Daikatana: A Fascinating Failure

Many gamers quite understandably have a lot of nostalgia for the late 1990s and early 2000s of PC gaming. This was a time when many of the most well regarded games were released across multiple genres. At the same time software was becoming more streamlined which solved a lot of compatibility issues and 3D hardware acceleration was becoming standard. And the early results were much better than what was being produced on consoles. Just off the top of my head consider that Diablo, Half-Life, Fallout, Baldur’s Gate, Thief, Quake, StarCraftUnreal and Deus Ex were all released in this period. That is if you begin from late 1996 and end late 2001. That’s impressive for a five year period given that all of these remain recognised titles today and this is far from an exhaustive list. If I tried to do the same for the last decade while excluding games from existing franchises, I would not only have to give it far more thought, I’d be struggling to find comparably memorable games at all. 

One of the biggest names in the industry at the time was John Romero who along with John Carmack had a significant impact on PC gaming for most of the 1990s with games like Commander Keen, Wolfenstein 3D and most notably with Doom. I played all three of these games and later Quake but I had no idea at the time who was making these games. I didn’t even know they were made by the same group of developers. This was just as true for who was making the games I played on Nintendo and Sega consoles. Most of this would be learned later through various online articles on fan websites and later still after reading books like Game Over by David Sheff and Masters of Doom by David Kushner. When I was young, I simply didn’t care who made them — just that they were fun.

Daikatana was a game I found out about after the fact because I don’t recall any fanfare behind it at the time though I certainly played PC games. It was through websites like Something Awful that I got a sense of the notoriously negative reputation the game has and has continued to have since. I do remember trying the demo after learning about it and I even had the same issue installing it as shown in the linked article. After that short experience, I assumed it was just as bad as was generally claimed. In hindsight, SA had a very negative influence on my late adolescence and early adult life and I find that article (and the website in general) barely readable today. However, at the time it was very influential and a lot of what is considered part of “Internet culture” originated there. 

There I would have left Daikatana if not for the release of the unofficial 1.3 patch in 2019 which fixes a great deal of issues noted at the time along with some other enhancements. This made me curious enough to finally give this game a shot. 

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No STD for Straight Men

Whether or not you consider sodomy a sin, there is still a widespread and healthy disgust that exists — particularly towards male sodomites. Now of course, this is seldom spoken aloud anymore but it is still there. How do I know this, you ask? Well, one can infer simply by what the media is willing to show of it. Even today with children being groomed in public libraries and schools by degenerate freaks and public buildings and “churches” covered in pride flags; the media is still very reluctant to show the realities of any one colour of this rainbow of perversions. When a “gay” character is shown on television or in a movie, it is usually a very effeminate male and any sort of intimacy is avoided. When ever physical intimacy is shown, it is usually two attractive women which though still sinful and wrong, provokes much less disgust among people in general. And even this is an inversion as your average lesbian is generally more masculine than a gay man.

Now I’m sure people can come back with counter-examples and I must admit I avoid most media that might be different but I still see enough advertising and other imagery to know that this is still followed. And mainstream films and television shows that introduce “gay” characters still carefully present them to appear at least somewhat normal. Anyway, I don’t need to use reason to argue with people who deny the most elementary biological facts. And unlike conservatives, I don’t believe being permissive about any sin is up for debate.

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Symbols Matter

The worst kind of commentators and commenters (particularly within the so-called “conspiracy theorist” community), are the ones forever finding something wrong in any victory — however small. No matter what it is, there has to be a catch, a problem or some way things are still going according to plan for “the elite”. This would imply that the various enemies of humanity are  omniscient, omnipotent and have uniform goals in every nation in the world. In reality, they make mistakes all the time and their plans often fail. They’re also getting increasingly stupid but that is a topic for another post.

When things go wrong for them, their reaction is naturally never to admit fault or give up but make adjustments and sacrifice a minion or two. In rarer cases, one of their own will be but this will be avoided if possible. It shouldn’t be assumed that these people are allied the world over either. They all have different goals and motivations and will happily cross each other when it suits them. 

To give a recent example, I do believe the official nonsense that began in 2020 was planned but I don’t for a minute believe it went exactly as planned. I expect some aspects went better than they could have possibly imagined and other aspects went very wrong. We aren’t going to be finding out exactly what went on for a while but I very much doubt the people behind this were anywhere as smart as they imagine themselves. 

This brings me to the purpose with the post which is to take victories however small. Not because they alone will save the day but because every victory, however small does help.

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Sword and Interplanetary

I am still making a slow progression through Robert E. Howard’s oeuvre having already discussed Conan (which I am slowly re-reading and will be returning to), Solomon Kane, Kull, his excellent historical fiction and most recently, the mostly unimpressive film adaptations. I did intend to cover the El Borak collection I have waiting in my endless pile of reading material but was distracted on discovering the existence of Almuric

Almuric is a short novel credited to Howard which was first serialised in Weird Tales three years after his death and later published in paperback. Much of this can be established by reading the Wikipedia page which interestingly has a note questioning the authorship though this is lacking a source for the claim. The Infogalactic page doesn’t include it and according to the history, it was only added in May, 2020. Having noticed this, I began reading with this question in mind and though I don’t claim to be knowledgeable enough of Howard’s work to make an academic claim, I do see why there is a question and I think it most likely that he didn’t write it.

The cover of my copy which was published by Sphere Books

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Celebrating the Wicked

Ned Kelly: A Lawless Life by Doug Morrissey
Connor Court Publishing, January 15th, 2015

One of the proofs of our fallen world is the way wicked people are so often celebrated. Whether reframed as misunderstood or acclaimed while ignorantly (and often deliberately) forgetting their crimes; it can be found across all human cultures. It is particularly evident at the national level where there are plenty of examples including Ghengis Khan, Mao Zedong and Vladimir Lenin. Even the relatively young Australia has succumbed to this through the stock thief turned bushranger — Ned Kelly. 

What is interesting about Ned Kelly is that unlike the examples above, he contributed nothing to Australia’s national greatness.* He was in most ways that matter, an unexceptional man living in what would be an otherwise little known area of Victoria. Yet, because of how his brief bit of notoriety has been aggrandised by sympathisers, he is now often thought of as a national folk hero in the same vein to Robin Hood. Ned Kelly: A Lawless Life debunks this efficiently by dispensing with the romanticism that generally surrounds his life. 

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Adventures in the Gamma Quadrant

Will Save the Galaxy for Food
by Yahtzee Croshaw
Dark Horse Books, February 14th, 2017

A few years ago, I reviewed Mogworld by Yahtzee Croshaw. It was set within an online multiplayer game or a MMORPG and consciously referencing World of Warcraft — cover art and all. I was neither unimpressed or very impressed with it and it was about the standard for the paperback market of Star Wars, Star Trek and many video game tie-in novels in series like StarCraft, Halo and Gears of War.

My review went on more of a tangent and I had no intention to read more of Croshaw’s novels though I did praise it for what it was. However, after finding Will Save the Galaxy for Food was listed in the catalogue of my library, I decided it might be worth a read to see if his writing had improved in the eight years since his debut publication. 

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An Ignoramus Opines on Economics

Debunking Economics: The Naked Emperor of the Social Sciences
by Steve Keen
Zed Books, July 1st, 2001 (2007 Reprint)

I have read very little on economics. So little that I think I can list every book I’ve ever read on the subject with less than one hand:

Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell 
The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich Hayek
The Return of the Great Depression by Vox Day

I read The Communist Manifesto once but I’m not sure that quite counts. I did listen to about an eighth of Wealth of the Nations as an audio book but not nearly enough to claim that I have read it. Along with these I’ve read a lot of articles as well as few books on the subject but always at the level of a layman. I have heard of Keynes, the Austrian School, Milton Friedman, Ricardo and many other names but don’t ask me for summaries  on their perspectives or anything they’ve said on the subject. And let’s not forget that reading isn’t the same as understanding and I’ve never formally studied or gone very in-depth on the discipline. The author of the latter work on the list has highly recommended the subject of this review but it has been a decade since he recommended it and I’ve only recently got around to doing so. 

I want to emphasise my ignorance here because I found this book (more so than the others), a rather difficult read and my level of understanding may be poor. This review is something of an exercise at synthesising what I have read. In case it wasn’t already clear — I’m the ignoramus. Continue reading

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China is in Charge

Something that feels like it has come on suddenly over the last few years has been not only the rise in power of China but also its rapid increase influence and assertiveness on the world stage. The Chinese economy has been growing rapidly for my entire life but the nation generally wasn’t considered a world power until the turn of the century. This is when people in the West began to notice that their manufacturing base had gone overseas and that they were now almost completely dependent on Chinese made products. This was pacified by the assurance that China was turning towards a liberal-democracy just like us despite many indications this wasn’t the case going back decades. 

As Vox Day has continued to document, the reality is that China is now the leading world power with control over immense industry and wealth. It now has enough power (especially in co-operation with nations like Russia and India), to cripple the Western world. Despite how obvious this might be, it seems to be lost on both Western leaders and the general population — one of the few things they have left in common. 

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The Curse of the Scary Shoulder Pads Lady

From 1980s to the early 1990s, women wearing jackets with large shoulder pads was a fashion that was hard to miss. This fed into the empowered woman/feminist architype of the time and can be seen in a number of films and television shows including Mr. Mom, Working Girl, Mrs. Doubtfire, Die Hard, Home Improvement and even Top Gun. I am only scratching the surface here as there are plenty more examples I could find if I was inclined to look. In all of these you have variations of a woman trying to break into the corporate sector or a mum working some office job (likely of questionable utility). When a husband is present, the woman always rules the roost. Most of these films/shows are now painfully out of date and indeed some of them would now be criticised by the same sort of people who would have lauded them for their forward thinking at the time. It is worth noting that this is also around the same time you saw more films with men dressing as women beginning with TootsieMrs. Doubtfire had both!

This post will cover three of these.

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Shattering Idols

I have shattered many idols out along the dusty track,

Burnt a lot of fancy verses — and I’m glad that I am back.

Henry Lawson, Up the Country

I have had a number of posts over the years discussing the ongoing destruction of many popular culture franchises beginning with some brief commentary on the all-female Ghostbusters reboot back in 2016 when I first began writing this blog. I never watched it but by all accounts that matter, it turned out to be just as bad as it looked. This destruction has most often been in reference to Star Wars though I noted in the linked Ghostbusters post that what anything you liked before can’t be ruined by new and inferior products with the same name. The same trend has also been happening with video games as I noted in my review of GEARS 5 in 2019 which I  compared to the terrible Disney Star Wars films. By chance, XYZ had published a related post on the gaming industry in general before I started writing this post.

By now it is as clear as can be that there is a conscious effort at play to subvert and wreck popular media franchises. This of course is denied every time it is noticed and it is claimed merely that these properties are just being made more “inclusive” or words to that effect. This is a lie as nobody has ever been stopped from enjoying anything nor is anybody is really left out if a major character in a story doesn’t share their race, interests or sexual proclivities perversions. And for most of my lifetime, people have been free to create almost anything they like if they had found what  a genre wanting. Countless popular as well as niche works of fiction have been created for these very reasons. Ironically, it is only very recently that this has changed and it is because of the very people who claim to be doing the opposite.

I have also commented on the unhealthy obsession people have with media franchises. A recent example is seeing adults fantasising about Marvel characters joining the fight in Ukraine. Or the evil nasty Putin being compared to Voldemort, the main antagonist from the Harry Potter children’s stories. It is clear that whatever the merits of modern fiction that modern popular culture has had an infantalising effect on people and this is not healthy for society.

Yet there is more to this destruction than is generally observed. Most commentary either complains about it or defends it. I just didn’t watch it. What is a more interesting question is to ask how God’s plan is unfolding in all of this?

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