Handheld Hits – Final Fantasy Explorers, Part 1

   

By Joshie Jaxon 

Greetings, geek fans! It occurred to me that with all the post categories we have, we didn’t have one dedicated to handheld gaming. From the original Gameboy to the PSP and 3DS, there is a rich vein of material to tap. Granted, I haven’t been heavy on gaming posts so far, which is something I’m hoping to change. Although they don’t offer nearly the inappropriate humor that old cartoons do. I haven’t been too involved in my consoles, but I’ve been able to carve out time for handhelds during these busy times in Joshie world. With that being said, I decided to start with a more recent game, rather than our usual retro style posts. However, as you can tell from the title, I decided to start with a series that has a great history, rather than some new series. Let the geeks begin! 

First order of business, you’ve gotta create your avatar. Name, gender, and skin tone are a given. You get to select your voice as well. Though it isn’t as though there’s a lot of dialogue for your character to speak. It’s more Link level shouting, grunts, etc. Then there are several facial options. Stop it! As well as selecting your eye color. You also get to choose your hairstyle, and color. I went with pink eyes and purple hair, cause that’s just how I roll. 

  

The game starts with your character in a cave, with a giant eidolon behind you. You’re prompted to run, as that is Bahamut, and you’re nowhere near ready to fight him yet. After escape you’re brought to the hub town of Libertas. The NPCs establish that you’re a freelance warrior, and in order to get a license, you have a complete a few tasks first. There’s a character named Cid, this is a Final Fantasy game after all. He tells you to talk to the woman in charge of quests, which starts you off on the tutorial quests that will give you the basics of the battle mechanic of the game. You can just slash your way through most of them, but as you continue, you’re able to forge abilities, techniques, and magics. Sub-Quest will open up as well, allowing you to earn extra rewards for meeting the conditions. Main quests are handled one at a time, while you can have multiple subs going at once. Accepting quests in either category costs Gil, but you more than make up for it by the time the quest is completed.

  

In Libertas there’s a fortune teller, shop, and workshop. You’ll be able to spend your Gil on weapons, armor, upgrades, and items. There’s also an airship, but you aren’t allowed access to it until you’ve competed a quest to earn the right. A Final Fantasy game wouldn’t be complete without Moogles, and there’s a Moogle shop in town as well. There’s a migrant Moogle merchant that I just adore, since any excuse to use alliteration makes me mildly merry. The Moogle shop items change, and they warn you that if you see something you like, get it right away. So far I’ve only seen basic items. The fanciest thing I’ve seen him stock so far was a Phoenix down. I’m hoping the goods will improve as I progress further. Another of the town’s features is a monster lab. I just gained access to it, so I’m still learning. The gist is that on your quests, as you defeat monsters, you can obtain their essence. If you take that essence to the monster lab, they can create a friendly version of the monster that you can then take with you as a party member. So far, I’ve made two. 

   

I’m still struggling to get the plot of the game, as I’m used to the numbered entries like VII, VIII, and IX, where everything you do is to advance the plot. This seems more like monster hunting quests with a plot kind of woven into it. Granted, the crystal element isn’t exactly new to any Final Fantasy series. There are crystals throughout the world, and people appear to be fighting over them. There’s a main crystal in Libertas which is where you can spend your crystal points (CP) to create and improve your abilities. There’s a job system in place, but only a few of them are initially available. Currently, I’m a knight, as I like using swords, and slashing at the bad guys, er, monsters. There’s Streetpass enabled for FF EX, which allows you to exchange your license with the people you pass. It shows your current stats, as well as your role you play, as far as Damager, Tank, Healer… There’s another quest counter where you can get/give quests for Streetpass people to help with. I have yet to pass anyone with the game yet. 

   

I know there are 12 Eidolons and 11 classic Final Fantasy characters that will eventually come into play. I’m only a few hours in, so I haven’t encountered them. I’ll need to either write a new post as I get further in, or I’ll update this one. I haven’t decided yet. Until next time, stay geeky, and keep gabbing! 

  
**Update – Part 2 in now available 

https://gaygeekgab.com/2016/03/31/handheld-hits-final-fantasy-explorers-part-2/

Salt Lake Comic Con – Celebrity Encounters

  

By Joshie Jaxon 

Greetings, geek fans! I just had what may be my one and only day at this year’s con, but it was amazing! I’ll break things into two posts, because I took a lot of pictures. 

For starters, I rode to the event via a bike service, dressed as a minion. He was, not me. I was dressed in my authentic Animaniacs shirt from back when the show was new. There was a Tardis in front of the Salt Palace and that was just the beginning of the good times. 

There were so many people that I got a tad claustrophobic, but it passed. There were so many nerd vibes in the air that the oxygen of my people kicked in and I was good to go. I took my initial lap through Artist Alley, examining the potential prints I could splurge on. Side note, if anyone ever wanted to get me anything, Loki art isn’t a bad way to go. Another side note, my birthday is in two months. Anyhow, I went to see Lance Conrad, fellow author and friend. We were neighbors at Fantasy Con last year. I got his latest book, and wished him well at the con. As a professional courtesy, here’s a link to his Amazon page. It’s good stuff. 

http://www.amazon.com/Lance-Conrad/e/B00IVZJHHI 

One sighting down, several more to go.
  

Next I went wandering through the celebrity area. There was no way I was getting anywhere near the Weasley twins, so I kept wandering. I was saddened to see that the Winter Bucky and Maleficent weren’t there, but I did get to see Aisha (Karan Ashley) and Jason (Austin St John) of Power Rangers fame. She commented on my shirt, and that she’d met the voice actors before, but didn’t know it was them at the time. We had a moment, and she was super nice. That moment was nothing compared to the next. 

I saw the lines for Yakko, Wakko, and Dot, but next to them was Erika Akexander, Max from Living Single. She was talking to two ladies, and there was no line. I walked over, and got to hear about how she’s still friends with the cast, and how Latifa made this gathering, but didn’t go to another. I got to hear about her show with Kim Coles, as well as how awkward it was kissing Kyle on the show, as they share a birthday and are like family. The ladies left, and it was just me and Erika. She asked my name, and what I did. I told her I’m a writer/author. She asked what I write and I told her about my books, including that I have LGBT characters visible in every one. She got a piece of paper, and asked me what they were called and where to find them. I wrote down Knights of Sefrix, and my name. Then I told her that since I plan to be famous with them someday, she could have a free autograph. I winked and signed the page for her. She wished me the best of luck, and couldn’t have been nicer. She’s an absolute angel. I started to walk away, but realized the ladies had gotten a pic with Erika, but I hadn’t. I stepped back over, and asked if I could trouble her for one. She said, of course, and had her assistant/friend take two. Moments like those are worth their weight in gold. I was on a natural high for quite awhile. Still am, writing about it.

To help repay such kindness of spirit, here is a link to her comic series, Concrete Park. 

http://www.concretepark.com 

And her YouTube show –

  

I was flying pretty high after that, but since I love voice actors as much as I do, I decided I still wanted to try and meet the Warners. I started in Yakko’s line, er, Rob Paulsen. I got to hear him doing Yakko, and Mark Chang while I was waiting in line. He was a very nice gentleman, and when my shirt got mentioned, he said he could tell it was authentic. I got to shake his hand, and tell him how much I appreciate his work. 

Next I got into the line for diva/goddess Tress MacNeille. Babs Bunny, Dot, Mom, Ms. Skinner, the list goes on. I was standing right there as I heard her say “cram a squirrel in it” in Mom’s voice. She even said she liked my shirt. I was in geek heaven. Knowing that she doesn’t usually come to events, I decided I did want a picture with Tress. She wanted to make sure she was pointing to Dot on my shirt, even though it didn’t quite make it in the frame. Not only that, she tried to tickle me to ensure I was smiling. She even asked the picture taker if I was. I SO was. She was a delight. 

  

I got in line for Dee Bradley Baker, as there was no time to make Wakko, Jess Harnell, before he had to go to their panel. I wish I could say I had another moment with Klaus from American Dad, but it was a handshake and a have a nice con. Can’t win them all I guess, but I was already a winner so many times over. 

To round out my celebrity encounters, I stopped at the booth of artist, and fellow Irishman, Sean Ricks. Sean does incredible artwork, and I’m proud to say I have some of his prints in my collection. He’s raffling off Deaths Decent, and I had to enter for the chance at it. I got a print copy as well. Being the great guy that he is, I was also given an autographed wolf print. He asked how my books were going, and mentioned one that he’s working on as well. I love being able to visit and talk shop with fellow creative types. Much like musicians, I admire artists. I know what it’s like to have something in your head that you have to get out. I use words, Sean uses pictures, others use instruments. All of us put a piece of our soul into our works, and love it when others are able to appreciate them. I’ll include a link to his Facebook page, so that you’re able to appreciate his visual medium of expression. Celebrate artists both local and not, for they are what keep the spirit of creativity alive in an ever darkening world. 

https://m.facebook.com/seannathanricksmainstreetgallery
  

I’ll cover more in another post. Until next time, stay geeky, and keep gabbing! 

Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?

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-by Bevianna Bones

Just kidding….more like where in the world has your dear Bevianna been? It’s been a while since I’ve had any geektabulous insights to share with you. I’ve been off on an archaeological adventure; raiding tombs with polygon boobs, fighting monsters in arks, and trying to master the skills of chunky tank style jumping. Or not really, as much as I wish I were, my real life just kind of happened. You know, the one I actually get paid for, and the one that I have to have a real job to compensate for all the nifty things I want. If only it were as easy as it was in videogames.

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Link has that shit down to a science. Cut some grass, pull up a rock, break your neighbors’ pot; get some cash.

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Or maybe like in the GTA series…beat up a hooker, steal her cash. Oh if only it were that easy legally! Long story short, I had a job change, switching companies after almost a decade; and getting acclimated to a new culture. Also, my partner recently closed on her home; so we’ve been enduring the stress of that whole process, and the stress of actually moving and getting settled in, in general.

It’s all not as easy as they made it seem in Animal Crossing. One thing is for sure though, between the move and the job, I am really tired of that sarcastic grin of Tom Nook.

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You will work of your debt…And then still pay me more and more after your debt is paid off!! You will always be indebted to me!! Buahaha!

All in all, it’s been an exciting month, but now that the dust has cleared and the last fanfare has fell; Bevianna is back in business and I look forward to bringing you more of my delightful insights of geekdom. Hell, I might even have time to watch Howard the Duck!

Until next time!
BB

My Very Own Apple Tree

  

By Bri Bones

When Bevianna and I were little, we used to go on road trips with our parents. On this particular trip, we were visiting the grandparents who were living outside of Las Vegas. We were in our dad’s old Datsun pickup. I was probably 9, she was 4. She and I were in the back of it, under the shell. (It was the 80’s, you could do stuff like that then.) We had blankets, pillows, books, my portable cassette player, and a variety of snacks and water.  
This trip was over, and we were on the way back to Salt Lake. For those of you who don’t know, it’s about an 8 hour drive. 

  

Somewhere in the desert, she ate an apple. While eating it, she swallowed a seed. She told me she did, and my response was to tell her that there was going to be an apple tree growing in her stomach.  

  

I remember so it so vividly. She was 4, she believed everything her big bro would tell her. (There’s also the time I would put refrigerator magnets by her head and tell her I was erasing her memories, but that’s a story for another day.)  

  

For every thought she had, I had a response. 
“Apple trees need dirt to grow in.”
“Well, remember when we were playing in the dirt and you fell and got some in your mouth? You probably swallowed some.”
“Apple trees need water”
“Every time you take a drink you’ll give it some.”
“Apple trees need sun!”
“Every time you open your mouth, the sun will shine down inside there.”
And so forth.
I kept this up for at least 2 hours. By the time we stopped at a rest area, she was in hysterics and I was feeling very proud of myself.
  

Until, of course, mom opened the door of the shell and saw what was going on. 
Needless to say I got in soo much trouble, and she learned to never trust anyone again. 
As we grew up, this eventually became one of her and mine’s favorite brother/sister stories.
I tell this story, because, firstly, it makes me cackle like Palpatine on Smilex Gas, but secondly…umm…ok, honestly I know it feels like I should put an ending here where I sum up and make some profound point about growing up or parenting, but to be honest, I just tell the story because it makes both of us laugh. So, let’s see, a lesson…always share? 

  
Goodnight everybody.

Quiz & Dragons?…not today…

by Bevianna Bones

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Good afternoon readers, I was in the midst of preparing today’s entry for you, which was going to be about a Capcom classic of the days of aracdia gone by, but I got distracted by the television I had on while I as preparing the screenshots for the segment.  The Today show was on, primarily for background noise, when I heard a name alll too familiar to me.  I looked up from the controls of my MAME cabinet (and what was becoming an epic game of Quiz & Dragons) to see on my screen a beautiful Lucy Lawless in a vintage inspired little red and white polka dot frock.  My heart leaped. I was inspired to bring you a mini on Lucy instead.

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It isn’t often here on Triple G that Joshie and I get personal, so consider today a treat. It is taxday after all, and some of us could probably use a little pick me up.  Here goes, but, it’s a little know fact, but your dear Bevianna got her blogging start years ago writing and doing artwork for the XMV (Xena Music Videos) website (and of course the Rant of Randomess…RIP).  I wrote episode reviews, did illustrations, and got into word scraps with, what I presume were, old lonely dykes who wanted to argue that Willow and Tara were a better couple than Xena and Gabs. Please. Anywho, I was with them for a couple of years until I got into a tiff with the site admins over the use of my artworks and then I had to unfourtunately pull the plug on them. 

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They will always be mine, britches…

Seeing Lucy while I was writing about Q & D for you folks just brought it all back. Consider it a character crush entry if you please, but really, once I saw her I was transported back to another time.  A time of ancient gods, kings, and warlords..a land in turmoil cried out for a hero…her name was Xena…a mighty princess forged in the heat of battle…

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Ok, enough with the Xena reference.  She’s done a whole lot of other things since then, in fact, it wasn’t the 20th anniversary of Xena she was on the show for, it was for her new role, of what she calls a “witchiepoo” on the second season of Salem. Good move Salem, now you have aquired the entire xenaverse of fandom. 

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Ever wonder why she is still working? Primairily because the Xenaverse is something special. A conglomeration of geekdoom and the pride following that makes us lesbos follow everything any cast member of the LWord has ever done. Sparatacus? Good show, but the Xenaverse made it go on after it should have. Lucy on BSG? Great sci-fi, but after Lucy joined the cast as a Cylon, even better. Eurotrip would have been nearly unwatchable if it weren’t for Madamme Vaandersexx. And who else could make the perfect mate and conqueror to Ron Swanson? 

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Seems I’ve gone off on a tangent.  But anywho, I still love lucy.  She’s a great entertainer and comedian who has been unfortunately doomed to one role for eternity, all the meanwhile that curse has given her the fanbase to propell other doomed shows into their very own cult followings.  Too bad she never showed up on Seeker or Firefly, maybe she would have saved them with the power of the Xenaverse. Who knows? Anything is possible.  For now, however, its back to Quiz and Dragons…I’m about to conquer the Wyvern at the Chateau of Avalon…and I’ve used the Power of Two Choices!
-BB

Heathcliff – The Great Pussini

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-by Joshie Jaxon

Yes, that’s the actual title of his first episode. This one is gonna write itself. We open on Heathcliff caterwauling on a fence. The old man that he lives with, Grandpa Nutmeg, looks out the window, shakes his head, and closes it. Heathcliff has an audience of several cats, including his leading lady, Sonja. That is, of course, until something draws their attention. Whatever could it be? Let’s find out.

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There’s a poster for the great Pussini, and it has all the cats, including Sonja, ready to swoon. Heathcliff shreds the poster, as Wordsworth, Hector, and Mongo, on loan from Riff Raff, oh wait, we don’t know who Riff Raff is yet. He’s the tan cat in the opening credits. Anyhow, the trio come up and mock Heathcliff’s singing abilities. Teaching children the best way to handle someone who criticizes you, Heathcliff unsheathes his claws, and shows them who’s boss. That’s right kids, if someone doesn’t like the way you do something, kick their ass. It’ll establish dominance, and people like that.

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A limo pulls up to the theater, and Pussini gets out. Category is, Ringmaster Realness. Let’s take a moment to appreciate this. Cat gets out of a limo fully dressed, to screaming cat fans holding signs. I mention this because we’ve established there are people in this world, and for all intents and purposes, these are normal cats that just talk to one another. However, there is no human handler for Pussini, or any of the others for the rest of the episode. Yes, that’s where I draw the line for my suspension of disbelief. Where were we?

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Oh yes, Sonja is swooning, and ready to do whatever the celebrity cat wants. He takes her into the limo, and they drive off. Um, where were the stranger danger lessons in the 80’s? I get these are cats, but- Wait, I remember now. Butters’ dad said it’s ok as long as it’s a limousine. You go Sonja. Go get your naughty on. Kidding. This is a kids show. They do classic things, like a boat ride, with an umbrella to keep out the sun. Yes, really.

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Not giving up without a fight, and having made the other three his bitches, Heathcliff takes his newfound minions to try and get Sonja back. His attempts are met with a Wile-like level of failure. He snags the wrong boat. His dynamite backfires. The minions jump into a boat of humans at the tunnel of love. Yes, the humans are still around, yet oddly, it is a cat limo driver that drops Sonja off so Pussini can go rehearse. Just go with it, it’s easier if you just go with it.

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Cut to the night of the concert. Since the star is a cat, there’s no security. Heathcliff and the others get backstage with no problem. We see Pussini sans his mane, and getting cinched into his corset. Yes, the cat is in a corset. Stranger things have happened. The real question is, is Pussini Bianca Del Rio’s cat, or Adore’s? Based on what’s about to go down, I’d say he doesn’t belong to Adore. Maybe Gia.

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On the main stage, Pussini is singing his heart out. Sonja looks on from the box, and can’t wait until after the show. Heathcliff, serving up shrubbery couture, sneaks up on Pussini, and cuts him out of the corset. Like a true performer, Pussini keeps right on singing. Ru told him not to f*ck it up. Pulling his next shady cat move, Heathcliff works on snatching the diva’s wig. Once that’s been done, it’s time for the giant fan. As Pussini gets blown away, we see that he has indeed been lip synching for his life. Debbie Reynolds has been singing offstage for Pussini. Girl, you know it’s true. Side note, I hope you appreciate these great references, they’re wasted on today’s youth.

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Having created a she-mergency, Heathcliff steps in to finish the performance, and like any all-star, he’ll do it live! The audience applauds and throws bouquets of flowers. That’s what it’s all about. You go Heathcliff! Seeing Sonja had left, he runs outside to see her leaving in the limo, with the real voice behind Pussini. We see them snuggling together, as Heathcliff quips “there’s no accounting for taste”. You’ve got that right. Your gal is kind of a, what’s the word I’m looking for? Slut? No. Whore? No. Friendly port? That’s the one! Thanks, Ma.

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JJ