Friday, July 1, 2016

Game Theory What if Link is a Clone

Link Artwork 
(6/29/16) --- This is a what if? I had this idea at first when I was playing Skyward Sword a few months ago and within Lanayru the dragon sequence, where he gives a nickname to Link - "That's not much of a name, is it? How about I add a model number to your name like my friends have got? LD-Link-16...? (Skyward Sword). I thought about the idea that Link could be just another product of technology but also it could be a reference to the number of game Skyward Sword was.

It's easy to understand that the robots and the time-stones are common technology in that zone on the different time periods; and talking about real life is really a common practice to give an alphanumeric code to machines but what if at the end instead of an eternal cycle of reincarnation placed by a curse "Link as we know it is a mere clone?" is not strange to think about it.

Why Lanayru gave that number to Link? The 16th, it could be a mere random number, but also it could be the code that is linked to the production of soldiers that are need it to bring peace and act as conduits or catharsis agents that everything is going to be OK in case of crisis but also in case the lands needs a savior. How Many Links could had been before the Sky Era? And who was the original bearer of the name?

There are different points to substance the idea that the Link we had been playing is just a series of clones on different stages, and is breed in order to keep the peace within the kingdom rather than being a random event given by the Demise Curse (SkyWard Sword – Demise)

Great Deku Tree
The first piece of information we can find is that Link never had parents or the parents died, he has relatives or guardians, which they barely express any real familial relations by blood besides some vague implications – such as an uncle or a “grandmother” – (A Link to the Past – Link’s Uncle) in the case of Ocarina of Time we have the mother of Link running away from a war to “protect” the child from the Hyrulian Civil War (Ocarina of Time – Link’s Mother) and giving him to the Great Deku Tree.

Why to give the child to a deity? Did she know the child held certain power that could bring peace to Hyrule once Link was an adult or at least old enough to handle it? The idea of protecting the one who will bring peace is not strange as it has been explored in the Superman mythos, but also it gives the idea that probably that Link existence was bounded to the Shrine of Resurrection (Breath of the Wild – Shrine of Resurrection) 

Then we have the case in the Wind Waker of Aryll (Wind Waker – Aryll) while it gives an idea that she could be related to link by blood, there is no proof on the game that she and Link are related by genetics but rather that both were adopted by their grandmother; and that the Tower of the Gods (Wind Waker – Tower of the Gods) have a particular pattern that is found on the Shrine of Resurrection, which the color blue reflects the technology that is used and even it could be the Tower of the Gods the place where Link could had woken up after the flooding that gave birth to the Great Sea.

Gohdan in the Tower of the Gods
If we continue with other guardians, we have Link’s Uncle on A Link to the Past, Rusl on the Twilight Princess and even the Smith on the Minish Cap (which the relationship that he has with Link is never clear if is his nephew or grandson) but all of them fulfill the roles of guardians of the hero of the different ages.

The second piece of information, it seems to be no matter what the magic in Hyrule seems to be related to technology, such as the time stones, the Ancient Robots, the tunics which resemble mostly suits to survive heavy environments, the ability to time travel back and forth and etcetera, it's also interesting to see that in theory the past timeline before the Sky Era could be a more advanced time than the dystopic present that Hyrule is living on all the timelines, which resembles the middle ages.

Shrine of Resurection
The biggest clue that Link could be just a clone, of the original that lived many centuries before comes within the mysterious Shrine of Resurrection but as well the sequences in Twilight Princess which that Link interacts with the Hero of Time in order to learn the techniques that he already learned. It is strange to think that within the resurrection process, the idea of the newest Link interacting with a memory of the previous could serve as a catalyst to learn the techniques.

During reincarnation cycle according to Buddhism we inherit the spiritual traits and not physical we can see this concept explored on Avatar: The Last Airbender and the Legend of Kora in which the different reincarnations of the avatar share nothing physical in common while Link during the different incarnations seems to be much of the same person but adapted to different eras. What if the Link that we mentioned before in Skyward was as Lanayru just a mere clone? The sixteen clone already made and the project continued for eons in order that a "hero" would be there to bring stability.

The Hero's Chosen by the Gods and Time
The Hero Spirit seems to be another indicator that Link can't reproduce as to be infertile as he references to Link of Twilight as his "son" even if the Hero of Time never left anyone to teach his movements and skills; but, with the Shine of Resurrection there could be hints that the Sheika's were more skilled in the use of magic and artifacts but also into technology.

Maybe some of the Links reflect certain independence beyond their role as a hero, They develop aspirations beyond being mere tools of the Royal Family and when they die they realize their existence was probably just as empty as it was saving Hyrule; but hey, at the end this is just a game theory and nothing to be taken seriously.


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Monday, June 20, 2016

Gaming Theory How Cia Could Had Manipulated Time in Order to Get Link

Intro Screen
(6/15/2016) --- Wouldn't be awesome if there's a spin-off of The Legend of Zelda that would span different titles? But without suffering the same effect as Final Fantasy, as the so many titles and sequels it have by 2016.

The wonderful solution is already here and the games are in the market, Hyrule Warriors and the 3DS port are such a fantastic set of games with an unique perspective into the mythos of Hyrule, and how time travel has influenced the different time-lines (We are going to talk how time manipulation as an unifying theory on the next entry)

The Hyrule Warriors has a potential to be exploited without turning into tropes or cliches, about that the ultimate end is to kill all the monsters in order to achieve the highest score per scenario. What is fantastic about the game is that brings' characters from different timelines into one scenario, in which it gives an explanation how Ganondorf powers function towards his resurrection; but also it needs to be expanded how Link or whoever broke Ganondorf in four pieces was able to do it.

The mechanics of the game could simply put to rest several theories on how the different timelines converge together, how time as an element in the narrative plays an important part in the development of the different incarnations of the Hero.

Why time as an element is such an important aspect of not only Hyrule Warriors but also Hyrule Fantasy? The answer is simple, the character Cia is the embodiment of the Goddess of Time; she is there as time flows, she is a guardian and can't interfere with the lives of the people, but she gained emotions and those emotions where used by Ganondorf in order to achieve his resurrection.

In a principle of uncertainty, Cia and Lana could be one of the most powerful beings in the entire multiverse of Hyrule by simple analysis that she and her as one being well given the task of guarding the balance of the Triforce (Zeldawiki- Cia) and the Triforce itself being the most powerful artifact of the universe as well the different timelines make Cia/Lana a force similar as Hylia and the Three Goddesses.

The two of them been one being gives an idea of how powerful they/her is if they were fused as one. Cia's offensive skills mixed with Lana's give someone as powerful as Zelda herself. Imagine how much the two are similar as Zelda, Lana can conjure gates and barriers - similar as the ones on Skyward Sword, Cia can manipulate elements which also Zelda in the game is capable of by being the reincarnation of a Goddess.

Now that it was mentioned; Lana, Zelda and Cia all of the three share similar characteristics and all of them share a connection with the Gate of Souls or the Gate of Time as is widely known. Zelda had used a similar ability to tap into time in Ocarina of Time and Lana (Cia could use it as they are the same being split into two) use the move in order to bring enemies from different eras whith her Gate of Soul skill.

It leaves a theory to interpretation on how Lana/Cia are connected to the Hyrule Royal Family of the different era's and if any of the Zelda is aware of the existence of the entity that protects the Triforce as well time itself. Hyrule Warriors could be easily be incorporated into the main chronology as expanded explanation of the Imprisoning War (Zelda.Wikia - Imprisoning War).

Overall, there is one element as is just a theory "What if Cia as a power that be would be the main cause on the divergence of the timeline? and has assisted Link into his resurrection over centuries but also has become the cause on why Zelda and Ganondorf are also chained to the cycle of reincarnation".

Let's explain the theory, Cia and Lana are atemporal beings, guardians of the Triforce as well guardians of the Time Gates. Assuming that in a canon-event Cia as well Lana exist also; maybe, Cia as one being who hasn't split in half has watched and keep watching Link, the heroic hero dying over and over, she as a power that can influence the events break her role as a guardian. She is bounded by the blood of Hylia who becomes the matriarch of the Hyrule Royal Family.

Being bounded by Hylia and existing outside the timelines, Cia could had developed some emotions towards her role and created an idyllic scenario but never felt tempted to pursue anything directly. As the Royal Family main weapon is not the Triforce itself but rather the use of time, we need to analyze that the Ocarina (Zelda Wiki - Ocarina) is probably the most important tool in the games as it let the users who have magic potential to travel around time but only those with the blood of the Goddess are able to achieve the impossible such as Zelda on Ocarina sending Link back to relief his childhood and creating a paradox.

A paradox that Cia took advantage, but the point we have to look is probably when her heart started to get corrupted and probably her mind was taken over and that was after the events of A Link to the Past where the already corrupted Ganondorf transformed into Ganon and was defeated by the first Link of the Downfall period. After the events, the essence of the demon wasn't fully vanquished and took his own power to access the atemporal space, the nexus of all reality that is connected to the Triforce and beyond, the place that is known as the Temple of Souls (Zelda.Wikia -Temple of Souls).

Temple of Souls
There he took over Cia's emotion and manipulated her to use the Triforce to not only recover his soul fragment but also to alter history at his own benefit. Knowing Cia's weakness, he just exploited it and granted her more power, not only to ensure his survival but also to let him be present on almost every single timeline and thus making him an eternal being.

Cia saw the opportunity to escape her duties but also from the corruption her good side emerged and tried to be free but on a subconcious level she was still attracted to Link albeit not on an obsessive level as her evil counterpart. In a certain way Cia got Link but she got more than that, she got some of her freedom and the ability to see the world beyond her boundaries.

King Dodongo
The game itself looks similar as Dynasty Warriors (Wikipedia - Dynasty Warriors) as it follows a tactical approach of different fractions in order to achieve conquest but there are hints of Super Smash Brothers, the reason is that if gather different characters of one franchise and set them to fight for survival in a common scenario.

As an idea the game has worked and could be expanded a little bit further than one port and one stand alone game but also some elements such as Cia/Lana could be added into the main story and tell more about what is Hyrule and the legends of the lands.

Thank you  for reading me.



Tuesday, June 14, 2016

What I love about USA

There will be always love no matter what
(6/13/2016) --- I can't sleep or focus at this moment, it makes me think about escaping violence to keep finding it; I am writing this after a friend of mine suggested to write something positive (Angela, thank you) after so many negative events.

I was born in a society that didn't valued individuality, it was much of the enviroment I grew up in. I value a lot that I can be an individual here in the country but at the same time I hate being punished by who I am, that there are no laws that protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation and identity.

It is a sad scenario but is a reality it needs to change; what I love about being here is that I can express my free speech, I can write, I can enjoy my life --- yet, I still fear, we still fear. We shouldn't fear, we shouldn't fear a radical dogmatism (call it whatever you want to call it, but violence through religion is still violence regarding if you are Christian, Jew, Muslim or whatever), there is a liberty, a beautiful liberty that is not seen anywhere else and I love that. I do not want to live with the fear I was living in Colombia.

I love to pass by and see different people, talk with everyone. I love to go to the grocery store, to the electronic store and see a different scenario what I saw growing in Cartagena, I love to see people of different creed and origins. I love having friends vastly differently from my own self, I love going and sit in a coffee store without fear of the organized crime. I love just enjoying some peace and tranquility and I know people enjoy that too, some peace and tranquility.

There are so many aspects I do enjoy about living here, I do not want anyone to live in fear or to live knowing that there are people hating them, There are many things I enjoy besides food, I love going to a theme park and spend my day doing nothing, I love going on road trips and knowing the roads are safe. I love road trips a lot even if they are just to Orlando - which is not far away -, and go to Universal and to any event in that city, even to Saint Petersburg which is the closest city.

I know there is not a perfect road on the struggles of getting a better life, that the system is neither perfect; there are always going to be struggles to get equality done, not only for the community but for everyone who is being diminished as a second class citizens.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

No More Closets but Equality as all are Humans and we will share the Same Soil when we Die

Boise, Idaho Statehouse
(6/8/2016) --- It is Pride Month, and is also another year. Little by little we as a society had progressed and the world is evolving also. Never in my lifetime I imagine that marriage equality would pass, that the first African-American President will go through and be re-elected - that I was able to vote for him, only once, but it was meaningful as I had to wait almost 7 years to vote again -, 

The importance of freedom is you can live your life in an honest way by respecting the margin of the law and there will be consequences (but that is a rule in life); but also no one deserves to be punished or shunned for living their own life the way they are.

There should be more understanding and acceptance towards parents as well legal guardians, that not everyone is straight and won't fit in the hetero normative. There should be more tolerance from parents into not shunning their children for saying it "disrespects their religious beliefs" or "what would our friends would think about you?" Parents shouldn't even care what their social groups would think, people can go an eat shit if they disrespect someone you call family.

Another problem is that within the Republican Party or better say the Tea Party majority (with some hints of the Constitution Party as there are plenty of relations to different conservative denominations), are focused on denying the rights of the LGBT's as well several conservative sectors which had implemented a war against transgender individuals and their uses of public facilities, by calling them rapists to anything imaginable. To think that within the next election cycle all these rights that we had earned over the decades can be taken away is something that we as a community we cannot allow to become third rate citizens.

As with families, companies shouldn't discriminate to their employees based on sexual and gender identities. It is a common scenario that makes many people quit their jobs because of the harassment from co-workers and managers. I am not adding any links or statistics because you will be able to find them really easy on Google or any other search engine; and I am just in the need to ventilate at this moment.

Even with all these big victories over the last year, yet the idea of losing everything doesn't seem strange because of the division on the voters and how they are not seeing the further extent of the panorama which a schism can bring. That's why I say "no more closets, but equality as all are humans and we will share the same soil when we die"

Monday, June 6, 2016

Life is Strange Sacrificing Love or Everyone Else with the Trolley Problem

Tornado over Arcadia Bay
(6/5/2016) --- There is no doubt that Life is Strange (1) is one of the best games released on the eight generation of home consoles (2) but also in terms of narrative the game it offers the possibility of multiple ending and time travels on different and alternative realities.

The game itself offers a very awesome and imersive experience on the world of Max Caulfield as when she discovers her newly found powers after a "premonition" or a possible timeline where she couldn't save Arcadia Bay or Chloe and went back in time to re-do any possible mistakes.

On this entry we are going to focus on the last episode of the game, Episode Five - Polarized which the main decision is to save Arcadia Bay or to save Chloe in order to fix the timeline paradoxes created; it also brings an ethical problem that many people know as The Trolley Problem (3) in which one individual is faced with a decision to kill one man or to kill five just in exchange of saving the other one, by moving the path of a trolley.

Forced Choice Decision Making
What to do within this ethical dilemma? As during Max's trip she is always trying to make the right things but there is a shadow of doubt when realities collapsed and she is confronted by one of her alternative self's on the Two-Whale Dine In as Max being a selfish person who is doing all that for her own personal benefits and probably trying to find justification on her attraction to Chloe even just by ignoring the abuses (Dr. M. Carver 4).

It is open to interpretation what the "alternative Max" was saying to the prime Max as if really Chloe was just being an abuser and Max was being the victim, probably it was a way of the other Max to prevent the prime one to continue suffering because of the fate of woman she loved, which involves dying on almost every single possible way in each episode, much by negligence or by "acts of God" and Max being there just to save her from her probable inevitable fate.

Chloe Facing that She Can't Escape Death
Even Chloe inside the game knows she can't delay it, but at the end is Max who chose what to do. This same scenario is involved in the aforementioned Trolley Problem but here there is only one variation which is the classical sense of the problem, Chloe versus the entire town. Albeit this is just a modification of the original problem.

What would you do? The forced choice decision making it's seen on a real life basis, it can go on many different scenarios. On some cases is to come out of the closet and to face rejection of the family, or to don't do anything and probably live a life of self-hating, depression and even suicide. The setup of Life is Strange it takes that dilemma into a more fantastic scenario but that Trolley Problem is actually really common and it doesn't involve death on much of the occasions but just being aware that the decisions you take as a person will follow you for the rest of your life and there aren't second chances.

Dead Follows Everyone
More than being a theory inside the game is followed with humor, the idea of the Trolley is followed and probably lampooned on Chapter Two where Max has to save Chloe from being killed by a train in which if the player doesn't react properly, Chloe will be killed a lot, more than usual but there is no way on that point of the game to let her die as it wouldn't be as dramatic as the last moment of the game.

What if in real life we are presented with a similar scenario? The person you loved stuck in a train track or in a similar setting? This would open a new variant of the Trolley Problem in which is not about a discriminating issue in order to kill the least desirable individual based on physical appearance or because the person goes against your beliefs and even so the good that person has caused to humanity. Would you sacrifice the lives of hundreds or thousands? Just to be with the person you love?. I would.

The End is Near
I didn't hesitated when I had the moment to chose towards my personal freedom or sacrificing who I am, even if the consequences were going to be finals. I feel there is a parallelism between Max and Chloe and my own self. I know is not only with me but many LGBTQ felt related to Max trying to navigate into a reality to be with the person she loves. There is no doubt what many decision people took and is never the most easiest one but at the end is the one that will let you grow.



Sunday, June 5, 2016

The Simpsons and the Evolution of Video Games Part One

The arcade game promotional material
(6/3/2016) --- There is no doubt that The Simpsons (1) is an iconic item on the history of Americana contemporary culture, the show had influenced pop culture due way the episodes are written and the hidden message that are related to mathemathics, physics, biology, contemporary events and popular trends.

The show has marked a hit and is impossible not do deny that; but on the other side of the franchise, The Simpsons games haven't done as memorable as the show itself. The first game of the series was "The Simpson's Arcade Game (2)" and it was actually quite well received because it gave the viewers for the first time a glimpse into play of The Springfield they saw on the television.

The Arcade game was eventually ported into DOS as well into the Nintendo System, Commodore 64 and almost 25 years later was ported into the iOS for a short period of time; it offered some minor variations between the different consoles that where available of the day but it kept the same essence.

As the game was developed before the producers thought the show was going to become a full fledged series, the hinted some degrees of separation of Matt Groening previous work of Life in Hell (Groening 1977-2012) by adding as an Easter Egg of Marge having rabbit ears below her hair and only visible when electrocuted. The platform side-scrolling game was later emulated on third generation consoles (4).

It wasn't going to be until six years later with the use of the McIntosh and Windows systems that would let the player explore in a pseudo 3D enviroment the grounds of Springfield with Virtual Springfield (5) but it wasn't until 2001 that The Simpson's would finally experience their first immerse 3D enviroment game with The Simpson's Bowling(6) and later the idea of 3D was explored with the Wrestling game which was panned by critics as well much of the fifth and sixth generation games with probably the only exception of Hit and Run which offered an interactive storytelling and the ability to travel around Springfield more engagingly.

GBA Road Rage
Road Rage could be one of the best examples on why so many the franchise games are plagued with problems on a critical and commercial level, is true we have to consider that the last game in a console was on 2007 which was The Simpsons Game, the same game based on the movie which didn't looked too much like the movie.

Road Rage was probably one of the best examples as the gameplay copied another franchise Crazy Taxi and only applied the concepts into the game settings. The overall problem with Road Rage is that it doesn't have a solid story-line, it is just weak and it sets the characters into a a map where they are trying to buy back from Mr. Burns radioactive buses; why they want to buy some buses that are impossible to be reused again? Who knows? All of this at the end is solved as Kang and Kodos playing a game and the entire game is just a piece of meta-fictionalized Springfield that can be situated on a strange Halloween non-canon episode.

The Simpsons Game
The Simpsons Game probably in terms of story telling is one of the worse (7) as it varies to different extremes on what consoles is played, one example is by lacking of hubs and a concrete story line. The Xbox and PS3 versions varie differently from the Nintendo, even the Nintendo versions vary among themselves as the Wii version doesn't look similar or shares anything in common with the DS version.

Is the lack of cohesion that places' the franchise games into an absolute oblivion because after the year 2007. The handheld games haven't been free of critiques but also they had seem to be stuck for a little bit longer, one example is Tapped Out which was made to capitalize the popularity of the freemius games (8), yes they aren't free and that's been a point of the stagnant grow of Tapped Out as well clones such as Quest for Stuff (Cary, 2014).

Tapped Out has offered some innovations, at least partial ones; the game had offered some nods to the series and had introduced minor characters first into the game as well story's but the game dynamics are short and don't offer anything new with the exception of some seasonal events. There is nothing much to expect of a freemium game itself, albeit it's fun to see how the game links episodes to events.

The evolution of The Simpson's video games is extremely similar to the show, it follows mostly the current trends but at the moment it don't follow any of the current consoles but it has developed a solid fanbase with Tapped Out. The problem with the consoles as it was mentioned it's the lack of immersing enviroment and lackluster sales, plus there are no news about any new consoles game with the exception of a DLC content on LEGO Dimensions (Barker, 2015) that expands a level into a Springfield.

Whenever with the new consoles by 2017 will bring new games with the yellow family, is difficult to know. There are no sources of information about any upcoming games at all but the future is always quite bright, because if developers and writers of the show take a more interactive and maybe episodic approach a la Life is Strange, it could bring the popularity of the games back.



Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Indie Game Review The Stanley Parable

Office 427
(6/1/2016) --- What an amazing, delightful, little game which leaves interpretation of the reality and as well Stanley's world in an open way. The questions about the game is who is Stanley? Where is Stanley? And where everyone went?

The game itself without too much fanfare offer a deep immersion on the psychological in the psyche of an individual but also it exposes the idea of a decision-theoretic scenario in which the player has to confront multiple realities in which Stanley seems to be trapped in or in a lesser case scenario multiple versions of Stanley.

The Meeting Room
The game is set in a fictional corporate enviroment, in which the player controls the eponymous character named Stanley and besides the player there is the omniscient and probably omnipotent Narrator, which he seems to know more about Stanley and where he is, and controlling much of the dynamics that happen around Stanley i.e. controlling doors or giving Stanley advice.

At seem everything seems to be just pretty straightforward if the player follows the narrator advice into reaching an end in which Stanley can escape; in reality there is no set reality, there is a definitive place where Stanley is or who he is, besides being a suffered soul who lost track of himself.

There is no right or wrong but only death as the ultimate companion to Stanley, leaving him on a semi-state of being trapped in a Limbo, a Purgatory where he must be absolved of his own sins before moving out to the next stage in the "afterlife" but also in a more sadistic way the entire office could  be a Terseract in which Stanley is just a part of a bigger experiment in which his death or multiple ones mean absolutely nothing.

Being trapped in a nightmare where you are destined to repeat the same cycle over and over in an infinite loop, leaves the idea that probably Stanley in reality is just in denial about his own existence because he has no happiness as he is trapped on a job with no chances of getting a promotion, a loveless marriage or maybe the desire of having one, no friends and no life outside his work. Much as it happens with people in the real world.

The Lounge
The game is actually quite easy to play and highly entertaining considering the minimalistic approach on the story and gameplay because there are no needs to use different controllers, just the arrows and the mouse. The different surreal scenarios as well the voice of the Narrator (who is played by Kevan Brighting) gives the game a very unique atmosphere in which it takes the form more of a visual novel a la Make your Own Adventure.

Freedom Ending
It is difficult to find something negative about this game, even after almost five years of the original mod release. The game itself plays with suspense and clinical psychology very well that is almost impossible to know or imagine what is the reality that we are playing? Who is the Narrator and what Stanley is really experimenting much as if "his" adventure was just a mere hallucination.

On a point where reality is just twisted and the Narrator suddenly cease to exist and in a moment seems to be more than one, where a woman takes the lead over the male on when the Museum ending shows that probably Stanley is just a man who lost every grip with reality but at the end who knows as the game doesn't offer too many hints about what state of reality Stanley is living in.

The game is totally worth buying it, If you have Steam please click here and buy the game, it's a really nice different experience and it's always nice to support independent developers.

Thank you for reading my blog.