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PeabodySam

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About PeabodySam

Year 15
  • Rank
    Seeker
  • Birthday 04/14/1994

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  • Gender
    Male
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    In front of my computer
  • Interests
    Who am I? Well, some people think I'm the pie maker. That is an unfortunately common misconception. I do not make pies, I mock peas. Even worse is when people think I am the pie makah. If there's one thing to know about me, it's DO NOT call me the pie makah!

    "PeabodySam" has its derivatives. "Peabody" is, in fact, an old family joke that takes too long to explain. "Sam" is the main character of Quantum Leap, an old TV show that I used to watch back in 1994. I loved that show, but haven't seen it in years... one of these days, I should find time to watch some old episodes again.

    So, now that you know who I am, what about my interests? Well, obviously I am a LEGO fan, otherwise I would never have found this website. I'd say my top three favorite LEGO themes are Rock Raiders, Adventurers, and Alpha Team. BIONICLE, Pirates, and Space also rank rather highly.

    I also enjoy videogames. I do not consider myself a hardcore gamer in any way; I just play for fun. Two of my favorite game series are Mario and Half-Life (including Portal). Naturally, I also enjoy LEGO games, though I dislike that most games since 2005 are repackaged versions of LEGO Star Wars.

    I am very into art and music. I find that both help me express my feelings very well. I am interested in most forms of art, and in music, I love mostly anything orchestral. I play both the piano and clarinet. One more thing... music is a lot like candy. It's much better when you throw away the rappers.

    Literature is another favorite subject of mine. I love to read, and when I'm not reading, I'm usually writing, be it for a story (such as The Story of Frosam Trilogy) or for a text-based RPG (such as Dino Attack RPG). I've written many stories here on BZPower, and my Dino Attack RPG has been praised for its well-written plot.

    I am also interested in science. Personally, I find geology, astronomy, and biology to be the most intriguing subjects of science, yet I am also good at chemistry because somehow I'm excellent at math.

    I do not watch a whole lot of television. Most TV shows nowadays are rather bad; back in the days of Monty Python, it was great, but nowadays it is sadly not so. Too many lousy reality TV shows on the air. However, two recent TV shows that I absolutely love are Pushing Daisies and Fringe.

    Unfortunately, in recent times I've found myself increasingly busy. TakunuvaC01 has diagnosed this as "PeabodySam's Disease". Due to this disease, it's becoming harder and harder for me to find time for my interests. Usually, the symptoms recede during the summer, only to return in the fall.

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    Peabodysam

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  1. The polls are open! Go vote for your favorite entries in BS01's "Legends and Infamy" contest! A young Vortixx hailing from Xia, Roodaka has traveled far and wide across the Matoran Universe to lend a healing hand to those in need. With her extensive knowledge of medicine, she provides cures to a wide variety of ailments, from the poison of Lerahk to the venom of Visorak. Her staff generates a protective barrier to block incoming attacks, while her Rhotuka can restore anything to its original state. Her reputation is so great, the name "Roodaka" has become synonymous with "mercy". No one is sure why a Vortixx, a member of the race that deals only in business and profit, would go out of her way to act so altruistically. Rumors have circulated that she once saw a vision... a dark mirror of the person she could become. Perhaps then, Roodaka has adopted this solemn duty out of determination to never follow that path into darkness. ----- When BS01 announced their "Legends and Infamy" contest, I immediately had an idea for which villainous character would be fun to reimagine as a hero. Turned out it was quite the popular idea, since two other entries also tackled the same subject. With a villain as memorable as Roodaka, that shouldn't be too surprising. The canonical Roodaka is the archetypal seductive femme fatale, visually illustrated by her design that emphasizes certain features. With that in mind, my method of taking the character and making her heroic meant distancing her from her original sultry appearance, especially since there's a certain trope for associating heroes with modest clothing and villains with revealing outfits. Therefore, if the original set looked like she was wearing a silver bikini, then this MOC would be wearing a white dress instead. That's where I got the idea for a more angelic visual motif, since the good pure angel is about as far as you can get from the evil sexy seductress. In turn, interpreting the design of an angel in a series with a futuristic aesthetic led to some loose inspiration drawn from Mercy in Overwatch, as you might be able to tell from this MOC's name. I even sketched some quick concept art just to get my thoughts down on paper. I considered including more angelic qualities such as a halo or wings, but I thought this would risk taking it too far; still, I decided to keep the visual motif by incorporating the design of feathered wings into her staff and dress. Imagining the MOC in my head was the easy part. Actually building it was an entirely different story. Since my entire BIONICLE collection is currently boxed up in storage, I was restricted to using LEGO Digital Designer and its limited library. I put together an initial "sketch" model, just to establish the "bottom of the barrel" and see what needed improvement (basically, everything). As goofy and terrible as the "sketch" model looks, it was actually really useful for teaching me what I needed to focus on, such as anatomy. All in all, I'm very satisfied with the end result. I haven't done nearly as much BIONICLE MOCing since the end of G1, so the BS01 contest gave me a good opportunity to stretch these muscles. I think I've struck a ideal balance between building an original model from scratch and keeping it recognizably Roodaka, with several pieces (such as the gears in the staff) chosen specifically as a callback to the original set. It's far from perfect, and the other contest entries blow mine out of the water... but for me personally, this was a very successful MOC, and I'm happy with how it turned out. Some other images of interest: Closeup on the headCloseup on the RhotukaAlternate model with Roodaka's original color schemeRoodaka versus RoodakaFull Brickshelf galleryComments are appreciated. Constructive criticism is welcome.
  2. A LEGO set called "T-Rex Transport" that includes an adult T-Rex, a baby theropod, a truck with a detachable cage trailer, a vehicle with a predominantly blue and grey color scheme, and one female minifig in a set otherwise populated with male minifigs? Huh, I could've sworn that LEGO already released this set 18 years ago...
  3. I'm afraid I don't know too much about this... but I do know who to ask! The folks over at Rock Raiders United are very good at figuring out how to run old LEGO games (like Rock Raiders or Soccer Mania) on newer computers. If there's not already a topic for supporting Soccer Mania on Windows 10, you can always ask them yourself. I'm sure they'll be able to help you out!
  4. No, I meant what I said: the Electric Spiders (named here). Note that the Electric Spider and Fikou-Nui share the "Roborider head" abdomen and "ball joint" eyes. Aside from that, it's admittedly difficult to see any more similarities from the tiny sprite size, but it does lend enough weight to Pereki's hypothesis that it seems rather likely that the rest of their bodies (minus the larger abdomen, legs, and jaws of the Fikou-Nui) should be built very similarly. Judging from Pereki's recreation, the Cliff Bug has a considerably different and much simpler build compared to the Electric Spider and Fikou-Nui. EDIT: I figured I'd share a preview of what I've been working on recently... EDIT (again): Well, since my project fell by the wayside a while ago, I'll just share the LXF files for QftT Rahi and TLoMN Rahi.
  5. The last time I wrote a long post about BIONICLE Heroes on BZPower, the forums got hacked later that night and my post was deleted in the aftermath. Let's hope I have better luck this time... BIONICLE Heroes has a lot going for it. You may certainly find it cathartic to demolish your way past waves and waves of Bohrok, Visorak, and Vahki, which could be just as mindlessly addictive as munching on junk food snacks. There is some replayability in the form of certain collectibles that cannot be collected until Vezon and Fenrakk are defeated and all the Toa Inika have been upgraded, so completionists will find some longevity. The graphics are rather nice for the time, with the large environments giving Voya Nui a similar scale of mystery and history as the island of Mata Nui, and so many objects in the game can be built with LEGO, BIONICLE, and Technic pieces from your own collection. If you find slapstick to be funny, the cutscenes will give you plenty of laughs. The soundtrack is simply fantastic, with each zone having its distinct musical style so that you're bound to find at least one you'll enjoy. Honestly, what's the one major problem with the game? It's the game itself. It's a third-person shooter, which means the whole game is focused on combat and shooting. In this genre, a major source of challenge is being able to accurately aim at your enemies so you can shoot them. This game strips away that challenge by having the Toa automatically aim and lock onto a particular on-screen enemy or object, indicated by the green line of sight. The result is that you're just mindlessly pressing the shoot button over and over while the Toa does all the work of actually aiming. Think about how aimbots are considered cheating in online multiplayer games, and then realize that this entire game has an aimbot that can never be turned off. To be fair, you have games like Metroid Prime where you can lock onto enemies to keep them at the center of the screen and make aiming much easier. But, Metroid Prime is classified as a "first-person adventure" game, not a first-person shooter... the combat is not the main focus of this game. Besides, the lock-on is manual, not automatic; the player doesn't let the game do all the work for them. Additionally, in the Metroid Prime games released for the Wii (Corruption and Trilogy), the lock-on only keeps the enemy on the center of the screen... it's still up to the player to actually aim at the enemy. Last, but certainly not least... even with the lock-on, Metroid Prime still offers a significant challenge. BIONICLE Heroes doesn't offer that challenge. Enemies don't deal a lot of damage per hit, you can fully heal yourself by picking up a Kanohi mask, and your only penalty for losing all your health is losing your current Toa Inika. You can even take advantage of the latter two, since you can switch to a Toa whose mask is nearby, lose that Toa, and then immediately regain that Toa upon collecting his/her mask. But the worst offender of all is Hero Mode. As soon as you collect a certain number of Technic pieces, Hero Mode is automatically activated. Your Toa turns golden, your health is fully replenished, a shockwave damages all enemies within a certain radius, the music switches to one particular track, your attacks receive a huge boost in strength, and you are complete invincible. This lasts until you activate a Golden Constraction. In Piraka boss battles, this may happen right away... but in the levels themselves, you'll fill up your Hero Mode meter LONG before finding a Golden Constraction, because enemies and destructible objects drop a lot of Technic pieces. Hero Mode strips away any semblance of challenge from the game. You'll spend the majority of your gameplay completely invincible with just one song playing on loop ad nauseam (which is all that it takes to turn an exciting song into an ear-grating annoyance). You know what's even worse? As I said, this is automatically activated. You have no choice in the matter... well, actually, you do. The only way to avoid Hero Mode is to deliberately avoid picking up Technic pieces. After blowing a bunch of enemies to smithereens and having their pieces litter the floor in front of you, you need to sit there and wait for them to fade away before progressing. That's not fun. What's particularly surprising is that the game wasn't always like this. The PC demo, available for download before the game was released, has a different version of Hero Mode. You still fill up the meter just as fast, and you still get all the perks of invincibility and such, but... it's only temporary. Using Hero Mode drains the Hero Mode meter, and once it's down to zero, you're back to normal. Therefore, instead of being automatically activating Hero Mode, filling the meter gives you the option to manually activate Hero Mode. This is a small difference with profound impact. It changes Hero Mode from "thing that makes the majority of the game way too easy" to "temporary power-up to be used only when you need it". This is so much better... why did they change it before release? The result is that BIONICLE Heroes offers no challenge. It's mindless. I can't even call it an experience, because that would imply that I experienced something. And it's a real shame, because I can tell that a lot was put into the presentation of the game... like I said, the graphics are nice and the soundtrack is amazing. If TT Games had gone with the LEGO Star Wars style of gameplay, they could've had something fun here. But in their effort to try a different genre, only to dumb it down for the little kiddies, they lost everything that makes that genre enjoyable to play. Overall, I give the PC and console versions of BIONICLE Heroes a "junk food" out of 10. It's tasty and addictive, but lacks substance and satisfaction that a real fulfilling meal would give you. If you want my advice... play the Nintendo DS version instead. It's a completely different game. It's a first-person shooter, which is the most obvious difference... but it strips away almost all of the PC/console versions' problems with difficulty and challenge (or rather, lack thereof). There is no automatic aiming. Enemies can and will kill you if you're not careful. The only way to recover health is to find a few seconds of cover, which is often easier said than done when enemies are firing at you from all over the room. And Hero Mode? It's just like in the PC demo, but it doesn't even make you invincible! The only major criticism of the DS version is that its controls are a little janky... using the touch screen to aim doesn't feel right to me, while using A/B/X/Y to aim feels more comfortable at the sacrifice of precision and accuracy. But still, if you want a game that actually challenges you and therefore feels satisfying to beat, pick up this version. I also hear that the Game Boy Advance version is pretty fun, though I haven't played that one myself so I can't vouch for it one way or the other.
  6. Very interesting! I can't believe I've never noticed that the Electric Spider and Fikou-Nui share the same basic build... then again, since we've only seen one from tiny sprites and the other from a single screenshot and a low-resolution video (up until last weekend), perhaps it shouldn't be that surprising after all. Either that, or it's a real testament to how much adding a large toothy lower jaw changes the design from rather cute (i.e. Electric Spider) to rather monstrous (i.e. Fikou-Nui). Good call with the Roborider body piece. I know I've previously had to work around its exclusion from LDD when building the Muaka, Kane-Ra, and Kuma-Nui for the Eurobricks "Official LEGO Sets made in LDD" index... and it's a bit of a pain to retain both its shape and functionality. Surprising that unique Technic elements such as this haven't been seen in years (the most likely reason for its exclusion from LDD); I imagine it could be useful.
  7. While we're on the topic of Rahi from The Legend of Mata Nui (and Quest for the Toa, for that matter), I was just trying to recreate the Small Bug, Scorpion, and Fikou-Nui in LEGO Digital Designer. Given the fact that I could only work with screenshots currently publicly available on the internet (since I do not have the software necessary to view the models in a 3D viewer), I'm sure there are a few inaccuracies... plus the lack of BIONICLE heads and masks in LDD means that there is a simple placeholder used instead. But, it's considerably closer to the original model than the recreation by kocour454's friend, so you might still find it useful as a "starting ground" for constructing the Fikou-Nui model and instructions for this database. Also there's an additional disembodied Fikou-Nui leg in there for reference purposes so please just ignore that. [LXF download link]
  8. I admit to being biased towards orchestral music... and I also admit that I prefer Christine Lorentzen over Niels Brinck... but even with that said, when compared to the original, I feel like this new version is a much better fit for the weight and drama of the 2008 story. I hope to see more collaborations between Cryoshell and the Budapest Art Orchestra in the future. It would certainly be interesting hearing orchestrated takes on other Cryoshell songs written for BIONICLE, such as "Creeping In My Soul" and "Closer To The Truth".
  9. I have been waiting over a decade to listen to "Follow the Light / Mask of Time". It was well worth the wait. Nathan Furst could have released this track on its own without the rest of the score, and I would still have been more than satisfied. Also, can we take a moment to appreciate "Bad Things Happen In The Desert"? Not because of the music itself... now, don't get me wrong, the music is fantastic. I'm talking about the track title. I am aware that it is a direct quote from the film's dialogue, but... when taken out of context and used as a music track title, it sounds like Nathan Furst gave up trying to come up with a creative title and instead just resorted to poorly describing the relevant scene. "This track will be titled 'Faithful Matoran to Mighty Toa', because it represents the growth of these characters and the new roles that they must play. This track will be titled 'Heart of Metru Nui', because Lhikan reveals that the Matoran, not himself, are what the Toa are destined to protect. And this track will be titled... uh... 'Bad Things Happen In The Desert'. Because... um... bad things happen. And it's in the desert."
  10. Awww, thanks for the mention! It's always great to see familiar faces on these forums. ---- I can still hardly believe it's been over a decade. In that time, I've had a lot of treasured memories here on BZPower. Sure, whatever contest this topic was hosting has long since ended, but I still feel like sharing my experiences. 2006-2008 was around the time of my peak activity, during which I'd spend long hours in LEGO General Discussion chatting with Onuki, Tahraau, Tacku, TakunuvaC01, -Sidorak- and others about Rock Raiders, LEGO Racers, and LEGO Island. They were all very friendly, knowledgeable, and all-around great people to hang out with. It was like a prototype version of Rock Raiders United, minus all the crazy community antics. I've also got a lot of cherished memories in the Library forum, even if my own writing was laughable at best (and not in the intended way). It was always lots of fun reading stories from well-known BZPower authors like SPIRIT and GaliGee. Darth Jaller, Primis, and I were a pretty tightly-knit group back in the day, always bouncing ideas off of one another and providing feedback on each others' stories (from The Search to the Mask of Light to The Rock Raiders Meet BIONICLE to Ask Hafu). I also remember that Macku: Toa of Bubbles was always there to provide constructive criticism in the most sincere and friendly manner possible. And hey, maybe my writing wasn't all that bad... more recently, Scene 24: Johnny Thunder Blows This Taco Stand quickly became one of my favorite BZPower memories when it won the LEGO Movie Caveat Scriptor Contest. But undoubtedly, my favorite BZPower memory of all time would have to be Dino Attack RPG. Shortly after joining in 2004, BZPower introduced me to play-by-post games in the form of Alpha Team: Mission Deep Freeze RPG, during which I was taken under the wing of its host Victor Draven and became close friends with fellow players Kotua In Space and Chronicler Of Ko-Koro. A year later, I wanted to try my own hand at hosting a LEGO RPG, and with the help of Hahli Husky, I made that dream a reality. For over seven years, from 2005 through 2012, I had the pleasure of being the host to Dino Attack RPG. It was confusing as heck. It was filled to the brim with death, despair, betrayal, violence, and destruction. It was wacky and nonsensical... cliched and trope-overdosed... overly dark and dramatic for a LEGO-based game. And I loved every moment of it. But the most important part about Dino Attack RPG was not anything that I had done... it was my fellow players. By all accounts, Dino Attack RPG should have been doomed to failure, since it was based on a relatively unpopular LEGO theme in a forum where LEGO RPGs die rather quickly (even the popular Alpha Team RPG had died a slow death by 2006). What kept this one alive all those years were the devoted players who kept coming back day after day, developing their own characters and stories while always building upon the contributions of everyone else. We grew up together, learned from one another, matured as writers and as people, united by our desire to see our silly game reach a dignified conclusion. Friends like Jacks, Atton Rand, Andrewnuva199, that guy from that show, Brikman McStudz, and avmatoran... they are what made Dino Attack RPG special. I'm hardly active on BZPower anymore these days, but it's telling that I'm still in touch with my old Dino Attack RPG buddies through other websites. Thanks for all the memories.
  11. Worth noting, since it had not yet been directly confirmed in this thread: Jala does mention Lhii in Mata Nui Online Game... but only in the German translation. He gives this response to the question "Wer bist du? (Who are you?)". While he only says "I am Jala, Captain of the Guard" in the English version (before changing the subject to talk about the Rahi attacks and the Tren Krom redoubt), here he goes on to mention that he is of the tribe of the surfer Lhii and that he stands beside Vakama during "the great Haka dance" (which might be the German translation of the Great Takara EDIT: read Pereki's post below for more info): "Ich bin Jala, Kommandant der Wache und vom Stamm der Lhii Surfer. Beim großen Haka-Tanz stehe ich Vakama zur Seite. Meine Aufgabe ist es, die Stadt gegen die Rahi zu schützen. Ich merkte schon lange, dass sie immer stärker wurden, aber keiner in der Stadt schenkte mir Glauben - bis die Bestien die Kluft von Tren Krom stürmten." It's nothing new, but we have another Lhii-namedropping source dating back to 2001. Still no information on his physical appearance or pre-Encyclopedia mention of his death, which I'm guessing were details retroactively made canon by Greg Farshtey.
  12. Sorry for making you do something you hate. I did not mean to disparage your work; on the contrary, I did say that I thought it was fantastic. If the contest were a different theme (for example, putting a new spin on Gen 1 scenes and characters), I might've even voted for it instead. Technically, anything could adhere to the contest theme, so long it was something that the artist/builder/writer wanted to see in Gen 2. So, if someone wanted to see a scene in Gen 2 consisting entirely of Tiribomba saying his name over and over again, it would be fair game for this contest. With full seriousness, that is the impression that I got from "An Axe to Grind" - whoever submitted this to the contest must have really liked 2006 and wanted to see it faithfully recreated in Gen 2. Perhaps a little too faithfully, for my own personal tastes as a voter in this contest. I suppose I was just thinking of how "An Axe to Grind" compared to its fellow entry "Wairuha, Uniter of Storms". Wairuha is instantly recognizable as a Gen 1 character, but (even despite the artist's own artistic style) is also instantly recognizable as a Gen 2 reinterpretation of that character. In contrast, Hewkii and Zaktan adhere so closely to their Gen 1 counterparts that they are not instantly recognizable as Gen 2 reinterpretations and the key word is "instantly" - the first-glance impression is that it is Gen 1 artwork with some artistic license. The mask, the torso, the shoulder armor, the weapon... they all looked just like the Gen 1 set to me. I even dismissed the prevalence of red in Hewkii's color scheme as stylistic choice; seeing color schemes that do not precisely match the original set is nothing new in BIONICLE fanart. Of course, as I said before, the CCBS influence can be seen upon closer inspection. You even pointed out that taking the trans-red color from his weapon and turning it into a tertiary color for his overall color scheme is reminiscent of the transparent colors in the Gen 2 sets, and I can definitely see that now. Unfortunately, the problem is that you had to point this out to me, and it's like having to explain a joke to someone who didn't get it. After all, I had no idea what the artist intended... I only knew what I saw before my own eyes as I looked at each entry. Again, I think "An Axe to Grind" is fantastic, and I commend you for your hard work and well thought-out approach. But, as a voter, it simply wasn't what I wanted to see in Gen 2.
  13. Personally, it was a tough choice between "Tapestry of Time" and "The Brothers Corrupted", but I ultimately went with the latter. On the surface, it's a really simple concept... just fancy portraits of Ekimu and Makuta. And yet, the longer I look at it, the more I get a strong vibe of history, mythology, and culture... a sense of the crucial world-building elements that Gen 2 sorely needed. Perhaps it's because it looks like something out of The Lord of the Rings, which is known for its rich world-building of Middle Earth. I really appreciate all the detail that went into "Tapestry of Time". Seeing Gen 1 retold entirely through a series of images is wonderfully nostalgic. Even seeing the Muaka and Bahrag (two of my favorite Gen 1 sets) placed side-by-side hit home for me. In the end, I decided not to vote for it because I was looking for a Gen 2 entry that could stand on its own merit... rather than relying on Gen 1, which is an unfortunately common theme among entries in all three categories of this contest. For example, "An Axe to Grind" is simply fantastic... but, let's be honest with ourselves, it's just Gen 1 fanart that was submitted into a Gen 2 contest. Aside from Hewkii's lower arm loosely resembling the CCBS system (but this could just as easily be attributed to stylistic choices), there's nothing about this that says "what I wanted to see in Gen 2" to me.
  14. "Kulta Kal and the Skull Army" won my vote as soon as I had laid eyes on it. I always felt that Gen 2 had some fantastic concept artwork (especially the more tribal-evocative designs), and sadly the final sets did not always do it justice. Somehow, this entry not only recaptured the look and feel of the Skull Army (while showing off builds that are impressive, yet still believable as sets), but could also combine them all to form the Kulta Kal model, just as implied by the original concept artwork. It might not necessarily be the most original entry, but it accomplished exactly what it set out to do. "Bionicle G2 Master Builder Set" was also another great concept that I would have also loved to see in Gen 2. Unfortunately, much like the original Gen 1 Master Builder set, some of the models in this entry are hit-or-miss. If the execution was as strong as the concept, I think it could have gotten my vote instead.
  15. I'm still pleasantly surprised that Gresh - Gladiator of Jungle made it to the finals, despite not being particularly well-written or well-polished due to my tight schedule. Thank you so much to everyone who had voted for it! I really appreciate your support! As for me? After much thought (there were plenty of fantastic entries in this contest), I ultimately cast my vote for Clinging to the Bones. In keeping with the theme of the contest, it told a story that I would have loved to have seen in Gen 2... you could probably figure that out, given that the same subject matter was tackled in my own entry. It also has the benefits of being able to fit right into Gen 2 canon without any glaring contradictions, and can stand on its own without having to connect to Gen 1. Best of luck to everyone!
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