Undertale

Aug. 31st, 2017 12:20 am
metaladrian: (Default)
 Haven't posted for a while.
I went off video games for a bit, literally haven't touched TES since I started, but I started playing Undertale.

On a whim, mind you. 
It's quite an interesting game. The game tries to persuade you not  to fight enemies or kill anyone (although you still can, but apparently you pay for it later). It's more about interaction and...stuff like that. Kinda weird, but good.

I'm enjoying it so far. There are a LOT of influences from Earthbound - it's painfully obvious to me, and I love that.
I don't know what keeps me playing it, tbh. It's not usually my kind of game.
I'd much rather be fighting monsters or something, but the game...kinda penalises you for that? If you kill a particular mini-boss, you actually lose experience for it.

I got back into reading again. Can't remember if I said this before.

Also getting on with my writing contest and doing alright so far. There's been a deadline extension of about 2 weeks, so I've got that to be going on with.

Man, now I want to replay Earthbound.
metaladrian: (Default)
 I've decided to start a TES diary. See, I'm sick of starting up a Daggerfall/Skyrim game, getting hooked into it, then getting bored and dropping the game for several months. Then I come back to this character I put about 200 hours into, and I can't remember what the hell they were doing again. So I end up restarting from scratch. Every time.

What I'm doing here is making a brand new character for every Elder Scrolls game, every game in the series (all the way from the DOS age of Arena), and I'm going to set it out like they're an RP character.
Class, personality, backstory.
And then I'm going to write a diary of their actions and achievements, day by day.

Initially, I have actually done this before.
It didn't go according to plan because I decided I would only do 7 days *in-game* before repeating the cycle.

Unfortunately, 7 days of Arena is very different from 7 days of Skyrim. Hell, it takes something like 20 days just to fast travel to one town in Arena. You just end up playing less of the game than others in the series.

Anyway, I've started my diary for almost all 5 games so far. Just finished the first part of my Oblivion playthrough today.

Arena: female Breton Knight
Daggerfall: female Dark Elf Thief
Morrowind: male Argonian Scout
Oblivion: female Imperial Barbarian

I'll get round to doing my Skyrim one tomorrow. Probably a female Nord. I always end up doing that. Either that or a Khajit (I've never cared much for doing Wood Elves or Orcs, despite the racial bonuses).

And yeah, almost every Elder Scroll character I do is female. I don't know why, especially considering that you rarely see their face throughout the game. Feels better somehow.

I had a hard time thinking up a backstory for my Breton Knight and explaining how she became a knight in the first place. For the time period, women generally didn't become knights (and Arena has the feel of a medieval-age RPG) but I managed to think of a backstory for that.

She also spent 5 in-game days in the tutorial dungeon. Five. Days. Like jesus christ. 
I don't know if it's because she's a knight or something, but she heals REALLY SLOW. She took something like 37 hours to rest up to full health. Yep, in the older games it's easier to rest in dungeons to heal - and you can't restore your magicka! Unless you sleep at an inn or something I guess.

As for Daggerfall, I've already received a summons from the Thieves' Guild. Lockpicking and pickpocketing is pretty much...useless in that game. And if you play it, you will know why. It's nothing like in Skyrim, for example. You can pickpocket anyone. You can pickpocket your enemies. You can pickpocket a fucking RAT.

My Scout in Morrowind is doing very well for himself. It's easily my favourite of all the Elder Scrolls games, though Daggerfall and Skyrim aren't too far behind it.

Oblivion is arguably my least favourite of all the games, possibly because I played it right after Morrowind, but it's still a very good game. I look forward to the later levels of the game when all the broken mechanics come against me and the level scaling goes out of hand. Oh boy, that'll be the day. For now, though, I'll stick with Fighters Guild quests.

Berserk

Jul. 22nd, 2017 12:32 pm
metaladrian: (Default)
 I've been keeping myself busy with my writing, got to about 23.5k out of a current quota of about 35k (which increases by every day) so at least I'm getting something done. I have the problem that I don't write anything on weekends. I mean I've got video games and anime in front of me, whereas I would usually write it at work instead. But if Miss days at the weekend, I fall behind by another 3k.

Started getting back into reading Berserk.
Got to, uh, the "turning point" in the manga, and anyone who's read Berserk will know exactly what that means.
I wasn't so into it when I first started reading it, but now I'm really enjoying it. Reading a volume a day.

It's probably not something I would recommend to many people though, despite it being very good - it's very violent, *very* gory, and...uh, it has some pretty explicit scenes, and not necessarily in a nice way. It does fit the dark setting though.
Tbh, I enjoy action manga and all the fight scenes in Berserk are starting to bore me. Lol. I mean it's this mad swordsman wielding a sword that's three times as big as his body, he goes around cleaving demons in two and...?

Well, anyway.
I'm gonna start watching Hellsing today!
It's next on my anime schedule and I've heard some good things about it - but I'm perplexed that it's only 13 episodes? I thought it was really popular so how come it's got barely any episodes.

Gaming: I've started using a random retro game generator which helps me play all these retro games I haven't played yet.
Found some nice gems out there, especially on N64 and NeoGeo. 

Hope everyone is doing okay.

Bugs

Jul. 10th, 2017 09:51 pm
metaladrian: (Default)
 Work gets reaaaally busy when your workload unexpectedly doubles, and all the people who help you are suddenly on annual leave. But hey, I'm managing. Whilst doing an RP with someone on another site. And doing my own storywriting. Yippee!

I accomplished a lot in Skyrim yesterday. I did a load of quests in Whiterun, joined the Companions, did a few quests for them, did some more dungeons, fought a FUCKING BEAR jesus it almost killed me. Became the Dragonborn, got Lydia to tag along with me...

I found some bugs.

Bug Number 1: I had a companion before Lydia. She was carrying half my equipment. I turn around after 5 minutes and she's fucking gone.

Seriously. I can't find her. This heavily armoured NPC has disappeared.
I spent hours looking for her again. I looked in every house. I went outside the city. I checked the stables. I checked the shops. I checked another shop. I checked the inn where she usually is. I checked the OTHER inn.

I eventually found her in Jorrvaskr. I don't know why she didn't follow me through the damn door. Jesus christ. 

Bug Number 2: You know that quest about rescuing Thorald from the Thalmor? You have to steal a note from the Battle-Born house and give it to the NPC in the Grey-Mane's house.

Here's the thing: I got to the Grey-Mane's house, and the door was locked. 
That's cool, I can pick locks.
I pick the lock, break into the house, and prepare to deliver the message to the NPC.

The NPC accuses me of trespassing and refuses to speak to me.

SERIOUSLY?

He won't talk to me no matter what I do. Holy shit. He threatened to call the guards and told me to get out. 
After about 5 minutes of this, I thought to myself: it's night time. He's probably just trying to sleep. I'll wait until daylight and then try again.

Daytime comes. His door is still fucking locked.
He still won't talk to me. Or come out of his house, because he's a goddamn hermit. 
His mum comes out of the house and asks me if I've found the message yet. I can't tell her I've found the message, because she isn't the right NPC to talk to. No, I'm supposed to talk to her SON.

You know, the guy who's locked himself in his own home and won't come out.

So I wait. I wait for time to pass. Maybe he's sleeping in.
I wait until midday.
The door is STILL LOCKED.

Eventually I gave up and used a console command to force this dumbass bastard of a Nord to actually exit the house, whereupon he FINALLY takes the message from me and I can progress the damn quest.

I've heard of Skyrim bugs, but this was ridiculous.
metaladrian: (Default)
I completed a lot of anime today. And last night.

Completed Clockwork Planet.
This anime was shit. It was trash. It looked so good in the beginning, but then it got worse, and continued to do so and became an absolute trainwreck throughout. I don't even want to talk about it. It was so bad. Characters were introduced here and there. The main characters were annoying. There were some robot fights. The protag would perv over the other girls, which was weird considering they weren't human. Then there was the sex droid and...
....ugh, I don't want to talk about it. Worst show of the season.

Completed my rewatch of Yes! Precure 5 Gogo! with my gf.
Certainly one of the better seasons, and I definitely enjoyed watching it. Even if that final villain looks like shit. Seriously. His design is just lazy and bad and just looks stupid.

Completed Quan Zi Gao Shou.
I really loved this show. It's nice to see a good Chinese anime, once in a while. I loved the characters, loved the fights, loved how they bonded together. Unfortunately, quite a bit of it was rushed and sometimes I hadn't a clue who some of the supporting characters were. Some of them looked the same. I had trouble following it sometimes, to be quite honest. Definitely recommended if you're interested about eSports.

Completed Renai Boukun.
Fucking hated this show. It was hilarious and funny when I first started it, but this soon turned into complete shite. They should have stuck to the parody route and they didn't. Instead, we're introduced to this psychotic character who stabs people for fun and tries to get with the protag. Wait what? What the hell's so entertaining about that? Why is this character going around torturing random people? Why is she IN this show?! Why are we ignoring any attempts at humour, and going for the love triangle instead? Why are these four people married to each other? Like holy shit, this show was almost as bad as Clockwork Planet. I'm glad it's over.

Anyway, I'll be completing a few more shows during the week. I'll be sad to see some of them go, but my Summer Anime list is already looming on the horizon! Woo hoo!

Anime that will be finishing soon:
- Alice to Zouroku (as of Sunday)
- Kenka Banchou Otome: Girl Beats Boys (as of Wednesday)
- Little Witch Academia (as of Monday)
- Seikaisuru Kado (as of Friday)
- Shuumatsu [very very long anime name here] (as of Tuesday)
- Tsuki ga Kirei (as of Friday)
- Grimoire of Zero (as of Monday)

Whew. Looking forward to all that.
metaladrian: (Default)
 Today is what I call Anime Finishing Week, in which all or most of my airing anime will now finish this week. Most anime will have at most 12-13 episodes, and, well, we've reached that week. I've already finished Attack on Titan Season 2, and intend to finish 6 animes in total this week.

Last night, I finished: Rokudenashi Majutsu Koushi to Akashic Records.

It's a reasonably good show, and I really loved it when it first started. It had a great magic system, some awesome characters, a good plot, and even some great fight scenes! Really good stuff. The soundtrack was one of my favourite of the anime airing for that season.

Unfortunately, this did not last, because this show rushed things like hell.

I mean, those who had read the manga could tell that major backstories were completely cut out. Entire chains of events that should have been spread out to a few episodes, were covered in 12 minutes. It was mad. It got worse towards the end. Even so, I still found it enjoyable. It was a bit stupid when they introduced the final villain literally halfway through the last episode!!

Today, I was also hoping to finish another anime, one that I was pleasantly surprised with. Except it's not been subbed.
Well, it better be, because otherwise I'll have to resort to watching Naruto fillers.
metaladrian: (sumire)
Well, I just finished Season 2 of Attack on Titan. It was...eh, it was decent. I just didn't feel the same wow factor as I got when watching through Season 1. And Season 1 I watched about a year after it had already aired. Season 2, I watched whilst it was airing. I should have felt more for what was going on, but I didn't.




I won't spoil anything that happens, because to be honest Tumblr already spoiled most of the show and the continuing manga for me approximately 4 years ago.
I think the most irritating thing is that it only has 12 episodes.

I mean, what?
You just produced one of the most popular animes in nearly a decade. Your anime has become mainstream. A decent plot, kick-ass soundtrack, tons of realistic characters (kinda, although I can't stand Eren), awesome battle scenes, copious backstory, tragedy, violence, some great world-building over a world which has been brought to the edge of ruin...

And you respond by making us wait for 2-3 years before doing a second season? A season with only 12 episodes??
Like, the hype has already died down by now. I just wasn't very impressed. We got some new stuff happening, some really awesome developments and plot twists. We also got more screentime for secondary characters which would have otherwise been ignored. Unfortunately, it bit into the screentime of other, better characters.

I just feel it could have been better. 12 episodes wasn't enough for this. I ended up giving it a mediocre 9/10, instead of...
...oh wait, that's what I gave the first season. Never mind.

I am happy, however, that a season 3 has already been put into motion for last year! Well, I fucking hope so.

Like how BBC Sherlock made us wait so many years for Season 3 to come out.
(Yes, I know Martin Freeman was busy filming the Hobbit films at the time and they decided to wait for him.)
But I'm not going to talk about that, I'm not into Sherlock anymore. The whole enterprise is highly silly. Here's looking at you, Benedict Cucundering Cumberling Cockering Batch.

FWENDS

Apr. 25th, 2015 10:38 pm
metaladrian: (Default)
Right. Let's ignore the stuff below. I obviously tried to review all the Animorphs books and stopped again.

So.
I am currently looking for someone to play Fighting Fantasy or Lone Wolf with me. No, they're not games. Not really.
Nope, they're gamebooks.



LET US SAVE THE KINGDOM OF MAGNAMUND

Other stuff about me for newcomers!
I love anime, yuri, magical girls, video-gaming, JRPGs, Skyrim in particular, sci-fi and fantasy, writing and all kinds of silliness.
And I need people to discuss them with but I don't have any.
So come hither, fwends. JOIN THE HIVE OF BEEEEEEES

Current obsessions in my life are Suikoden, Kiniro Mosaic, Precure, One Piece, Aikatsu, and mainly old-school RPGs which I keep replaying.
I'll move onto something else in 24 hours.

For example I was playing Adventure Island earlier.
Imagine a game similar to Mario, except you play a half-naked fat man with a hammer and a skateboard.

You think I'm kidding don't you.

.

LOOK HE'S GOING TO LAND ON A DEADLY PAIR OF SNAILS. ON A BEACH.
It's really hard though.

Stay tuned for later entries in which I lose my shit at Sonic the Hedgehog and transform into Batman at the speed of...of bat sonar? Yeah. Bat sonar. We'll keep it at that for now.
metaladrian: (Default)

Oh boy. Here we go.

I remember seeing this book in my local library (it had most of the earlier books) although it wasn't the first one I read. No, I started with some later title that I won in a magazine or something. But more on that later. Still, The Invasion contains a lot of relevant material which sets the stage for the Animorphs, making it a must-read for the series in its own right.

We can't tell you who we are. Or where we live. It's too risky, and we've got to be careful. Really careful. So we don't trust anyone. Because if they find us... well, we just won't let them find us.

The thing you should know is that everyone is in really big trouble. Yeah. Even you.

You’ll be seeing that a lot lately. For the next fifty titles. We'd better get used to it.

The story starts out with Jake and Marco walking home after leaving the mall. I already feel like cheering just reading about Marco, since he’s one of my favourite characters and I can relate to a lot of what he does. We'll keep track of all his dumb jokes whilst we're at it. Marco is awesome.

Besides, they mention Sega. Arcade machines. That already makes me happy.

Jake and Marco are walking home when they meet Tobias on the way back. They’re not close friends with him yet, nor on super duper friendly terms or anything. Amazing. He isn’t even a hawk. He's just...okay, it tears me up inside just to read about him before anything's even happened, because I know it will happen and - never mind, I'll continue.

We find out that Tobias gets bullied at school and that Jake stepped in to help him once. If that makes you feel sorry for him, don’t hold your breath. Tobias’ entire life is just a case of the sads, right down to the last chapter of the last book. It’s just one tragedy after another for him. Maybe we can keep track of them all and just cry because we know how much that guy needs a hug. Maybe.

Rachel and Cassie turn up, thus introducing all the main characters so far. Jake decides to make a decidedly sexist comment about girls being weak and how they shouldn’t be alone by themselves. Rachel doesn’t take too kindly to that. Actually, Rachel is probably one of the most badass girls I’ve ever read about in a kid’s book. We’ll give it a few books before she starts assaulting people in the name of peace and love.

Jake’s internal monologue reveals that he likes Cassie. Well, that’s what he says, but it’s literally base zero between them.

Sometimes we sit together on the bus, even though I never know what to say to her.

Awkward silences abound.

So, our five teenage heroes – just shy of a few more to avoid becoming the Digidestined – decide to cut through the construction site to get home. Jake mentions that he “hopes there aren’t any ax murderers hanging around there” and that it looks like a ghost town. Jesus. It’s a good thing Animorphs technically isn’t part of the horror genre, because this is exactly how slasher movies happen.

Just then, Tobias sees a strange light coming down from the sky. Nobody knows what it is. I always assumed it was a shooting star or a meteorite but –

I looked at Tobias and he looked at me. We both knew what we thought it was, but we didn’t want to say it. Marco and Rachel would have laughed, we figured.

But Cassie just blurted it right out. “It’s a flying saucer!”

Thanks Cassie.

The flying saucer crashes down to Earth, or rather it almost crashes and then starts slowing down, hovering, and has a gentle landing. I guess it wasn’t going to crash in a burning fireball and incinerate the Animorphs in a melodramatic explosion. (It almost does hit them, though.)

Marco talks about calling the police and telling everyone there’s a great big flying saucer in the middle of a construction site (which may or may not be filled with ax murderers). It’s a good thing he doesn’t. They also keep making Star Trek jokes, which is a great thing, but there's a time and place for Star Trek jokes and it isn't here.

Finally, the first Andalite in the whole of the series makes their appearance. Elfangor is here. He’s fabulous. He’s blue. He’s a prince. A fabulous blue prince who almost crashed into the Animorphs.

I’ve always loved how Applegate described the Andalites, especially how they have no mouth and communicate by thought-speak. They’ve virtually blue horses with humanoid faces and eyes coming out of their heads, and then they have a scorpion-like tail which can kill people.

Everyone is excited to see the Andalite because they’ve never seen an alien before. And then they realise he’s dying.

Jake is a little sad about this.

NO!” I cried. “You can’t die. You’re the first alien ever to come to Earth. You can’t die.” I don’t know why I was so upset. I just knew that way down deep inside, it hurt me to think of him dying.

Elfangor then decides to tell them about the Yeerks, who are parasitic slugs which take over the bodies of other organisms. He tells them about the Controllers and the Yeerk invasion of Earth, how his Dome ship was ambushed by swarms of Bug fighters and the powerful Blade Ship. By this time, I’m wondering if Applegate wrote this paragraph whilst watching Star Trek at the same time. She must have been, judging by the amount of references that keep slipping into her writing.

The Andalite’s about to die, and Jake and co. are looking pretty worried. But then Elfangor tells Jake to fetch a small blue box out of his ship. In a moment of awesomeness, he gives them the power to morph into any animal they touch. Just then, Visser Three (evil villain appearance mwahahaha) suddenly turns up with his Bug fighters. Everyone quickly runs into hiding!

Apparently the Bug fighters get their names because they look like bugs. I don’t think that’s any excuse. It just gives me flashbacks about Starship Troopers 2.

Visser Three’s Blade ship lands, and a bunch of Hork-Bajir step out. They look like creatures with great big blades coming out of their body. I always thought they were awesome. Then you get the Taxxon, who are virtually giant walking centipedes. Nobody likes them. They just eat each other.

Visser Three himself makes a dramatic appearance – we’re going to have to get used to him, because he’s the Big Bad for a long, long time. He starts taunting Elfangor in the evil villanesque way, and then gets a bit pissed off when Elfangor attacks him and blows up a Bug fighter. Visser Three then morphs into a…thing. Some giant monster with tentacles.


Apparently it's called an Antarean Bogg. We're  never going to remember its name. Anyway, it reaches up with its tentacles and lifts Elfangor into its mouth –

 - and then Jake decides, out of stupid heroics, to try and save him from the giant alien monster which is about 5 times as big as he his. Even though there’s Hork-Bajir and Taxxon Controllers everywhere. Don’t ask me what was going through his head.

Luckily Elfangor manages to warn him away, mainly by persuading him that his character is far too low-level to take on Visser Three. But gosh, that would have ended the series very quickly.

Elfangor dies and the Taxxons all start eating his body. Gross. Gory, too. If you want to read these books, be prepared for more blood.

Marco starts throwing up, because this is a pretty traumatic experience (especially for all the kids in the library who were reading this thinking it would be a nice book about shapeshifting and now there's people being killed and eaten). Unfortunately, it turns out Hork-Bajir can hear you when you’re vomiting, so they are detected and everyone runs for their lives. Jake thinks he recognises one of the human voices, and boy will he be surprised later. Eventually they all make it back home again, safe and sound.

Jake wakes up the next day to find that Tobias has come all the way to his house, just to demonstrate that he can turn into a cat. We get some more backstory about Tobias, revealing that his family is pretty dysfunctional and screwed up all over the place. His dad's dead and his mum just left him with relatives who don't care about him. Man, this guy is already set up for a bad life from the start.

Tobias decides to turn into a cat in the middle of Jake's bedroom, just to show that he can. Then he discovers that when he morphs back he’s naked. Amazing. Then he convinces Jake to do the same with his dog.

Later on we meet Tom, Jake’s brother. He’s pretty important for the entire series, forever and ever. He’s also acting pretty strange, and Jake’s dog sense says that he doesn’t smell right. That's foreshadowing for about two chapters.

The Animorphs now meet up in Cassie’s barn. They're going to be doing that a lot, because her barn is like their secret meeting place for morphing missions. It's literally the Batcave for Yeerk Fighters Anonymous, except, of course, that it's just a barn. We get some backstory on Cassie and her family: her parents are vets who work with animals 24/7, thus making a huge contribution to any sort of animal-related morphing into animals to save the world as animals.

Once they’re all ready, it turns out there’s an article in the newspaper about the recent flying saucer. Also, the police are now looking for all of them. Marco goes a bit ballistic, saying that he can’t get involved in this mess because his dad wouldn’t be able to handle it. Backstory on Marco: his mum is dead and his dad took it hard and his family’s all broken up. Another reason why he’s always telling jokes all the time, and why I love his character so much. That's two characters with dead parents already.

Cassie then reveals she can turn into a horse and is probably the best morpher ever. We shouldn’t really be surprised at this point considering she practically lives in a zoo. Just then the police arrive and everyone panics.

But fwoosh, close shave and Cassie manages to become human in time. She’s also worked out how to demorph without being naked, which is just as well.

A policeman arrives and interrogates them about everything, and we learn about the Sharing. Jake realises this man is a Controller and starts sweating every time he looks at him. Also, first signs of Tobias x Rachel relationship, which is what we call a blush in fanfiction.

Marco and Jake go back to his house to play video games (they’re using CDs, since DVDs haven't been invented yet), and Tom turns up and starts casually interrogating them about last night. Then he suggests they should join the Sharing and leaves. Marco puts two and two together and works out that Tom is a Controller.

Jake gets a bit pissed off when Marco tells him that, though, and starts punching him. Pow! Fist fight!

Just then Tobias starts knocking at their window in red-tailed hawk form. Yes, this is the first time you’ll see him in that morph…and definitely not the last. (sob) He still ends up naked when he demorphs though, and we note that you can morph into animals even if they’re wounded. Because DNA.

Tobias also explains that he knows all about Yeerk pools and Kandrona rays. It turns out that he stayed behind with Elfangor a bit longer and thus acquired amazing knowledge beyond the stars. Tobias says he was flying around trying to find the Yeerk Pool, because apparently he thought it looked just like a swimming pool. He also wants to blow it up when they find it. That’s Tobias for you, dreams and ambitions far beyond the scope of a…hawk.

The three of them wonder if the Sharing is a front for the Controllers, although Marco still isn’t convinced to do this because there’s been enough death in his family already. The Animorphs decide to go to a meeting of the Sharing, and nothing more.

When they arrive at the meeting, turns out they're just pissing around and playing volleyball on the beach. It all seems perfectly normal and good fun...but then Jake sees something in Tom’s face, warning him not to go, and realises with horror that Tom is a Controller. That part always creeped me out...

At that moment, something weird happened. I was looking at Tom, and he was smiling at me. But then his face kind of twitched. His head started to pull to one side, like he was trying to shake his head only he couldn’t quite do it. For just a split second there was a look in his eyes – scared or…or something. He was looking right at me, and it was like some different person, some scared person, was looking out of those same eyes.

The Animorphs agree that everyone in the Sharing is a little too nice and happy. Jake wants to get into the secret meeting which is going on and find out for himself if his brother is a Controller.. Tobias has been in red-tailed hawk form all this time…a long time. Well, not too long. Yet.

Jake morphs into his dog and goes to eavesdrop. And that’s when he sees…Chapman! Yes, Chapman is pretty high up in the society of Yeerkdom. His own principal is a Controller. Tom is talking to the other Yeerks, and suggests killing Jake or enslaving him. That’s really not a very optimistic thing for Jake to hear...so yeah, he’s feeling pretty miserable. Bring on the family conflict.

Uh oh. Cassie slipped past to check if Jake was okay, and a policeman saw her. A Yeerk-infested policeman. He lets her go with a warning, but it doesn’t sound good. Don't get caught now, Cassie!! D:

Eventually they return to the rest of the Animorphs, and Jake tells everyone what he's found out. He also plans to spy on Chapman.

Scene change!

Boom, Jake is now a lizard in his locker, ready to infiltrate Chapman's office. He can do this. He’s going to keep control. He is the leader of the Animorphs. He can keep his cool.

No, he just lost control and ate a live spider in the corridor under the influence of Lizardmon.Never mind. Also, Chapman just stepped on him and took off half his tail.

Continuing his spying mission via Lizard Goggles, Jake discovers that Chapman is going through a secret passageway underneath the school…and it leads down to a Yeerk pool! Uh-oh. There’s a breeding ground of parasitic aliens right underneath your own school. That's pretty bad.

Jake returns to the rest of the Animorphs to tell them about the Yeerk pool he's discovered, and they decide that they all want to go help destroy it. That’s including Marco, although he's only doing this because Jake’s his best friend. Cassie says some deep stuff about the spirits of animals guiding them. You can tell she really does live in a barn.

Firstly, they all decide to go the Gardens (A kind of zoo and amusement park with loads of animals) for some extra firepower. This is where things really get interesting. Marco also comes up with the name Animorphs for the first time. Thanks Applegate.

So, the gang enter the Gardens and decide to get some power morphs. Marco acquires the gorilla morph (by distracting the gorilla with an apple) but then they run into security. Cassie gets worried about this,  because she knows she's not allowed to bring her friends back here, so...

CHASE SCENE!

Marco and Jake hijack a golf cart and start zooming away from the security guard, then run into some more security and almost run into the rhino enclosure. Then they run into another place to hide…and here comes probably my favourite section in the entire book.

I scanned the wall. There was a steel ladder set in concrete about fifty yards away. “I guess that’s the only way out.”

Let me ask you something,” Marco said. “Why haven’t the guards come after us? I mean, if this was, like, the deer and antelope exhibit, they’d come right in, wouldn’t they?”

We have to think, not panic,” I said. “I am trying not to think about why the guards didn’t come in here.” I moved back into the shadows of the bushes. “Besides, maybe there’s nothing in here at all.”

I squatted down on my haunches.

My butt touched something warm.

I had a terrible feeling right at that moment. I looked up and saw Marco. Normally, Marco has kind of a dark, tanned face. But his face was white. And his eyes were very large.

Marco,” I said, very slowly and very quietly, “is there something behind me?”

He nodded.

What is it, Marco?”

Um…Jake? It’s a tiger.”

Awesome Jake.

Rather than running screaming for his life, Jake decides to acquire the tiger’s DNA and thus have his standard fighting morph. Marco isn’t exactly thrilled about the idea.

Don’t freak! I have an idea. The morphing. If I acquire him, it’ll put him in a trance.”

Acquire? Acquire what? You can’t acquire anything about him. He’s the acquirer, and you’re the acquiree. He’s going to acquire your butt for dinner! He’s going to acquire you and spit out the bones.”

I love Marco. Anyway, Jake gets the tiger morph, and they manage to reach the ladder and get out of there by the skin of their teeth. They get back to the others, who are all completely safe and sound, and Cassie is worrying about her maths test. Yeah. I'm not entirely sure that takes top priority right now.

Everyone meets in Cassie’s barn that evening, ready to go. Except that Cassie’s missing. And Tobias is already morphed, and perching on Rachel’s shoulder, and she doesn’t seem to mind. You know where this is going. (Seriously, Tobias, stop getting used to that bird morph. You don't want to get stuck like that forever, do you?...Okay, too soon.)

They decide to start the mission anyway, and sneak into the school. Sure enough, they see people heading into the Yeerk pool.

But then they see that policeman from before forcing Cassie in against her will, intending to make her a Controller as well. Uh oh.

So everyone is like ohhh shiiiiit, they definitely have to get Cassie out of there for one thing. They decide to go in pretending to be human Controllers. It’s like that scene in Shaun of the Dead where everyone pretends to be zombies, like they're all joining the zombie apolcaypse. Eventually the Animorphs reach the Yeerk pool and realise that it’s not just one pool, it’s a whole city, and they really have their work cut out for them.

Descriptions of hellish screams and nightmares unfolding around them and people being enslaved. I don't know if this still counts as a kid's book.

Rachel hits elephant morph (which she acquired at the Gardens) and starts causing chaos everywhere. Welcome to the beginning of many, many awesome Animorph animal fights. Tiger and gorilla morph join in, and they start beating up Hork-Bajir and human controllers everywhere. Liberate the people from the Yeerks! Save the world!

They succeed in freeing Tom (although he doesn't know who they are, of course) and a load of others, but they haven't reached Cassie yet and time's running out for her. Jake has a split second decision whether to save Cassie or help Tom. He chooses Cassie and saves her from being infested at the last moment, and she morphs into horse. (I'm not sure why she didn't morph earlier and just kick that policeman in the head. Oh well.)

Everything is going really well until Visser Three turns up and everyone is like ohhhh shiiiiiit we're doomed.

But then, to everyone's amazement, he seems to think that they’re Andalite bandits.

He thinks they’re Andalite bandits for the next fifty books, in fact. There’s a lot of clues along the way that they’re obviously not, but Visser Three just isn’t very bright. I guess nobody had the heart to tap him on the shoulder and explain that he was just being really dense.

Visser Three then morphs into some…alien…thing. Eight heads, eight legs, tall as a tree…somebody draw this for me. Also, he can shoot fireballs. I don't have a picture of it, but it sounds like some awesome creation. All of the aliens are awesome, even the ones that are pure evil.

So Visser Three then starts pelting everyone with fireballs, killing virtually everyone that had been freed by the Animorphs. Tom gets angry and attacks Visser Three with his fists, which isn't really that effective, so he goes down. Jake goes crazy when he sees Tom go down and attacks as well. Eventually, everyone manages to escape and survive, mainly because Visser Three's morph is too big to get up the stairs. (He could have just demorphed and attacked them in a different morph and killed them all?...Oh, never mind.)

So that's their first real fight in the series. A lot of people died, but they managed to survive against Visser Three.

Oh man. This part.

Tobias flies in Jake’s window the next morning. He’s still in red-tailed hawk form. Jake says tiredly that he's glad to see him, and asks him to morph back.

Tobias doesn’t morph back. Uh-oh.

Because he can’t. He’s exceeded the two-hour time limit. He’ll be a hawk forever.

-gross sobbing in the distance-

TOBIAS NOOOOOOOO

And the book ends with the two of them having hope for the future that the Andalites will come. (I don’t remember if they do or not, I just remember that they take their sweet time doing anything at all, much like High Elves.)

Well, that was one hell of a book to start the series off. It sets out a very strong consistency in the series, introducing all the characters and morphs that play a large part in many later books. Everyone is unique in their own way, and the few who think they come from happy “perfect” families…well, turns out they don’t. I also feel that their main morphs are well-related to their personality as a whole – Marco and the gorilla, for example.

It felt weird re-reading this book with Tobias as human, because he’s always a hawk from now on (with a few exceptions). Many of the main antagonists are also set out very definitively – Visser Three, Chapman and Tom, so we’ll be encountering all of them again very soon. I don't remember Chapman playing a strong part in the later books however, but right now Visser Three is the major enemy.

We haven’t reached the point yet where Marco just makes dumb jokes to annoy Rachel. But we will.

This was one loooong review but the first book sets the basis for a lot of what follows, so the rest hopefully won’t be as long as this. Animorphs mixes a lot of different emotions, both high and low, though the zoo scene still remains my favourite. The end of the book was pretty dark and we'll be seeing a similar atmosphere in other titles, especially where the Yeerk pool is involved. But not anytime soon, I think. A lot of messages in Animorphs deal with war and loss, some of which our heroes have experienced already, even thought the story has only just begun.

Animorphs isn’t like other books of the same age group where you typically get a happy ending, because that's not what happened here. The Animorphs didn’t manage to rescue Tom, and most of the people they saved ended up being killed on the way out. They only managed to save one person at all, plus surviving the whole ordeal. But there’s still some feeling of accomplishment nonetheless, maybe because they survived against Visser Three.

I also thought about making a list of each morph we’ve seen the Animorphs acquire so far:

Jake – Dog, Lizard, Tiger

Marco – Gorilla

Cassie – Horse

Tobias – Cat, red-tailed hawk

Rachel - Elephant


(Note: I will be reviewing Animorphs and Goosebumps alternately. The next review will be for Goosebumps #1: Welcome to Dead House)


 


 

Intro

Jan. 22nd, 2015 11:19 pm
metaladrian: (Default)
Okay, first post of a new blog.
I've decided to review all of the Animorphs and Goosebumps books. Yes. All of them. This will include Megamorphs, Hork-Bajir Chronicles and Andalite Chronicles along the way. I'm not so sure if I can get my hands on all of Goosebumps 2000 but I should be able to do half of them.
Happy reading!

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