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BZPMN, Season 2
Nato G posted a topic in Games & Trivia(Similar to previous games, this story will take place in a drastically alternate timeline. The game will largely ignore a lot of the GSR stuff, including the forced gender assignments for each element, and instead focus on some of the more mystical aspects of the G1 story. If seeing the early years of Bionicle reinterpreted and retold like this isn’t your cup of tea, go somewhere else.) THE STORY Two years have passed since the events of the first game, and the situation on Mata Nui is worsening. Swarms of roving Bohrok rampage across the island, growing in number and strength with each passing day, laying waste to the landscape. Colossal defensive barriers now surround each of the villages, shielding swathes of land and wildlife from the wrath of the ravenous creatures. Debates rage in every corner of every settlement as to how this crisis should be combated, with no clear answers. Some argue for unity, while others petition for independence. Followers of the old gods urge for the resurrection of Makuta, while other factions suggest that nature be allowed to take its course. Regardless of what line of thought one chooses to follow, one thing is abundantly clear: something needs to be done, and soon. The remaining Krana have been found, but their power is wavering. Unconfirmed sightings suggest that the rumoured ‘Generals’ of the swarms, the Bohrok-Kal, have awoken, and if they have freed themselves from their ancient prison, then it’s only a matter of time before the Bohrok Queens rise... and all life on Mata Nui succumbs to their ravenous hunger. HOW IT WORKS Although I imagine that most of you will be somewhat familiar with how these games work by now, I’ll give a quick rundown of the basics nonetheless. The game will consist of seven rounds, known as Episodes. (However, the number of rounds may be increased or reduced if I feel it necessary) These episodes will last 3-5 days, depending on how much is happening, and I will announce in this topic when each episode begins or ends. Over the course of each episode, players will use PMs to travel between locations, interact with other players, and a wide variety of other actions, which will be elaborated on further below. When each episode is concluded, the actions that occurred across the various PMs will be combined into a scene and posted in this main topic. Keep in mind that even if you, the player, knows something from reading the scene, that doesn’t necessarily mean your character will know those same things in-game. In regards to PMs, there are two kinds: OFFICIAL and BACKDOOR. An Official PM is any PM that I have been added to. Anything you say or do in these PMs may or may not find its way into the scene, so be careful. Actions and moves made in Official PMs are the only ones that will be acknowledged in episodes, so if you wish to travel, or communicate, or do anything that will actually happen, it needs to be declared in an Official PM. Each player and village will have an Official PM, and others will be established as the game goes on. (So please ensure you have room in your inboxes for multiple PMs). A Backdoor PM is any PM that I’m not included in. These are the PMs where you can form secret alliances, communicate covertly with other players, or whatever else you wish. Keep in mind, though, that anything you say or do in a Backdoor PM will not be acknowledged as having actually happened. This also means that information gained in a Backdoor PM can’t be used in-game unless your character has another way of learning it. MOVES There are a great many actions you can take over the course of an episode, and very few limitations to what they moves can entail, but here’s a brief overview of some of the more common moves you might choose to make. Communication – The simplest and most integral of moves, this is the simple act of talking to another player. Obviously, you need to be in the same PM as the other person for this to work, but aside from that, there aren’t many limitations to this. Remember, only conversations that occur in an Official PM will be included in the episodes.Messages – Each Koro also has access to a limited number of small Kewa birds. As scavengers, they’re easier to feed and care for than most other rahi species, and serve well at the task of delivering handwritten messages between villages. Due to their small size, there is a slight risk that they can be intercepted by larger bird species, but they still provide the best way of delivering anonymous messages. (In other words, if you send a message by bird, your name won’t be explicitly mentioned in the scene unless someone sees you, or you include your name in the letter). In addition to this, certain roles also have the authority to send NPCs via Gukko bird to deliver messages on their behalf. Combat – Depending on how you all choose to “negotiate”, this might happen a lot, or not at all. How it works is fairly straightforward – you describe your action, then the other player/s involved will describe their response, and counteraction. You might choose to ask me to roll for certain stats to better your chances of landing or evading a hit (more on stats later), in which case you’ll need to wait for me to determine the outcome of the dice rolls before proceeding further with the battle. Command – Regardless of your role, you may at some point find yourself in charge of groups of NPCs. As with regular combat, battle with NPCs will be turn based, with the commanding players dictating to me which re/actions they wish to take. However, battles between NPCs will not be won solely based on whoever has the largest force at hand. The way you take advantage of terrain and resources, as well as your use of strategy and logistics, will have a major impact on deciding the outcome of any engagement. Travel – Another straightforward action, this is the simple act of going from one location to another. How long this takes will depend on where you’re travelling, who you’re travelling with, and what might happen along the way. As a baseline rule, though, it takes roughly 24 hours IRL to travel from one Wahi to another. Other – There are plenty of other things you can attempt. If you can think of it, and justify being able to pull it off, it’s probably worth a try. ROLES Turaga – In a slight divergence from canon, Turaga is simply the name given to the Matoran who’ve been appointed to lead each village. They get the final say in most decisions, and can potentially overrule the commands of other roles. Captain – Serving as both Captain of the Guard, and Admiral of the navy in certain cases, this role oversees the protection and defence of their village, and is expected to take charge during combat operations. Should the Turaga be killed or incapacitated, it may fall to the General to lead the Koro in times of crisis. Diplomat – These guys handle trade, negotiation, etc. with the other tribes. Much of their time is spent travelling across the island, speaking with their counterparts in the other villages. Some diplomats also have access to certain shady contacts, who may be able to provide them with integral Intel on other villages. Should a Diplomat be eliminated, or deliberately sever trade, it will take three episodes for the other villages to run out of whatever resource that diplomat was dealing in.Other – Each Koro will also have a fourth player. It’s up to you to pitch to me what capabilities and privileges this additional player may have – they may be a religious leader, a spymaster, or something else entirely. In some cases, this role may instead go to a returning character who is estranged from their home village. GETTING STARTED You don’t need to have read or participated in the original BZPMN to play this game, but if you wish to read up on the events that have come before, they can be found in the Season 1 topic. There is also a blog post explaining some of the events that have transpired between seasons, and a map of the island. Please post in the topic which village you would like to be assigned to, then send a PM to me entitled BZPMN 2: [Your Username]. Include in this PM your stat sheet (see below), your character’s pet (if they have one – see below), a short description of your character if you wish, and their name (if you want them to be called something other than your current username). Once all spots have been filled for a village, I’ll gather everyone into their village PMs, where you can decide on your roles. After this is done, I’ll create a short, introductory prologue episode, and then the game will begin in earnest. STATS For the most part, I’ll be relying on player’s own logic and decision-making skills to determine the outcome of most of their actions, but for those of you who prefer to use numbers for these sorts of games, the stats below will help generate more divergence between players during actions and encounters. You have 15 points to distribute between the three categories, although you are limited to a maximum of 10 points for any given stat. Whenever an action occurs that requires a roll, your stat will be combined with a RNG roll out of 10, resulting in a total value out of 20. Strength – this stat relates to any action involving brute force or endurance, such as overpowering an opponent, fighting on despite an injury, and so on.Agility – this stat is used for actions relating to speed and finesse, such as attacking quickly, dodging incoming blows/projectiles, and sleight of hand. Intellect – this stat is used for actions involved perception and persuasion, such as convincing or deceiving someone, or noticing hidden things. PETS While resources are somewhat scarce on post-cataclysm Mata Nui, there are nonetheless some Matoran in positions of power who can afford to own and care for rahi companions, which can provide certain benefits. Players are limited to only one rahi pet, which will share the same stat sheet as their owner, and are just as vulnerable to fatigue and attack. Brakas – Annoying, noisy, ape-like rahi, these creatures are extremely dextrous, adept at climbing trees and walls. While not the brightest animals around, they do understand simple commands, and can be instructed to fetch objects and the like. However, they’re not the most stealthy of creatures, and are therefore better suited as distractions. Dikapi – Well acclimated to a desert environment, these creatures are known for their strong beaks, and heightened endurance. A Dikapi is capable of carrying two Matoran, or one Matoran and additional equipment, without reducing travel time. A Dikapi can make multiple trips across the island without needing any sustenance or rest, making it an ideal mount for those who plan to do a lot of frequent travelling. Ussal – Similar to the Dikapi, Ussal crabs can be used to carry two Matoran, or a single Matoran with extra gear, without impacting the time it takes to travel. As well as this, many of them have been trained to serve as mounts in combat, particularly in the Great Ussalry of Onu-Koro. Gukko – Graceful, four-winged birds, these creatures were frequently used as mounts in Le-Koro. The few that survived the inferno have found new homes in the other villages. Riding one reduces the travel time between any location by half, but once the destination is reached, the Gukko will require 24 hours IRL to rest before it can be used in this way again. The Gukko can still fight and travel during this cooldown time, if need be. Hapaka – Agile, dog-like rahi, these bipedal creatures are known for their sociable, curious nature, and sharp, barking cry. They understand basic commands, can track scents, and make for amiable companions or guard dogs. Kavinika – The bigger, meaner cousin of the Hapaka, these vicious lupine beasts are more savage and hard to control than their relatives. Kahu – Cunning, hawk-like rahi, (for the purposes of this game, think of them as being more like a bird of prey, big enough to ride on your arm or shoulder), these intelligent avians have been trained to follow simple commands, and are capable of intercepting and grounding their smaller Kewa cousins. VILLAGES As detailed in the blog post linked above, many things have changed on the island of Mata Nui during the past few years. The villages have embraced a newfound sense of multiculturalism, allowing Matoran of any element to reside within their walls. As such, there are many who believe that the names of the villages are outdated, and in desperate need of changing. S0, after a village has been filled, players will have the opportunity to decide if they wish to rename their village. Once the villages are filled, players will be arranged into a group PM, which will contain more in-depth information about the Koros. Ta-Koro A veritable fortress of stone and metal, Ta-Koro is encased in towering fortified walls, and surrounded by a moat of lava, with a retractable drawbridge to prevent enemy access during a siege. They primarily trade in metal and other goods mined from within the volcano. The village’s total population numbers at around 1000, with 300 of those serving in the guard, and 100 more in the navy. The population consists mainly of Ta and Su Matoran. Turaga - Grav Muthbren (Burnmad) Captain - Nakali (Onaku) Diplomat - Dornak (Toru Nui) Exile - Elittra (Voltex) Ko-Koro Making judicious use of the natural defences at their disposal, Ko-Koro is situated beneath a colossal block of ice that separates two glaciers, and is surrounded on all side by crevasses. The village is accessible only via a bridge connecting to the main entrance, and a secret tunnel known to only a few high-ranking officials. With a population of skilled rahi hunters, they trade heavily in sophisticated animal traps, as well as various captive rahi and other animal goods. Their population is roughly 1000, with 300 serving in the Sanctum guard, and a further 100 in the navy. Most of the inhabitants are Ko and De Matoran. Turaga - Unit Captain - Romana (TTL) Diplomat - Stark (Voltex) Recluse - Tuili (xccj) Po-Koro Situated on the vast, open plains of Po-Wahi, the skilled carvers and masons of Po-Koro have had to work hard to establish their village’s defences. A high stone wall encircles the village, and the surrounding landscape is dotted with statues and monuments that are both visually pleasing, and make for decent cover in a firefight. Officially, the population is currently around 750, with 250 of these operating as a defensive garrison, but the city is still home to a great many criminals and fugitives. Po-Koro is primarily populated by Po-Matoran, but is home to a wide variety of others as well. Turaga - Zee (ZippyWharrgarbl) Captain - Kunduj (Trijhak) Diplomat - Ehksidian (Finch) Scout - Kaathe (Voxumo) Onu-Koro Hidden away in a cavern deep underground, Onu-Koro’s isolation is its greatest defence. A singular large tunnel connects from the village entrance to the surface, but there are numerous other entrances known only to the populace. Their exports include minerals and metals mined from beneath the earth, Their population sits at around 750, with 250 of these serving in the Ussalry. In addition to the resident Onu-Matoran, the village has also come to house a large population of Fa and Fe Matoran. Turaga - Onaku Captain - Kefana (Jed) Diplomat - Domor (Burnmad) Mining Chief - Oxokoro (Drakua) Ga-Koro Nestled in the heart of Naho Bay, Ga-Koro is built atop a network of giant lily pads growing up from the seabed, connected by sturdy bridges and walkways, and held aloft by a series of pumps. Much of the surrounding land is dense mangroves and inhospitable bogs, meaning that the safest approach to the village is by boat. Beyond their trade of food and water, their other goods include fish, rope, and bamboo. They have a sizeable population of 1100, 325 of whom serve in the Marines, while a further 125 make up the Gukko Force. In addition to the resident Ga-Matoran, Ga-Koro has also come to be home for the Le and Bo Matoran. Turaga - Tomodo (Scrubbish) Captain - Maxas (Toru) Diplomat - Guurahk (RG) Spymaster - Azalea (FF) Kra-Koro Built atop the ruins of what was once Kini-Nui, the sprawling encampment that makes up this ‘village’ is protected by a labyrinthine mess of defensive trenches, imposing barricades, and rudimentary ramparts. It remains largely self-sufficient, housing Matoran of all elements and skillsets, and trades nothing to the rest of the island save for vague promises of ‘salvation’. The population is believed to number somewhere around 500, and given the fanatical nature of the inhabitants, it’s expected that most, if not all, of this number would commit themselves to the defence if Kra-Koro were ever to come under attack. Turaga - Tuyet (GM NPC) Captain - Davros (Timelord) Diplomat - Trijhak (the mad) Spy - Hua (Scrubbish) ARTEFACTS The island of Mata Nui is home to a great many strange and powerful items and devices, some originating from ages long gone, others having been constructed in more recent times. Krana Xa – provides more complex control over the Bohrok, allowing the wearer to control 30 Lehvak and 15 Lehvak Va. (Currently worn by Tuyet of Kra-Koro). Krana Vu – allows the wearer to control 20 Tahnok, and 10 Tahnok Va, as well as fly short distances. (Currently in Elittra’s possession)Krana Su – grants the wearer greatly enhanced strength, and allows them to control 20 Gahlok, and 10 Gahlok Va. (Currently in Ga-Koro’s possession). Krana Za – allows the wearer to, with concentration, read the surface-level thoughts of others, as well as control 20 Kohrak and 10 Kohrak-Va. (Currently owned by Kaathe of Po-Koro).Krana Ca – provides the ability to generate a weak, temporary energy shield, and allows the wearer to control 20 Pahrak, and 10 Pahrak Va. (Currently owned by Tuili of Ko-Koro).Krana Bo – gives night/low light vision to the wearer, and provides control over 20 Nuhvok, and 10 Nuhvok-Va. (Currently in Onu-Koro).Fire Sword – the famed weapon of Toa Tahu, the blade remains hot to the touch, and constantly emits a flickering, torch-like light. (Currently in Onu-Koro).Air Axe – once wielded by Toa Lewa, this weapon is incredibly light, and meets with no resistance when being swung through the air, allowing it to be wielded far more dextrously than is normal for an axe. (Currently owned by Grav of Ta-Koro). Water Hooks – the weapons of Toa Gali, these peculiar tools have a strange habit of making their way back to each other should one of them be dropped or thrown. (Currently possessed by Unit of Ko-Koro).Earth Claws – once owned by Toa Onua, the tips of these weapons are deceptively sharp, able to penetrate stone and metal alike with unnatural ease. (Currently located in Po-Koro).Ice Sword – formerly the personal weapon of Toa Kopaka, this blade gives off a constant, intense aura of cold. (Currently located in Kra-Koro). Toa Shield – the other tool of Toa Kopaka. Like the rest of the Toa tools, the shield appears to be utterly indestructible, although the impractical network of gaps in the surface of the shield make it semi-useless for fending off regular weapons. However, the shield has proven itself able to negate elemental attacks. (Currently in Ga-Koro).Staff of Light – formerly wielded by the short-lived Toa of Light, Takanuva, this staff is allegedly more powerful than the other, comparatively dormant Toa Tools. (Location currently unknown). Makuta’s Mask – once worn by the Dark God Makuta himself, the mask is many sizes too large for a Matoran to wear, and is always cold to the touch. Many believe that this is where Makuta’s spirit still resides.Infected Masks – tainted by Makuta influence, Matoran who wear these items often hear an unfamiliar voice inside their minds, a voice that urges them to indulge their darkest vices and desires (to be very, very clear – I am not trying to mind control players. The voice from the mask is just a voice, and can be ignored).EPISODES As each episode occurs, it will be linked here. Season 1 Teaser – Countdown to Chaos Prologue – Another Story's Beginning Episode 1 – Broken Koros, Part 1 & Part 2 Episode 2 – Dreams of Chaos, Part 1 & Part 2 Episode 3 – Beneath the Surface, Part 1 & Part 2 Episode 4 – The Dawn of War, Part 1 & Part 2 Episode 5 – A Slaughter of Ice and Fire, Part 1 & Part 2 Episode 6 – The Cost of Victory, Overture Episode 7 – Into Darkness, Finale Season 2 Teaser – Evolution of an Island Prologue - A Chorus of Warnings Episode 1 - Stand Alone Episode 2 - The Calm Before The Storm Episode 3 - The Bohrok War Begins CANCELLED
Ninjago TV Series Review: Season 2 (Serpentine)
fishers64 posted a topic in Ninjago DiscussionAnd here's #2. * * * Episode 1: Rise of the Snakes And the great story begins…with a bunch of boys in a room eating pizza and playing video games. I think this is quite a daring way to re-begin a story based on the Ninja actually doing some real Spinjitzu, although it does provide something that the target audience of the show will relate to instantly. Also: product placement. Also: implicit sarcastic commentary on obvious product placement, which is hilarious. Notice that all of the other four ninja – red, white, black, and blue – are in the picture with the green ninja. This counts as foreshadowing. Also the green 5 on Lloyd’s outfit – he’s the green fifth ninja (also the fact that Lloyd is introduced at the same time as the Green Ninja prophecy is a nod to the savvy). And then Wu slips up, says that none of them are the green ninja, and then channels it into talk about power levels. (I never thought that any of the original four was the green ninja, and in hindsight in was pretty obvious why. And I thought the green five was weird, but didn’t put it together. I was in the camp that thought Nya was the green ninja. But anyway.) If you haven’t caught on already, Kai is supposed to be the brainless one. Generally. Also overly ambitious and running off sans plan. It’s a tradition from Bionicle: fire types get no respect. Always. Episode 2: Home This episode begins with a poke at the last episode. In that, Sensei Wu looks out at the training course for the ninja first, then looks in the TV room. In this episode, Wu looks at the video game room first, then finds the ninja in the training course. "Of course not. Everyone knows that cuckoo birds are not indigenous to these forests." Weird how the “Mud newt” looks like fish. Episode 3: Snakebit This is your standard well-crafted parent humor episode. It’s also rather standard in a lot of other ways. Still, not every episode of every series can be expected to be weird or heartwarming in specific ways. What I like about this part of the series is that it is incredibly focused. Each episode focuses intensely on a specific theme, and uses every subtle detail it can to refer back to the theme. Snakebit is a prime example – every opportunity possible is used to reference the “respect your parents” message. This actually grows out of the messages of “Home” that is “Home is where the heart is.” It’s almost a flip side: Zane is guided by fantastic things in the absence of parents (or rather, his “parents” guide him through strange means) whereas Jay is told to respect his literal parents. Like the Lego Movie, positive parent themes abound. Episode 4: Never Trust a Snake Okay, first off: How did Zane get the vision? On the first viewing, it’s just a fantastic Ninjago thing. But Zane is a robot. So there’s a message that Zane and the falcon shared. Maybe Zane’s dad programmed the message to be sent, or even hit the button himself. But that would mean that he would have access to the data of both the falcon and Zane, through the Ninjago equivalent of 4G. Anyway, fun things to speculate about. This episode does a double theme. The first is the title – blind trust =bad. The second – “The best way to defeat your enemy is to make him your friend” actually flies in the face of the first, because trust is required for friendship. So you can laud this as wonderfully complex storytelling or slam it as ambiguous and contradictory. Personally I like it because it truly means to be careful how you judge people. Lloyd misjudged the Fangpyres and Pythor to his severe detriment; the ninja misjudged Lloyd multiple times, first as a threat, and then as a friend. (Of note: in the first meeting of the snakes, the Fangpyres and the Hypnobrai “defeat” the other tribe by becoming friends, and in the same moment, Lloyd’s trust in the Fangpyres is shattered. This brings the complex theme-ry together neatly without disclosing Sensei’s riddle until the end, and the rest of the episode just serves to bring the two themes apart so the audience can see them and then tie it in a knot again.) Pythor: “I’m sorry, my appearance can have an unsettling effect on people.” That improved with his time in the Great Devourer, I’m sure. Frankly, the extent of Pythor’s treachery with the rebooted series is now incredible. I have no idea why he wanted to unleash the Great Devourer, as that would be nuts, but maybe he wanted an appearance change. In any case, apologizing for his appearance is characteristic Pythor. He’s such a gentlesnake. Episode 5: Can of Worms With the “Samurai” thing, it becomes really obvious that Wu is using appeals to prophecy and ancient Legend not because prophecy and ancient legend actually exist to explain the phenomenon, but because everyone expects him to know everything. In short, he’s making stuff up. Also, why does Zane pull out the Sacred Flute when surrounded? That’s an okay idea if he thought that stunning them with the flute would get them out of there. I guess he underestimated Pythor’s reach. Never a good thing to do. If you look closely at the Samurai, you’ll see Nya’s bracelet. It’s basically an open secret thanks to the set anyway, but knowing the secret doesn’t hurt this sequence nor the sets that follow – it actually makes them more funny. Episode 6: The Snake King Nobody can handle all of the Golden Weapons’ power at once, so why does having them in a bag not fry Nya or Kai? I guess the bag means that they aren’t contacting all of them at once, so they get off the hook. This is one of the funniest episodes if you know who the Samurai is – all of the boys are getting beaten by a girl. Classic. Also, Jay’s attempt to figure it out is hilarious regardless of whether or not you know. There are plenty of “tells” by Nya and other related things if you know to look for them. We get to, in a surprise, see Nya’s true potential before any of the others. Ladies first. Episode 7: Tick Tock In the class of blatant foreshadowing, the first thing we see in this episode is: gears. Lots and lots of gears. We wrongly attribute it to the clock instead of Zane, but you know. Also: everyone likes gears, so that’s definitely the way to start this famously amazing episode that everyone likes. GEARS. Oh, this episode is about Zane, not Jay. Start over. In the class of blatent foreshadowing, Zane stays underwater for a ridiculously long time, which is justified in the fact that robots don’t need to breathe. He even pets a fish for fun. Now, I’m going to stick my tongue out at this episode for two reasons. First, aside from the robot (which looks suspiciously like C3PO), and the treehorns, everybody loves Zane. Which makes everyone overlook the fact that this episode actually has three plot threads: 1) Zane, 2) Pythor, and 3) Wu. Which means that in reality this one is headed for Dark Destiny and Reign of Shadows territory. Secondly, aside from Zane, neither plot thread is really very interesting. Fortunately, neither of those two plot threads is given much screen time, so we ignore it – which makes the latter feel tacked on as an excuse to extend the story for a few more minutes, and also for your “suspense ending”. Pythor knows where the Fang Blades are and Wu ran into Garmadon! SUSPENSE. Also, I generally like aspens, and they tend to be beautiful things, even in the dead of winter. So that aspen-like legs with that incredibly ugly body is…unique, I guess…but it sends the wrong message about the trees. Although the story gets points for realistic portrayal of the real aspens: they really do live at higher altitudes. The “inside” of Zane as shown here is different than in the rebooted series – although that’s probably the fault of the reboot, not this episode. And, if you can design a hidden tree fortress and a robot to protect it, can’t you design a door lock? Episode 8: Once Bitten, Twice Shy Alright, now let me establish this: everyone loves Zane, but I don’t like Jay. For one thing, he’s a womanizer. Second, lightning was canonized in Bionicle as a female element, yo, so it was technically our idea, but when Lego scrapped Bionicle, they made two guys who controlled lightning, which is basically giving BZP no respect. And third, both of those lightning guys, Surge and Jay, are incredibly annoying. The third thing probably has personal bias since I ramble too and it is not a redeeming quality, but whatever. All of these things just make this episode more hilarious. What isn’t funny is how Nya ends up in the supporting role, but I suppose that comes with the territory. Whatever happened to that crowning moment of heartwarming in the rebooted series? Also, Jay’s heart rate could have been raised by impending death instead of what actually happened, or it could have anyway, but no excuse for lazy writing. And how did nobody notice the burning ring of fire? And whether the ring would have actually killed them is debatable…although I think it could have been bad. It’s still a heartwarming episode, as all the True Potential ones tend to be, but I don’t like this one because it comes at Nya (an otherwise strong female character)’s expense. Out. Episode 9: The Royal Blacksmiths One positive point for this episode (and 8) is that they integrate Pythor’s POV more smoothly with the ninjas’. 8 had the other 3 ninja characters tacked in, though – 7 and 8 suffer from too-many-characters syndrome a good deal. Episode 9 solves this problem: every one of the ninja and Pythor and the snakes are all woven seamlessly into the plot. A dance competition lends itself well to lots of characters. Therefore we don’t have the swinging camera problem. Also, good blend of the opening theme and the dance/fight. Episode 10: The Green Ninja And now the The Green Ninja is…not Kai. Everyone can be excused for thinking that his theory from the last episode is correct, but the thirtieth rule of critical reading is this: never trust a character’s theory. So game over. The second thing is: how did Kai know he was wrong? The guy who is the most crazy actually ended up being right. Of course, it took the longest for him to get it – the others didn’t have that as an obstacle. Also, let’s face it: Kai has the coolest power. A flying fire shield. Sweet. Episode 11: All of Nothing This episode starts a tightly wound continuity that leads to the release of the Great Devourer and its defeat, which everyone knew would happen. This episode makes an attempt to trick the audience into thinking that this intuition was wrong, and exchanges it for another one: Of course the ninja will win. So it can make two cliché answers both true at once. Doesn’t Fangpyre venom terraform metal anyway? And why did the snakes attack the exact person who was programmed to defeat them, as opposed to the opposite? I suppose the correct ninja headed straight for the correct set of snakes, but I suspect PLOT might have been at work as well. And I suppose the Anacondrai’s special power is turning invisible, which everyone seems to forget about. That could explain why that particular breed was so terrifying to the others: an invisible army of half of them could sneak up behind you while you were battling the other half. In yonder case, Pythor’s ability is not well emphasized, so when he does use it you forget that he has, and that he has a reason. It also doesn’t make sense for a leader to vanish much, which makes the whole thing ironic. It’s also confusing because he could have used that power to have avoided being eaten by the Great Devourer in the first place, but it explains why he doesn’t appear after the Devourer is destroyed: invisibility. And the ninjas just got ninja’d. Episode 12: Rise of the Great Devourer A reminder that all stories are games of seconds, inches, and character mistakes. “You’re now leaving Billund” sign lol. And many people have rightly pointed out that the ninja forgot about their weapons that turn into vehicles. So they did. Episode 13: Day of the Great Devourer As you might expect, this is one long “RUN! FIGHT!” episode. If the golden weapons can turn into vehicles, I imagine that all four can turn into one, and Garmadon used that. Or he used the Earth scythe to tunnel into the ground and used the subway system to walk out. Kai gets a comeback in here: he’s rallying the team, even when everyone else wants to give up, which is him not being wrong like he has been all season. In the end, they need Kai. As for the fight, it’s splendidly executed, and we all really wanted to see a fight at this point. Final Thoughts This honestly is my favorite season of Ninjago, since it contains the largest amount of mystery and character development. Three mysteries were set up and resolved, the main antagonists remained convincingly evil and dangerous. Other surprising reveals developed Lloyd from an ineffective antagonist (he caused lots of trouble, but he didn’t really get what he wanted) to an uncertain being on the side of good. Lord Garmadon (as is typical for Lego) was developed quite strongly as well, moving from an enigmatic force of darkness to a villain sympathetic to the audience. And the ninja all get developed out in spades, especially Zane…and Kai. Every single character in the story has changed by the end, except for the snakes, and nobody really cares too much about them. (Lego gets major points for concentrating the focus and development bits on Scales and Pythor, smoothly avoiding the “too many characters” problem.)The Great Devourer is destroyed, of course, but other than that. Because of this, season 2 strikes me as the entire series’ high point. While the seasons following aren’t necessarily bad, they tend to be patched together, have episodes clearly meant as filler, or more forced.
Chima TV Series Review: Season 2: Episodes 21-26
fishers64 posted a topic in LEGO DiscussionSeason 2 Episode 21 This episode really drags in the beginning, but really picks up toward the end with the introduction to a new mystery. Oh gee Lavartis is creepy. Too much double-talk and secrets. Its clear that hes hiding something. Whether or not hes evil remains to be seen, but the black and silver headband suggests that he could be in league with the scorpions, etc. He also enjoys psyching Cragger out for some reason. He seems to like the Croc Legend beast, though, so maybe hes a little insane? All those years of exile in a dangerous place could have driven him over the deep end. Like the mystery building up here. Episode 22 Same as 21. Like the side-plot of Lavals father vs. Chi thieves. It clarifies some stuff. Still dont know how they got to Mount Cavora, but I have a feeling thats coming up shortly. Rogon: lol. Much enjoy the abacus thing abacuses are almost a running gag every time they appear. Episode 23 Not much to say about this episode. I liked the reveal in here (wont spoil it) and also the characterization for Lavartus. (He seems to be the focus, generally.) Also like the unique method Laval pulls out of his hat to win (although, granted, it might be mildly inconsistent with his earlier ego problems ). Youre just going to have to watch it to see. Episode 24 Not much to say about this episode. As per the title, we get more character development for Burbank, which is a nice change from Laval, Laval, Laval. Also Legend Beasts lay eggs? Theres more of them? Episode 25 Nice suspense thing going on, and more development for Worriz. The mystery between Lavartis and Crominous is good. Suspensealthough everyone knows the answer to this. Episode 26 Laval officially has plot armor. I thought he might have been mind-controlled by the scorpions I guess the big blasts dont work like that. Other than that, this is another one of those touchy episodes with much spoilers. I have to admire the animation/camera work going on with Lavartus, for reasons and people should stop throwing Chi into black holes. Thats dangerous stuff, kids dont do it. Final (ish?) Thoughts: Season 2 embraces the mysterious adventure type storytelling that Season 1 touched on a bit towards the end but never fully adopted. The characters of the series are now out exploring unknown territory, and other mysteries, such as the nature of the outlands, etc are now being explored and revealed. Theres a strong sense of continuity with season 1, however, so watching it is helpful to understanding what is going on. Also this series focuses on characters like Rogon and Burbank, giving them depth and development after a solid season of Laval, Laval, Laval, its a welcome change. Chima is what Id call an epic fantasy series. Yes, like Ninjago, there are vehicles, but they are all fantasy powered by Chi. As typical for these sorts of series, the characters are actually realistic. A good epic fantasy will touch on character strengths and weaknesses in order to convey its themes, but it also needs an element of mystery, humor, or suspense (and usually a combination of both) to drive the plot and hold the viewers interest. Season 2 attempts the mystery tack, and it does it okay, at least - leaving you with a strong sense of interest. The attempts at humor are pretty much centered on Rogon, and they do okay. The suspense thing is pulled off successfully in some places, where others it is completely undermined. I feel like Laval should have sustained something from that scorpion blast, yes? Oh well, moving on... Overall, season 2 is miles ahead of season 1's missteps, but it still has a way to go to get up to Ninjago or Bionicle quality (if it needs to get up there *insert debate here*...).
How do spider webs stop a waterfall?
fishers64 posted a topic in LEGO DiscussionHow did the spiders, bats, and scorpions manage to stop the flow of chi water from Mount Cavora? I've heard spider webs offered as an explanation, but that doesn't seem to make any sense, as spider webs have holes in them. Also the black cloud was composed of bats, not spiders. Wouldn't Mount Cavora eventually explode from too much liquid pressure, though? Or does that merely turn the chi water into orbs? What do you think?
Legends of Chima Season 2
Black Six posted a topic in LEGO DiscussionWhat does everyone think of the new season of Legends of Chima? Honestly I'm still trying to catch up through the first season, but I'm wondering if I should pick up the pace to get to the new stuff. I'm assuming thus far it's based on the sets that are out now, so we've got spiders and scorpions and bats involved in the Outlands. Let's hear it!