Mark Trail and the Shade-Wolf. Drawn for Monster Milk’s Funny Pages anthology-zine.
Another wholesome nature lesson from our favorite trail guide. Thanks, Mark Trail!
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It’s been a few months since I finally beat Dark Souls. The afterglow has faded, I look back on it fondly as a truly surreal, satisfying and actually somewhat personal journey. The game is notoriously difficult and unforgiving, brimming with horrid little tricks of dungeon and monster design that are so subtle and meticulously crafted it has to be self-referential. You progress through the game by way of memorizing the lay of the land and the nature of your foes, and performing feats of patience and focus.
The golden run is what you strive for. Where you conquer a dungeon on your first time exploring it, boss and all. This, however is merely an ideal you reach towards, yet will always fall short of grasping. Humans cannot draw a perfect circle.
It was a humbling experience filled with wonder and awe. It is the apex of a style of game that’s been around quietly for a long time: the austere, unforgiving world that does little to hold your hand; and you must explore it, good luck.
Dark Souls it a video game for the Play Station 3 by a developer called From Software. They’ve made such games for the Playstation 1 as King’s Field and Armored Core, which respectively morphed into the Demon’s/Dark Souls and Armored Core series now for the Playstation 3. They tend to make cult hits. The Demon’s/Dark Souls series has been there sort of crossover hit, gaining them a larger North American following than they’ve ever had.
All in all I think the Souls games are the highest pinnacle of this style of dungeon action RPG in terms of level design and gameplay fluidity and detail. And now, with current technology, it is jaw-droppingly gorgeous too. Some of the beings you inevitably must fight are truly bizarre and intimidating, which makes them all the more satisfying to slay. But one very important aspect of Dark Souls that other games of similar style lack is context. The lore of the game feels rich with mythological significance that is surprisingly deep depending on how much you’re willing to dig.
It’s easy to miss a lot on your first playthrough when you’re so focused on getting past a certain part or boss that has you stuck. You often devote so much attention to staying alive that you don’t leave enough for the details of the world you’re in. So now, after I’ve made the cathartic hurdle of beating it, after I’ve let my mind drift toward other things, I discover this person's youtube videos where he retells the implied, often tragic stories that permeate the world of Dark Souls, shining light on the lives of the NPC's you meet and the legends that describe this strange world. Here's his summation of the Dark Souls story in a minute. Don't worry about spoilers, the game's plot isn't the main driving factor of the game; more so the story that you yourself experience as you play it. Of course, it's very general. From there he has more detailed and cogent accounts of the individual characters and their stories as well. There has been a collaborative online effort to tie these loose strings in the game together. And It is this implied story that gives it an irresistible mysteriousness that pushes you onward.
I beat GIRP. May not be much, but it felt good.
Damn, good job.
Inspired by Anita Sarkeesian’s Video Game Tropes vs Women, I wanted to pitch a Zelda game where Zelda herself was the hero, rescuing a Prince Link.
Clockwork Empire is set 2,000 years after Twilight Princess, and is not a reboot, but simply another iteration in the Zelda franchise. It just so happens that in this case, Zelda is the protagonist. I’m a very big Zelda fan, and worked hard to draw from key elements in the continuity and mythos.
This concept work is meant to show that Zelda as a game protagonist can be both compelling and true to the franchise, while bringing new and dynamic game elements that go farther than being a simple gender swap.
Hope you like it!
Micro carvings by Artist Yukari Ehara
Sitting in a puddle of my own joyful tears
Don’t get me wrong, these pictures look beautiful. But I can’t justify spending money to play a game I already own and have already played countless times.
I’ll probably still buy it though.
Dude, imagine all the amazing moments of this game with these GLORIOUS, SEXUAL LIGHTING EFFECTS. Dude. The glow of the lava on Dragon Roost. Remember the forest temple boss? How it glows all blue when the big flower opens up? God damn. Sailing on that crazy blue sea! Holy shit. I am salivating.
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