Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Fairy Tale Spotlight: We Were Here (Series)

[Blog contains spoilers.]

A new game review this week! There is a wonderful game series called "We Were Here" released for various systems. There are three of them so far: We Were Here, Were Were Here Too, and We Were Here Together. All three games are worth playing, although I'll get into some of the faults, of which there are a couple worth mentioning.

The concept of the We Were Here series is that you and a friend of yours (over online multiplayer) end up in an ancient mansion located in the middle of an arctic wasteland. Once inside, you both get separated, but you can still talk to each other over hand-held radios. The game from here is a long series of puzzles where both of you must work together to figure out how to solve them.

Part of the puzzle is in one room, and the other part is in your companion's room. You have to communicate without seeing what the other person sees in order to find a way through. The idea is to meet each other at the end and... hopefully... get out together.

In most multiplayer games, you always see the person you are playing with. In We Were Here, the other person is physically there, but always behind a wall. There may occasionally be a moment where you can see each other through a small opening, but the truth is that you won't be seeing each other very often throughout the game. Your radios are the real link.

The story of the game is exciting and often spooky. There's a strange magical presence in these mansions. The concept of demons possessing inanimate objects is a common theme between the games. You will often find yourself mixed up in their politics which does not feel good at all. It's downright frightening.

Some of these puzzles can lead to your death if panic sets in and you are unable to calmly communicate with your partner.

"The well is filling up with water!" I yell out over my radio. "What do I do?!"

"Do you see anything on the walls of the well?" my partner asks.

"There's a bunch of symbols but I don't know what they mean. The water is up to my knees!"

"I've got symbols on my end. Tell me what they are and I'll see if I can help you."

Although this particular puzzle was harrowing and scary, my partner found a way to get the walls of the well to rotate which formed a ladder to the top. The water was up to my neck before this happened, but we still got the job done. If I had not been able to keep it together and talk to my partner, I would have just drowned, the puzzle would reset (with a different solution), and we'd be doing it all over again. The game can be pretty unforgiving with failure.

I still heavily recommend these games, if anything for how the bond between you and your online friend will so greatly strengthen from the experience; however, the games do have some sad flaws that you should be aware of. First of all, the radios almost never work right. Sometimes our voices just get broken up to the point where we can't hear one another. This is particularly bad in the timed trap rooms. We had to resort to using Discord to communicate while we played the game and simply ignore the radios altogether.

The second problem was had to do with the ending of We Were Here Together (the third game). In the first two games, there was always a chance that you could escape with your partner. It wasn't easy, but it was possible. In the third game, they make you believe that you can do this, but they won't ever let you do it. It gives you a choice to sacrifice either yourself or your friend to stop a demon, but whatever you choose, it does the opposite.

My friend chose to sacrifice himself to save me, but after making his decision, the knife turned on me anyways. This made his selfless decision meaningless. It is probably the worst moment in the game series' history. But the experience before that moment was brilliant. The reason I still recommend the games is because so much of the enjoyment came from my relationship with my friend. That was still there, and we could even agree that the ending was trash. We came out of it with a stronger relationship than when we started, and that's pretty impressive.

The We Were Here series is available on a number of systems. The first one (We Were Here) is a 100% free game. I recommend you try them out with a friend and see where the journey takes you.

Thank you for reading my blog! Did you enjoy it? Either way, you can comment below, or you can email me at You can also visit my website at Check out my books! Thanks!

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Fairy Tale Spotlight: A Dove?

I was recently very frustrated when I did a Google search for "The Holy Spirit" and was smacked in the face by an onslaught of doves. Seriously, why?! The origins of this silly mistake comes from the Bible verse at the moment when the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus after being baptized:

Then John gave this testimony: "I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him.
~John 1:32

A lot of translations use the words "like a dove" instead. "As a dove" means the same thing. It is trying to point out that the Holy Spirit descended in a particular way rather than as a particular thing. If I walk "like a chicken" I'll probably do it in such a way that I poke my head out with each step. It doesn't actually mean I have become a chicken.

John was trying his darndest to explain what he was seeing. Nobody really knows exactly what John saw. We only know how it moved. Doves tend to land in a different manner than other birds. They tend to come in and flutter briefly before they slowly hit their mark. John was giving us an explanation of motion... not of physical form.

The very idea of the Holy Spirit presenting himself as a bird is not only stupid... its rather confusing. The question has more to do with why he would do that. I don't see how someone's spirit has anything to do with an animal unless we are diving into some pretty strange paganistic beliefs. Is god's spirit an animal form? Short answer, NO!

The truth is that we don't know what form the Holy Spirit took. Hell, we don't even know if the Holy Spirit was even visible. This could have been like a "third eye" moment. John could have simply "felt" the motions of the spirit without actually seeing it. In either case, we have no proof. We only have evidence of motion. That's it.

Now, I am quite sure that this lack of understanding has led people to just give up and slap doves on everything... BUT IT'S WRONG! We know for a fact that it's wrong. If you want to show what the spirit of God looks like, you are better off just showing a light or something. Heck, you can even make the light shaped like a man. This may not be exactly correct, but it sure as hell is better than making it look like a freaking bird! The Holy Spirit is not a bird!



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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Popeye

I've been watching a lot of the really old Popeye shorts on Boomerang lately. We're talking the really early ones done by Max Fleischer, the same guy who gave us Betty Boop. I am not a fan of the later Paramount ones, which seemed to fit a formula so strictly that every episode really felt like I was watching the same one over and over. Also, Popeye didn't mumble. Huge loss for the franchise, in my opinion.

The early Popeye cartoons were hilarious. Every character in the series was pretty much ugly. Popeye was ugly. Bluto/Brutus was ugly. Olive Oyl was basically a living noodle. Yet all these characters were alive and had hopes and dreams that inspired us to watch and laugh.

One of the things that really stood out to me with these old cartoons was how much abuse Olive took from both Bluto and Popeye. She was constantly manhandled and even punched square in the face. I was even startled by some of this, but not really offended. The cartoon characters of Max Fleischer were well-known for being strange creatures from an inkwell imbued with life by the imaginations of a great man. She was never really in pain because she was not really human to begin with.

I began to enjoy how she was treated because she really could not truly be hurt. I mean, she obviously didn't have any bones under that skin. You could put her through a ringer, and she'd come out perfectly fine. Popeye and Bluto seemed to know this and would take advantage of it as they fought over her like a fancy spaghetti dinner.

As I said, the later cartoons seemed to put aside a lot of this humor to fit a formula, but a lot of what made the original Popeye cartoons great returned for the movie. I actually consider the 1980 film to be the best casted movie in history. Every actor in this film was perfect for the part they played. Nobody else could have done it better.

This movie also seemed to give great respect to the original source material known as Thimble Theater. This was the original comic strip that focused on Olive Oyl and her Jewish family. The movie took the original stories and brought in Popeye as if they had never met. From there you bore witness to a live action Max Fleischer cartoon that has never been accomplished since. It was magical.

And Olive took about the same amount of abuse in this movie that she did in the original shorts. As gangly as she was, she was the trophy woman of two unsightly males. In many ways, Popeye has always been the story about how ugly people tend to settle... or perhaps they really did see something in that noodle that I don't see. Either way the battle for her was always a lot of fun.

I know I haven't been talking about the spinach thing. I think that plot point rather speaks for itself. It was always the characters of Popeye that made it work. It is a great series that simply had some low points. But that movie... That movie is freaking brilliant. Watch it. Just watch it. It's so good!

Thank you for reading my blog! Did you enjoy it? Either way, you can comment below, or you can email me at You can also visit my website at Check out my books! Thanks!

Monday, February 17, 2020

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Potential Energy

There are two kinds of energy: kinetic and potential. Kinetic is flow. Potential is balance. All things function through the principles of these two types of energy. But I want you to see human beings how some very powerful people do. To them, they see humans, like you and me, as having some very powerful potential energies.

Take a rubber band. Stretch it across two points and let it snap. The rubber band is not doing anything, but there is still a lot of energy stored there. This energy is called potential energy. If you were to slide one end of the rubber band off, all that potential energy would turn into kinetic energy as the rubber band flew away. But while it is suspended between two points, all it has is potential.

Human beings are much like this rubber band. They stretch themselves in such a way that they can do anything. And at the point of their choosing, they can release themselves to make things happen. Remember that this is a choice they can make. Humans were meant to have control over their own energy.

Now let's go back to our rubber band analogy. What if you were to take a pair of scissors. and cut the rubber band while it is suspended between two points. At this point there would be a violent snap where the rubber band would instantly be un-tethered and wildly fly off in a direction. The potential energy of the rubber band is very suddenly converted into kinetic, but something different happens when all of it is expended. The rubber band is not as useful as it was before.

Cutting the rubber band produces a far more violent and shocking reaction, yet it likely will not be reproduced a second time without some much needed first aid. And even so, it will never be what it once was. This analogy is used to explain that human potential can be exploited by others, but it often ruins the human in the process. It can also kill them.

Let's tie the rubber band back together and do it again. Another cut, another violent snap. Tie again and repeat. Every time you do this, the rubber band gets more and more useless. The potential energy of the rubber band becomes less strong. Eventually there is no real way to direct it properly, at which point it is probably best to just toss it in the trash.

Humans were not meant to be treated this way. We were meant to chose our own destinies and fling ourselves at them in the time and manner that pleases us. To have someone else make these choices for us is like having our rubber bands cut. They are sacrificing us. All kinetic energy created is captured and stored by them. We get nothing.

This is the sort of way a high priest thinks of us. We are just creatures filled with potential energies that need to be exploited. But you have to remember that there are a lot of humans with lots of energies to take. When the world looks so full of useful humans, what would be the point in being so careful? To a high priest, it is far easier to just cut the rubber band and move on to the next. To a high priest, any human can be sacrificed if it will suit his needs.

Thank you for reading my blog! Did you enjoy it? Either way, you can comment below, or you can email me at You can also visit my website at Check out my books! Thanks!

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Fairy Tale Spotlight: The Girl and the Robot

Back in 2016, a company called Flying Carpet Games released a new video game called "The Girl and the Robot." I was very interested in this game because it very much smacked of a fairy tale. Obviously, I had to partake in it at some point, and last year, I finally did.

Now, I'll get the criticisms out of the way. The Girl and the Robot is not really a very good game and I ultimately left it a bad score on Steam. The reasons for this were because of a number of things: graphics were sorely outdated (like early PS2 era), the controls were spotty and sometimes simply refused to work, there were a number of unusual exploits that all but broke the game such as being able to shoot through doors (not the intention of the developers I assure you). I actually rage-quitted this game once before coming back in a month to finally complete it. The story of this blog has everything to do with the reason I came back at all.

The Girl and the Robot is actually a very well told fairy tale about a girl in distress, and a robot knight who goes to her aid. That is why I kept playing. I loved the chivalry theme of it. And when you look at this game for the story, it is so desperately trying to tell you, through all its glitches and bad game play, that there really is something there. There is a beautiful story about male and female. The fact that the knight was a man of metal didn't seem to change that for me.

Throughout this game, you have to manage both the robot and the girl. The robot is strong and can fight. He is her protector. He is her knight. His honor is based on his ability to see her through to the end of the game.

The girl's role is to help out as much as she can (pulling levers, ect.) and to provide him with comfort when he has been through great trials for her. (The latter is used as a healing mechanic for the robot knight. The girl can be killed in one hit therefore healing is not important for her.)

The relationship between the girl and her robot knight is what made this game interesting to me. Not fun, mind you. Just very, very interesting. Enough for me to come back and finish the damn thing. I loved how the two were working together. I loved how she seemed to fall in love with her much larger robot knight. I loved how he would bow to her. Take her upon his shoulders. Do whatever he needed to do to keep her safe. It was beautiful despite the dated graphics.

I freaking love stuff like this. I go out of my way to experience stories like this when I see them. We need more stories about male chivalry because there isn't much of it in our world anymore. There was a time when stuff like this was common. Sad.

Now, I do not recommend this game despite enjoying it, and here is the big reason why: It is not finished and it never will be. The girl and the robot are up against a very awesome evil witch. I'm not joking. She is a great villainess and also quite hot. But damn if the game suddenly ends on a cliffhanger with it looking like the girl is doomed. There was no mention of this in the game's description. It honestly felt like they gave up, ended it, and shipped the unfinished product to the stores. I don't think they will ever continue the story which is very sad. At best, you can look up video of the game on YouTube to see some of the interactions between girl and robot, but I don't recommend spending actual money on this game in its present condition.

But let this final point sink in: I loved the theme of the girl and the knight. They did good there. And I won't soon forget the time I spent with them. If they ever finish and/or polish the game up, I'll be happy to go back to it.

Thank you for reading my blog! Did you enjoy it? Either way, you can comment below, or you can email me at You can also visit my website at Check out my books! Thanks!

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Hot, Cold, and Lukewarm

It has come to my attention, as well as to my undying surprise, that the hot, cold, lukewarm passage from the Bible has apparently baffled people for as long as I can remember. Organized religion does not seem to understand what it all means. Let me first give you the quote as a refresher:

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
~Revelations 3:15-16

These two verses are here to lay the foundation of what is respected by God and what is not respected by God. God, like many of us, is bored easily. He likes movies with action in it. He does not like boring stuff. And you can imagine that some people in this world are more interesting to him than others. But I really just wanted to lay the truth of this on the line in perfectly simple terms. You can then interpret it however you like. I know you will.

1. What is Hot?

Hot means that you are fired up for a cause. You are a driving force for something with such fervor that nothing can stop you. A hero who stands against a force of villainy is a good example of Hot. Someone who fights for something they believe in with all of their strength could be considered Hot. Hot is never lazy. Hot never quits. Hot inspires the masses to follow them. They are the naturally born leaders of this world. God absolutely loves Hot.

2. What is Cold?

Cold is someone who has grown tired of the mediocrity of the world. They have cast aside good morals to fix that which they believe to be broken. They may make alliances with evil things to drive a path to a new goal. Cold are the mastermind villains of this world. They are the people we cannot help but see for their evil, for they have become so large. We fear them for their might and wish to fight against them, for they have become much too powerful. But God sees that they have given themselves so greatly to their own descent. They're hatred is as strong as their love for what once was, and they have decided to do something about it. According to the Bible, God respects someone who is Cold. After all, everyone enjoys a powerful villain.

3. What is Lukewarm?

Lukewarm is someone who never tries too hard to achieve anything great. They walk the line. They stay in the middle. When given two votes, they vote one way on one and another way on the other. Lukewarm does not have a particular direction and really is not going anywhere. Lukewarm are the cynical. Lukewarm are the lazy. Lukewarm are the vast majority of planet Earth. God finds the Lukewarm to be boring. He barely even acknowledges their existence. God despises the Lukewarm.


In all of our history, we can only account for a very few Hot and Colds. Great heroes and villains are rare. But when they rise up, you can be sure that God is watching. He grins at their acts, and enjoys the trouble and chaos they cause. It is utterly exciting. As for everyone else--the Lukewarm--God isn't interested. Why should he be? What have they ever done to prove they deserve the attention? If you're going to do something, go all out! Be known for either good or evil! But for the love of God, GO ALL OUT! Because at the end of all this, it is only they who shall wear the golden crowns in Heaven!

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Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Ideological Possession

I recently learned that there is a term called "ideological possession" which is wonderfully self explanatory. Still, I will explain it as the concept where a person is literally overtaken by an idea that is not their own. And I love the fact that they use the word possession there which somewhat dovetails into the occult.

This is something I see a lot. I kind of talked about it in a recent blog called "Your Own Thoughts," where I was trying to promote the important concept that all your thoughts belong to you and not someone else. And this can be easily done by simply NOT just believing everything you hear and doing a tiny bit of research to discover for yourself what you actually believe.

A lot of "not yours" ideas come from the group-think of the more tribal aspect of the human race. When groups of people find themselves in a relatively safe situation, the whimsy and imagination that humans have naturally will begin to create fiction. This fiction may also turn into an ideal which can either be believed or dismissed.

Ideological possession happens when you allow these thoughts that are not your own to override your own thoughts. You begin living your life as if those ideals are your own. Who you actually are gets utterly buried until these possessing ideals can be exercised.

How many times have you watched someone on TV give an opinion, and you felt compelled to just believe it only because someone on TV said it? Even I have had that impulse. We want to believe that people in high places know what they are talking about. Maybe some of them do, but how in the world do you know that?

I think it is far better to make decisions based on your own reasoning. Listen to what people have to say, but then test those ideals in your own time along side your own personal (even perhaps flawed) common sense. You may end up wrong, but at the very least you won't be subject to ideals that are not your own.

And let me say one more thing on this point. Despite how bad people may make you feel when you assume things... or get things wrong, there is no sin in either of those things. Having someone assume something about you may be frustrating, but this is a normal human process that happens whether we like it or not. And to be wrong is hardly a crime. It just means we have something to adapt to. Don't worry about it. If anyone accuses you of wrongness, ask them to list out the times they were wrong. I guarantee you that they won't even remember a small percent of the times.

Do your best, with the faculties you have, to vet things in your own time. Don't worry about being wrong. Try your best, and be prepared to adapt if necessary. But do not, DO NOT, take the easy path and just believe something because someone else or a group said so. Be your own person. Do not succumb to the lukewarm existence of ideological possession.

Thank you for reading my blog! Did you enjoy it? Either way, you can comment below, or you can email me at You can also visit my website at Check out my books! Thanks!

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Disney vs. Warner Brothers

This is a blog about the old cartoon shorts. Ever since I got a subscription to the Boomerang streaming service, I have become very thoughtful about the contrast between how Disney did short subject cartoons and how Warner Brothers did them. There are some fascinating differences of how anthropomorphic characters are presented to us between the two companies. Let's start with Disney.

I grew up with Disney cartoons far more than with Warner Brothers, which I saw more of later. I remember that there was an absolutely wonderful show that used to air on the Disney Channel called "Mousesterpiece Theater" where George Plimpton would give some very interesting insights into the various cartoon shorts he would present.

One thing George brought up was a fascinating look at the character Goofy. He tried to dissuade us from looking at him as a dog... but more as an every-man. Goofy is no different than the average Joe walking down the sidewalk at any given time. And in many of his cartoons, this seems to be a fair explanation of who he really was. He was just an average guy!

But I would like to take that observation a little bit further. I would kindly ask that none of you allow yourselves to be fooled as to the species identity of the other mainstay characters. Mickey was never really a mouse. Donald was never really a duck. No. These characters only looked like animals. In reality, they were all really just human beings in disguise.

Yes, there are exceptions to this rule. Pluto really is a dog. Chip and Dale really are chipmunks. But Mickey, Donald, Goofy, and all the other more anthropomorphized characters are really just humans. You will never find Micky Mouse eating cheese because he is not really a mouse. You will never see Donald Duck flying because he is not really a duck. You will never see Goofy (in the old cartoons) playing fetch because he is not really a dog. They are all human. They drive cars. They live in houses. They are simply human.

The Disney shorts were full of mischief and one side trying to best the antagonist somehow. Sometimes things got heated, but it never got too violent or gruesome. Just enough calamity to lead to a number of funny sight gags.

And this is where we come to the stark contrast of Warner Brothers. What did we get from them? A slue of characters all trying desperately hard to brutally murder one another with all the weapons in the book. Guns. Grenades. Dynamite. Fists. Tossing someone off of a cliff. Everyone was trying to kill each other. There are hours and hours of this. One brutal murder attempt after another. It just never stopped!

The reason this happened was because all the characters were what they looked like. Bugs Bunny was really a rabbit. Daffy Duck really was a duck. Like real rabbits and ducks, they were to be hunted. But it was not just hunting scenarios; sometimes attempted murder just happened because of matters of revenge or hate. Sometimes it was simply a matter of survival. Sometimes the murder was even successful which would lead to seeing the murdered character with a halo over their head.

Now keep in mind that I am referring to the old cartoons. Warner Brothers did try making their animal characters more human in the extremely wonderful and poignant "Loony Tunes Show." But back in the day, they were just animals and humans trying to murder each other because it just seemed to be the natural order of things. And you know what? I liked it. And I still like it. I enjoyed the unrestrained viciousness and violence. It was delivered to us in a semi-safe place because they were cartoon characters who had a knack for surviving point blank shotgun blasts to the face.

These cartoons were very good and fun to watch. And I will always love how especially devious Daffy Duck was. He would easily sell his soul to get Bugs Bunny shot if it meant his personal well-being was protected.

In my opinion, I consider the Warner Brothers cartoons to be far superior to Disney's for simply being so incredibly libertine. They went for the violence and went for it hard. I loved them when I was little and I still live them now. I wish that we still to this day had such wonderful violence in cartoons. Besides... how will Elmer Fudd ever get that Duck dinner he's been wanting for over 50 years?

Thank you for reading my blog! Did you enjoy it? Either way, you can comment below, or you can email me at You can also visit my website at Check out my books! Thanks!