor character in a few short stories) While I never really developed Matoro’s character in any story, I have the basic description for him. He was serious, always seeming to know the answers to village problems (the minor ones). In my eyes, he was just a Matoran extension of the Turaga, who was maybe a bit more athletic than old Nuju but shared the same basic knowledge. Matoro was the authoritative figure in Ko-Koro, but when it came to the Ko-Matoran bizarreness, I always preferred to use Kopeke. My favorite use of Matoro was in an unpublished epic where he translated Nuju when the Turaga announced the Bohrok. ~ “They’re the Bohrok,” Matoro said, then gave a double take. “What! I thought the Bohrok were a legend!”

Kongu: (Appearing in Slizers on Mata-Nui) In previous epics, most of my Le-Matoran were custom made (Duka and Triki) but I used Kongu for a group of refugee Matoran in the Slizer epic. Kongu was on the elite guard team because he was one of the more agile Toa, not to mention his previous duty in the Gukku air force. But Kongu’s character was the witty, sarcastic, pessimistic one. He was the kind to complain loudly when something went wrong. That’s sorta like Kongu’s Inika character, but I think he better resembles Kazi. But, like in the Legend Books, Kongu always gets the witty lines in my story too. ~ “Another fun-adventure?” Kongu asked. “Count me in.”

Hewkii: (Appearing in Time Disruption and Slizers on Mata-Nui) Hewkii (formerly known as Huki) was always the athletic Po-Matoran. He knew a thing or two about carving, and new a lot about hating water. In TD, he got the slightly pessimistic/ complaining role. However, Hewkii wasn’t characterized in my stories by his bigheadedness or great confidence in his abilities (like he is in the Legend Books) but more by his compassion for his friends and Macku (formerly Maku). Hewkii was the guy who’d complain about a dangerous mission in one scenario, but rush in without thought to personal safety if his friends were in danger. I characterized Hewkii by his relationship with Macku. By completely ignoring that in the books, I think Hewkii’s official character just seems… different. I like him, but he’s not the Matoran with the brownish-orange Kakama that I write about. ~ “No you don’t!” Huki shouted. “You don’t understand what it’s like to have the Matoran you care the most about taken away from you!”

Hahli: (Appearing in Time Disruption and Slizers on Mata-Nui… leading role both times) Hahli can be the most developed Matoran and very underdeveloped at the same time. Of course, playing as her in the MNOLG II made lots of people familiar with her and her abilities (heck, if you don’t remember all those stupid little tests she had to do to prepare for the Kohli tournament, then you obviously didn’t play them often enough). Then again, what was her real character? She was shy at first, but then she got over her shyness and became a bit adventurous. I always thought she went down the path towards being a fighter, kind of like Takua (I mean, he must’ve fought a bit during that Rahi attack at the Kini-Nui). So, thus, in my stories, Hahli is the one who becomes the warrior princess of Mata-Nui, or something along those lines. She was always ready for a challenge, but never got in over her head (well, in TD). In the Slizers epic, she want to reach that warrior status, but she makes a few mistakes along the way that she eventually corrects and learns from. But the Hahli in the books… she just doesn’t seem to contain the zeal of the Hahli I like to write about. Oh well. ~ “I’m always watching your back, Jaller,” Hahli said with a wink and a laugh.

Jaller: (In Time Disruption and Slizers on Mata-Nui) Okay, so Jaller’s character has been strong since the beginning, when he was just this random Matoran in a Ta-Koro hut in the MNOLG. He was strict and militaristic, but smart and strategic. As time went on, we saw his great loyalty and bravery as well (and he had a crush on Hahli, but wouldn’t you know it, it’s hardly surfaced at all now that he’s a Toa). Thus, Jaller’s exactly like I envisioned him. He’s the leader, making battle and moral decisions all across Voya-Nui, even risking his life for his friends (okay, Matoro beat him to it once, but he was still going for it). I also like how he’s struggling with leading the others in Mahri-Nui, now that many think they could do better on their own. It’s the same Jaller who would lead the Matoran army in TD, and set off to search for Ahkmou (even though he doesn’t necessarily like him) in SoMN. But it’s not that the story of 2006 and I thought alike… Jaller’s characterization has taken place since 2001, so Lego and I were both building off the same basics. ~ Jaller shouted. “For Unity! For Duty! For Destiny! For the freedom of all Matoran!”

Nuparu: (In Time Disruption, Slizers on Mata-Nui, and a couple of short stories that focus in on him) I never saw Nuparu as the confident Toa Inika he became. When we first met him in the online Bohrok episodes, I saw him as an average Joe Matoran who just had a good idea that worked. As an engineer, I could see him tinkering around with equipment trying to make something cool and new. But I never thought he would do great in a battle situation. Sure, in the Bohrok war, he was using his invention, so of course he had to try it out and battle. But sucking up Zaktan’s swarm and flying him into the bay… I thought that stretched Nupaur’s character. In TD, Nuparu did start out just as violent as his friends when attacking Bohrok and Rahkshi, but when Makuta captured him and revealed his weakness, Nuparu saw that he couldn’t just rely on his pick ax to get him out of situations. (Thus, he invented the ultimate Boxer). In SoMN, I made his character less polarized. He was part of the Coliseum infiltration group, but he wasn’t the one who was fighting… he was the one using the computers to give them an edge. Nuparu had a role in that society: engineer; and when he got thrown into a position as a warrior in the battle, he couldn’t do the intense fighting against the Zarxec that Kongu, Kopeke, and Kapura managed to pull off. In my short stories, while Nuparu progressed to a more warrior style status, he met with struggles that he had to overcome in the transition from engineer to warrior. I did not see that transition in the books, just an instant change. In a way, I wrote those short stories to justify that the Nuparu I wrote about could turn into that character that uses his name with the suffix Inika. ~ “I’m an engineer,” Nuparu said. “Not a chemist.” ~ “I’ve got to make something for this trip!” he said, and rushed to gather supplies.

Did that bore you to tears? Oh well, I just kinda like writing about my own work rather than writing something new… still have this big writers block on SoMN… that and college readings.



The Greens Are Under Attack!

Posted by xccj , Sep 26 2007 · 58 views
Okay, I’ve brought this topic up a few times, but I want to make a blog about it now.

Question in point: When was the last time you ever saw a bright green piece in Bionicle?

First, let’s get the colors straight.
  • Bright Green = Lewa’s primary color, as well as the primary color for the Lehvak and Lerahk. The basic shade of green that’s seen in Lego bricks elsewhere. Thus, my favorite shade of green. I call it bright green because, back in the day, there was this program on Bionicle.com that showed all the Kanohi masks and their powers and different colors, and the option was for bright blue and bright green, thus separating them from other shades of colors that could otherwise be labels “blue” and “green”
  • Lime Green = the secondary color of Lewa, the Lehvak, and the primary color of good ol’ Turaga Matau. Lime green, the lighter version of green, has become more widely available in recent sets, but doesn’t entirely replace bright green.
  • Dark Green = the primary color for pretty much ever “green” set since Toa Matau. It’s a dark, duller green, that I just don’t find all that exciting or worthy of MOCing in. It just doesn’t seem to fit with many other colors…
  • Sand Green = the secondary color of Zaktan, and I think that’s the only place it’s found in the Bionicle universe so far. It’s kind of a lighter green, but not quite as vibrant as lime green.
  • Trans Green = Eye colors for sets all over the board. There’s a light green version and a dark green version.

Now that I’ve separated the greens out, let’s think back to when we last saw the color I codenamed “bright green”. As far back as I can remember, it only came with the Lerahk Rahkshi, and everything got darker afterwards. Don’t believe me? Let’s go through a list of the sets that have contained green…
  • Matau: Primary color dark green, secondary color gray. Okay, he was the first, so he wasn’t that bad in dark green.
  • Vorzahk: Primary color dark green, secondary color gray.
  • Nurzahk: Yeah, yeah, he was red, but he had a green eyepiece, which could be dubbed the last real “bright green” piece ever seen in Bionicle. ph34r.gif
  • Nidhiki: Dark Green and gray, dude. Although he also had the green eyepiece, didn’t he?
  • Orkahm and Rahaga Iruini, as well as Piruk and Defilak: Basic Dark green pieces.
  • Matau Hordika: Dark green and gray. Seriously, this color combination is so dull that it began to turn me off of green sets.
  • Visorak Keelerak: Dark Green and lime green. The first reintroduction of lime green. It worked, but no nearly as well as the bright green and lime green of Lewa.
  • Toa Iruini: Dark Green and Gold… an odd combination, and probably the best I’ve seen made with dark green. Beats gray, at least.
  • Zaktan: Dark green and sand green. The colors work well together, but they just don’t contain the vibrancy I like to see in green sets. They’re just all… dull.
  • Kongu Inika: Dark green (AGAIN!!) and silver. Better than gray, but still!
  • Ehlek: Dark green and lime green: We saw that with the Visorak! Okay, the cool looking spines add some good vibrancy, but that’s about it.
  • Hahli Mahri and Noctrum: Dark blue mixed in with lime green. Not a bad combination, but those aren’t Toa of Air, are they?
  • Kongu Mahri: Dark green and gray. Yuck. My love of green sets has ended.

Now, why can’t Lego bring bright green back into the picture. And I know it’s not because they switched colors in 04 and don’t want to switch back. They’ve brought bright blue back… take a look at Dalu, not to mention all those O+ rods that clash horribly with everything. Red made a comeback as the secondary color in Hakann, as well as in Cordak blasters and those new styles of rods. Sure, brown hasn’t made a comeback… but brown has never been a popular color in Bionicle, right? Black and white have hardly changed, and we’ve seen other secondary colors of 2001 brought back into play (lime green, light blue, orange, sand blue). Why can’t we see a Toa of air at least with a secondary color of bright green?

I also don’t believe that the majority of kids hate that shade of green. Look at the comics… has Matau or Zaktan ever appeared to be a dark shade of green? No, they’re always brilliant emerald, a color that’ll catch your attention and look cool. Yes, Bionicle sets have gotten darker in colors in general since the days of Metru-Nui, but I’ve seen brighter versions reappear. Why isn’t bright green among them?

That it my rant for the evening. Take note that this is all opinion, and this is also based solely on the sets, with no storyline mumble jumble included. I know some people prefer dark green over bright green, but some people also prefer brown over Keetongu yellow, so opinions differ but sets are still made with one color or another. I hope that in the future bright green is reintroduced in some form or another. I’m not talking a complete rejection of dark green (I wouldn’t mind that) but just an inclusion of bright green.

But if Lewa is dark green on lime green, or, even worst, gray… I don’t know what I’ll do. (But I won’t be buying that set, that’s for sure!)



I Just Can’t Help Myself: Jaller And Hahli Review

Posted by xccj , Sep 25 2007 · 697 views
Okay, so here’s the deal. There was a special trip for UW students to go to a Fred Meyers and buy last minute college supplies. I already had all I really needed, and then some more (I’m sure). But I went anyway… I wanted some dry erase markers, and they’d be cheaper at some big retail store than the local bookstore… I think.

Anyway, Fred Meyers is also the place where I find my best Lego deals, and I’ve only grabbed Hewkii this summer. So, you know, if I happened to find a good sale…

Well, I did. Buy one, get one free. The usual sale is buy two and get one free, which turns me off because I don’t want to cash out twenty bucks in one go… but ten was fine. So I bought Jaller Mahri and Hahli Mahri. And since it’s only one in the morning, I thought I might as well write a review on them. (It was a Midnight trip, BTW)

Jaller Mahri

Major complains I’ve heard about Jaller were that he was pretty much Jaller Inika with a new mask and weapon, but I had a feeling that he might be a good buy, so I grabbed him instead of Nuparu. The body is awesome… very customized and the best design I’ve seen in 07 so far. (Yeah, even better than Mantax). The legs also fit with the body well… I always liked the Inika legs. It’s the arms that always got to me. The arms here aren’t so bad length wise, because I’ve just gotten used to those lengths. The upper shoulders could be a bit bulked out, though.

The mask is wicked cool… finally, a usable new mask… I haven’t seen a good one since 04 (and 05 if you count Iruini and Norik). Double color is good, and basic design can work for a villain or hero, I suppose. The tubes do constrict the movement a bit, but I can always remove them. The sword… well, interesting design, but it’s like only half a sword! It’s obvious that this is made more for Levoskii’s (sp) vehicle, on which it looks cool as far as I can tell from pictures… but it doesn’t seem to work so well for Jaller. Nonetheless, it’s a big up from his last sword (I hated those glowing swords). The Hannah crab… well, it’s what I like about smaller MOCs… small, simple, and yet effective. Uses Jaller’s chest piece rather well (or maybe the piece was originally intended for the crab, and then given to Jaller as an afterthought.) Anyway, it makes for a cute little thing that can do some damage with the Cordak blaster on it. (Note, I don’t like how the extra ammo on both Jaller and Hahli are placed, but I don’t have anyplace else to store them for now)

Jaller, despite some short comings, exceeds my initial expectations. Sure, he’s a rip off of the Inika form, but this one loses some of the flaws of the Inika (mask, weapon) and adds a few more things in (great torso and a crab!)

Hahli Mahri

Hahli, when I first saw the Inika, was the one I decided I needed to get. However, after going over her piece count and overall look, I picked up Hewkii first, but I was still tempted to get Hahli, even if just for her lime green pieces. So now I have her… and I’m just not sure if she was worth it.

The body is a basic Piraka body, also uses in Piraka and other Toa Mahri. I guess the only nifty thing is how the two leg pieces are added on (the back one for the wings and the regular one for the legs). The rest of the limbs are pretty much copies from the Inika… new colors for some, but not new pieces. Hahli’s mask is interesting, especially with the trans blue pieces covering the eyes and such. The tubes… well, they aren’t a necessity, in my opinion. The interesting things about Hahli were her weapon and wings… but they don’t seem to be worth too much. The talon is big and nasty, but it just doesn’t look like a useful Toa tool for a Toa of Water. Seriously, leave the claws to Onua and make something more sleek for the Toa of Water. (Of course, if Nivhawk had those pieces for talons, that would’ve been some set!) The wings… well, they’re okay, but maybe not entirely necessary (except that, without them, Hahli would look even duller). Worst part of the weapon and wings is that they’re a bit flimsy… I like hard plastic weapons, like with the Nuva’s. Thin weaponry is not something I like (I didn’t like it on Zaktan either).

But my biggest beef with Hahli is not her wings, her tubes, or her arms that are a little bit too long still… but her overall look. She looks like a pretty buff Toa all in all… but she doesn’t have any feminine characteristics. I mean, she’s bulky! I know designers probably aren’t thinking of gender while designing sets like this, but I always preferred my Toa of Water to be more… sleek than their other Toa counterparts. Jaller’s body might’ve worked out better for Hahli! But, hey, what can you do? I didn’t think Hahli Inika looked all that feminine either, Dalu was definitely buffer than her fellow Matoran, and Nokama Hordika was as much a mess as her partners. I guess you just can’t win on this front anymore.

Anyway, these are my first impressions of having the sets in my hands (or displayed on my printer) so they might change. Those wings might make for some good MOCing parts when I get home… more orange and lime green pieces might make a nice addition to my collection, and Hahli’s mask could work well on a female MOC if I get rid of those darn tubes. But now you’ve read through the ramblings of my mind while I look at these sets. Now I’m going to go to sleep. Night.



Wireless Keyboard

Posted by xccj , Sep 22 2007 · 49 views
News and Updates
I had my problems with a laptop's keyboard. This included having the text jump around where I was typing, so I could hardly keep my sentesnes together. I had trouble capitalizing letters ( AnD I doN't SeEm tO haVe thAt trOubLe nOw.) The keys were harder to press and easier to miss, and the keyboard got hot after a lot of typing (something with having most of the processing going on beneath the keyboard probably contributes to the problem). But now I've done away with all those probems, (and probably acquired a few more)

Lo and behold, I bought myself a wireless keyboard (I wouldn't have minded the wires, but they don't sell any with wires anymore, it seems). I had some trouble uploading it becaquse it works for Windows XP and I have Vista (new laptop). Some downloads of Microsoft.com helped... for now. Now it's connected, and I again have a keyboard that I can place in my lap withpout placing the rest of the computer there too. The keys are much easier to get, and I'm having fun controlling my music program from the keyboard (I'm old fashioned... my other keyboards only had mute buttons) The main problem so far is if the laptop loses connection with the keyboard, which is a possibility (in one night, it's warned me twice that the connection rate was low, but so far no troubles). The keyboard also came with a wireless mouse, but that doesn't seem to be working very well. That's just fine, because I already have a wireless mouse that works grandly.

So, what's this all mean to you? Does it mean I'll write more stories or something? No... I'll probably be writing essays or something along those lines (blog entries are going to come, though).

No, it means any spelling or gramatical errors I make in the future cannot be blamed on a lousy keyboard.

I'll miss that excuse.

And after all this, I sitll two-finger type.



How’s This For Spontaneity?

Posted by xccj , Sep 20 2007 · 51 views
News and Updates
Chapter 50 of slizers on mata-Nui has been updated!

Woo hoo? blink.gif

Well, I had the basics for this chapter down already, i just needed to flesh out the details. I think it has a really good fight between Jet and Sarkarg... who's gona win there? ohmy.gif As I said in the review topic, the next chapter is going to be tedious to write, so don't expect it anytime soon. Sorry.

Anyway, I finished my first month of college classes... although I'm not sure that it counts, because it was an EFS class (Early Fall Start) and thus an easier class than I'd normally get. It was really interesting too... it was about new technologies and science fiction and stuff like that. I heard some really interesting ideas for future technologies that are being worked on, and got to read a few interesting sci fi books (possibly the best reading list I'll ever recieve for a class). Neuromancer and Darwin's Children were okay and had some cool technilogical ideas, but not the greatest stories. (Okay, Neuromancer got pretty good in the end, but that doesn't work if the beginning and middle are boring) Snow Crash was my favorite of the bunch... it got dull around the middle but eventually came to a point where I could just not set it down.

Anyway, this weekend I'm going back to my dorm (I'm at home now) and prepare to take real classes. Worst one: Chemistry at 9:30 in the morning. I hate chemistry... sure, it has so many uses, but the whole "every rule has an exception" thing really gets to me.

Sorry, no creative writing classes (that would probably be poety anyway... i don't like poetry too much) but if I get some inspiration and don't have a paper due the next day, I might try to update Slizers on Mata-Nui again. (That other epic I still have going... yeah right. Kanoka Makers of Metru Nui has a chase scene next and I've been putting off writing that for a year or so now. Uhg)

And how have you procrastinated today... aw, never mind.



Comic #10

Posted by xccj , Sep 18 2007 · 52 views
I'm sitting here in my kitchen (at home... I came back for a week) making Jello (why? Cause I want some) and I was thinking about the cool new comic I got today, and how I'm really glad I avoided any spoilers before I actually got it in my hands and read it. So I thought I'd type up a quick review.

Minor spoiler alert, BTW.

Artwork: Well, it's the basic sayger artwork, but some of the Mahri are particularly well done... I especially like the color. Plus, we see more Matoran, Titans (Gadunka's entrances is quite cool to view), and other undersea stuff. One problem was alot of artwork consisted of red explosions of firepower or Cordak blasts. Almost too much.

Story: Basic is enough to describe it. My experience with the comics this year have been that they tell the story from the books, maybe adding a tiny bit more but covering the basics and giving us a visual interpretation. What i can say here is, the story was pretty good in the comic, so once all the dialouge and other details are added in when the book comes around, it'll be great. I like how my favorite Barakki takes stage, and the battle with Gadunka is very cool. The whole ending feels a bit anticlimatic, though.

Overall: Well, not one of the greatest or one of my favorite comics, but it does a nice, quick job of getting the story told, while still following a few choice characters. Note: Nuparu is seen in the background, but I don't believe he has any lines. Pity. If it's done anything at all, it's got me phyced about Bionicle Legends 8.

And for one of my preditions...

» Click to show Spoiler - click again to hide... «



Elements And J.a.f. Adventures

Posted by xccj , Sep 15 2007 · 77 views
Epic Reports
Now for some more descriptions of non-Bionicle stories that I’ve written but will probably never post on BZP. It’s not that the stories aren’t good, it’s just that they’re too mature for BZP’s main audience. (And I’m leaving most of that stuff out of the descriptions, so it’s all safe here. tongue.gif )


Synopsis: A game producer convinces this kid to test a virtual reality game, but really it is just an experiment to see how well the game can act as a prison and trap somebody in the virtual world. The game, named Elements, gives characters elemental powers with weapons, and they have to go through levels and fight against various enemies (for example, ninjas). The worst part of the game is how realistic it is: you need nourishment like food and water, you feel pain if you’re injured or poisoned, and if you die, you die. (Thus being only a piece of computer coding, which could be recalled if the producer wanted you to come back… but he’s an evil twit, so the odds are against you.) Then four friends, searching for their first friend, also wander into the game and get stuck, and then they have to go through the game to find their first friend, and to just escape. They have cool elements (basics like air, earth, ice, and water), weapons (boomerangs, whips, and swords), and outside help (one friend, the computer geek, avoids getting stuck in the game and then spends time trying to hack into the programming and getting his own friends out). The basics for the story were obviously stolen. The major elements I based off Bionicle elements, and some of the attacks (creating huge columns of earth to rise up and strike down opponents) were stolen from Toa attacks. The whole ‘trapped in a virtual reality game’ idea was stolen from some cartoon show, which I referenced in the story without actually naming it (I forgot which it was, but I’m sure it was a cartoon). This story was written roughly three or four years ago.

What’s Good: Since it was written while I was in high school, the whole story is written much better than previous work. To this I attribute having a few other stories already under my belt (Time Disruption had started when I was working on this one) and just a better knowledge of how to write based of my English classes (assuming I learned something from them). Anyway, the plot structure, character development, and action scenes are all much better than previous stories. This can also be attributed to it being a shorter story and better planned out. Unlike Ouch and Time Disruption, which were incredibly long stories that were updated over long intervals, this story was written over a Christmas break, in one go. It’s shorter (only about 100 pages) but contains enough that it makes a lengthy read. It flows very well, leaving no loose ends and summarizing about everything. (In fact, the sequel tweaked a few things to make it more believable). It’s probably one of my better stories yet.

What’s Bad: There were still plot errors I missed… pieces of the story I just thought about but forgot to write in, which I have added back in with recent editing. Some of the relationships in the story seem cheesy and unreal… some of the political aspects for why the game existed in the first place are strained. There are a few side stories that are worthless, and in recent editing I’ve taken them out. Besides for a few unrealistic and clichéd items, the first story is really pretty good. The sequel that I’ve started but haven’t finished is worst… the horrible side stories go crazy and the plot is hardly there. The second story is not nearly as neat as the first one, and it pretty much throws everything up in the air and lets the reader just try to figure it out. I started writing the sequel to include some things I couldn’t fit into the first story, but then it just went out of control and I’ve somewhat discontinued it. Oh well, that’s how most sequels are.

J.A.F. Adventures

Synopsis: If you thought I’d leave Team J.A.F in the dust with the failed story ouch, you’d be wrong. Ouch was just the first story I wrote that included J.A.F., but I’ve had the idea for much longer. I wanted to use it again without all the complications presented in Ouch, so I thus began to write a series of short stories involving Team J.A.F., which incorporates the Midnight Zone (I should blog about that at some point). Anyway, most of the stories involve defeating some group of terrorists right before they pull through with their plot. (Thus, most of the stories end with “yay, we saved the day” or something like that). Just to spice things up, I’ve included a magical entity that is always sending problems in their direction. So far, I have four stories written in the series, with a fifth one in the making. I started writing these about two to three years ago.

What’s Good: The writing really parallels the quality in SoMN. There are still flaws, but the entire story is something I don’t mind reading over again myself. There are some extremely good fighting sequences in them, where I describe complicated physical moves that totally take down an enemy. The character development in some of them is excellent, as various characters overcome their flaws and show personal growth… in the meantime beating up on the villain too. With a few minor edits for language and gore, I could probably post these in COT… but I don’t feel like it, so there. tongue.gif

What’s Bad: There are some logic errors in there. One that I’ve already addressed in my latest story is the knack for terrorists to keep popping up in this certain town (the story is set in a big city-like environment, but I haven’t actually chosen any specific city.) It makes for a good story, as people of the same basic group of enemies keep popping up in the same place, using new techniques but still getting beaten in the end by the good guys. But it doesn’t really do any good logically, and seems more like a rip-off from Power Rangers (didn’t most of the shows in the first season end with them fighting some big monster in the same basic city setting?) But besides a few plot holes here and there… it’s not too bad, really. Some of my finer work.


Ouch, The Story

Posted by xccj , Sep 14 2007 · 77 views
Epic Reports
Here’s a quick look at one of my bigger stories, Ouch, that is not related whatsoever to Bionicle and wouldn’t work on BZP anyway.


Synopsis: I started writing this about five or six years ago, around the time I was into Bionicle. It’s based off this story about a kid (who I decided to base of myself. Heh) who’s fighting this guy with magical powers and protecting two of his friends (who also have magical powers, but they don’t know he knows about it) from the first guy, who’s trying to steal their powers from them and take over the universe. The original story involves a lot of stealthy action and fights behind the scene, and in the end the bad guy is defeated and the protagonist wins.

“Ouch” is a spin-off, in which the bad guy does take over everything. The first couple of chapters involve the main character (I’ll just call him Xccj for now. tongue.gif ) making quite a few daring escapes as the villain takes over the world. Xccj then saves all his friends, and tries to escape to mars to form a counter-attack. One notable thing is the inclusion of Team J.A.F., a superhero-ish group led by Xccj, which grants him the power to resist the villain in the first place. But the whole counterattack thing does work so well, as their escape ship gets blasted, and they shoot twenty years into the future, where the villain has complete control of most of the planet, and most of the human population is cryogenically frozen in storage on the moon.

Then the story changes as Xccj and his friends form a resistance group, which fights various battles with the villain’s new army of humans (who were loyal to him and didn’t end up frozen) and robots. The first few battles are just so Xccj and his friends can survive, but they change as they begin to attack the villain, learning his secret plans and making a move on his fortress. About three or four years ago, I was writing the final chapters as they dove into the heart of the secret fortress and battled for the end of all things. (They do this twice. The first time, they blow up something that ends all life in the universe, so Xccj finds a way to go back in time a few days and change the course of things) But then I got distracted from writing it, and it hasn’t gone any further since then.

What’s Good: This is my first real action adventure story. The whole thing was over 200 pages, and was so big that I had to break it up into separate Word documents to keep it from overloading the program as one giant file. The basic plot is one of my best ever, including various twists and turns that nobody is likely to expect. Then there’s a ton of emotional content, from relationships to coping with dead friends. (The cool think about the story is that the first time they go into the fortress and end up destroying the universe, Xccj’s companions die off one by one, but when he goes back in time, he is able to prevent some of their deaths) Then the battles… it was my first time writing detailed physical fighting sequences, and some of them turned out to be rather inventive.

What’s Bad: Well, I still wrote this a while back, so the story suffers from writing flaws that I have improved upon. The overall plot is good, but side stories are often rather stupid and lead too far away from the initial story theme. Character development in a few select characters is good (Xccj, for example, as he is doing this all in the first person) but there are over twenty main characters in this story. Sometimes it feels a little stressed to include all of them. Some characters are flat, with a few strong points but not much substance elsewhere. The worst part is in battle sequences, I tended to rewrite the laws of physics, allowing a character to do something that seemed realistic at the time, but when I took actual science classes, I realized it was just totally wrong. Plus, the whole thing is just too long! I spent a lot of time discussing how one particularly odd plot hole can logically exist in the story, but it gets so boring that even I have trouble rereading it. This is a story I‘ve considered rewriting, because the basic ideas are very good, but the overall story told doesn’t meet up to my standards of today.

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Is that the light at the far end of the tunnel, or just the train.
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Lisztomania, think less but see it grow. Like a riot, like a riot, Oh.
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I took a sip of something poison but I'll hold on tight.
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Birds sing for you, you can make this blue sky blush
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On the other side of the street I knew, stood a girl that looked like you.
I guess that's Déjà vu, but I thought this can't be true
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But even the sun sets in paradise
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Crazy how that shipwreck meant my ship was coming in
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So make now your ally, and leap before you look
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I'm just too much a coward to admit when I'm in need.
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Just believe in far away, ikiru tame ni sore wa
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Everything that drowns me makes me want to fly.
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