Get Creative at Green Man Gaming to Win the Skyrim Expansion Dawnguard

Over on the official blog for Digital Content Provider Green Man Gaming, there’s a contest where folks can win a copy of the Dawnguard expansion for Skyrim if they can prove themselves creative enough to earn one.

They’ve set up a scenario that you must face armed with a bunch of random objects, and it’s up to you to creatively get out of a castle or hilariously die trying.


You are deep within the dark depths of a castle. This castle is inhabited by a Vampire Lord. By sheer dumb luck, mysticism and/or divine intervention (or Daedric if they were bored and wanted to see you squirm). You find yourself cornered in one room, crouched down behind some barrels, with the Vampire Lord nearby. He’s not seen you yet but if you try to sneak or run away he’ll spot you.

Within reach you find the following things (chosen by the workers of GMG with no knowledge of what they’re for) :

A Smurf
A Penrose Triangle
My Beard (it is bristly to the touch, and for the sake of the scenario, assume it’s not attached to my face)
A Flamingo (a living one, not a lawn ornament)
A Star-Nosed Mole
Some Mince Meat
A Batarang Lockpick
A Zombie Tooth
A Flatwhite
A Beach Ball (because Arun is going on holiday)

My submission to the contest:

“I am trapped, and I have all this to aid me?” I asked myself silently while shaking my head. “The Powers that be must truly want me dead.”

Crouched behind a stack of barrels, I know my end is coming near. A Vampire Lord seems to be laughing, as if he can sense life, but is playing with the thought of eating me. The smurf, mole, and flamingo begin to stir from a deep sleep, and so I must reason quickly and risk death in the attempt.

Seeing a bloody beard that appears to have come from a rugged fellow, I slathered the smurf in the blood, blinding him and quieting his protestations by gagging his mouth with the beard. I push him out into view, and watch him nearly trip over himself.

The vampire lord seemed amused at the flailing smurf.. “A bloodied, little blue man,” he mutters, as he picks the smurf up, “is the source of all that life? Amusing…” He spins around, admiring the smurf in light of a fire. “No matter, food is food.”

With his back turned to me, I found myself even luckier than I anticipated. I pushed the flamingo out into the open, and heard it cry as it ran in terror of me to an opposing corner of the room. The Lord turned around at the sound, perplexed at the creature, a miniature leg dangling from its mouth

It was time for the mole.

I stood up and threw the mole at the Vampire Lord’s face. The mole connected, struggling for something to hold on to while scratching the Lord’s face in the process. The Lord was distracted, grabbing the mole and hurling it at a stone wall.

With all my might and speed, I ran to the Lord and tackled it to the ground.

Raising the impossible Triangle of Penrose above my head, I set to work gouging the monster’s eye out with the impossibly swirling, sharp tip of the Triangle. The dead smurf caught in its mouth muffled the screams he made as I mercilessly robbed him of sight. With my would-be attacker incapacitated, I stabbed him in the heart, hoping the legends were true. The monster flails as I rend his undead flesh and sunder bone.

His heart, beating yet unliving all the same, required more force than a triangle could muster. I reached in, ripped it from the creature’s body, and crushed it with the flat end of the Triangle.

The Vampire Lord lay dead in front of me.

I was free to head for the door.

The startled flamingo kept its distance from me as I walked to the door. I grasped the handle and attempted to turn it.

The handle would not budge.

I felt for the lone lockpick in pocket, and took it out. “I wish I knew how to use these blasted things,” I said to myself, putting the lockpick back in my pocket.

Walking back to the barrels, I took stock of my new possessions. I took a swig of the flat white and lured the flamingo back to my corner with some minced meat. Petting my new friend, I rolled the beach ball at him, and he pushed it towards the wall playfully.

“It is going to be a long wait for an adventurer to come along,” I thought.

The ball, the flamingo and I were going to be fast friends indeed.

Bringing Back Blackrod: Your Opinions Wanted

I only recently told my cousin that I wrote a blog entry about his adventures in Fallout New Vegas as Blackrod LeDouche. He was rather ecstatic at the fact people enjoyed the write-up, so he’s been asking me recently about making the continuing adventures of Blackrod LeDouche a reality.

I was rather hesitant to give him access to my Steam game library, and seeing as we never really made a hard save of the original Blackrod LeDouche character information on my system (making it extremely difficult to remake the facial features that made him a Luis Guzman lookalike), I told him I’d look into it and suggested other games we could try.

In a nutshell, I’d love to hear your opinions on a game we could use to resurrect Blackrod LeDouche as part of a multiverse character setup. I was thinking we could make a Fallout 3 character (named Blackrod LeDouche) or an Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion character (named Sir Blackshaft of Doucheley) or even a Darkfall character (named Blackrod Ledouche). For the most part, going the Darkfall route might be a fun bonding activity, what with maintaining an MMO account on my cousin’s behalf using my money, and the FFA PVP scenario acts as the perfect place to do the sort of rampant idiocy that Blackrod is wont to do.

On my end, I observe how he plays the game, and make stories we can all enjoy reading just for the hell of it.

Anyway, if you have ideas on a game we can use to bring back Blackrod, I’d love to hear it.


Rocky Ruminations: The Culture of Stone

It is unsettling to think that They Who Walk see themselves as our betters, that they think us all dead, or broken, or useless as rubble. What would perhaps unsettle them is this simple fact: we choose to let them believe such in order for us to observe and ruminate on the particulars of these people.

How can They Who Walk compare to our majesty, when they require sustenance to continue about their lives? How can these people think themselves our betters when the pain they know best is that of the body, whereas we know deeply the pain of the soul?

They fortify themselves with our bodies, infuse us with magic to further their dreams of power, and shoot us from guns in order to make men bleed. Where we come from, there is no need for such barbarity. We stand strong against the elements and have no need for petty things such as war, or famine, or strife. With us, there is only peace and the promise of greater knowledge with each passing day.

If They Who Walk were able to understand our thoughts they would know that, before any one of these men could call themselves cultured, we already carried on the development of the greatest culture of all time. OF ALL TIME! Our art is in the words of the soul, our knowledge is of worlds and stars, and our future is filled with immutable promise.

We are a culture of stone, and wings of death shall not deter us. We watch all the worlds, etching the tales of mankind into the Great Tablet from which all shall know in time. From dust we came, and to the dust shall we, each and every one of us, return.


~Excerpt from as etched by Kuugan Third-Name ~

Rocky Ruminations: The Naming of Rocks

This is a new attempt at a series of posts discussing a view of World of Warcraft life never seen and talked about by any of its denizens, living or dead.  To start, this is an introduction to the series, which will formally begin in approximately 14 hours, at 10:30 a.m., Philippine Time.

Apologies to T.S. Eliot or his relatives (if any exist) that will find the next bit rather unsettling or an affront to human sensibilities.

The naming of Rocks is a difficult matter.
It isn’t just one of those holiday games.
You might think at first, that I’m as splashy as water
When I tell you a rock must have four different names.

First of all, there’s the name that Alliance use daily,
such as Sentinel, Hillsbrad, or Alterac Plains
Perhaps Victor, or Frida, or Grobnick, or Mei-Li
think of them sensible, everyday names.

There are also Horde names if you think of fancy stuff,
Some very common and some filled with fame
Such as Red Rock, Stonetalon, or even Thunder Bluff,
Yet they are all sensible, everyday names.

Yet I tell you, a rock needs a name that’s particular
A name that’s peculiar, yet quite dignified.
Else how can he stand tall and vestibular
or rain from the heavens, or cherish his pride?

For names of this kind, I shall give you a quorum!
There is Galvanblast, Thresho, or Erbil von Dat!
There is Balbautogia, or else Sephoridum,
Names affixed to stone and to only one, at that!

But above and beyond, there’s name that’s left over
And that is a name you will never guess,
For only the greatest archeomaniacs discover
What a rock himself knows and shall never confess!

When you notice a rock on the road, stop and ponder
the reason we’re there: it is always the same.
We are watching, and waiting, making a dissertation
on the thoughts… yes, the thoughts
Those ineffable, effable,
Thoughts you might have when you think of our names.



~As etched by Erdwise Third-Name from his tablet of poems, Around The Haggard Human the Rugged Rock Rolled~

Juan Gamer Against the Zombies 2: Useless Theories

Status updates from Tweeter and scattered news reports have indicated that while this is a worldwide phenomenon, most of the damage seems to be initially centered around places with high concentrations of people. Along with some extrapolations from various news sources, I can at least posit a theory, however far-fetched, as to how this all went down.

From the looks of things, all a group would have to do to start the zombification process would have been to induce some kind of short-term biological agent into the air-conditioning system of an airport, airplane or other such mass gathering of people, allowing the short-term agent to infect a large enough group that would be the prime zombies; in other words, the zombies that would start the outbreak would get sick through said agent, die, and be resurrected.

The agent would have to have had a long enough incubation period to keep its subjects alive for at least a day or two, and then, once they died and resurrected, all that would be needed to start the initial wave of mass zombification would have been for one of the prime zombies to bite a victim.

This, of course, makes little sense in the long run, as it’s such an inefficient and inelegant way to introduce the end of the world. If there was a storm or other weather-induced long-term delay in flights at any particular airport, the outbreak could have been lessened drastically in its ability to spread.

Then again, to paraphrase Jurassic Park, undeath finds a way.

I could be completely wrong though. It’s also completely possible that there is no more space in hell for the damned, and thus, they’re all walking the earth now. If such was the case, however, innocent children probably wouldn’t be zombies.  Except there’s already video footage of small-statured biting monsters.

Then of course, there’s the alternate world tweeter theory that states that we’re in some kind of sick, Battle Royale style game where the last survivor on this alternate universe where the dead come to life will become the ruler of his own domain… but that’s just nuts, as the burden of proof would ultimately lie in killing every other zombie AND human being on the planet… and that will take a while.

All these theories are worthless in the face of death, and so the Watanabe patriarch and I opted to take the only course of action available in the short-term that would ensure some possibility of survival: the Watanabe family and I are going to fight our way to the airport, steal a plane and take it somewhere safer.

Of course, this leaves the five of us with an important question: How the hell are we supposed to get battle-ready in such a short-span of time?

Juan Gamer Against the Zombies is a new series of posts scheduled to come once every two weeks (or possibly sooner) chronicling the events of one gamer’s trek across the world in search of a new home… preferably with as few zombies as possible.

Juan Gamer Against the Zombies 1: Zombapocalypse 2010

It seems that, in the event of a worldwide zombie outbreak, the technologically inclined people are going to stock up on supplies, hole up in their own houses, and tweet about their experiences.

Unfortunately, I don’t have that luxury.

Sure, I can hole myself up at home, safe for a few days while they all mill about aimlessly trying to eat people, but there’s a problem with that. I live in the Philippines, and I’m in Japan with a foster family on scholarship to learn Japanese. Then all this happened. The Japanese language training isn’t exactly helpful now, is it?

My name is Juan Lakbayan, a Filipino gamer who operates a gaming blog when time permits. As of this writing, however, it would seem all gaming activity will be suspended in lieu of the outbreak. The Watanabe family, my foster family here comprised of father Hiroshi, mother Eri, brother Tsuyoshi, and sister Saeko, are all here in their house trying to gather information through the television. I’m right beside them now, looking through newsfeeds worldwide and tweets from people for more word.

For some reason, when it happened, people were tweeting their heads off trying to get information on flash mobs biting people, not exactly reasoning out that flash mobs don’t normally operate on a worldwide scale, and that they’re not supposed to bite people’s skin off and chew. Luckily, Tweeter was mostly unaffected during this time, as more sensible people (myself not included) dropped everything and either ran away from the biting menaces or died trying, keeping the service well under capacity but sufficiently terrifying enough for the technologically inclined.

No one has any information available on how the zombie outbreak came to be, and in fact, the general news media across the world has opted to call them “highly aggressive individuals” instead, with pundits pointing out terrorists or other countries as a potential threat instead of the glaringly obvious yet highly implausible truth. On Tweeter, however, the trending topic seems to be #Zombapocalypse2010, as if they had nothing to worry about. I suppose they’re like me, in this case, who are more or less trying to muster whatever courage they have left in order to prepare for the eventual reality of the situation to bear upon them like some massive, crushing weight. Either that, or the reality hasn’t bitten them in the face yet, literally.

At least JournalPress is up. I was thinking of shutting down the blog, but as someone who writes often, it seemed anathema simply to close up shop just because the world was beginning to end. Better to chronicle my time alive and my struggle to survive, I thought, than to worry about dying. And so, a couple of clicks later, Juan Gamer became Juan Gamer Against the Zombies.

I hope it lasts longer than my old blog, at least.

Juan Gamer Against the Zombies is a new series of posts scheduled to come once every two weeks (or possibly sooner) chronicling the events of one gamer’s trek across the world in search of a new home… preferably with as few zombies as possible.