I am having trouble expressing it, but I have been affected on some level by the world’s loss of Robin Williams. I wanted to submit a tweet about it; to submit a short line or two just to have something on the outside and not entirely confined within; and to, in some small way, honor the man.
But a 140 character tweet was a bit too short.
His shows, movies, and comedy routines were a prominent part of the entertainment scene during my formative years. I’ve been a fan of his for as long as I can remember. I found his material funny when it was comedic, poignant when it was emotional, and always entertaining.
Admittedly I didn’t know entirely too much about him, but each time I encountered something he’d done—whether it was a comedy sketch, show, movie, interview, advertisement, anything—I admired him a bit more.
I remember encountering a comedy sketch of his where he used profanity. If I recall correctly, until that point, I couldn’t remember him using profanity in his comedy. I was a little taken aback—not shocked, mind you; just like, “whoa”—when I saw that. Naturally, it did not lower my opinion of him. I enjoyed the comedy routine, laughed for it.
The effect it had on me was a positive one. It helped me to realize that people are multifaceted. Robin Williams was a funny guy, and he could express that and illicit the laughter and entertainment of audiences in more ways than one. He didn’t take just one aspect of himself and roll with it. He did what he did multiple ways. I admire that.
I suppose it’s natural that I admire that in Robin Williams and in others. I, myself, have always been one to experiment with the things I enjoy. I like finding ways of doing things that are fun as well as effective, and sometimes more of one than the other. I’m also not afraid to try something I know will be unpopular or that I know many people just won’t get. Of course, I’m not saying Robin Williams did things people found unpopular or that they were things audiences couldn’t understand. But I like to imagine that in finding the methods that were successful, he also experimented with methods that were not.
This aspect of working with one’s craft may or may not be necessary in becoming the kind of person and entertainer we would find in Robin Williams. But I do think it’s one indicator of someone loving what one does. Naturally, he expressed other such indicators and I admire those, as well.
I remember watching Mork and Mindy late at night during summer vacation on Nick at Nite. Mrs. Doubtfire was a movie I saw multiple times (sometimes just catching part of it) that I could enjoy each time. I cried over some of the things in Bicentennial Man. I simply really enjoyed Robin Williams’ works.
As if all that weren’t enough, I later learned that he named his daughter, Zelda Williams, after Princess Zelda from the Nintendo game series, The Legend of Zelda. I love The Legend of Zelda and I always have, so to learn of that was just another “this guy’s awesome in my book” for Robin Williams.
Thanks, Robin Williams, for more than I can express right now. In losing you, the world has lost an incredible person. I, and I’m sure many, many others, will miss you.
Though I am saddened by this loss, I choose to move forward with a positive attitude, continuing to laugh and seek happiness and joy, because I think that’s what the man would want.
Yeah, I suppose a tweet would have been too short for this. :)
10:29 AM - A buddy of mine: A couple on horseback just rode past my balcony.
10:30 AM - davidr64: that was just to distract you. while you were paying attention to that not-everyday sight, my other hired mercenary snuck into your apt and stole your identity
10:30 AM - A buddy of mine: Why would he need to enter my apartment for that?
10:30 AM - davidr64: I’M NOT GOOD AT THIS OK
10:31 AM - davidr64: I MEAN I FUCKING JUST TOLD YOU ABOUT IT EVEN
10:31 AM - A buddy of mine: Noted.
8:20 AM - davidr64: so, Rust is still flat out broken and barely playable. it’s still exploitable and hackable. it’s still missing like a million QoL features. and it’s still filled, absolutely filled with serious assholes who take the game very seriously and are much, much better than you at it.
8:20 AM - davidr64: you have any interest in trying it out?
8:20 AM - a friend of mine: nope
8:20 AM - davidr64: but it’s fun!
Endrian was watching the first video of my Deus Ex Human Revolution playthrough. He asked if I went pacifist or violent. This is the conversation that resulted from this interaction.
[12:40:19 AM] Endrian: I’m at minute 17
[12:40:28 AM] Endrian: just when Adam drew his gun
[12:40:39 AM] Endrian: So, before it gets any further for me in the video:
[12:40:45 AM] Endrian: Did you go for a pacifist run, or violent run?
[12:44:42 AM] Endrian: Violent
[12:44:44 AM] Endrian: got it
[12:44:45 AM] Endrian: haha
[12:47:25 AM] David: what a silly question to ask me, of all people
[12:48:53 AM] Endrian: Well, you know
[12:48:58 AM] Endrian: Super hard mode
[12:49:12 AM] Endrian: No alarms, no deaths, hard mode
[12:51:10 AM] David: aka no fun mode
[12:51:24 AM] Endrian: The fun is in the accomplishment
[12:51:34 AM] David: the FUN
[12:51:36 AM] David: Endrian
[12:51:43 AM] David: is in the flying bullets
[12:51:45 AM] Endrian: You put the “fun” in
[12:51:47 AM] Endrian: … murder
[12:51:54 AM] David: funmurder
[12:51:54 AM] Endrian: mfunder
[12:52:00 AM] David: murdfunner
[12:52:00 AM] Endrian: murderfun
[12:52:04 AM] Endrian: munfunder
[12:52:20 AM] David: mummy funder
[12:52:26 AM] David: kickstarter for mummies with ideas
[12:52:26 AM] Endrian: that works
[12:52:29 AM] Endrian: hahaha
[12:52:45 AM] David: and due to its success all kinds of competitors sprung up
[12:52:51 AM] David: zombie funder
[12:52:53 AM] David: ghoul funder
[12:53:12 AM] David: giraffe funder (this one saw some success)
[12:53:21 AM] Endrian: I would fund a giraffe with an idea
[12:53:28 AM] David: me too.
[12:53:49 AM] David: giraffe’s making an 8-bit retro indie title
[12:54:55 AM] Endrian: I would support this
[12:54:58 AM] Endrian: whole-heartedly
[12:55:54 AM] David: yeah, even if the game sucked
[12:56:02 AM] David: turns out it’s amazing
[12:57:04 AM] Endrian: of course
[12:57:07 AM] Endrian: it was a giraffe’s idea
[12:57:16 AM] Endrian: giraffe’s are like the weirdest mammals on the planet
[12:57:25 AM] Endrian: they gotta work hard to prove themselves
[1:00:04 AM] David: must have sucked for giraffes still evolving.
[1:00:27 AM] David: their food is way high up but they got no way to get it
[1:00:48 AM] David: it’s a little-known fact that primordial giraffes were, therefore, the most feared predators on the lava plains
[1:01:29 AM] Endrian: primordial giraffes
[1:01:37 AM] Endrian: the latest enemy in World of Warcraft
[1:01:52 AM] Endrian: necks rippling with primal elemental fury
[1:02:04 AM] David: cavemen called them AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
[1:02:39 AM] David: the smarter ones that evolved more complex brains later referred to primordial giraffes as ohfuckohfuckohfuckohfucks.
[1:02:44 AM] Endrian: Hahahahaha
[1:02:59 AM] Endrian: and then
[1:03:00 AM] Endrian: later
[1:03:07 AM] Endrian: murfunders
[1:03:25 AM] David: i like this conversation
[1:04:47 AM] Endrian: it’s a nice conversation
[1:05:55 AM] David: pleasant
[10:17:36 PM] Endrian: http://imgur.com/gallery/SQgD1VH
[10:20:23 PM] David: what they’re not telling you is that the scroll belongs to the kid on the previous page, a non-pirate child who formerly used it to decorate his treehouse, and is crying
[10:25:07 PM | Edited 10:25:25 PM] David: once past his sorrow, he’ll plot revenge. he’ll grow up to join the navy, train in formal weaponsplay during the day and spar with rowdy roughs in the taverns at night, to form his own brand of tightly-woven swashbuckling.
he’ll serve to keep the oceans free of pirates and benefit society, all the while suppressing his ulterior motive of using the navy to attain his ultimate goal: the retrieval of his scroll.
but he’s no fool. he realizes that his scroll is most likely long gone by this point. the good man in him hopes that this is not the case, and that he can retrieve it.
but deep inside, he realizes that if he is to carry on, if the scroll is no longer within reach because it has been lost or destroyed, he might have to kill. he’ll need to unleash the full force of his training upon those who have taken from him what was rightfully his. oh, such irony was there in the theft of an item by pirates which said items should not be stolen by pirates.
he cannot forgive this poetic injustice. he will find these three and their parrot. he will have his scroll back. or he will kill.
[10:27:02 PM] David: now look at that image again, and learn its true lesson.
So Sileos and I were chatting about editing our Splinter Cell footage. Here’s how that went.
[12:30:13 PM] Sileos: I have just been going through and doing a cut on when we, mostly you :D, get cought so die
[12:30:35 PM] Sileos: or die
[12:30:44 PM] David: i get caught a lot because i’m leading ;)
[12:31:03 PM] David: pretty easy to not get caught when you’re on the back foot
[12:31:13 PM] David: i’m the one that gets captured
[12:31:17 PM] Sileos: Im so stealthy
[12:31:29 PM] David: and you’re the one who stars in the movie to rescue me
[12:31:42 PM] Sileos: Dr. Sileos
[12:31:47 PM] David: i get captured in the first 10 minutes
[12:31:54 PM] David: during a flashback
[12:32:20 PM] David: and it haunts you for a few months
[12:32:46 PM] David: you go back to work, back to your family, back to your life
[12:33:19 PM] Sileos: I’m actually okay with it
[12:33:24 PM] David: then on the news you hear about terrorist activities in some other country, the kind of stuff people see on the news every day and just kind of shake their heads and go back to cooking dinner or mowing the lawn
[12:33:24 PM] Sileos: Moved on
[12:33:34 PM] Sileos: got a new partner who does not get caught
[12:33:38 PM] Sileos: hang out
[12:33:43 PM] Sileos: Bar-B-Q
[12:33:47 PM] Sileos: the works
[12:34:01 PM] David: but you catch a glimpse through some unfocused camera of someone who looks vaguely like me. you call an old contact at the police department
[12:34:04 PM] David: it’s Nev
[12:34:11 PM] David: he’s all jittery and nervous all the time
[12:34:23 PM] Sileos: in his room drawing circles on paper
[12:34:30 PM] David: but he’s their computer guy, their forensics and surveillance expert
[12:35:02 PM] David: you ask him to analyze this footage, at the risk of his job, because “damnit Nev, we both owe him our lives and you know that”
[12:35:05 PM] David: you have stubble
[12:35:10 PM] David: thick stubble
[12:35:13 PM] David: and a gruff voice
[12:35:15 PM] David: real manly
[12:35:20 PM] David: so nothing like you real for real
[12:35:27 PM] David: Nev agrees
[12:35:46 PM] David: he does that bullshit movie “enhance” trick where you can take the blurriest of footage and make it crystal clear and high definition
[12:35:54 PM] David: you spot it’s me
[12:36:23 PM] David: and you’re forced to break into your old headquarters to obtain your gear so you can take on this one last rescue mission
[12:36:43 PM] David: at the last minute before you depart, Nev catches up to you and agrees to tag along for tech support
[12:36:53 PM] David: you guys share a knowing, manly nod
[12:36:56 PM] David: and set off
[12:36:59 PM] David: you break into headquarters
[12:37:10 PM] David: you get caught while trying to find your gear
[12:37:21 PM] David: you can’t get to it anymore
[12:37:28 PM] David: now it’s treason
[12:37:39 PM] Sileos: wow did not see that coming
[12:37:40 PM] David: but you manage to escape, because you’re so damn stealthy
[12:37:46 PM] Sileos: yes
[12:38:14 PM] David: and as you’re seething at yourself for not being able to even begin your mission, and punching walls and shit
[12:38:20 PM] David: Nev shows up and is like, “Hey, look what I found.”
[12:38:43 PM] David: during all the commotion he went into my old office, where, as my best friend, he knew i kept a secret compartment with *my* old gear
[12:39:07 PM] David: so you put on my purple lights and goggles, grab my sniper rifle
[12:39:26 PM] David: (see this part of the movie signifies that the student has become the master, you’re wearing your mentor’s colors)
[12:39:40 PM] David: you head off in a commandeered helicopter
[12:39:44 PM] David: no fuck it this is my movie
[12:39:47 PM] David: you head off in a reaver
[12:40:44 PM] David: because it’s a reaver i have to include an air battle scene. so there’s one of those. you fuck up the reverse thrust maneuver like 8 times in the scene but you end up winning (mildly accurate)
[12:41:04 PM] David: man SOE’s going to sue us for this movie
[12:41:09 PM] Sileos: lol
[12:41:13 PM] David: anyway, you find the base where i’m being held
[12:42:02 PM] David: you create a distraction by crashing the reaver into a cliffside nearby, but you ejected with a parachute at night and landed by the fence
[12:42:12 PM] David: it’s always a fence. it’s never in the base itself. it’s always by the fence
[12:42:17 PM] David: so it is here.
[12:42:34 PM] David: you climb the fence, glowing bright ass purple with high intensity light bulbs all over you
[12:43:20 PM] David: you stelath your way through, you find me. they have like 280 soldiers with guns aimed at me, and they’re questioning me
[12:43:23 PM] David: they’ve been questioning me for months
[12:43:31 PM] David: i’ve given them nothing, NOTHING
[12:43:45 PM] David: you take one well aimed shot at the chains that shackle me
[12:43:48 PM] David: they break
[12:44:02 PM] David: and i have a fight scene where i kill 280 guys with my bare hands
[12:44:45 PM] David: we have that “What took you so long” moment and you’re like, “I thought you’d handle it by now”
[12:45:03 PM] David: and i’m like “ya lol” and we plan our escape route
[12:45:10 PM] David: this time, though, you take the lead
[12:45:33 PM] David: (see this is significant because i’m always leading, you’ve finally grown into a man, that’s what this signifies)
[12:45:49 PM] David: and then we both get shot 2 minutes after that, because you can’t lead for shit
[12:45:59 PM] David: i survive though
[12:46:01 PM] David: you don’t
[12:46:13 PM] David: the moral of the movie is don’t let sileos wear purple
[12:46:26 PM] Sileos: good story
[12:46:32 PM] David: yeah now it’s going on my blog
NOTE: I usually put this stuff in the Contra Miniseries’ video descriptions. THE ONLY REASON THIS IS HERE ON THE BLOG is because it was too long to fit in YouTube’s video description. The video can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wSFSFJADsw
CONTRA MINISERIES - 006 - LIKE WAVES OF THUNDER CRASHING UPON THE SHORES OF DESTINY
BILL RIZER reached into his back pocket and pulled from it a cigarette. He placed it between his lips, uttering the words, “Light, you son of a bitch,” and the cigarette lit, glad to have felt the breath of BILL RIZER.
Hundreds of billions of dead guys behind them, BILL RIZER and LANCE BEAN, the CONTRA, found themselves standing at the door to the inner alien lair.
"It is here, RIZER! The aliens are just behind that door for some reason." LANCE BEAN, glowing like an honor roll schoolgirl from the delight of battle, pointed a single tree trunk-like finger toward the Red Falcon’s door that led into the disgusting dwelling.
"Yes, LANCE… all that stands between us and those filthy disgusting horrible stupid assmongering aliens is that door." BILL RIZER slipped another cigarette between his lips, the heat from the first igniting it. "But each and every one of THE SILVER BARON’s bullets is like a hungry child to me, and they hunger for the blood of evil. They wish to fly through the air, gleefully, with determined leers, screaming in joy, until they dig into the flesh of our enemies, drinking of their blood and bathing in their blood and just generally doing a whole bunch of stuff with their blood." RIZER gently caressed his gun, the long, hard shaft of its barrel still warm to his firm, reassuring grip.
LANCE nodded, as if he knew what the crap Rizer was talking about. “I know what you’re talking about, BILL RIZER, CONTRA. Your bullets cannot be wasted on this door, heavily reinforced and absolutely, humanly, 100% impenetrable to anything, ever, though it may be. To fire your bullets upon this door would be to deny them the joy of killing stupid evil things that they so deserve.”
BILL RIZER slid another cigarette between his lips as it lit from the growing flame of the others. Then he reached into his other back pocket, where he kept already-lit cigarettes, and pulled two from there, poking them into his mouth as well.
After exhaling a manly blast of smoke from his lungs, he extended his hand to his friend (who stood only like about 4 or 5 feet away) and RIZER spoke to BEAN. “LANCE BEAN, I speak now to you!”
LANCE flexed all of his muscles at once for no reason at the sound of RIZER’s voice. “Rrrgggrrghh!”
"LANCE, we must pick the lock on this door in the way that only you can accomplish." RIZER approached LANCE, and with the hard, thick tip of his finger, he gently tapped LANCE’s bare, firm chest. Referring to LANCE’s pectoral muscles, which RIZER and BEAN called their "awesomes," he said to LANCE BEAN, "You must use these."
As RIZER slid another cigarette into his mouth, LANCE’s eyes widened with realization. “BILL RIZER, you are right! Stand aside! I will pick this lock!”
LANCE turned to the workout bench that was sitting there for the purposes of this writing. He laid his back upon it, and reached up for the barbell, on each end of which was locked several 18 trillion pound weights.
RIZER, struggling to find a space in his mouth for like four more cigarettes, and trying the avoid the small fire in front of his face, asked LANCE, “Do you need a spot?”
As both CONTRA laughed heartily at RIZER’s maniacally insane joke, LANCE BEAN’s awesomes bulged massively, effortlessly lifting the barbell for a single bench press. As the thunderous roar of LANCE’s testosterone exploding in his private parts and his chest convulsing so suddenly filled the air, the stars themselves seemed to dim. Every Red Falcon soldier RIZER and BEAN killed up to this point were then revived, brought back from their recent deaths, only to relive the memory of how they died and then die again.
The door, so near the bench press, collapsed under the manliness and flew into the alien lair somewhere, never to be seen again.
LANCE rested the barbell back on the bench and stood triumphantly. “The way is clear now, BILL RIZER.”
The aliens wandered around their lair aimlessly, as they were wont to do. Suddenly, the CONTRA, BILL RIZER and LANCE BEAN, exploded onto the scene!
"Fellow aliens!" shouted one of the aliens, "Speak English so our dialogue makes sense!"
"That’s mighty nice of you," grinned RIZER, like thirty cigarettes clenched between his teeth, LANCE BEAN standing behind him, also grinning. "But we don’t need to understand you. We just need to kill you!"
A single, bold alien stepped forward, its many sharp teeth and powerful claws gleaming silently. “BILL RIZER! LANCE BEAN! You are the fabled CONTRA.”
"HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA" RIZER said.
The single, bold alien readied itself for combat. “RIZER! I will chop your dick off!”
BILL RIZER, his wide, toothy grin becoming wider, and toothier, spoke. “Foolish alien!” He aimed THE SILVER BARON at the foolish alien. “Even your hyper-evolved, ultra-sharp bio weapons could not hope to pierce the flesh on even one of my dicks!”
THE SILVER BARON, itself almost quivering with anticipation and excitement, erupted in an ecstatic roar as RIZER pulled back on its sensitive, eager trigger. A forceful rush of white-hot bullets, a stream of indiscriminate death, flowed spectacularly from the gun’s pristine, beautiful barrel.
The foolish alien was instantly shredded, disappearing forever behind the veil of justice unleashed by RIZER’s assault.
"We are besieged! Alien swarm, attack!" At once, the creatures’ hive mind sent them into action, flying, running, crawling, slithering, and jumping toward the CONTRA.
RIZER slipped like ten more cigarettes between his lips, and spun THE SILVER BARON in all directions, laughing loudly as he remembered a joke he heard a while back.
LANCE BEAN, springing into action himself, and also laughing at the same joke that he remembered at the same time BILL did (because they’re cool like that), began to flex his CONTRA muscles. With each ridiculous flex, LANCE BEAN’s muscles created deadly shockwaves of pure force. These shockwaves slammed into their enemies, pulverizing their normally strong, resilient alien carapaces, and turning their soft insides into a well-mixed goo of gloppy glub glub.
"Rrrgh! Rrrgh! Rrrgh! Rrrgh! Rrrgh! Rrrgh! Rrrgh! Rrrgh! Rrrgh! Rrrgh!" BEAN said.
When all the aliens were dead, shredded or crushed, RIZER slipped a few more cigarettes into his mouth, and suddenly both CONTRA heard an eerie voice penetrate their minds.
"CONTRAAAA…" came the echo from deep within.
LANCE BEAN, his BEAN SENSE going wild, grinned a grinny grin. “RIZER… it’s the voice of the alien heart-brain thing.”
"Know this, alien heart-brain thing!" RIZER yelled into the lair’s dark, slimy, twisting tunnels. "You have invaded our minds only because we, the CONTRA, have allowed it."
"Indeed," spoke BEAN, "with a single clench of my butt muscles I could break your psionic link and scramble your mind, ending you at this very moment."
"So make this count, alien heart-brain thing, because his butt muscles grow ever more eager to clench." RIZER slowly slipped another cigarette between his lips.
"CONTRAAAAA…." the creature hissed, "YOU HAVE KILLED THOUSANDS OF MY MINIONS, BUT YOU HAVE NOT YET BEGUN TO EXPERIENCE OUR NUMBERS. SINCE YOU ARRIVED, I HAVE HATCHED TWICE AS MANY AS YOU HAVE KILLED ALREADY."
LANCE BEAN pulled from his pocket a bottle of fine barbecue sauce, popped the top, and drank it. When he was done, he bit down on the bottle itself, the glass crushing between his teeth, and swallowed it.
The alien heart-brain thing continued. “IF YOU TRULY BELIEVE YOUR FRAIL HUMAN BODIES HAVE THE RESOLVE TO PERSEVERE THROUGH MY LABYRINTH, ONLY TO MEET YOUR DOOM AT ITS END, THEN TO YOU, I EXTEND MY INVITATION.”
The very walls of the lair, itself a living, breathing entity, shifted to create openings into the many arteries and passageways that led to the heart of the beast. Through the darkness of each path, BILL RIZER and LANCE BEAN could hear the skittering, hissing, and crawling of the millions of voracious aliens within. The bioluminescence of the “room” in which the CONTRA now stood dimmed, and that of the winding caverns ahead brightened a sickly blue-green, with dancing, jumping shadows foretelling of the monsters to come; truly, the beast was inviting them to choose a path.
"Truly, the beast is inviting us to choose a path," whispered LANCE.
RIZER, slipping another cigarette into his mouth, his entire face by this point nothing less than an actual living flame, could not be bothered to give a fuck. “LANCE, direct my wrath.” (lol, Artanis quote!)
LANCE BEAN, using his BEAN SENSE, locked onto the direction of the heart-brain thing. He turned his gaze toward a solid wall, and shouted, “BEAN BEAMS, go!” His eyes brightened like eyeball-sized spotlights, and from them a pair of pure white laser beams of destruction, bright as a thousand suns, rushed forth to burn straight through the wall for miles ahead. At the end of the newly-created, smoking tunnel, was the heart-brain thing.
"OH SHIIIIIIIIIT" it hissed.
"That never gets old, old friend." RIZER, his steel arm bulging and angry, lifted a hand into the air and snapped his fingers. An instant later, bursting through the ceiling arrived a roaring, winged beast, THE SKY KING.
RIZER said, “This pterodactyl, with eyes of ball lightning, wings of lava, talons of the emotion dread made manifest, teeth of super diamond, and hardened flesh woven of the fabric of time and space, is THE SKY KING, and my friend.”
"I know." said LANCE.
A moment later, BILL RIZER and LANCE BEAN were atop the back of THE SKY KING, and with an instant sonic boom, were flying through the large, alien-infested tunnel created by BEAN’s BEAN BEAMS. THE SKY KING’s wings left behind them a massive, inescapable inferno moving faster than the speed of sound; THE SILVER BARON, cradled in the bulky, powerful arms of BILL RIZER, created an all-encompassing cascade of cosmic bullets to the left half of the tunnel, while LANCE BEAN fired an extra powerful, sustained BEAN BEAM and flexed his muscles to create massive explosions to the right side of the tunnel. In front, THE SKY KING roared a violent tempest of lightning, its bolts arcing endlessly ahead, filling the lair’s many corridors, corridors which met the doomed tunnel and which were filled with aliens, with bladed spears of electricity.
The CONTRA had arrived.
"Now," mused RIZER as the CONTRA neared the end of the tunnel, "after all these minutes, I’ll finally get to kill the heart-brain thing I just found out existed."
"That thing’s long overdue for a good ass-kicking," agreed LANCE BEAN.
"SKRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWW" said THE SKY KING, "SKRRRRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAWWWW!!"
"PUNY CONTRA…" the heart-brain thing spoke, "YOU HAVE DESTROYED EVERY LAST ALIEN BUT ME, AND I AM CERTAIN YOU WILL ATTEMPT TO SLAY ME, AS WELL. BUT KNOW THIS, I AM BUT ONE OF COUNTLESS OTHERS LIKE ME, ACROSS COUNTLESS PLANETS, AND OUR CONSCIOUSNESS IS NOT LIMITED TO ONE, UH, HEART-BRAIN THING. FUCK I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT TO CALL MYSELF. ANYWAY, THE POINT IS YOU CAN’T KILL ME, I’M LIKE, PART OF A UNIVERSAL HIVE MIND. KILLING THIS HEART-BRAIN THING IS LIKE CLIPPING A TOENAIL. IT IS INSIGNIFICANT TO THE GREATER WHOLE AND EVENTUALLY REGENERATES ANYWAY.
"CRAP DID I JUST CALL MYSELF AN INSIGNIFICANT TOENAIL?"
RIZER, his entire head surrounded in living flame (but not actually burning, because flames dare not touch BILL RIZER without his permission), grinned a wide, toothy grin (yes, again). “Your FACE is an insignificant toenail.”
"Oooooohhhhhh, snap!" LANCE BEAN lifted a hand toward BILL RIZER for a high five.
As RIZER reciprocated, slamming his intense, masculine hand into BEAN’s equally intense and just as masculine hand, THE SKY KING skraw’d, and the force of ***THE CONTRA HIGH-FIVE,*** the ultimate weapon against evil, and the supreme act of man friendship, generated a solar light at the point of contact. The bright, intense light filled the alien lair with warm hope for a brief instant, and the image of BILL RIZER and LANCE BEAN, hands locked in an awesome display of awesome, sitting atop THE SKY KING, with THE SILVER BARON glowing as brightly as BEAN’s chest, floated on display before the heart-brain thing.
"IT’S… BEAUTIFUL…" it hissed.
After the briefest moment of warm, hopeful silence, ***THE CONTRA HIGH-FIVE*** exploded. “YEAAAAAAHHHH!!!” yelled RIZER and BEAN as the colossal blast disintegrated the heart-brain thing and destroyed the evil lair around them. A sphere of force and light radiated outward for hundreds of miles, encompassing the island the ocean around it, erasing all traces of evil caused by the Red Falcon and their alien allies, and reversing the damage they had done.
When ***THE CONTRA HIGH-FIVE***’s aura of goodness had faded, and all that was left was a pristine, beautiful island, untouched by evil or aliens, THE SKY KING spoke.
"Skraw skraw, skrawskraw skraw skraw skraw. Skraw skraw skraw skraw skraw skraw skraw, skrawskrawskraw skraw. SKRAW SKRAW!!!"
"Yes," smiled BILL RIZER. "We have done a fine job since we came here about four minutes ago."
"BILL," said LANCE, "your five o’clock shadow is coming in."
"Is it?" BILL RIZER rubbed his chin. "Huh. So it is." Placing both hands on his hips, he gave a sudden grunt, and the tiny hairs on his chin exploded downward off his face, landing on the ground beneath, where they instantly began to grow as budding beef-jerky-and-porno-magazine stalks.
"Let us have a barbecue, LANCE BEAN." said RIZER.
"…in space!!! Hahahaha!" laughed BEAN.
"SKY KING, HOOOOOO!!!!" RIZER pointed a finger toward the night sky. And with that, the CONTRA blasted off into space in a massive ball of fire, not to be seen again until the next game or something, I don’t know.
Here’s a short conversation I had with Dresenpai over Steam. There’s a video link posted early in the conversation. I suggest watching it to get the full scope of this conversation.
Never tell your password to anyone.
Friday, October 19, 2012
8:49 PM - Dre: yo
8:50 PM - davidr64: ohai
8:50 PM - Dre: your opinion. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7rH1C964uA
8:50 PM - davidr64: watching
8:51 PM - davidr64: well first off, in the first 30 seconds, they’re talking about the exodus of players from starcraft and trying to bring new blood into it
8:52 PM - davidr64: but i must say, League of Legends has already trumped Starcraft as the premiere western esport of this coming decade
8:52 PM - davidr64: actually
8:52 PM - davidr64: it’s even devastated starcraft in Korea too
8:52 PM - davidr64: and that’s where it counts
8:53 PM - davidr64: yeah they touch on this too
8:54 PM - davidr64: i read artosis’ blog post they’re talking about too
8:54 PM - Dre: i havne’t been keeping up with starcraft. i just know that moba games have become increasingly popular e-sport wise.
8:54 PM - davidr64: are moba games in general?
8:54 PM - davidr64: i think it’s -just- league of legends
8:54 PM - Dre: and i think that is in large part due to variety.
8:54 PM - davidr64: no i’ll tell you what it is in a minute
8:54 PM - davidr64: when this video is done
8:56 PM - Dre: well, i think part of it is the variety of characters and strategies coupled with the fact that you have teams to get behind. people love teams. teams aren’t just one person. the team can change over time.
8:57 PM - davidr64: yeah, Destiny is right on 100% of the stuff he said. i don’t appreciate his mocking Artosis, who is, in my opinion, -the- voice to listen to about Starcraft, but Destiny’s an awesome guy too so i’ll let it slide
8:57 PM - davidr64: yup, you’re right about that too
8:57 PM - davidr64: it’s the team aspect
8:57 PM - davidr64: in starcraft a team is a group of people who practice together and in some leagues will even play against each other
8:57 PM - davidr64: there’s a lot a team does for one another in the background
8:58 PM - davidr64: most of it is not seen by the viewer
8:58 PM - davidr64: but in league of legends
8:58 PM - davidr64: it’s more like an -actual- sport
8:58 PM - davidr64: with teams, and coaches, and interviews that
8:58 PM - davidr64: you know
8:58 PM - davidr64: -aren’t-
8:58 PM - davidr64: in Korean
8:58 PM - davidr64: and yes, the casual aspect of the game is what makes it the stronger esport than starcraft
8:59 PM - davidr64: but starcraft 2 also has shot itself in the foot a little too in many regards
8:59 PM - davidr64: Brood War has an advantage over SC2 in that it has more than a decade of balance changes to make it, literally, the only perfectly balanced game in existence and i don’t think any other game will be more balanced than Brood War
9:00 PM - davidr64: Brood War is even better than Chess for balance
9:00 PM - davidr64: because Brood War balances 3 unique sides
9:00 PM - davidr64: absolutely perfectly
9:00 PM - davidr64: now this resulted in something that nobody could predict
9:01 PM - davidr64: A finely trained and masterful Brood War player, when playing Brood War against another finely trained and masterful Brood War player, will express who he is as a *person* through is play
9:01 PM - davidr64: watching a pro Brood War player play a few games, you can tell lots about him
9:01 PM - davidr64: whether he’s impatient, whether he’s got a temper, whether he’s honorable, or well-adjusted, how respectful he is of himself and others
9:02 PM - davidr64: you can see and FEEL these things in a Brood War match, even starting as low as players who are just “adept” at the game
9:02 PM - davidr64: it’s like a martial art
9:02 PM - davidr64: and truly
9:02 PM - davidr64: Brood War play and its very existance *IS* an art
9:02 PM - davidr64: but Starcraft 2 lacks this spirit
9:02 PM - davidr64: this element…
9:02 PM - davidr64: it can’t be found here.
9:02 PM - davidr64: not yet.
9:03 PM - davidr64: Starcraft and Starcraft: Brood War were created to be great games.
9:03 PM - davidr64: Starcraft 2 was created to be a great esport.
9:03 PM - davidr64: With built-in spectator modes, shareable replays, a new battle.net community
9:04 PM - davidr64: they gave it the tools to become what Brood War became without those tools
9:04 PM - davidr64: and one would think this is a path to success
9:04 PM - davidr64: and you know what
9:04 PM - davidr64: i still think it very much is a path to success
9:04 PM - davidr64: but in putting the -game- aspect behind the esport aspect, Starcraft 2 loses something
9:04 PM - davidr64: but!
9:05 PM - davidr64: that’s only because Starcraft 2 is not yet balanced.
9:05 PM - davidr64: for it to be balanced, we need both the other expansions out
9:05 PM - davidr64: and we need the game to stop evolving
9:05 PM - davidr64: just balance patches
9:05 PM - davidr64: this won’t happen for many years yet
9:05 PM - davidr64: and Starcraft 2 needs time to transform from a game into an art, the way Brood War did
9:05 PM - davidr64: but
9:05 PM - davidr64: ironically
9:05 PM - davidr64: Brood War’s success in Korea made esports an actual thing
9:06 PM - davidr64: and Brood War’s success opened the door for League of Legends
9:06 PM - davidr64: and League of Legends won’t allow Starcraft 2 the time it needs to develop into what Brood War was
9:06 PM - davidr64: as a result, SC2 may never
9:06 PM - davidr64: another aspect that is missing
9:07 PM - davidr64: is the turmoil that spawned Boxer, the undisputable grandfather of all of this
9:07 PM - davidr64: the Korean economy was in shambles just before Brood War hit
9:07 PM - davidr64: living conditions were bad
9:08 PM - davidr64: but Boxer, who was actually a student and soccer player at the time, took up Starcraft
9:08 PM - davidr64: and eventually found a rival in Yellow, down the line
9:08 PM - davidr64: which sparked interest in the game
9:08 PM - davidr64: as it became popular, telecommunications companies filled the growing need for higher bandwidth so people could play their video game online
9:08 PM - davidr64: it was great
9:08 PM - davidr64: you buy the game and the expansion
9:08 PM - davidr64: and then battle.net play is free
9:09 PM - davidr64: so perfect for a struggling economy
9:09 PM - davidr64: this led to Korea building up its magnificient tech infrastructure
9:09 PM - davidr64: with fiber in apartment buildings
9:09 PM - davidr64: pc bangs (cafes) cropping up
9:09 PM - davidr64: money circulating
9:09 PM - davidr64: sponsorships
9:09 PM - davidr64: Boxer, with Brood War, saved a fucking country.
9:09 PM - davidr64: (this is an exaggeration, somewhat, but very much it was a big part of it)
9:10 PM - davidr64: SC2 has no such opening
9:10 PM - davidr64: there *IS* stuff it can do to help a struggling American and world economy
9:10 PM - davidr64: just like Brood War did
9:10 PM - davidr64: the problem is
9:10 PM - davidr64: now that esports is a thing, thanks to Brood War
9:10 PM - davidr64: League of Legends can do anything Starcraft 2 can do
9:10 PM - davidr64: better
9:10 PM - davidr64: in that regard
9:11 PM - davidr64: oddly enough, though
9:11 PM - davidr64: Riot and League of Legends are doing only a “passable” job
9:11 PM - davidr64: there’s so much more that they can be doing, but aren’t
9:11 PM - davidr64: Riot is run by young people, and they’re ignorant
9:12 PM - davidr64: they may consider themselves trailblazers
9:12 PM - davidr64: and in some limited ways they are
9:12 PM - davidr64: but all this shit has been done before, elsewhere
9:12 PM - davidr64: and they need to learn valuable lessons from the past and from other industries
9:12 PM - davidr64: they are the biggest esport right now, sure
9:12 PM - davidr64: but while they are great
9:13 PM - davidr64: they COULD be magnificent
9:13 PM - davidr64: and just
9:13 PM - davidr64: won’t.
9:13 PM - Dre: lots of great information there.
9:13 PM - Dre: and fully agree
Let me end this blog post by preemptively clarifying a few things that might not be clear to readers. I am in love with Starcraft, Starcraft: Brood War, and Starcraft 2—all aspects of Starcraft. Please do not get the impression from anything I’ve said here that I do not love this game. If I speak positively about Starcraft, it’s because I love Starcraft. If I speak negatively about it, it’s because I’m concerned.
I also want to say that while I do speak with what may appear to be barbed words about Riot, I do not do so out of malice. League of Legends may not have the deep history with me that Starcraft has, but I really do enjoy League of Legends, as a game and as an esport, very much, and I have a tremendous amount of respect for Riot and what they’ve done with it.
I don’t mention things like that in a conversation with Dresenpai, because he knows these things about me already. Readers of this post might not realize these aspects though, and so I’ve hopefully clarified them here.
You can find Dresenpai’s YouTube channel here:
NOTE: I usually put this stuff in the Contra Miniseries’ video descriptions. THE ONLY REASON THIS IS HERE ON THE BLOG is because it was too long to fit in YouTube’s video description. The video can be found here: http://youtu.be/Ql4Pz-XevQk
CONTRA MINISERIES - 005 - BY LIGHT OF GUNFIRE
BILL RIZER stood high atop a hill, his weapon, THE SILVER BARON, cradled in his arms and held close by his side. His masculine hands, heavy, lean, and thick, gripped the gun firmly, a single finger tucked gently, but decisively in the small, tight ring containing the trigger.
A narrow eyed grin staring out over the battlefield, where carnage was wrought by his very gaze, RIZER would tease the trigger with small, tight, quick squeezes. Over and over again his finger would pump against the sensitive mechanism, causing the gun to shake in his arms.
The small pulses of fire coming from the gun, deadly and destructive though they may have been, were only precursors to the excitement to come.
Once BILL had teased his gun’s trigger enough, he slipped the bulk of his finger against it, and gave a deep, generous, manly squeeze.
THE SILVER BARON’s terrible maw, hot already from the bursts of fire that came before, lit with a horrifying bright light. Just like lightning itself, from afar the dazzling colors of ember, smoke, and fire must have looked beautiful. But to the receiving party, the enemy Red Falcon soldiers, the sound of BILL RIZER’s gun screaming and the flashing lights that came from it were sensations to be feared.
THE SILVER BARON, in the arms of BILL RIZER, unleashed nothing less than a wall of bullets, impossible to escape, sprayed over a large area, shredding enemy soldiers as a waterfall at full force would shred a thin slice of bread.
Meanwhile, in the valley below, LANCE BEAN, a hunger boiling in his veins that only the taste of battle could sate, shirtless, sought a suitable victim to begin his frenzy.
A single enemy soldier, running in panic from the violent rain of screaming bullets brought forth by the gun of BILL RIZER, stumbled and fell only a few feet from LANCE BEAN. By the light of RIZER’s gun, he spotted the hunched silhouette of BEAN, walking one slow step at a time, the CONTRA’s feet dragging through the dirt.
The soldier reacted quickly. Knowing that LANCE BEAN would be the end of him if not stopped, the enemy soldier, still lying on the ground from his fall, instinctively pointed his rifle toward LANCE and pulled the trigger.
A single bullet flew, and almost as if time itself had slowed, the enemy soldier could see it making its way toward LANCE’s torso. LANCE was unaffected. The deadly projectile hit home, but was crushed flat, unable to penetrate the invincible, adamantine wall that LANCE called his chest.
Panicked, the enemy soldier let fly several more rounds. The crack of the rifle firing was muffled by the loud roar of THE SILVER BARON up above, and LANCE BEAN, unstoppable, reached down to grip in his hand the throat of his prey.
Lifting the enemy soldier off the ground and holding him high, LANCE BEAN, with his free hand, ripped off the soldier’s armor and shirt to expose the bare, soft chest of his victim. LANCE gazed upon the soldier’s body, and he slid his fingertips softly down his enemy’s bare skin.
His finger stopped and pointed to a spot on the soldier’s chest. ”This,” said LANCE, “is where your heart beats.”
The soldier, struggling only slightly, replied, “Yes, LANCE BEAN, that is where my heart beats.”
LANCE, surprised that the enemy spoke his name, queried the soldier. ”So… you know my name?” A fierce glare filled his eyes, the glow of RIZER’s bullets reflecting in them like a roaring inferno.
The soldier quietly spoke to his assailant. ”Yes, LANCE BEAN. Your name is one of two that all of my ilk have memorized. BILL RIZER and LANCE BEAN are the things that fill our bodies and minds with the same fear that a child experiences when thinking of what might lie under the bed, or in the closet, or around a dark corner. Indeed, LANCE BEAN, I believe we, each and every soldier slaughtered here today, know you better than you know yourself. A legend cannot know itself, even if that legend is a living, breathing person. In the backs of our minds, with every bullet we fire upon the innocent, we fear the buildup of karma that might one day lead us into your animal-like fixation.”
The soldier took a deep breath, and stopped struggling, letting his body go limp as LANCE BEAN held him above the ground. The soldier continued.
"But it is not until this moment, LANCE BEAN, that a soldier of my ilk, a soldier who has done so much wrong, so much evil, sees the last part of the legend. I do not refer to the unfiltered wrath and retribution that I can see burning even now in your eyes. I do not refer to the way the pulse from your heart travels from your chest, up your arm, through your fingers, and into my own body, linking us in these final moments as justice is intimately linked to the wicked.
"No, I can see the true final piece of the Legend now. None of my kind will ever know this one simple truth, because I will not live to tell them. Indeed, now that I know, my fate is already sealed. The last part of the legend is the simplest part: balance. For every evil deed we commit in this universe, there must be justice. The longer we go without paying for our crimes, the stronger you, CONTRA, must become. Soldiers like us… like me… We can put off our judgement for only so long. Those of us who have escaped every previous tax on our evil are eventually faced with the omega wrath.
We are eventually faced with CONTRA.”
The soldier closed his eyes, breathing a defeated sigh.
"Good answer." LANCE pulled his hand back, formed a fist, and swung his obsidian knuckles with a punch into the soldier’s bare chest, causing a thunderous boom as the soldier’s body was deconstructed at the molecular level, disappearing into thin air.
As he watched his victim’s erasure, something awoke in LANCE BEAN. His BEAN SENSE, which can detect aliens or something, flared up. He looked over his shoulder and shouted to RIZER, “RIZER! I am shouting to you!”
"I have heard you, LANCE BEAN, my old friend! Now that my attention is yours, speak, and let me understand!" BILL RIZER continued firing his weapon over the masses of helpless soldiers.
LANCE smiled. ”I can sense the location of the aliens!”
BILL’s eyes widened. ”I HATE ALIENS! LANCE BEAN, provide direction to my gun’s fury!”
I think. I think a lot. I think deeply. I’m a thinker.
In my mind swirls a sea of subjects, and frequently my mind’s eye will gaze upon one of these subjects and study it intensely, forming theories and conclusions and always raising more questions. Sometimes I can control which subject becomes my target, and sometimes I cannot.
Often, that subject is Minecraft. And no, it’s not because Minecraft is “what made me popular” or because people, for the better part of two years now, have kept asking me for it.
It’s because Minecraft is, itself, a subject to ponder. I don’t think the average Minecraft player has even the slightest clue of just how much there is to Minecraft.
And I’m not talking about how many recipes are in the game, or how many monsters there are, or how many (now countless) mods there are for it, or how many people play it. These things are the obvious.
Today, a topic I found myself contemplating was how truly scary Minecraft really is.
First, I will discuss the biggest topic that comes to mind when you pair the words “Minecraft” and “scary” in your head. I am of course, referring to Herobrine, or, as I prefer to call him, “HIM.”
Man. Even just reading the word “HIM” is scarier than reading the word “Herobrine.”
But for the purposes of this blog post I will freely interchange the terms for the sake ease-of-reading.
Why Herobine “Works”
So why is Herobrine so scary? Or, should I say… why WAS he scary? Because let’s face it: the name Herobrine strikes fear into the hearts of practically no long-standing Minecraft player these days. (The tragedy of Herobrine is something I also wish to discuss, later in this blog post.)
But there was a time when Herobrine was frightening to just about everyone, especially when he was known only as “HIM.” He originated on the Brocraft stream as a very clever prank that escalated into what I would call an outright social experiment. At that point, though, it was out of Brocraft’s control, and very much in the hands of the community.
When “HIM” was first conceptualized, Minecraft was a very different game from what it is today. Minecraft was in its Alpha stage, and still had a very long way to go. The game was filled with potential and could become anything. So again: why WAS Herobrine so scary? It’s because of what he represents.
The Fears of Minecraft
Minecraft Alpha was simple; very basic in its design. But in its simplicity, it accomplished an unfathomable amount. There was one key aspect of the game that was readily apparent, or made itself apparent soon enough: the dark, is bad.
There was no brightness slider in Minecraft Alpha. When the sun set, things became dark, indeed, wicked… the world you were wandering which was only minutes ago bright and filled with friendly animals was now shrouded in blackness. No longer were you paying attention to the far-off hills, daydreaming about what might be just ahead. Now, the darkness had closed in around you, turning that wide-open world into a small area of your immediate surroundings, to which you became intimately aware.
The sounds of animal footsteps were just a natural sound during the day. But when you heard that signature crinkle of grass or dirt nearby, and you couldn’t see what it actually was, your mind was jolted into thought, wondering what it could have been. Your next reaction was probably to stand still, and wait, quietly, hoping to hear a “moo” or an “oink” or a “baaaah.” When you DID hear that sound, you were relieved slightly… but what happened to you when you DIDN’T hear that sound?
If it was your first time playing, you most likely instead heard the clink-clank of a skeletons bones, or worse, the tortured moan of a zombie. In Minecraft Alpha, for a new player, these sounds were terrifying themselves, but there was still something else you did not want to hear after a nearby footstep:
When you heard a footstep, and then another, and yet another, but no sound to identify what it actually was that was so close to you in the pitch black, your mind would again jolt into thought, and for you, time could not pass fast enough for the sun to rise again.
These days, we salty dogs, the long-standing Minecraft players, know that in stock Minecraft, a creature making footsteps without making any other sound is just another creeper looking to mess up our buildings. But for a new player, back in the Alpha days, the silence after a footstep was eerie, and the discovery of a creeper was an exciting—and deadly—way to find your closure.
So, what does all this have to do with Herobrine?, you may be wondering.
Well, calm down. I’m getting there. First, let me talk more about how Minecraft invades your mind the way you love it to do so.
Beyond the Obvious
So, in Minecraft Alpha, the monsters were, naturally, the first and most readily apparent form of fear. But after some time, you learn what they are, how they function, what they sound like, how to defend against them, and how to kill them. In fact, at some point, you no longer fear them, but wish to confront them, and claim their rewards! The monsters turn from the deadly creatures they once were into a valued source of necessary resources, like arrows, feathers, and string. (And yes, in Minecraft Alpha, zombies dropped feathers. I wish they still did.) The hunters had then become the hunted. And for a while, hunting them was exciting. There was still an element of fear in seeking them out, because you had to venture into dark places or wander out at night, but with sword in hand and armor draped over you, the confrontation was exhilarating and rewarding.
Here is a key point, and I want you to remember it for the rest of this blog post:
Overcoming your fear had led you to great rewards.
But, for you, there was another fear in Minecraft that was just waiting for you to reach this point… It is a fear beyond the obvious, it is the worst fear of all, and it had been watching you literally every step of the way.
I’m not referring to Herobrine, or “HIM.” I’m referring, as I said earlier, to what Herobrine represents.
Herobrine Represents You. You are your fear.
Herobrine, “HIM,” represents the one element in Minecraft that, in my mind, was one of the most important elements Minecraft Alpha had going for it.
You see, Herobrine represents you, and your desire for there be something more.
Let me ask you this: have you ever been wandering around in a dark cave, and you ran out of torches, so you turned back? Why did you turn back? Did you do it because without those torches you could not see, or did you do it because you didn’t want to feel alone, and afraid in the dark?
How much of you carries torches around because they prevent the game from spawning monsters (a technical, in-game reason), and how much of you carries torches around because they represent safety (a very human reason)?
If you’re a long-standing Minecraft player, probably 90% of you carries them for the first reason, and probably 10% of you for the second reason. But think back to your early Minecraft days. What did the balance look like then? 10/90? 20/80? 0/100?
That fear of the unknown compelled you to play safe, and you didn’t want to feel afraid.
Here’s a common scenario, tell me if this has ever happened to you: You’re wandering in a twisting, winding cavern, moving deeper and deeper into the earth. Suddenly, you break through a wall, or you drop down a bit into an open area, and you see one of the absolutely most terrifying things you’ve ever seen in Minecraft:
You see torches that are NOT your own. And you’re playing Minecraft Alpha. There IS no multiplayer component to the game. You are truly alone in this world, the only living, breathing thing here. But there they are. Lit torches along the wall or floor.
Your mind jolts, once again, into frenzied thought. Are these my torches? Who placed them here? Holy crap I’m down here with someone or something else. Am I in danger? I’ve never heard of this before, is this part of the game, or…???? SHOULD I LOG OUT? SHOULD I FOLLOW THESE TORCHES?
And then, just like everyone else who has experienced this scenario, something happens that snaps you out of it. Either you are really brave and you follow the torches, or you think more carefully about the situation, or something else happens that makes you realize, “Wait a second. These ARE my torches!”
Your fear is abolished, and you are relieved. Maybe you even feel a little silly, laughing at yourself a little bit as you make your way back to your shelter.
But that fear inside you when you were confused, the thought that you might not ACTUALLY be alone here, was utterly, coldly gripping, and at the same time, intensely exciting.
Even after that moment when you realized the torches were yours, and the world shifted back into proper perspective, a tiny part of you still wondered if you truly were alone in that Minecraft Alpha world of yours.
Herobrine Represents Us. We are our fear.
But there is still MORE to all this than simply the individual. Herobrine could not exist if it weren’t for the Minecraft community as a whole.
You see, Minecraft has ALWAYS been a multiplayer game. Even in Alpha, I used to say, “Minecraft is a multiplayer game without a multiplayer component.”
And it’s true. Minecraft played solo is no fun. It’s the kind of game that makes you want to share your experiences in it—in fact, in my opinion, it’s the BEST game of that kind.
This is why I created X’s Adventures in Minecraft in the first place. Minecraft Alpha was a single player game, but without built-in multiplayer, I had to find a way to MAKE the game multiplayer. It just so happened I already had a few thousand subscribers on YouTube, and thus, I turned Minecraft, for me, into a multiplayer game by bringing others along for the ride.
And as a community, we have always craved “more, more, more” from Minecraft, haven’t we? Back in the Alpha days, we wanted more building blocks, more monsters, more adventure, more game modes, more options, more multiplayer aspects, more biomes, more mods, more videos, more MORE MORE!
It is this communal desire for “more” that created Herobrine. Individually, as we played Minecraft, the game would periodically give us glimpses, hints of something that we should fear. The darkness always held the threat of something unexpected, even if we knew it was unlikely or even impossible for that “something” to exist.
When the story of “HIM” manifested, we as a community swarmed and clung to it. The very idea that there was a “ghost in the machine” was enticing, terrifying, and exciting all at once. Herobrine, although for a time he didn’t have that name, was instantly a success.
The varying degrees to which the story of “HIM” impacted each of us created a violently choppy tide of responses. Some people discounted it and brushed it off legitimately. Some people did so simply because they were afraid. Others, like me, may have jumped into the game HOPING to run into “HIM,” for the thrill of sheer terror and facing a foe that is supposedly, in every way, a game changer. And some still even stated that they would quit playing Minecraft until there was an official word on the ghost.
More stories popped up, one or two of which were good while the vast majority were terrible and obvious attempts to fan the flames. But no matter how you look at it, it was a fear generated by us, as a community, and it was a fear that was born of a desire:
More. Give. Us. More.
The Tragedy of Herobrine
And this is tragic. You see, dear reader, the sensation that Herobrine brought to Minecraft is born of our desire for there to be something greater in the game. Some secret, some aspect, some… some-ANYTHING that makes the game more than what it actually is.
Maybe we liked Herobrine because he added some purpose to an otherwise no-purpose game. When we had just become unafraid of the dark, he infused it with a greater terror than we had yet known in the game. Even our own homes weren’t safe.
Herobrine is the ultimate representation of what Minecraft MIGHT have been, but unfortunately cannot ever achieve. Herobrine truly is a ghost in the machine; it is impossible to make him real.
When I say “real,” I’m not talking about adding Herobrine to the game or using a mod that makes him appear.
When I say “real,” I mean exactly that: real. He’s a paradox. He IS real, you see. The IDEA of him is real. The sensation surrounding him is real. All the countless posts, pictures, stories, and mods of him are real.
But the definition of Herobrine is this: “A frightening ghost in Minecraft that can appear, act intelligently and of his own volition, and exist in your Minecraft world despite having not been programmed into the game.”
And as we all know (mods aside), if it’s not in the code, it’s not in the game, and it’s impossible for us to encounter something like that.
At least, I hope it is.
And yet, I also hope it isn’t.
Herobrine achieved celebrity status, eventually, as time has passed. His existence as he was first made manifest has been officially debunked, the fear which surrounded him has dissipated, and now he serves as somewhat of a mascot for Minecraft, right alongside the creeper.
There are mods that add Herobrine to the game, and even Mojang themselves regularly poke at his status by adding joking comments about him in the game’s patch notes.
Nobody is afraid of Herobrine anymore. The fear that he once brought is gone, and that is tragic. With that fear depleted, and with real multiplayer now in the game, and with villagers, and kitties and doggies you can tame as pets, there is no longer that feeling of “alone,” and thus we come to the realization that the game really IS just a bunch of procedurally placed blocks, and the monsters really ARE that easy to kill, and there really is nothing beyond what we know of the game.
Please do not mistake this as a blog post about Herobrine. See deeper. It is a blog post about how scary Minecraft is, or was, and how that is a very good thing.
But that fear is gone. Remember earlier I asked you to remember that one bold line up above? ”Overcoming your fear has led you to great rewards.” Unfortunately, that is not the case here. We did not “overcome” the fear of Minecraft… it dulled on its own, and eventually faded away. Without overcoming it ourselves, we have not been left with a reward, but instead, a somewhat relieving sadness.
What We Have Gained
It dawns on me that this whole blog post has been about the exciting fear of Minecraft, and how many of us players-since-Alpha have lost it. But this writing is mostly my thoughts on a single subject: how Minecraft uses fear to excite you and draw you in. I have no aim or goal with this post except to share some of my thoughts.
I have no ill feelings toward Minecraft. Some may think I am lamenting the loss of “the good old days,” and complaining about it, when really, I am not. I am sharing with you folks just one part of my MANY thoughts on Minecraft, the same way I have shared my thoughts and experiences in YouTube videos.
Much of this post has been on a lower note, and some of it (I hope) has been thought-provoking, and maybe even nostalgic for some of you.
So I will end on a high note, and talk about what we have gained in place of that initial, new excitement.
The fear of night, monsters, and Herobrine could not last forever, after all. Minecraft has much more going for it than just that terrifying excitement that comes with your first days playing it. If we were all here just for that new excitement, we’d have all left a long time ago.
But we stuck around. We stuck around because as we have been united in our early days as the community, either in multiplayer servers, in the forums, or by watching videos, we have formed bonds that keep us playing. We have discovered that our desire for “more, more, MORE” can be satisfied easily, through the mods we see all over the place, and through Mojang’s continuing work to bring us big new updates like the upcoming Adventure Update (which I’m eagerly awaiting).
Even better is that Minecraft is game where we can choose our level of involvement, and for how long. It isn’t like many multiplayer games where you feel like you NEED to play to “keep up” with the player base, either in ladder points, skill, gear, or just time invested. Minecraft lets you play how you want, when you want.
I think it’s this freedom that we gain that replaces that initial excitement of fear.
As for Herobrine? Well… though we have lost him as a terror, we have gained him as a character. There are people with Herobrine skins for their character models, there are animations of him, and generally, just a fanbase surrounding him.
One of the great things about Minecraft is that there are many new frontiers to explore regarding it. Some of these frontiers are obvious. But one of the themes in this blog post has been to look beyond the obvious, and that’s exactly what I intend.
I have some ideas for Minecraft that are ambitious (and I’m not just talking about my “achievements” videos). But I don’t know if I’ll ever get around to them, and I don’t know if I’ll share them with you guys. Some of them aren’t fully solidified as ideas yet.
One Fear Left Unaccounted For
After all is said and done, though, there is still one fear left unaccounted for… one of Minecraft’s singular, sickly dark arms whose hand has yet to release it’s grip.
This fear has no name… but I think you feel it, sometimes, when playing Minecraft, and you’re all alone. We have overcome the fear of monsters, the fear of the dark, the fear of Herobrine, and a few others.
But somehow, for some reason, inside each of us as we play, no matter how long you’ve been playing Minecraft, you will occasionally STILL feel it. The fear of the unknown is still there within us, within Minecraft, even after all this time.
Yes, it’s rare, and these days, it passes quickly. But it’s there, isn’t it? Why do you still feel this way, after all this time? What is it that grips you, and makes you feel like it’s watching, or waiting… or both…?
I wouldn’t think too much about it if I were you.