Thursday, January 15, 2015

Throwback Post -- The Missing Cello

Sometimes I look back on my old posts and get embarassed, for obvious reasons. But a post from four years ago caught my attention (LINK). With my pursuit of the Antique Cello long over now, I decided to touch up this 2011 screenplay and put in some more pictures. I had to take advantage of a new Barkingham Palace villain, too.

Sherlock: My heavens. Where did I put my cello?
Arlen: Where did you last have it?
S: I took it to, err, Ms. Marphely's house...
A: You sly dog!
S: You know I have a penchant for the classics. I've even been getting into opera lately. Wag-ner, specifically.
A: I think it's pronounced "vag-ner". Anyways, let's head over to Marphely's and look.
S: She's not expecting me back until Saturday...
A: Do you want the cello or not?

A: Did we search the whole house?
S: Except up the chimney. Soot does not suit my health.
A: I'll investigate.
S: ... Any luck?
A: There was a rope. Santa Claus must have forgotten it last year.
S: Oh! It's elementary. The cello was stolen and the culprit made his getaway through the chimney.
A: Shall I battle Scroungers and O'Leary Thugs for clues?
S: Not necessary. Just check the rope for fingerprints.
A: Looks more like paw prints, Sherlock.
S: Ah! Let's put these through the lab for analysis.

S: Indeed... these prints perfectly match our criminal record with Doctor Jackall.
A: What, he's already out from Newgate?!
S: Why yes, he escaped several weeks back.
A: *sigh* You're just telling me this now?
S: I assumed you saw all the wanted posters.
A: Yes, they were very detailed. A fuzzy mugshot with the description: "WANTED for being a bad guy and stealing stuff!"
S: Our printers may or may not need to be upgraded...

Marphely: Oh, Sherlock! The neighborhood watch is reporting noxious fumes coming from the Kensington Park rooftops.
S: Goodness! Arlen, I'm commissioning you to investigate this matter.
A: Righto. I've been to Kensington more times than I count.

A: *cough* This must be Jackall's gas golem!
Golem: Ha ha! Did you think I'd go down after two attempts? Our robot army will conquer the city!
A: Odd, I don't remember him being this articulate. Or planning to capture Marleybone.
G: I'm Stoker, you fool.
A: Oh. Wait, that still doesn't make sense.
G: H.G. Waggs was nothing more than a red herring. Dr. Jackall is the mastermind. He gave me these fumes!
A: Ohhhh. Well, I can still defeat you with relative ease.
G: Impossible! We will take ov--

G: Bzzzrrrrkkrrrrrtzzzzzzz.
A: Yep, Humongofrog always does it.
Jackall: You again! Stoker is but a pawn in the scheme. You do not want to be around when I turn into... Mr. Hyde.
A: With all due respect, Doctor Jackall sounds more intimidating.
J: Silence!
S: Jackall! Scotland Yard here -- you are surrounded. Surrender with your paws up.
J: Never! I'll just jump 50 feet down to street level and escape the authorities again! *jumps*
A: That wasn't a good idea... oh, but at least he left the cello!
S: Looks like this cat ran out of his nine lives.
A: I'm surprised he didn't land on his feet.
S: Wait -- his body is changing form! Could it be..?

M: Oh, dear me! What am I doing down here?
A: It was... Ms. Marphely?!?
S: Despite her -- er, attractiveness -- it appears that Marphely was prone to turn into a hairy, villainous trickster.
A: And you didn't figure this out after arresting Jackall?
S: As the saying goes, a watched pot never boils. Marphely would only transform when alone. Or when dead, apparently.
M: Could someone please explain what's going on? I was having tea and suddenly ended up here on the street.
A: So Doctor Jackall is gone now?
S: Yes, but Mr. Hyde isn't.
A: What? How?

Hyde: Ah, but haven't you noticed? I'm Mr. Hyde.
A: Wait, what?
H: You've just been marveling at Marphely this whole time and haven't turned around to observe my transformation. Sherlock was the pot. I am the boiling water.
A: You really need to get your metaphors in order.
H: Hush, insolent wizard! Now, will you help me lead the coup over the Queen or shall I have to do it all myself?
A: *sigh* Oh, bother. Looks like I have to put up with another wannabe super-villain.
H: No, seriously, I'm a worthy villain. Look, here's the Antique Cello that I lured you into my trap with.
A: So... rare...
H: Exactly. And you can't have it! Mwahahah---

M: What's this, a blasphemer against the magnificent Queen?! Eat my purse, you filthy, royal-hating animal!
H: Ow! No, stop! Noooooo!
M: Ahhh! He's changing form!
S: What's going on here?
A: Interesting. Looks like a savage purse-beating boils the pot back to Sherlock.
M: I still have no idea what's going on.
S: Me neither, and I'm a world-renowned detective.
A: Don't worry, you two. Sherlock, why don't you serenade Mrs. Marphely with your cello?
S: I'd love -- er, that is, I'd be glad to.
M: Ooh, I do love some classical music to help unwind.

Thus concludes my messy attempt at numerous plot twists with completely different Marleybonian characters. It kind of evolved (or devolved) into a fan-fiction piece, but I'll just count it as improving a 4 year old blog post. 

Happy Sleuthing!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Wizard101 Year In Review

2014 wasn't the most eventful year in my gaming career. But it was all worthy enough for a blog post, especially since I'm still catching up. :P

Note: Dates come from the day I took the screenshots, not when I actually included them in certain blog posts.

January 1st, 2014: Ghost Dog goes down to ring in the new year. A brief wait for Khrysalis pt. 2 begins.

February 14th: On Valentine's Day, the Sirens were serenading Warehouse baddies. Many levels later, I effectively earned my revenge against a 2010 archenemy.

February 24th: The Sirens got even more action when Mycin and Sophia began Azteca. It's been fun, dinos.

April 25th: A day after Khrysalis pt. 2 opens, Arlen crossed the sea on a giant bug.

Annoyed by the lack of trees on the other side, Arlen then turns his farm into a strange forest of everything from pines to palms.

April 30th: Five days and many boss battles later, Arlen hits the level cap!

May 3rd: Morganthe goes down! And Old Cob does something weird. Nevertheless, only joy is felt when the Spider Queen plummets into space.

July 11th: Mycin and Sophia wrap up Azteca with their new level 88 spells! It's the end of the world, but they're feeling fine.

July 22nd: Chase impersonates another Ravenwood student and almost gets away with it (if it weren't for those meddling noobs...)

August 7th: A month after wizards started casting their reels, Tarlac finally finds that last pesky Silver Streak for his collection.

October 3rd: The BOXES make a sudden appearance around the Spiral, and Arlen gets to save Halston from a life in Newgate -- over stolen jewelry (surprise surprise).

October 26th: Dugan blazes through Wintertusk and sends honorable bear warriors to... somewhere over the rainbow, presumably.

November 24th: Mycin and Sophia begin Khrysalis with a surprising amount of allies -- namely, Mary and Morgrim Dreamshade and Dyvim doppelgangers.

December 26th: In the House of Scales, being turned down results in an afterlife of misery, but that doesn't stop Arlen and Mary from going all "turn down for what" to the new member emotes.

December 31st: More dancing highlights the New Years Eve festivities as the Commons celebrates the coming of 2015!

Here's hoping there's a lot more to dance for in 2015.

Happy Resolution-breaking!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Nightmare After Christmas

Since I didn't have time before winter break (hence the lack of posts), this week has had me catching up a bit -- a la spooky quests in December.

The overly philosophical vampires and werewolves certainly made an impression...

Per Katherine Light of Mercenaries101: "The lungs are the tastiest part". I did not ask why she would know that.

Mutated spells are getting a little unusual. I did not come in expecting Obelisk Lords. :P

Yay, refractory light bending and optics and physics..............

Sorry, I'm boring myself. Moving on to the Upper Halls!

As you can see, even the lung-hungry werewolf was a little easier to bear than my own guide.

That's not very appetizing either...

The relentless cheating was rather tiresome, but the upside of that was getting to see some of the new spells in action!

 Yes, I was hit by a Mythic Colossus before getting my own. :P
Here are all of them if you haven't seen them yet:

            courtesy of Heather Shadowslinger, Duelist101

In terms of animation time, Call of Khrulhu appears to be the longest-lasting, while Glowbug Squall is the shortest. Coupled with the Sirens-like effects, Glowbug appears to be the most convenient of the seven spells.

Anyone could (again) lament at how OP the Storm attack is, but each spell appears to be appropriate for the school. Personally, my favorite animation is Fire From Above. It's a little long, but as a recreation of the Khrysalis kermes fire scene, it's awesome. Plus, it reminded me of Snoopy and the Red Baron.

The difference being, of course, that the lovable mice actually hit their target. ;)

Some of the others are just plain weird. Where did Gaze of Fate come from? What crazy, nightmarish creature does the Caterpillar turn into? Did Yeti really need to be turned into a spider? ... Features aside, though, they're all pretty exciting.

Of course, I have to go in-depth on Mystic Colossus. It does over double the damage of Humongofrog (even factoring in adding a Colossal), and remains a very viable option for mob battles with the low 5+1 pip cost. Granted, shadow pips are not so easy to come by, but I can see myself using MC -- my future shorthand for the spell -- just as often as Humongofrog. Finally, a break from,
um, tossing his cookies all over enemies. Kudos to Kingsisle for giving us Conjurers another AoE that we'll actually use in mob battles.

This also begs a question. Will all of our future spells start using a combination of normal and shadow pips? After all, the maximum number of pips could very well have a set cap at 14 (7 power pips), and we're up to 10 by now. Hmm. Shadow magic appears to be evolving both as an alternative and as a complement to the other schools. Swordroll has a more analytic look into each spell if you're interested in learning more.

In any case, I finished the Upper Halls - thanks again, Mercenaries101 - and got my Mystic Colossus!

Speaking of horrors, I've heard a lot of griping about Darkmoor's final dungeon -- it sounds like P101's Moo Manchu tower, except runs are still taking upwards of 3 hours. I'll probably do it at some point before break is over, but I don't want to save it for this post (especially since I already have my spell, woo).

Of all the new areas, though, my favorite was Kembaalung -- basically a mini Wizard101 version of Tibet. It finally offers a glimpse into the mountains of Mooshu and into the Moodhist ideology, complete with the removal of a demonic spirit. If you've played Pirate101, think of a mountainous Paths of Penance.

Oh, and the scenery is a desktop background made in heaven... or Shangri-baa.

Chillin' and dancing with the Dalai... and the Queen :P (with a nod to long-retired blogger Mary Dreamshade for putting up with me)

I ended up getting a Ninja Piggle as my Hamakala reward. Pretty much a tie between this guy and the Dapper Corgi for cutest new pet. :D

I'll be back within a couple days. Enjoy the new year, wizards and pirates!

Happy Questing!