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Album Of The Year #15: Joji - Nectar
Artist:Joji Album:Nectar Label: 88Rising Release Date: September 25, 2020 Listen: Spotify Apple Music YouTube Music Deezer Soundcloud Background Not many artists have had a come-up as interesting and eccentric as George Kusunoki Miller, a former YouTube comedian/edgelord turned moody R&B singer. George first got his taste of internet fame as FilthyFrank, a character he described as everything a person should not be, he played the notorious persona on YouTube for over 6 years and eventually had to retire it due to him losing passion for it and suffering from stress induced seizures, which playing the character often caused. Throughout his time as FilthyFrank however he began experimenting with music, mostly of the satirical kind at the start, his first tracks were under the FilthyFrank persona, the first one being Who's The Sucker, a dumb track where he somehow manages to rhyme "nicer" with "vagina", go figure. A few years later, alongside the satirical rap, Joji began to make what he would consider as serious music, and this is where the timeline gets a bit messy, as he put out multiple tracks under multiple different aliases and the lines got blurred pretty fast, so I won't focus on aliases too much, but rather on the music he put out, around this era he released the therapeutical Medicine, the slow and melancholy We Fall Again, and Dumplings, which was Joji's best attempt at a trap banger. In 2015, he birthed the Joji alias, released two singles on Soundcloud under that name, and announced a project called Chloe Burbank Vol. 1, the project was later scrapped and is probably sitting on Joji's hard drive, unfinished, however, the two singles he put out, thom and you suck charlie, were the tracks that put him in the spotlight, not to mention that to this day, there are some of his fans that believe these 2 tracks are his best and will not be topped, but that's a discussion for another day. Following the overwhelmingly positive reception, Joji began to put out more tracks and singles, both under the aforementioned alias and Pink Guy, which was a character that blossomed into a satirical rap project, but I won't be covering that too much, and will focus on what he did as Joji instead, most tracks Joji put out were met with positive reception, some of the tracks, such as worldstar money, ended up on his debut EP as well. Sometime around early 2016, Joji ended up signing with 88rising, a label focused on building the bridge between east and west, he explained in an interview that he was initially a consultant for the duo behind the record label, however, once the duo noticed his music and how well it was received, they asked him to jump on board and he instantly took the chance, getting signed alongside the likes of Rich Brian and Higher Brothers. The label immediately undertook Joji and began distributing his catalog on their YouTube channel and helped him release more music, which was a couple of singles in the earlier half of 2017, and his debut EP in the latter half, the EP, known as "In Tongues", was met with mixed reception from fans and critics alike, with some describing it as his most concise body of work so far that is oozing potential, and others describing it as a bleak project that fails to set Joji apart from the sea of artists on the same wavelength as himself. Following the release of the EP, Joji began working on his debut album, known as BALLADS 1, the album's first single, YEAH RIGHT, was released on the 8th of May, the track was first believed to be a standalone loosie as it was released 5 months before the album itself, however it ended up being on the album and was confirmed as the one of the singles alongside SLOW DANCING IN THE DARK, CAN'T GET OVER YOU, which features a production credit from non other than Clams Casino, and TEST DRIVE. The album was well received, and was praised for containing a wider variety of sounds than its predecessor, it felt like a natural progression for Joji's sound and was a step forward towards a more mainstream approach whilst not sacrificing any of the rawness that Joji's older stuff had, which seemed to be what most fans were expecting from him. Moving forward Joji stayed mostly silent throughout 2019, appearing on the second 88Rising collaboration album, which was negatively received due to it's lack of creativity and sub-par performances from most label signees, he also appeared on Rich Brian's sophomore album, The Sailor, and released which is now known to be as the first single from Nectar, Sanctuary, a synth based poppy track that previewed a vocally improved and more confident version of Joji. What was assumed to be a loosie turned out to be the beginning of an album rollout, as half a year later Joji released Run, setting a new standard for himself both instrumentally and vocally, and a couple of months later he released Gimme Love, a double sided track with a fun, catchy beginning and a melancholy ballad driven ending, the last single, Daylight, was released on the 8th of August, the instrumental was produced by Diplo and the track itself sounded like Joji's attempt to break into the mainstream. Without warning, he also released two tracks that he classified as "NOT SONG", the first being Pretty Boy, which actually ended up on the album with a Lil Yachty feature, and the second being FTC, which sadly did not end up on the album, both tracks had videos and it seemed to me at first that the purpose of both tracks was to serve the lore that Joji has built around the album, which I will be touching up on in this write-up. A day before the album's release, he put out Gimme Cum, an enigmatic track with a mysterious message. Nectar itself was pushed back from it's original July release date due to the pandemic and Black Lives Matter protests, the album however was released on the 25th of September. Album Lore If there's one thing George is no stranger to, it would definitely be worldbuilding, as he has proven time and time again that he has a knack for it, especially with his FilthyFrank YouTube channel, where he managed to create characters, locations, and an entire universe out of a few satirical characters, his lore was adored by many and even though visually he never wrapped up the story he did release a book that served as closure for the FilthyFrank lore. This album's lore is not as straight forward however, and there are multiple theories doing the rounds on the internet, personally I will go by what sounded most convincing to me in terms of timeline and storyline, however do feel free to expand on what I've said or correct me, George has left multiple things left open to interpretation therefore I would not be surprised if there were multiple different meanings to the same thing. Our story begins in the music video for Gimme Love, where we see a young Joji who appears to be a small time engineer that is eager to climb through the ranks of the company he is working for, as he rises however he appears to become more stressed out and agitated at all times, lashing out at his coworkers and breaking down consistently, throughout the music video we can see that the more he progresses, the more roadblocks he runs into, which causes his behavior to become more psychotic and manic, as the shots move forward we see him accept awards, lead his very own research team, run failed experiments on his coworkers that causes them to bleed, and eventually receive military covert status, which did not come without sacrifices, as we see him smile less and less throughout the video. In the second half of the video, we see Joji steal the rocket he helped build by locking out his crew members, and launch himself into space, disappointing everyone he worked with and stabbing them in the back he appears to be quite happy however, eventually his mood flips as he is faced with two choices, engage or eject, the following shot does not allow us to see which one he picked as we are facing his back, all we see is Joji making the choice and gearing up for what's to come. The lines get blurred around this spot and many people have different theories as to which video is the right one chronologically, personally I believe Daylight comes next, and my theory is Joji is having some sort of fever dream featuring his previous coworkers, most notably the older people who went through layers of plastic surgery, who appear in the music video for FTC, where they are seen wearing badges that features the same organization Joji worked for, throughout the video they are seen rummaging through the wreckage caused by Joji, clearly looking for something specific, which ends up being the award Joji won. Back to Daylight, Joji appears to be some sort of intern working for the director and the actors, towards the end of the music video we can see Joji waking up from the aforementioned fever dream, clearly in a daze, as the shot widens we see that he is alone, in a barren wasteland, with nothing around him except for a tent and what appears to be a device used for communication, he plants a few seeds in the soil and sits by the device, hoping for a sign of life. Next comes Run, where we are once again met with Joji having a nightmare, the entire video symbolizes being trapped in a place you don't want to be in, as Joji appears to be in a never ending limousine with people he has no interest in whatsoever, towards the end of the nightmare we actually see Joji running across a massive wasteland, the same wasteland we saw him in at the end of the Daylight music video, throughout the video, we see Joji become consumed by the soil itself, which I would assume is a representation of his fears back then, seeing as he was alone and had little to no hope of being saved whatsoever. Joji wakes up from this nightmare and appears to be in some kind of spaceship, if the videos were released chronologically, we would be completely lost at this point, lucky for us, we already know what the spaceship is, as we see a picture of the Sanctuary crew in the final shots of the Run music video, I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that the crew is the ones that saved him from death and picked him up from the mess that he placed himself in, hence the name Sanctuary, which means refuge or safety from pursuit, persecution, or other danger The crew itself is seen in action in the music video for Sanctuary, where Joji appears to be fighting and defeating some sort of one-eyed alien supervillain at the start, however, once he is defeated, both Joji and the crew themselves become aimless, as they are living monotonously without a goal, thankfully(???), one of the crew members sees this and decides to take matters into his own hands, by surgically removing his own eye, which portrays his transformation into the new supervillain, and following this up by killing a crewmember and escaping on his own, once again giving the spaceship it's own purpose. Unfortunately the music videos that were put out after the release of the album appear to be too subtle for me to think they are connected in any way, shape or form, there are many theories of course but I can't help but feel like that most of them are a reach. The most plausible explanation for this lore that I can think of is that the whole escaping from earth on his own, landing in a barren wasteland, trying to plant seeds in it, and eventually being picked up by a group(88Rising, wink wink) is a metaphor for his transition from FilthyFrank to Joji, the barren wasteland stands for how hopeless he felt at the time and the seeds symbolize the loosies he was slowly dropping before ditching his channel to become an R&B superstar, which if true, solidifies the idea that George was done with FilthyFrank long before he actually left the channel itself. Regardless, I thought the lore was very enjoyable and it was nice to see Joji back in one of his elements at least, most fans would have been disappointed in me if I had not touched up on it a bit seeing as it was a huge part of the albums release and they are intertwined in some sort of way. Review
When it's lovely I believe in anything What does love mean When the end is rolling in
It is important for me to preface this review with the fact that this Joji album is not like anything we've ever heard from him before, this is not the one man army, garageband using, sample meshing Joji that we knew in the past, this is Joji with an entire team behind his artistic vision, a whole group of people working with him to help him push his sound to the next level, and unfortunately, while the quality of the music has clearly went up, when so many people have their own input on something eventually the lines get blurred and the album loses its artistic direction and cohesion, which is one of my only complaints with this album, and I'm glad I got it out of the way first. Artistic direction and cohesion aside, this album contains some of Joji's highest highs to date, especially the singles, that's not to say that there aren't some deep cuts on here that shine as well, but once you listen to the album in it's entirety you quickly understand why the singles were chosen as singles, especially when you consider how sonically different they are from the non-singles. Sanctuary, the album's first single, is a sweet, poppy and synthy track that features a high pitched and melodic Joji, some of the track's lyrics are somewhat abstract but they are quite visually descriptive and that's always a plus in my book, the instrumental itself is quite spacey and has a nice retro vibe to it, already a huge step forward from what we've already heard from George, the track's climax reaches towards the end and gives us a beautiful bridge,with Joji crooning about wanting to be held by a significant other.
I fell for your magic, I tasted your skin And though this is tragic, at least I found the end I witnessed your madness, you shed light on my sins And if we share in this sadness, then where have you been?
Run is one of the more cinematic cuts on this album, the track is truly a double edged sword because although it's one of Joji's best, it has set an extremely high standard for both Joji and the album, leaving fans such as myself worried about whether or not he will ever reach a similar high, the production is clean, Joji's vocal lines are as dynamic as ever, the guitar melody is infectious, the lyrics are better than anything Joji has ever written and he is putting his heart and soul into every word, the electric guitar solo at the end is also something worth mentioning, which sits perfectly right in front of Joji's distant and wide vocals, ending the track on a strong note.
Look into your heart and let me know Do things turn black and gray as they go? When I'm far too gone, can you show me love? Give me love
The lyrics above come from the album's third single, a 2 sided track that starts as a bouncy, percussive, fast paced, and catchy song, with Joji chanting and pleading to be given love, softly singing about being surrounded by apathetic people, after the second chorus the entire song comes to a halt in order to make room for a mellow guitar and Joji's harmonies, which are absolutely stunning if I may add, the track, much like many other tracks on here, ends on a cinematic strong note with a string section and a grandiose piano. The final single, Daylight, is no doubt unexplored territory for Joji, the instrumental, which was produced by Diplo, starts off slow and minimalistic, with a simple yet groovy bassline, and reaches its apex on the chorus, when it suddenly becomes extremely lush, heavy, and thick, the track is most definitely a solid attempt at modern day and mainstream pop music, clearly made with the intention of receiving radio play. All of the singles show up in the first leg of the album, which is absolutely phenomenal, the opener track, Ew, starts off light and easy, with a somber and distant arpeggiated piano backed with Joji's soft vocals, who's singing about heartbreak and the loss of many relationships, sounding as bitter as ever lyrically, the chorus includes a grand string section and a chord progression that is fully panned to the right and sitting all the way behind the mix, and surprise surprise, the track itself ends on a cinematic strong note, much like many of the other tracks on here.
I've got no aim, a million rounds, is nothing real? A hundred pounds of heavy steel, it feels so loud Tied to my chest, it feels so loud I'll take a peek to across the peaks This grass is neat and I'm quite unique But I'd like to be, but I'd like to be
Up next comes MODUS, a moody track that has an intro similar to the opener track but later on has Joji melodic rapping to a murky trap instrumental, with Joji of course sounding better than ever, lyrically speaking, many of the themes on this album are similar, Joji is mostly singing about relationships, heartbreak, and the need for a significant other, the lyrics themselves give the album a nocturnal, bitter, hopeless vibe, which is what we've come to expect from Joji's music nowadays. The third track, Tick Tock, is a plucky banger of an instrumental that has Joji rapping over it with pitched up vocals on the chorus which is something that's a little bit reminiscent of his older, more amateur work, the vocal layering on the verse is also something worth mentioning, really showcases Joji's dynamic range and how much he improved as a whole, the track is nothing groundbreaking in terms of what we've heard so far and remains lowkey for the most part but is without a doubt one of my favorites on this project.
On Nectar, one of the yet-to-be-announced tracks was produced when the artist was only sixteen years old. “I’m excited to see if it sticks out or not to the listeners.” he reveals.
Joji Interview with Schön! Magazine.
While not officially announced by Joji himself, it is safe to say that Upgrade is the aforementioned track, a small interlude that seats itself in the earlier part of the album, the track starts with a grandiose piano, which is quite unnecessary if you ask me, because once we have it out of the way all we get is a very obviously barebones instrumental made from a different time, the telltale sign being non other than the ukulele that we have seen in George's earlier work. It upsets me that Joji has not made this fact much more known because this track has been consistently the subject of criticism by critics and fans alike, but at the same time I understand, because at the end of the day George left that track in there for the die hard fans, not the critics. Up until this point there is no doubt that Joji has played it safe, sure the album is much more grand and cinematic than its predecessor, but there's no denying that the signature sound is still there, we still get the hazy and moody slow bangers, if Nectar was only the first half then Joji might have had a strong album in his catalog, maybe even a classic, but I understand him wanting to expand and experiment with other sounds in order to grow as an artist. The midsection gets a little bit tricky, as Joji begins to get out of his comfort zone and the album features start appearing, to me it sounds like Joji did not know how he could keep the listener interested in the second half of this album and decided to opt in for a bunch of features as a quick fix, some work out fine, some better than others.
Handsome young man, never pull up on time Lookin' in the mirror, lookin' good should be a crime, crime All this pain I'll never let show (No) My real thoughts, you'll never know (No)
Lil Yachty on Pretty Boy
I never really listened to Lil Yachty that much aside from the obvious hits he had over the course of his career, but he clearly shined on this track as the feature, for starters, the track is very light-hearted, definitely one of the more lofi tracks on this album, the highlight for me without a doubt is the bridge, which sounds like something straight out of Pink Season, George was clearly having genuine fun with it, some even speculate that most of the bridge was made using samples from his earlier work as Pink Guy. High Hopes, which features Omar Apollo, is one of the more lowkey cuts in here as well, the percussion on the instrumental and the detuned guitar on here remind me of some of Joji's stuff from BALLADS 1, unfortunately however the track doesn't stand out much, at least not as much as Afterthought with BENEE, another track where Joji's melodies and vocals shine through once again, and BENEE's feature definitely adds some character to the track, at least enough to the point where the feature made some sense On Normal People, Joji recruits childhood friend rei brown, in an attempt to capture lightning again after their first collaboration, Once In A While. Unfortunately lightning didn't strike twice here for me and the track felt quite lackluster and uninteresting, especially for such an anticipated track and when compared to their first song, many of the tracks and collaborations on the second part of the album really felt like Joji just trying to recapture the magic of his earlier work, and while some of those attempts did work at the end of the day it does feel like a cheap cop out.
Oh, understand, girl, I'm out of sight To the other side, I don't want no stripes Got my insides loud like motorcycles Girl, don't notice it, I don't notice it
Another example of Joji attempting to recapture magic is NITROUS, which marks Joji's second time collaborating with Clams Casino, the track is very reminiscent of their first track together, both Joji and Clams Casino however killed it, the track's instrumental is very murky and nocturnal, much alike most of the album, but that doesn't stop Joji's delivery, which is very fun-loving and upbeat.
By the way you move, I know you want me to Tell you all the rules, I know I'm searching too Give me all your clues and things to guide me through The end of the world, the end of the world
Produced by the one and only Kenneth Instrumentals, Mr. Hollywood is one of the more heartfelt and personal tracks on this album, Joji is singing about his evergrowing popularity and how it will never affect what is important for him, which in this case is the girl he's singing about, like many other tracks on this album, you will often hear something that will remind you of Joji's older work, in this case it is the ad-libs on the chorus, which are very reminiscent of his ad-libs on BESIDJU, regardless the song has at least a bit of substance which makes it one of the more commendable tracks. The final run of this album is where Joji flips the script here, there are a few tracks that have questionable artistic decisions, such as Reanimator, with non other than Yves Tumor, the track serves as an instrumental interlude before the final two tracks, however with a feature such as Yves Tumor I honestly expected much more than what we got, and what we got is basically a 3 minute track, with the first minute and a half being nothing than a drone-y, synthy instrumental, and the second half being quite a lackluster performance by Joji and his guest, much like some of the other tracks on the album, it seems like it received a similar treatment, where the track was initially unfinished and still half-baked, and rather than attempting to finish the track they opted for an easy way out, which in this case was making more than half of the track an instrumental and then calling it an interlude just to be safe.
"that weeknd synthpop track sure is doing huge numbers, maybe i should also make a synthpop track as well"
I would be down to argue that if Blinding Lights by The Weeknd had not existed, 777 wouldn't have existed either, Joji's constant attempts at breaking into the mainstream and commercializing his sound have always left a bad taste in my mouth as it felt like it came from a place where authenticity is lacking, nevertheless I find it bizarre to make a track that is very similar to one of the most successful tracks of the year and not attempt to push it at all, that's not to say that 777 on it's own is not a good track, however there's no denying that the sound selection on the instrumental, some of the flows, and the chorus itself hold blaring similarities to The Weeknd's track, I understand why he would make such a track however and find it admirable at the very least. Thankfully, the album ends on a strong note, the final two tracks are both beautiful even though they're worlds apart, Like You Do, is a quintessential love ballad from Joji, a stripped down instrumental with beautiful piano chords and a laid back vibe, Joji is singing about his current partner and how what they have might not work out, even though he feels like they're perfect for one another, the closing track, Your Man is a massive change in tempo, with an upbeat, electronic, deep house-esque instrumental, we hear a Joji that is optimistic, which is a nice change of pace, especially considering how bitter most of his albums and projects have been up to date.
Since I met you All the gloomy days just seem to shine a little more brightly Consider what we've got 'Cause I can never take you for granted
Like You Do
Conclusion There's no denying that some tracks on here sound like a bastardized version of Joji's signature sound. Joji is trying his best to commercialize his sound without sacrificing the rawer elements of it, which unfortunately results in a jumble of sounds. This album is not free of criticisms as there are many issues in here that need to be worked on, it's much less cohesive than its predecessor and at times sounds like a bunch of rough ideas put together in order to create the world's most average musical equivalent of a photo collage, but if we were to just set all of that aside and just look at this album for what it is, then there's definitely something in here for everyone. George might have not made a classic, and he certainly hasn't found his sound yet, but this album is an indicator that he's on to something, and once again I am already anxious to hear what he has in store next. Talking Points
What did you think of this album? Is it a good follow-up to BALLADS 1?
Do you think Joji works better alone or when he has a team behind him?
Do you think Joji will yet again set another high standard for himself next project?
What are your predictions for Joji's sound in the future?
Now that he's more keen on having features, who do you think would compliment Joji's sound the most?
If you were a Script Doctor for Star Wars, what would you change?
One of my best memories of Star Wars when I was a kid was getting together with other Star Wars fans and envisioning what we would do to help fix our personal issues with the most recent Star Wars movie we saw (it was the prequels). I remember great discussions about it and to be honest it's one of the things I miss most. I have tried to have conversations about it on other Star Wars forums only to be shot down, and belittled. However, I would like to try again here and have a great discussion with you guys. A few years ago I came across "What if "Star Wars" was Good?" on youtube and it really hit me to what I was missing. Even though I didn't always agree with what he was saying I really missed that sort of energy and enthusism in fandom. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgICnbC2-_Y The only rules are: 1) No calling out creatives, they don't matter to the discussion. 2) No complete rewrites, just altering what is needed to improve the story/get the point of the story across. 3) Keep everything Star Wars I will start it off with what I would do with The Last Jedi, I would love to hear your thoughts on my chances but also your lists for any Star Wars movie. So here it is: Star Wars The Last Jedi Script Notes (by me) (Sorry for the long list)
After Leia reams out Poe for his attack on the Dreadnought, we have a scene of Poe and Ackbar. Ackbar mentors him and tells him where he went right and where he went wrong and how his improper use of the ships leading to too many deaths
Ackbar doesn't berate but teaches and wants Poe to take up the military reigns since he is getting old
Leia is killed in the bombing of the bridge but Ackbar survives and is in the coma instead
(NOTE: this change is a last minute change that should have been called for after the untimely death of Carrie Fisher)
Ben brutally murders his wing men who fired the missiles killing Leia
Ben spends the movie conflicted. The "kill the past" message is really him trying to convince himself that he is doing the right thing/is a true Sith
Admiral Holdo should have a uniform, she rubs Poe and most of the crew the wrong way
Everyone knows the only way to track a ship so accurately in hyperspace is an implanted tracker
Everyone believes there is a tratior onboard
Two factions start to form around Poe and Holdo, each believing the other is the spy
Finn is force sensitive, not strongly and he wouldn't pass padawan but since he faced his "trial" of rejecting the First Order and returning to face it he is steeped in the light side
After some minor, unintended force usage through the movie, Finn meets Luke at the end to train
No techno babble between Finn and Rose, Poe sends them on a fuel run as a back up plan (trying to take Ackbar's advice and see the big picture)
Maz sends them to the nearest planet (Canto Bight) that has a contact who could help them
DJ is a New Republic agent (not a code breaker), he is busy tracking an Imperial Remanent General who has been funneling money/tech to the First Order through the casino
DJ is busy, doesn't want to help, his mission is to find a secret new tech that is going to the First Order that would be the end to any New Republic resistance
Finn and Rose offer to help if in return he helps them get fuel for the fleet
Reuse the Super Star Destroyer infiltration scenes but instead it's a secret lab under the casino
DJ and Finn set charges, Roses wipes the computer banks
Rose finds the plans to a subspace tracker, puts two and two together and realize that more fuel is pointless if they can be traced anywhere they go
Rose learns that the subspace tracker works by leaving a "periscope" sensor permanently in subspace: a potential weakness
(CREDIT to a reddit thread who proposed this)
Rey meets Luke
Luke thanks her for his father's lightsaber but asks her to leave
He doesn't want to train her since he can't trust himself to (similar to Obi-wan's failure to train Anakin)
Luke doesn't know why he lost control and tried to attack Ben
He felt his actions were not his own, that something was inside of him and wanted something from Ben (foreshadowing it was Palpintine trapped inside Luke since the second Death Star and wants to take over Ben, which is why Palpintine wanted Luke to strike him down and give into his hate: Palpintine can only take over a powerful darkside user (Darth Vader is half machine so not useful to Palpintine)
Luke senses Rey's great and growing power and is scared that she has been using the darkside to leapfrog in power (her past is dark from being abandoned and could be affecting her), she needs to slow down
Rey after communicating with Ben, is taunted to come to save the fleet and disregards Luke's warning
Finn, Rose and DJ returns to the Fleet with the information but no fuel
Poe and Holdo's conflict is reaching it's peak (The "who done it" has now turned into a stand off)
Finn finds Ackbar coming out of his coma
Ackbar disarms the onboard conflict
Rose reviles subspace tracker information
Holdo reveils her plan to evac to the planet as they pass
Snoke orders Ben to subdo Rey when she comes (he forsees it)
Snoke drops hints to an old rival is returning (Ben thinks it's Luke but Snoke is actually talking about Palpintine). Belittles Ben, alludes that he would be nothing without him
Rey goes to the Super Star Destroyer
Throne room scene is the same, except Rey doesn't reject Ben's pitch to the darkside but is interrupted by the Holdo manoeuver (building for the next movie)
The evac shuttles didn't fool Snoke and are shot at
Holdo using the information of the subspace periscope to form a plan and kamakize the Super Star Destroyer
Poe leads the landspeeder attack on the First Order walkers
Learning from Ackbar he orders everyone to pull back since it is hopeless
Finn continues in an attempt to scarifice himself to stop the weapon
He is shot down before he could: Failing
The weapon is destroyed by proton torpedoes as Luke and a half dozen other X-wings respond to the Resistance's call for help but not before the wall is breached
The Falcon and another transport (Possibly piloted by Lando) evac the crew
(No matter what state Luke or even Lando is in, they wouldn't ignore a call for help from friends)
Luke is shot down, Finn gets to the crash and unwittingly uses his force powers to free Luke (introduces Luke to the rest of the new cast)
Luke and Ben have their show down
Luke is toying with him to buy time for the evac
Luke and Ben confront each other, Luke tries to explain what happened or what he thinks happened but Ben is too angry
Luke is ready to die to convince Ben but Rey comes to pulls him out at the last moment
The movie ends with a makeshift funeral on the Falcon for Leia
Would these changes make a difference to the quality of the story? Give a direction for the characters? Or would it still have been a great/bad movie with or without any changes?
PSA the only other books I’ve read that I actually care about are Harry Potter so I’m probably gonna be mentioning those a lot lmao 1. So I’ve already seen the movies so not gonna be too many surprises for the first 2 parts but I know it’s drastically different 2. Literally first chapter is already a completely different story 3. Hmm a pre teen boy with Black Hair and green eyes, abandoned by his parent, forced to live with an abusive relative, gets bullied at school, turns out he’s magic and has to go to a place where he learns how to use this magic and protect himself from bad guys, and he also has a friend who is a boy who is kinda the comic relief (but not really) and a girl who is really smart. Sound familiar? 4. HAHAHA I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH 5. I like the way he found out he was Poseidon son way better in the books 6. Okay I like the way this book is written like it’s not as serious as Harry Potter (it’s just much more light hearted which I love so much more) 7. I mean seriously the chapter names are hilarious 8. I like Annabeth more in the book there is just something about the movie actress that I don’t like 9. LMAOO NOT THE COUNTRY THINKING THIS 12 YEAR OLD BOY IS A FUGITIVE I CANT 10. Wow this is like not even the same story as the movie 11. I mean seriously did the directors even read the script 12. I hate Ares but I also love him 13. Yes free the animals!! 14. Idk why but I just love the casino thing so much 15. Also wtf they aren’t even on a quest to find pearls what kinda crack was the movie director smoking 16. I have a feeling Kronos is gonna be like the Voldemort of the series where they think he’s dead but he’s not really he just doesn’t have a body and Percys final battle is prob gonna be against him (if I’m right or wrong plz don’t tell me cause I do not wanna be spoiled) 17. Rip Ares 18. But seriously why would you fight the son of the sea god in the sea ??? Are you asking to lose?? 19. YES SHE BETTER KILL GABE 20. LMAO REST IN STONE Okay this book was so awesome I don’t even wanna read the next cause I mean how can you top this??? (I’m gonna read the next one anyways tho so PLEASE don’t spoil it I’m begging you) literally where has Percy Jackson been all my life
Server Name- Miners Merchants Pirates Legacy’s Trading PvP - Slots-20 Players Planets- Earth, Pertam, Mars Game Settings- Initial playeFaction PCU-160,000 Progression/Research-Off Auto Healing-On Auto Save-Every 5 Minutes Cargo Ships-On Drones-On Encounters-Off Thruster Damage-On Ingame Scripts-On Spiders-On Wolves-On Environment Hostility-Safe Grinder Speed Multiplier-x2 Welder Speed Multiplier-x2 Inventory Size Multiplier-x10 Refinery Speed Multiplier-x10 Assembler Speed Multiplier-x10 -Game information If you want to create an Empire, Be a Merchant or Miner and focus your lively hood around that this is the server for you, Or even a Pirate to take what ever you want. Trading personal interactions and PvP are the main focus. Brand new discord out for the server, not mandatory but if interested feel free to join. Your able to earn credits on the discord server, either by working or committing crimes, can even rob other players. Casino to bet your credits away. Your even able to cash in your credits you've made on server to you in game account Discord — https://discord.gg/87nYuCwHgf
Class Trial 66: The Murder of Sonia Nevermind - Summary Sheet: Skill Attack
Ta-daaaaaaa! It's the Official Prima Holographic Ultra-Rare Rofl Trial Summary Thread! This is just for reference. None of the little bastards are roleplaying here, so we can be as meta as we want! Daddy said if we do a good job with the Summary Thread, he might let us host the next trial... So let's all try our best! This is boring. Where's all the killin'? Where's everybody playin' the blame game?! Father gave us our own thread, but we're missin' out on all the good stuff! Yeah! Enough with this boring evidence crap! SCREW ALIBI SPREADSHEETS, I WANNA SEE SOME CARNAGE!!! H-hey, you guys are off-script! Did you forget your lines again?! I thought we rehearsed this! Father told us no matter what, we can't forget our... ... Uh... What were we talking about? N-not you too, Monotaro! Are you okay? Did the amnesia come back?! Who, me? I'm fine. I just have one question... Who's Monotaro? Waaaah! This is a total train-wreck! Daddy will never let us host a trial at this rate! ...
Monokuma File: Sonia - The victim of this case is Sonia Nevermind. She was found dead at the bottom of the middle of the Three Lakes between the Casino and Hotel Kumasutra. She died during night time. The cause of death is asphyxiation.
Winter Wear: The victim was found wearing generic winter clothes to stay warm such as a jacket, pants, and some gloves. In addition, instead of her trademark neck ribbon, the victim was found wearing a fluffy red neck scarf.
Sonia’s Shoes: Extensive scuffing marks on the back of the victim’s red high heels and tears on the back of her black leggings were discovered.
Sonia’s Scarf: Worn by the victim instead of her trademark neck ribbon. It has been wrapped to cover the victim’s neck. On a free end of the scarf, there is a small hole, and near it are traces of blood.
The Motive: For the first motive of this Killing Semester, Monokuma threatened that if a murder doesn’t happen in the next twenty-four hours, then he will make their parents forget they ever existed.
Emergency HVAC Maintenance: A malfunction in the outdoor HVAC system was detected some time in the afternoon, so Monokuma had to repair it overnight. He announced that temperatures in the Courtyard would drop from the normal 25 C (77 F) to -10 C (14 F) during the night. The system was reactivated to normal operation at 8 AM when Monokuma gave the morning announcement. All indoor areas maintained room temperature overnight. After maintenance, the outdoor temperature returned quickly to normal.
Free Access to the Labs: In the prologue to the Killing Semester, Monophanie announced to the class that all Research Labs at the Academy would be open and its doors kept unlocked 24 hours a day, allowing anyone free access to utilize them.
Wax Residue: Visible traces of black wax were found at the lower-level Plaza next to a bench adjacent to the TV post.
Letter to Gundham: Delivered to Gundham’s dorm room some time yesterday afternoon. It reads: “Gundham, I may have found a way to escape. Do not talk to me today. We are being watched and everyone is potentially dangerous. Meet me at 6:30 AM outside the Dormitory. -Sonia”
Letter to Sonia: Found on the victim’s person during the investigation. It was delivered to Sonia’s dorm room some time yesterday afternoon. It reads: “Sonia, I may have found a way to escape. Do not talk to me today. We are being watched and everyone is potentially dangerous. Meet me at midnight at the Shrine of Judgement at the lower level of the Courtyard. -Gundham”
Gundham’s Account - Sunrise: Gundham claims to have left the Student Dormitory at 6:25 AM this morning to meet with Sonia outside the Dormitory at 6:30.
Gundham’s Account - Sonia’s Corpse: Gundham further claims to have found the victim’s corpse at 7:00 AM lying on top of the middle of the frozen Three Lakes. He claims to have attempted to save her by walking onto the ice to extract her from the frozen lake, but in his attempt fell immediately through the ice and passed out to hypothermia shortly after exiting the lake.
Flattened Patch of Grass: During the investigation just after 9 AM, Gonta, with his extremely sharp vision, noticed that there was a small patch of flattened grass of approximate size 30 centimeters by 15 (12 inches by 6 inches) behind the TV stand at the lower-level Plaza. According to Gonta, taller grasses like those found in the Courtyard when flattened typically do not stand up until twelve hours have passed.
Rantaro’s Account: In the prologue to the Killing Semester, Rantaro went up to the Ultimate Survivor’s Lab in search of dossiers he prepared at an unknown prior time. Upon arrival, he discovered they were missing.
Sonia’s Belongings: Kazuichi was granted permission to search Sonia’s dorm room and her belongings during the investigation. Among other things, he found the last book she was reading, “Spooky People and Spookier Places,” which covers cults, the occult, and serial killers, as well as Sonia’s Monopad, which seems to have been there for some time as it has sunk into the mattress. You can read the book HERE.
Sonia’s Wristwatch - During the investigation, Sonia’s corpse was found wearing the watch on her left wrist. The watch seems to have been broken at some point: its hands are stuck, and turning the crown on the left side no longer changes the time. Monokuma assures the watch kept an accurate track of time up until it was broken. A visual is available in the Truth Bullet Supplements. .
Sonia’s Wristwatch Supplement - The watch is made by TIMELY, a Novoselic-based watchmaker. It is a simple yet expensive and luxurious golden watch with white clock hands and a rose-pink dial.
An Account of Wax Dolls: During Daily Life, Angie, Gonta, Kaede, Mahiru, Maki, Makoto, Rantaro, and Sayaka discovered lifelike wax doubles of each student hidden away in the Art Room closet. Knowledge of their existence was kept to themselves.
Hagakure’s Account: In his “deep memory clairvoyance,” Hagakure remembered that all watches made in Novoselic, in compliance with international standards, are by law required to place their crowns to the right side of the watch face.
Autopsy Report: At the victim’s neck, there is a round hole approximately 50 millimeters (2 inches) wide that goes completely through. The victim’s larynx has been destroyed, and a mass of blood accumulated in the victim’s airways to totally restrict breathing after the hole was created. An estimated time of death cannot be produced.
Letter from an Accomplice: A letter found on Sonia’s person without a sender name or recipient. The sender claims to know the recipient’s secret and solicits their services to be an accomplice to whatever murder plot the recipient desires. The full text of the letter can be found in Supplements.
Secret Message: Upon counting the number of letters between each apostrophe in the Letter from an Accomplice and then turning that number into a letter (1=A, to 26=Z), the letter in secret reads “HIT ORDER. KILL SONIA. MIDNIGHT. DEUS SALVET.”
Autopsy Report Supplement: A limited chemical analysis reveals heightened levels of adrenaline prior to death, suggesting the death was not instantaneous. Further, no indications of a gunshot wound could be observed on the victim.
Motive Anti-Cheat (MAC): After the body was discovered, Monokuma met in private with Byakuya during the investigation. According to Monokuma, Byakuya didn’t act in the spirit of the motive and convinced someone else to kill by authoring all the letters involved in this murder. This renders Byakuya the sole accomplice to the murder. Subject to punishment, he may not reveal the blackened’s identity.
Truth Bullet Supplements
Click HERE to access all available and relevant Trial supplements, including visual aids.
A Guide to the Differences Between JRPGs Ports and Enhanced Versions (Part 1).
A new day, a new guide. This is the hardest one of the guides I wanted to make, because the information is never easy to get, which is weird. So please forgive me if I missed some changes, and by all means tell me if I missed any of them or if any of them are incorrect. Since this list is really long, this guide is going to come in parts, this part covers:
Valkyrie Profile (PSX) vs Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth (PSP vs iOS & Andriod).
Chrono Trigger (SNES) vs Chrono Trigger (PSX vs NDS vs iOS & Andriod vs PC).
Star Ocean 2 (PSX) vs Star Ocean: Second Evolution (PSP) vs PS4 (JP.ver).
The Last Remnant (Xbox360) vs The Last Remnant Remastered (PC vs PS4 & Switch).
Tales of Vesperia (Xbox360) vs Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition (PS4/PC/Switch/Xbox One).
Tales of Symphonia (GC) vs Tales of Symphonia (PS2 (JP.ver only) vs PS3/PC).
Skies of Arcadia (DC) vs Skies of Arcadia: Legends (GC).
Person 3 (PS2) vs Persona 3 FES (PS2 (English.ver)) vs Persona 3P (PSP).
Persona 4 (PS2) vs Persona 4 Golden (Vita vs PC).
.hack//G.U (PS2) vs .hack//G.U. Last Recode (PS4/PC).
Final Fantasy 12 (PS2) vs FF 12: International Zodiac Job System PS2 (JP.ver only) vs FF12 Zodiac Age (PS4/PC/Switch/Xbox One).
Rune Factory 4 (3DS) vs Rune Factory 4 Special (Switch).
This is made for Ports and Enhanced versions, so No Remakes. So this is about differences between the different versions of Chrono Trigger, and not about the differences between FF7 ps1 and FF7 Remake.
The differences are taken from all over the internet, either from official sources, wikis, youtube, and even forums.
I cover all the changes for a game, unless there is too many, in which case I will highlight the ones worth mentioning.
Nearly identical to the Japan version but with minor fixes in the menu screen. In the Japanese version, Characters not in the party were unable to change or learn skills nor were they able change or remove equipment. The US version allowed out of party members to change and learn skills as well as change or remove equipment without being added to the party. Also in the Japanese version, Lenneth would unequip all her skills and equipment when switching between sword and bow. The US version 'remembers' the previous setting when switching weaponry and is automatically equipped with the skills and equip. Another improvement over the Japanese version is an improved item sorting option. There are a few instances of censoring such as Badrach's smoking.
Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth PSP:
Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth lacks the improvement made in US version. Rather than re-rendering the textures of the dungeon maps, TOSE cropped and upscaled the pre-rendered images to fit the portable console's screen, resulting in severe blurring in some areas. This version also removes the anime opening movie in favor of 3D CGI, animated movie. Certain key story-sequences were animated in the same style as the opening movie and can be viewed at anytime in the Gallery option in the title screen once unlocked in the story. The animated scenes include:
Alicia witnesses Barbarossa's execution
Lenneth's encounter with the Lord of the Undead
Lenneth and the Homunculi
A chance encounter between "Meril" and Lucian
Lenneth in Weeping Lily Meadow
Lucian's departure to Valhalla
The Sovereign's Rite
Other big changes are:
An enhanced version of the original game's localization
Square Enix cleaned up the original game's English script and additional voice over dialogue for the CG movies was recorded by New Generation Pictures, rather than the original company, TAJ Productions.
Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth iOS & Andriod:
This is the PSP version being ported to iOS & Andriod, with the following changes:
Enhanced graphics such as character portraits. >* Enhanced Text.
Anime cut scenes created by original character designer Akira Toriyama's Bird Studio and animated by Toei Animation. A new Extra Mode Option was added that is divided into different categories of viewable extras, that are unlocked as you finish the game, and just as shown in the picture, they are:
Chrono Trigger NDS:
This version includes everything new in the PSX version, and also has big and a long list of changes and additions, which I will try to condense them as much as possible:
Ability to play using the two screens and the touch screen, or in classic mode through a single screen.
Added the Arena of Ages: A monster arena where You pick basic monsters and raise them to fight computer and wireless opponents.
Added the Lost Sanctum: A sidequest during the main game. It consists of two dungeons in two different eras.
Added the Dimensional Vortex: A extra Dungeon, available after beating the game once and appears in three different eras. Each dungeon is different.
A lot of New Items.
New Enemies in the new dungeons, in the form of palette swaps of old enemies.
One New Ending after finishing the Dimensional Vortex completely.
New Translation that changes a lot of names form the original version to something more faithful to the Japanese version.
Chrono Trigger iOS & Android:
Both versions initially were based on the NDS version, but later on got an update to make them similar to the PC version.
Chrono Trigger PC:
Everything on the NDS version is present here except there is No Arena of Ages. What they did add however is:
Unlocking the Galaxy and Universe modes now require defeating a specific number of enemies in a single playthrough rather than unlocking voices in the Voice Collection. >>>* Practically all Combat Skills have been refined, some being removed (such as Cancel, which is now automatically implemented).
The combat system has been slightly refined, now allowing all melee fighters to perform a 3-hit combo as their normal attack.
The Super Specialty "Bunny Call" no longer allows the player to "climb" on towns and some terrains. The player now will enter a town upon approaching while in Bunny Form, and can even activate private actions.
All items in the inventory screen are now depicted as 2D icons instead of the original 3D models.
Many bugs and glitches have been fixed (most notably the infamous random Cave of Trials screen freeze).
Ring of Lightspeed (called Slayer Ring in Second Story) now works on Dias Flac.
New character designs and portraits.
No magic combo mechanic.
Crafting animations are now replaced by a still 2D image.
Star Ocean: Second Evolution PS4 JP.ver:
This enhanced version was released only in Japan on the PS4, with enhanced graphics and BGM, and a DLC that helps you with the gameplay.
This version is only available to purchase in the EU SquareEnix online store as of right now: Battles:
Turbo Mode is now available, and can be toggled on or off while giving orders to unions in battle. When on, battles play out at double the speed.
Crimson Flare, a new Arcana, is now available.
New formations, such as Eremurus Rain, are now available.
Enemies hit considerably harder.
Rare Monsters can have significantly higher HP than their XBOX 360 counterparts.
Arcana require substantially more AP.
Unique Arts now require AP.
Remnant Arts can only be performed by union leader, Weapon Arts now require high union morale.
Offensive Weapon Arts now increase morale when used.
Additionally, Arcana and offensive Special Arts now raise morale by a fixed amount.
Likewise, certain Enemy Arts now lower morale by a fixed amount.
Wards now affect the entire union.
Attributes required for formation upgrades are vastly different.
Healing no longer raises morale, and morale increased by Critical Hits has been dramatically reduced.
Union morale now fluctuates based on more conditions (IE: taking an action, successfully landing a hit, receiving damage, etc.). In the X360 version, union morale stayed somewhat static, usually changing when being healed, being KO'd/terminated, executing a successful Critical Trigger. It also did not drop to 0 whenever an offensive Special Art was executed, whereas it will do so on the PC.
Linking additional enemies together does not increase your Battle Rank further than having fought them separately.
Special commands, such as the use of David's Gae Bolg, are no longer interrupted by being raidlocked by a different union or having targeted enemy union defeated by an ally.
Allies now have the option to cure a friendly union's Curse status ailment via "Cure them even if it kills them!" command. This command is in the XBOX 360 version as well, but is only available when the union is Enthralled; it will not be available when the union is cursed.
Items are color-coded in the PC version, and a new preview feature lets you see what the item looks like in battle.
You can now toggle between viewing the stats of a weapon or shield and viewing a preview of what it looks like in battle.
Components and consumables are now categorized.
Items are now color-coded based on their rarity.
Creation or customization of some items require fewer components.
New items available via Blueprint 4.
Various weapon stats have changed.
Some very rare monster-specific drops can now be split from monsters (e.g., Godwood Timber, Spiritwood Timber).
The leader limit is no longer imposed. Unions can be composed entirely of leader units if the player desires.
Likewise, soldiers can now be set as union leaders.
The stat cap has been lifted for all characters to allow a maximum of 255 for each stat.
The Seven are now recruitable after completing Union of the Golden Chalice Task #70: For Our Lord.
Rush can now be removed from the active party.
Khrynia can learn the new Unique Art Dual Snowpetal.
Arts can be disabled, filtering which skills a unit may use in combat.
Leaders' requested components are displayed when viewing their stats.
Leaders' wield style can be changed depending on their equipped weapon.
Shields now prevent style changes mid-battle.
The following classes now prevent style changes: Guardian, Scout, Hunter, Wanderer, Thief, Alchemist, all Mystic classes, Vagrant, Mercenary, Aristocrat, Djin, Fortuneteller, Sage and General.
The experience required to advance Wield Style skills has been reduced, and the experience required to advance Weapon Type skills has been increased.
Three new classes are now available: Ataraxian, Cleric, and Ninja.
The Guardian, Fencer, and Warrior classes now require non-sovani wield styles, and are thus not available to Sovani.
The Gladiator class now requires Power Grip and Wards.
Hybrid classes (Item+Combat and Mystic+Combat) can now be achieved by units who do not start in one.
Some leaders now have a different weapon upgrade path, which caused some units to learn new Weapon Arts while others lost theirs.
Leaders can request weapons that do not coincide with their weapon upgrade path as long as they match their equipped weapon type and size.
Soldiers can now request weapon drops.
Some units have had their starting Unit BR level, stats, class, equipment, arts, and hiring wage changed.
The completion of At Hatred's End is no longer required in order to activate Things Unchangeable.
Duke of Ghor now has a … icon when you speak with him between the first, third, and fifth base battles.
The component requirements in The Assistant have lowered.
The DLC content is now unlocked differently; the majority of the extra content now requires the completion of certain guild tasks.
The Leader Extraordinaire guild tasks which required three units of a single class now only require one.
The Monsterslayer guild tasks require different enemies to be defeated.
New Game Plus and Hard Mode: After the epilogue and credits, you can now save your game. When you're taken back to the main menu, you can load this save to begin a new playthrough that carries over certain elements from your previous playthrough. You will also be given the option to start the new game in Hard Mode. Miscellaneous:
The PC version will warn you if you cannot leave an area without a fight.
Auto Save is now available, which automatically saves after having changed zones or having won a battle.
Battle Rank is now viewable outside of combat, in the party menu.
Battle Rank progression has been slowed considerably; it takes more encounters/enemy unions terminated to increase in rank.
Characters with … icons are now identified with markers on the map.
Enemies can no longer be respawned by saving and reloading an adjacent area.
New saving opportunities are now available, such as before the base's boss.
A warning message is now displayed if you attempt to save your game in an area which you cannot leave until you defeat a boss.
Mr Diggs's digging animations are now much quicker.
The loading screens that explained some of the game's mechanics have been disabled.
Many areas of the game have had their spawn tables altered or repopulated.
Starting battle music now coincides with starting morale in most battles.
"Turn the Tide" and "Beat the Odds" now play during the second half instead of after entering Elysion.
Union highlighting during the selection phase has been toned down (ie: ally unions don't look quite as blue).
Leaders in reserve no longer gain skills via the Rush only skill grind trick.
Soldiers now slowly improve their stats in reserves.
Camera in battle doesn't swing around as wildly anymore.
Mitra soldiers' idle stances now come in 2 varieties: the one shared by both male and female units and the one exclusive to larger male units, rather than just the "large male mitra" stance.
The Last Remnant Remastered PS4 & Switch:
Based on the PC version, also added:
Graphics now are in Unreal Engine 4
A new function to run faster on the overworld.
Extra save slots.
Yes I am salty about this if you can't tell, since they removed the PC version from steam.
The frame rate was lowered from 60 frames per second to 30 frames per second.
The "Synopsis" option in the menu displays newer entries at the top
The Casino in the game is now actually fully playable with it's own mini-games, and chips to collecet and exchange for items.
The skits are graphically more dynamic. Portraits get larger or smaller quickly, swing from side to side, shake, and so on.
More post-battle animations.
Niflheim dungeon extended and 6 new boss characters, fought in 2 new boss battles.
New events to help raise affection.
Includes new side quests, new camera angles on some cutscenes, new animated cutscenes not featured in the GameCube version
Tales of Symphonia PS3/PC:
Improved character textures and improved some environments.
Dual-audio support: Japanese and English voiceovers, which neither the PS2 or GameCube versions had
Cutscenes support voice acting in both languages, but skits only have voice acting in Japanese. If you select English, you will just see the subtitles during skits. This is not a porting issue, as this is just how the GameCube version was.
While the original GameCube version ran at 60fps, the Japanese PS2 port which the PS3 Chronicles HD version is based off of ran at 30fps. The Steam version can run at 40FPS.
Random encounters occur less frequently and load considerably faster than the Dreamcast version, and EXP offered per battle is adjusted to compensate.
Graphically, the game sports mild improvements to character models, most noticeably adding individual fingers to the designs. The modifier volume shadows and (weirdly enough) point-mipmapping from the original release are still present.
One of the new sidequests available is Bounty Hunting. Sailor's Guilds offer information about each person on the bounty list as they are unlocked through story progression. After reading about them, they can be found in a constant location.
There are a number of new discoveries to be found.
A whole additional epilogue has been added, The Answer. This chapter is only available in one difficulty setting, which is supposed to be on par with Persona 3's Hard mode.
New Personas have been added
Secret videos of the protagonist's dorm mates have been added to flesh them out.
Koromaru can now be taken on walks.
Several of the Social Links have been modified slightly, such as Tanaka being available at a different time
Several new Quests have been added.
New costumes can be worn in battle.
A new event involving Chidori Yoshino was added.
Naganaki Shrine was completely overhauled.
A hard mode was added.
Save data from Persona 3 can be transferred into the game,
The Answer is not included in this verion.
Added a Female Main Character, so now you can choose between the Male and Female MCs.
The game lacks 3D environments and character models (outside of Tartarus), all anime cutscenes are gone, the graphics and audio quality were compressed,
The storyline of the female protagonist features many differences from that of the male protagonist, such as new social interactions as well as Social Links.
New voiced dialogue.
Players have the choice of selecting Elizabeth or a male-equivalent named Theodore to be Igor's assistant in the Velvet Room.
The ability to pick who the protagonist spends the last moments of the game with. This feature is only accessible on a New Cycle
The Desert of Doors from the Abyss of Time seen in The Answer will still appear, however, in an extra feature known as the Vision Quest. In this mode, the party can fight stronger incarnations of the Full Moon shadow bosses — save for Arcana Magician — and partake in special battles that test the party's abilities. When all of the battles have been successfully met, a second optional boss can be fought: Margaret, Igor's assistant in Persona 4 and guardian of the Desert of Doors in P3P.
There are now two overworld save points; Aside from the log book in the Iwatodai Dormitory, there is also one on the main character's desk at school.
In Paulownia Mall, the police station is now the only place where the protagonist can buy equipment and sell items. Aohige Pharmacy is now a buy-only store, and Be Blue V is just a part-time work site and hangout to improve the main character's condition
From previous versions, two difficulty modes have been added: Beginner and Maniac alongside Easy and Normal in Persona 3 and Hard in Persona 3 FES:
A new tactic, "Direct," has been added to the game, allowing control of the party members, unlike Persona 3 and Persona 3 FES.
The "Wait" command is replaced with the "Defense" command, and will decrease the damage and any knockdown effects of the next attack the user suffers.
The game grants "1 More" to a combatant who attacks multiple enemies not knocking all of them down; the original Persona 3 required all hit enemies to be knocked down for a 1 more.
Party members who have been knocked down no longer spend the turn by getting up and can act as soon as they stand.
Upon landing a critical hit or striking an enemy's weakness, party members can follow up with a co-op attack.
Fusion Spells from the original Persona 3 are now activated from items instead of equipping a persona and selecting it like other spells.
Allies can now take a fatal blow to the protagonist for them if they are able.
"Dizzy" has been added as a status effect.
Returning to the main lobby in Tartarus no longer automatically restores the party, and must now be done for a fee via the save point (this cost varies based on the date in-game and status effects currently inflicted on the party)
Floors can be directly returned to from the entrance of Tartarus instead of being restricted to the restore point like previous versions.
"Tired" status no longer is inflicted during Tartarus exploration, and is inflicted to all used party members after leaving (this will only drop to "Good" if the character used was at "Great" during exploration).
Unlike previous versions, money found by party members when split up will now be given to the protagonist.
Party members' equipment and status can now be accessed at any time from the pause menu, unlike in previous versions, which required the protagonist to speak to them while exploring Tartarus in order to change their equipment or view their status.
You can now control Party members directly.
The protagonists only have access to one weapon type (instead of having access to all weapon types like in P3 and FES); the male protagonist wields one-handed swords, and the female protagonist wields naginatas. As a result, the Skills "Fist Master," "Bow Master," "1hdSwdMaster" and similar skills have all been combined into a single skill called "Weapons Master." Its skill card is called "Phys Boost," and all Personas which had learned a "master" ability (like Cybele with Bow Master) now learn "Weapons Master."
Personas now have the ability to produce a Skill Card when raised to a specific level. Each card can be used on any Persona to teach them a skill.
The Inari Sushi in Naganaki Shrine no longer grants random bonuses for item gaining and Tartarus explorations. Instead, it offers to duplicate Skill Cards, which will take 5 days to complete
New Difficulty levels have been added: Safety/Easy/Normal/Hard/Risky.
Several new music tracks.
Additional voice-over dialogue.
Chie and Teddie have new voice actors in the English version.
New animated cutscenes.
More Personas, including new Ultimate Personas for the Investigation Team.
New areas can be visited.
The protagonist can now explore Inaba in the evening when Dojima is not home.
The protagonist and his friends now have motorized scooters to explore various areas.
Costumes are now available to buy at Croco Fur, in Okina City.
New Garden and Bug Catching features.
The ability to choose which skills can be inherited by the Persona the protagonist is fusing.
New scene skipping function
If the necessary criteria for at least the good ending are fulfilled, daily activities are expanded to February 14, 2012, giving more time for events and social links.
New epilogue has been added for the True Ending.
The list of Requests and the Fox' emas have been modified.
Rise can now assist the Investigation Team in All-Out-Attacks.
Added Tag Team attacks: two members can team up to perform a united attack.
Added Cavalry Attacks: Attacks from members of the Investigation Team that are not currently in the party.
Spell buffs and debuffs can now be used on the same character to prolong the effect
A new gallery menu has been added: "TV Listings." It displays bonus content unlocked through the main game at any time.
Floors and chests in dungeons can now reset by changing floors instead of leaving the dungeon and TV world, or visiting another dungeon.
Persona 4 Golden PC:
The game will run at up to 4K resolution with 60FPS+ as opposed to the Vita's 476p resolution and 30FPS target
Includes dual audio language and multiple text language. The anime cutscenes now also include subtitles
In the Steam version, the player may customize their difficulty setting at any time, in contrast to the Vita version only letting you do so on New Game Plus.The player may select a preset difficulty setting, or individually alter the following parameters
The player may select a preset difficulty setting, or individually alter the following parameters.
A brand new episode titled Vol.4//Reconnection, which takes place a year and three months after the events of Redemption
HD graphical update for the whole game.
Ability to restart the battle from the beginning if Haseo dies.
Movement speed on foot has somewhat increased.
The item stack size has increased from 50 to 99. The maximum number of item stacks in the inventory has increased from 30 to 90
Item menu shortcuts and sort features
When using an item in the field, pressing the X button repeatedly will cause the item to be used again without navigating the menu a second time.
The maximum number of Chim Spheres and Virus Cores the player can possess has increased from 99 to 999
Platforms now include the Platform Recovery feature, recovering a large portion of the party's HP and SP. It can only be used once per visit to a field.
Saku and Bo no longer switch the active player based on their level being even or odd. They can instead be selected as separate options in the Party screen.
Decreased the probability of allies selling the items the player give them.
Voice clips for returning characters and NPCs between games have been updated to use the Volume 3 clips from the beginning, except where said clips are unavailable.
Attack power has been increased and hit stops during attacks have been reduced to speed up the battle tempo.
Learning weapons proficiency increased and acquired experience points increased.
Awakening scenes can be skipped using the Option/Start button.
Some of the really tough enemies have been made a bit easier
Skeith’s general shot bullet speed has increased during Avatar Battles.
Enhanced battle balance and game pacing to provide an optimal experience.
Avatar battles now show a stun gauge over the enemy's head. Red diamonds have been added around attacks meant to be deflected using scythe slashes that are in range.
Added suspend feature during Avatar battle gameplay.
In Volume 3, the player is given 22 "Promise" greeting cards, meaning it is possible to do the "Forever in Love" / "Best Wishes" events with all party members in a single playthrough.
A new Cheat Mode allowing players who want to just enjoy the story to start the game with a large amount of items, best equipment, maximum money and chim spheres, and maximum level and affection for the respective volume.
Save files from Cheat Mode plays can be converted to the next volumes.
The videos from “The End of the World” Terminal Disc included with the limited edition PS2 release of Volume 1 are included in the collection
Final Fantasy 12: International Zodiac Job System PS2 (JP.ver only):
Addition of a "Zodiac Job System" featuring twelve jobs with individual License Boards corresponding to twelve zodiac signs
Addition of a 16:9 widescreen mode with menus and HUD at 4:3.
Addition of three new game modes: Trial Mode/New Game+ Strong Mode/New Game+ Weak Mode.
Pressing L1 will speed up gameplay. Conversations and events continue to play at normal speed.
Quickening doesn't consume MP. Now they use their own Mist gauge similarly to Limit Breaks from previous Final Fantasy titles.
Playable characters' starting LP, consumables, gil, gambits, equipment, licenses, and base stats have been modified.
You have more control over Guests now, they also gain EXP/Item/Gold.
Many magick spells and technicks have been tweaked, renamed and recategorized.
Obtaining Quickenings no longer affects max MP and Mist charges do not diminish when MP is consumed (unless the player is affected by a reversed Elixir or Megalixir). The player's MP is also unaffected by the depletion of Mist charges. However, effects that recover the player's MP will also restore Mist charges. One Mist charge is granted each time the amount recovered totals the player's maximum MP. Effects that fully restore a player's MP recover all Mist charges.
You can now fully control Espers, they also require MP to cast magicks
Almost all attacks now break the 9999 damage limit from the original by default.
New items have been added, such as Cura Mote, Bubble Mote, Domaine Calvados, Baltoro Seed, Dark Energy and various Meteorites.
Bacchus's Wine now has 100% chance of inflicting Berserk (previously it was 50%).
Several equipment pieces were added, while some available in the original release were removed or tweaked.
New Weapons added.
Most shops had their assortments changed. Many weapons are now available from shops earlier because of the job system, and were thus made weaker.
Treasures respawn by moving just one area away as opposed to two. Treasures were moved around, changed the items they can give, or were removed altogether. The "forbidden chest" concept was removed, that in the original prevented the player from obtaining the Zodiac Spear in Necrohol of Nabudis if they opened a wrong treasure.
Dark Matter can no longer be acquired from the bazaar, and selling the ingredients needed to make it in the original will result in making the Dark Energy instead. The Dark Energy is an item that does not charge up with Knot of Rust or Devour Soul and always deals 50,000 damage to each enemy in range.
Treasure chests are now in different locations and contain different items.
There are more traps throughout the map.
Final Fantasy 12: Zodiac Age PS4/PC/Switch/Xbox One:
Remastered HD graphical upgrade.
English and Japanese voices (switch between them in the game configuration).
Original and newly re-recorded background music (switch between them in the game configuration).
Auto-save functionality added (game saves automatically when moving to each new screen, excepting boss arenas)
Improved high-speed mode and improved play time operability during high-speed mode
Ability to invert both the X and Y camera axes
The game balance has been overhauled to make it easier.
Each playable character can have two jobs at once.
Job Reset function added; talk to Montblanc in the Clan Hall to use.
The Effect Capacity system that limited spell-casting in the PlayStation 2 versions has been removed.
Fire, Thunder, Blizzard, and Cure only affect a single target again.
Espers' HP values have been doubled, but other stats kept the same as in Zodiac Job System.
The animation for summoning Espers is removed.
A glitch concerning Dyce's character model has been fixed.
New Game Plus and New Game Minus are now accessible from the beginning of the game.
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Server Name- Miners Merchants Pirates Legacy’s Trading PvP - Slots-20 Players Planets- Earth, Pertam, Mars Game Settings- Initial playeFaction PCU-160,000 Progression/Research-Off Auto Healing-On Auto Save-Every 5 Minutes Cargo Ships-On Drones-On Encounters-Off Thruster Damage-On Ingame Scripts-On Spiders-On Wolves-On Environment Hostility-Safe Grinder Speed Multiplier-x2 Welder Speed Multiplier-x2 Inventory Size Multiplier-x10 Refinery Speed Multiplier-x10 Assembler Speed Multiplier-x10 -Game information If you want to create an Empire, Be a Merchant or Miner and focus your lively hood around that this is the server for you, Or even a Pirate to take what ever you want. Trading personal interactions and PvP are the main focus. Brand new discord out for the server, not mandatory but if interested feel free to join. Your able to earn credits on the discord server, either by working or committing crimes, can even rob other players. Casino to bet your credits away. Your even able to cash in your credits you've made on server to you in game account Discord — https://discord.gg/87nYuCwHgf
Attention all cousins and new citizens of Gotham, please read before posting a question. Thank you! Frequently Asked Questions #FAQ 🦇🦇🦇🦇🦇🦇🦇🦇🦇🦇🦇 ‣ WHAT IS THE STRIKE PRICE FORMULA?
Identify 52 week high to determine if there is room to run
Identify current price of stock or ETF
Look at performance based on length of contract you are assessing. (For example, 2 yr performance on Barchart.com)
Take performance (in dollar amount not percentage) divide it by the following: 2yr contract then divide by 1.5, 6 month contract divide by 2, 3 month contract divide by 2 (basically divide by half)
Take performance divided by 1.5 and add that to the current stock price
This number will be your high end strike price
Next take your high end strike price and multiple by .10 (10% correction)
Take your high end strike price and minus the result of the 10% correction
This number will be your low end strike price
Now you have a range between your high end strike price and lower end strike price.
Select a strike between that range or add your high end and low end strike prices together and divide by 2 to get the average.
Excel sheet for convenience not ignorance: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Aibe1lJ-w1qL20vOXqJPkKra_t4LMGWq8rFEMbbWcPM/edit ‣ WHAT TIME DOES THE SHOW COME ON? Trade Talk Tuesdays 6pm Pacific/9pm Eastern Hot Take Thursdays 5pm Pacific/8pm Eastern YouTube.com/c/TheComeUpSeries ‣ “I WANT TO LEARN OPTIONS, WHERE SHOULD I START?” Reddit.com/thecomeupseries Welcome to Gotham, cousin! Please visit the Reddit page, there is a stickied post with relevant time stamps for every episode that has been uploaded to YouTube. Start there and cross-reference it with this FAQ. ‣ HOW DO I PLACE AN OPTION? It depends on the brokerage site you are using. Mark walks through how to place an option trade on E*TRADE at the 58:00 minute mark on the “Blood on the Market Streets? Buy or Run” ‣ WHY CAN’T I DO OPTIONS ON MY BROKERAGE ACCOUNT? You’re account is probably on Level 1 which is restricted to buying/selling shares. Simple options trading usually starts at Level 2. Reach out to your broker and ask to gain access to options. ‣ WHATS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BUYING A CALL AND SELLING A CALL? The Come Up Series only teaches buying calls, selling calls has unlimited risk and is much more complicated. Buying a call is when you are paying a premium (contract price) in exchange for the ‘right’ to buy shares at a fixed price (strike price) on a certain date. The strategy in buying calls is to buy at a low premium and sell at a higher premium before the contracts expire. When exiting your position after buying a call, you are selling your contracts but you are not ‘selling a call’. I would refer to Google if you really want to learn what selling a call is. ‣ WHAT HAPPENS IF MY OPTION EXPIRES? Depends on the brokerage company. Some companies will attempt to sell your position at any available bidding price an hour prior to the market closing on the date of your expiration (even if it causes you to lose money), some will let it expire worthless (meaning you lose the entire premium that you paid for the position) and if you have enough capital, some brokerages will exercise the contract (congratulations you now own how ever many contracts you bought x 100 shares of the stock) ‣ WHATS WRONG WITH ROBINHOOD? Robinhood is a very simplistic platform. For options trading specifically, simplicity is not your friend. You want to be able to perform research and utilize as many tools as possible when doing options. Also Robinhood is known for delays in their bid/asking prices among other things. If you are comfortable with them feel free to continue to use them. Mark uses ETRADE. This is not to bash Robinhood or an endorsement for ETRADE, just facts. ‣ WHATS QUADRUPLE WITCHING? Quadruple witching is a day in which 4 different areas of the market (stock options, stock futures, index futures, index options) contracts expire on the same day, resulting in increased volatility. Occurs on the third Friday of March, June, September and December. ‣ WHEN DO NEW CONTRACTS COME OUT? The Monday before Quadruple Witching. ‣ WHAT ARE BOLLINGER BANDS AND HOW DO YOU USE THEM? Bollinger bands are an indicator that show the standard deviation level directly above and below the simple moving average of a stock price. As Mark puts it, if a stock price travels outside of the bands, it will snap back to the band. You can use these on barchart.com by searching for the stock - clicking on on interactive chart - click “+Study” directly above the chart, then click “Bollinger Bands”. Mark recommends using them on a 6 month up to 2 year chart and a 20 day setting. *Refer to 46:40 minute mark on “Aug 4th Walk Away Money” ‣ WHAT IS THE VIX? Volatility Index (.VIX) - measures the predictability of the market. Typically when the VIX is up, a vast majority of the market is down and trading unpredictably versus when the VIX is down, the market is more predictable. ‣ WHAT IS RSI? Relative Strength Index - a way to measure the rate of change and speed in a stock, ranges from 0 - 100%. Anything 30% or less is oversold. Anything 75% or higher is overbought. To look at RSI visit Barchart.com, search stock symbol, click “Traders Cheat Sheet” on the left *Refer to 57:30 minute mark “Aug 4th Walk Away Money” ‣ WHAT’S HEDGING? Hedging is a technique used to curtail losses on long-term investments. For example, placing a short-term put that coincides with a long-term call option. ‣ HOW DO I PLACE A PUT TO PROTECT MY LONG-TERM CALL? When noticing a downward trend in a stock that you have a long term call on, you can place a put to protect your long-term call. In order to do so, you must first find the first level of support (most recent high point on the one month chart). You would then use that price as the price to buy your put with an expiration date of about 3 months away. Another instance you could place a put is if you notice that your stock’s price has traveled out of the Bollinger Bands, you can set up a put at the price where the stock will have to travel back inside the bands. This is not required but if you are wanting to maximize profits, Mark recommends to do 1 put for every 5 contracts. *Refer to the 31:00 minute mark on “Aug 6th For the Win” ‣ “I’M IN THE RED ON MY OPTION THAT EXPIRES 2 YEAR FROM NOW, SHOULD I SELL TO TRY TO GET A BETTER POSITION?” Did you use the Strike Price Formula? If so STICK TO THE SCRIPT! ‣ WHAT IS MARGIN? SHOULD I USE IT? Margin is essentially a line of credit extended to traders who qualify. NO! You should not use somebody else’s money to trade. Why? Because there’s a term called ‘margin call’ where essentially at any time the broker chooses they can close out your positions to cover your margin balance and if you don’t have the equity to cover, congratulations you are now in debt to a brokerage company. ‣ SHOULD I DO SHORT TERM OPTIONS TO GROW MY CAPITAL? NO! ‣ HOW DO I DO SHORT TERM OPTIONS AROUND EARNINGS TIME? DONT!!! Just go to the casino if you like to gamble. ‣ WHERE IS MARK’S COURSE/HOW DO I PAY FOR IT? 1) Get your notebook 2) Watch the videos YouTube.com/s/TheComeUpSeries 3) Scroll thru the Reddit Reddit.com/TheComeUpSeries 4) Scroll the FB group you’re already in 5) Don’t ever ask that question again in your life 🦇🦇🦇🦇🦇🦇🦇🦇🦇🦇🦇 If you have any other questions or if you see a common question that’s not listed, feel free to comment and I will continue to add to this post. If you see any posts that ask a question that is listed here just hashtag #FAQ and it will direct them here.
The mission design for the Ms. Baker missions and the nightclub setup missions really has me thinking that the original heists could work well in freemode if they were to be updated. I’m not here to convince rockstar because no matter what I say they will or won’t implement it I’m just here to explain why and how they should work.
Absolutely nobody joins any heist besides the casino heist these days, the original heists could be redone for free mode by keeping all the cut scenes the same but just scripting them to happen in freemode
This would give new players something to do to start off. It used to be where new players would save up money to buy an apartment and that’s how they made money until they could afford businesses. It’s not that way anymore since no one does the apartment heists, bringing them to freemode would make them so much more available
It would make the game feel familiar, but different, which is exactly what we need if we’re gonna have another 5 years of this game. Make it feel familiar like the game we know and love but still fresh or at least modern.
Apartments do Jack shit. It would be nice for them to actually be more useful by having to physically interact with the planning room more.
When doing setups and heists you are in ghosted mode. You don’t appear on the map, and players cannot interact with you or the vehicles you are in, or the NPCs or loot that are integral to the mission. Even still, heists can be done in invite only sessions for those who like to play it safe
Everything that’s normally done from the mission start screen is done from the planning room. Things like game difficulty or cuts will be decided while physically sitting in the apartment at the hosts planning room.
To join a heist, you must be in the hosts apartment, and then be manually accepted into the heist when the host approves the list of players. You can also join on call from a separate session via the quick job app, and when you are accepted you will switch to the host’s session
If a heist fails, the screen will display “mission failed”. The heist leader will receive a pop up on the phone to quick restart, restarting will teleport players back to the checkpoint location. This is very similar to how we are used to
Everyone, including the host, receives $15,000 per setup. The idea is that it would make the setups feel grindable and worth while to participate in
Participation roles are optimized, what I mean by this is that every job is reworked to need the absolute bare minimum of people but also accommodate for all 4 players if need be. So for instance in prison break, you can do the heist with 2 players. Pilot, guard, and NPC prisoner. But you can optionally have an actual player prisoner, or someone on demolitions. This allows players to make more money be using less players than necessary, as well as save time matchmaking
CEO, or MC is not required to start these, however you will be paid $20,000 and a 10% bonus to heist finales for doing so as one. This is done so that new players can easily understand the value of buying a CEO organization as nowadays I don’t think it’s worth it for new players when VIP does most of the same stuff.
CHAPTER 4: The Contract “Hello, Master Faruthian,” the balding, middle-aged scribe greets Stokley with a pleasing smile. Schunk, schuunkk, schuuuuunk! The heavy press slams, sending a shudder through Stokley’s ears. “My name is Sclerian Eupator. It’s an honor to make your acquaintance, sire. I have the pleasure of serving as your officiator.” Sparkling silver thread shimmers in swirling patterns beneath the surface of his yellow toga. Sclerian stands and motions toward a stool under the table’s edge. “Please, have a seat, sire. As this may take a while.” “No, thanks, I’ve been sitting all afternoon. I’d rather stand, for now, if it’s all the same to you, sir,” Stokley replies, folding his arms behind his back. “Suit yourself, sire.” Sclerian pushes a long, vermillion quill pen, a matching marble inkpot, and three papyrus scrolls, pinning the top and bottom ends of each scroll to the table using a set of black-ivory figurines. Seven replicas of the island’s most notorious residents stare back in defiance: rattler scorpion, trigger spider, damocles fly, palpalyne plant, myrmr queen, god mantis, zombie wasp. Schunk, schuunkk, schuuuuunk! “I’m here to help you complete the petition for membership in the Community of Heirs. As regrettably tedious as this may seem, it is necessary, rest assured. If you only knew the trouble still caused by the inadequacy of our early clerical policies, you’d be amazed we lasted the first few decades, let alone to this day, but I digress.” Sclerian looks around briefly on the table behind him, flinching again suddenly. Schunk, schuunkk, schuuuuunk! “Now, where was I? Oh, yes, these first few documents.” Sclerian runs two ink-stained forefingers along the oversized text at the head of each scroll. “These officially record, in triplicate, that you are Stokley Faruthian, born in the city of Tien-Tay, in the Duchy of Han-Zen, in the Sacred Sargosian Empire, on the Fourth day of the Third month after the Winter Solstice, in the Three Hundred and Twenty-Third year after the establishment of the International Trade Consortium, or the first year of the reign of the Emperor Shadislaw II, also commonly known as, ‘Year One of the Second Fox.’” “That’s my name and where I live, and my birthday’s the fourth of First Market month, which is the third month of the year. That’s the same thing, right?” Eyes squint as he bends over, inspecting the scrolls. “Yes, it is.” “Good, and I was born in the first year of the Second Fox, that’s also right. What else does it say here at the bottom?” “Can you not read the Sargosian script?” Sclerian’s purple eyes narrow down to the size of pin holes in his pink face. “Course I can read Sargosian!” he retorts. “The text, it’s just so small. I can barely make out the words.” Stokley refocuses as he steps away from the table. “That’s right, how could I forget the Faruthian propensity for farsightedness? My apologies, sire. Here, use this.” Sclerian places a thick glass lens on the flattened scroll. “Is that better?” “Yes, thank you.” He moves the palm-sized lens along the papyrus, instantly magnifying the writing, allowing his eyes to decipher its contents. “When you have read the scrolls to your satisfaction, sign your name along that line.” “What did you mean, ‘Faruthian propensity for far-sightedness’?” Stokley asks after reading the documents. “I’ve found, out of the five Faruthians whose inheritance I have had the honor of administering, all have been far--.” “I’m your sixth Faruthian? The first five, were they my brothers or cousins? I never knew I had any family. The way Matron Maggotte at the state home always spat it out, I figured she made the name up and gave it to me out of spite.” “Oh, I suppose, they may have been distant relations. You see, Faruthian is your clan name, taken from the old Tangril tongue meaning ‘sons of Faruth’ in honor of the first of your progenitors to step foot on Perelandreia. If we might continue, this is yours.” Sclerian presents a polished brass seal attached to a necklace of silver chain. “It’s your personal seal, also known as a ‘kartush.’ You’ll need it to finish authenticating the documents.” Presenting as if handing over a sacred relic, he waits with patience for the youth to pluck the seal from his palms. Fingers free once more, Sclerian grabs the next set of scrolls and opens a slide in the golden press. “Here, we have to make these in triplicate. But first, if you would carefully place your kartush inside the press, please.” “Right here?” Stokley points at the small sliding tray in the side of the complex device. “Yes, that’s it, right there.” Compelled from his fingers, the kartush falls into the tray as if pulled by an invisible force the moment he places it within a few inches of the opening, closing inward with a click. Sclerian maneuvers all three scrolls horizontally and adjusts several knobs while looking through a lens attached to the opposite side of the press. Satisfied, he pushes another lever into place and glances up at Stokley. “If you would do the honors, sire.” Sclerian motions toward the fist-sized, ivory-handled lever. “This one?” Schunk, schuunkk, schuuuuunk! Squeezing his eyes shut, he pauses for a moment before instructing Stokley again, “Yes, if you would pull it down firmly. You need not slam it, as some of your colleagues seem to find necessary.” Sclerian raises his voice and stares down the table at the other officiators, none of whom take any notice. “You want me to pull it down?” “Yes, hold it there momentarily until I indicate to reverse the lever. I will then adjust the press and we’ll complete the process for the final two copies.” Schunk, schuunkk, schuuuuunk! Sclerian lays out three new scrolls after completing the first set. Identical to the first in form and organization, but they’re written in the distinct, pictorial characters of SisterScript rather than the more elegant, if abstract, lines and slashes composing the ancient Sargosian writing system. “SisterScript, but what do they say?” Stokley asks, knowing the answer but preferring to appear ignorant, a technique he favors for deducing the honesty of strangers. “You were not educated in SisterScript at Han-Zen State Home Nine? We were informed that your skills in the language were considerable, is that not so?” “Maybe I’m just rusty. It’s been almost a year since I left. To tell you the truth I haven’t really had any practice. Let me look a little closer,” he lies, palming the lens over the papyrus and performing the translation with ease. He spends the next several minutes conspicuously struggling, continuing the deception. “They’re duplicates of the first scroll.” “Hmm,” Sclerian mumbles. “More confirmations of your birth-date, location of birth and identity. These are for the official records housed in the Palace of Perpetuity in the Great City of Praeto.” Schunk, schuunkk, schuuuuunk! “This is an indemnification against damages and identification of the Community of Heirs as next of kin.” Sclerian places another set of documents on the table. “We just need your signature and kartush here, here, here, here, there, this spot, over here, that place there, there, there, and here.” How does he keep his toga so spotless with those hands? Wow! Stokley marvels as Sclerian’s ink-filthy fingers flitter above the scrolls. An eye-ball sized ruby glimmers from his purple pinky. How could he wear that ring on that hand? It’s sacrilege. “Indemnification against damages?” Stokley asks, distracted by the hypnotic effect of the blinking jewel, the largest ruby he’s ever seen, and so close! “Yes, well, in the course of your preparation, training, or career in the service, if anything should happen to your physical person, your inheritance and possessions would revert back to the Oroboro Exchange Cartel via the Community of Heirs. This clause also prevents any right to legally recognizable marriage by the heir without authorization of the Community and forbids inheritance by any future children the heir may produce, unless that child is made a ward of the Community, which applies to all members without exception. Even the Commodore cannot bequeath so much as a single share of stock when he dies.” “I’ve never been concerned about making a family. But what about this ‘indemnification against damages?’ What kind of damages are we talking about here?” “As a legally binding contract applicable in international jurisdiction, potentially entitling the candidate to the greatest fortune in the known or unknown world, I’m sure you can understand every circumstance must be accounted for. And, since death is common to us all, the recourse in its event must be accounted for as well. That being said, the training and evaluation process can be challenging, and not everyone survives.” “What is this, ‘training and evaluation process?’” Stokley asks, pausing over the next scroll. “And what do you mean, ‘not everyone survives’?” Stokley asks, trying desperately not to stare at the ruby glaring at him from the end of Sclerian’s hand. “To ascertain your usefulness, we must evaluate each heir prior to placement. This involves various activities where you will travel extensively throughout the interior with your own bonded team of Kyte-Sen-Koo, whom you will receive shortly. Even with the protection of your body men we must say the process is, like all activities taking place on Perelandraia, not without certain risks which I’m sure you can envision.” “Um, why don’t you help me out with that, what are we talking about here?” “Unfortunately for assuaging your understandable concern, there are certain elements of the evaluation to which even we officiators are not privy. Thus, even if they didn’t forbid me from revealing proprietary information, I would still find myself unable to answer your question.” “Huh?” “If you prefer not to continue, you have the option of formally renouncing your inheritance. A fair warning, heirs choosing to do so forgo all rights of claim on membership in the Community of Heirs of the Grande and Noble Oroboro Exchange Cartel, the decision being permanent and irrevocable,” Sclerian rattles off rapidly. “Wait a second,” Stokley interjects out of instinct. Sclerian continues the ‘take away’ clause, “We will then grant you safe passage to any port in the known world and an official O.E.C. note of tender worth fifteen thousand sisterpieces, at current rates of exchange, and refundable at any Imperial Bank or Bourse House within the network of the International Trade Consortium. Or, virtually anywhere else in the Seven Semi-Continents you may desire to go.” “Fifteen thousand pieces of seven? And all I have to do is sign and sail away, I don’t have to do anything else?” With fifteen thousand in cartel currency and free passage to Praeto,who knows what could happen! Stokley has little difficulty imagining himself parlaying this newfound wealth into an eventual stake in one of the many high-class casinos lining the great city of Praeto’s legendary Lilac Lagoons. Delusions of densely packed gambling halls with velvet roped V.I.P. sections waft through his head, the rich aroma of his own wishful thinking. “Yes, that’s correct. Fifteen thousand in pieces of seven is certainly a considerable amount of capital for many men. But it would seem a paltry sum next to the regular stipend drawn by any member of the Community, to say nothing of its high-ranking members, not to mention the Board.” A ray of sunlight refracts through the scribe’s ring, pulling Stokley from his reverie. He recalls the dozens of black pearls falling through the cracks of the Courtyard without a soul sent to collect them. And he considers all of those boxes in transit throughout the Mother’s Myrth. This inspires speculation as to the thousands of containers already resting in the holds of Bottany Bay and the tens of thousands sailing to every port in the Seven. Measured against such unfathomable wealth, fifteen thousand sisterpieces reverts from a windfall into an insult. And, as it has for so many others, the siren’s song of limitless fortune bends Stokley to her will. “How dangerous is this process?” “I shan’t lie to you. Not all survive. I’ve never had a Faruthian fail though!” Sclerian replies, pride glinting in his purple eyes.
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CasinoLuck is among the pioneers in the online gambling industry as it emerged on the web over 15 years ago, in 1999. A lot has changed since its inception. At the beginning of 2011 it went through a dramatic transformation and its design and layout were remodeled. The gaming provider also changed its management and established a successful partnership with software developer NetEnt, among others, that continues to this very day. The casino operator has vast experience in an ever-growing industry where competition is fierce and grows with each passing year. Despite that, it has managed to successfully stand its ground and has become a force to be reckoned with as it is home to one of the most diverse catalogs in the history of online gaming. Its collection comprises hundreds of virtual slots, numerous table and card games and plentiful video poker variations. Players can also join the professional dealers in the Live Casino, where games are live-streamed in the highest of quality. Unparalleled diversity is by no means the only advantage the casino hides ups its sleeve. The gaming operator is focused on providing its players with first-rate customer support around the clock. Registered members can greatly extend their gameplay by claiming one of the many bonuses available or participating in various ongoing promotional offers. As the casino is home to an ever-growing, diverse community of players, it caters to their needs and accepts an impressive number of currencies. In addition, the website is available in many different languages, while players can fund their accounts using some of the best and safest methods of payment. With so many perks, there is nothing left to be desired.
In Partnership with NetEnt
The online domain aims at providing its customers with high-quality gaming experience. An efficient way to achieve such a goal is by teaming up with an established and experienced software provider. This is exactly what it did in 2011 when it joined forces with software giant NetEnt. Founded in 1996, the Swedish software developer quickly secured its strong position in the market, providing first-rate games for dozens of renowned web-based casinos. NetEnt offers hundreds of online casino games ranging from card and table classics like blackjack and roulette to slots, video poker, and arcades. The developer also supplies its partners with quality live dealer and mobile games. Each product delivered stands out with unparalleled graphics design, compelling audio effects, hassle-free gameplay and easy to navigate interface. Its partnership with EveryMatrix, a company which provides a unified platform, allows players to choose from games developed by different software providers. Thus, members of the casino can opt for various games, powered by other notable names in the industry like Microgaming, Play'n Go, NYX and IGT, among others. The different providers' games are seamlessly integrated within the online casino's lobby. Thus, it has included some of the most enticing offerings from all popular developers' portfolios which furthers players' flexibility. >>Claim Free Spins Bonuses<<
CasinoLuck Gaming Collection
The games offered by this casino exceed 600 in number. Its user-friendly layout and the search tool available at the website, allow players to quickly navigate through the catalog and find whatever they're looking for in a matter of seconds. It matters not what games you prefer to play, the myriad of options to choose from ensures that all types of players will find something to suit their style, preferences and budget.
There are over 500 virtual slots variations available at the casino. If you are a fan of traditional 3-reels, you can try out over 30 variants of those at the casino including all-time favorites like Double Diamond, Break the Bank, and the classic title, Bell of Fortune. Many players prefer more advanced video slots as these come with a number of cool features like multipliers, wild and scatter symbols, free spins and bonus rounds, designed to increase one's chances of collecting a nice prize. Besides, with so many options to choose from, you will hardly get bored. Slot fans tend to favor titles like Microgaming's Immortal Romance with its improved payouts, NetEnt's hilarious rendition of South Park, Starburst and Jack Hammer and Play'n'Go's Wild North.
The casino is also home to six video poker variations, all of which are courtesy of NetEnt. These are an excellent option for inexperienced players, who lack the skills to play actual poker as they pose as a combination of virtual slots and the traditional game of skill. Thus, the video poker variants available at the casino are easier to play, not to mention they pay out well with an average player return of about 98%. You can play the games with 1, 5, 20, 50 or 100 hands at a time. Also, players are enabled to choose between different denominations, in accordance with their budget. The six video poker variants on offer are as follows – two variants of Jacks or Better, two more of Deuces Wild, Joker Poker, All American Poker, and long-time favorite, Joker Wild.
As blackjack is, without a doubt, one of the most popular card games of all times, the casino has complied with the needs of the game's fans and has included five top-notch variants on its list. These include Double Exposure, Single Deck, Classic Blackjack and Pontoon. There's the option to play theMulti-Hand version of the game, where bet limits range between $1 and $100 and six decks of cards are used.
The gaming provider demonstrates a good deal of consideration for the fans of the sophisticated card game that is baccarat. Although baccarat originally enjoyed greater popularity among the elite, today players from all walks of life can engage in it as it is available online and its objective is easy to grasp. Players are simply expected to predict whose cards total will be higher without exceeding the number nine – theirs or the dealers. Bets can be placed on a tie as well. Those, who join this particular online domain will be greatly pleased by the two variants of the game available, Mini Baccarat and Punto Banco, which is predominantly based on chance. Both options attract attention with their sleek design that comes close to what one expects to see at a baccarat table in an actual land-based casino. Punto Banco, in particular, is available in Low Limit too, an option suitable for those who are new to the game.
The Table Games collection here is geared to the needs of roulette fans as they can make a pick between eleven variants of their favorite game of chance. Of course, popular versions like American, European, English and French Roulette made it to the list, but there is the option to play 3-Wheel Roulette as well. The Triple Bonus Spin Roulette, on the other hand, is suitable for both high-rollers and novices, who like to play it safe as bets range between $1 and $500 per spin. The game's bonus features will further tip the scales in players' favor.
Fans of the demanding game of skill are presented with the opportunity to play Casino Hold 'em, Red Dog, Casino Stud, Oasis Poker, and player favorite, Texas Hold 'em. The latter is of special interest as its average return to players is estimated at 99,27% and can prove to be quite profitable. But which poker variant you opt for is practically irrelevant as each of the options is unmatched in terms of authenticity and gameplay. NetEnt's poker variations also allow for adjustment of the game's speed.
Some players are simply not interested in slots, video poker, and table games. If you are one of them, you should definitely consider paying a visit to the site's “Other Games” section. Sure, we've seen greater versatility as the category comprises of eight options only. Despite that these are well worth your while as their quality is tough to match. Some of the most popular arcade games are present on the list, including two variants of Keno, Super Bonus Bingo, Pharaoh's Gems, Germinator and Enchanted Woods.
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CasinoLuck may be among the oldest web-based gaming providers in the world, but manages to keep up with the latest trends in the industry. Players, who open an account at the casino will be able to enjoy their favorite games from the comfort of their surroundings, regardless of place and time. This way, you will never miss out on your opportunity to scoop a massive jackpot. Unlike other gaming operators, the games collection here is available only in Instant Play. This by no means can be deemed a disadvantage. On the contrary, this is the perfect option for players, who wish to access the casino and enjoy the games from different desktop devices. As no software download of any kind is required you won't have to waste disk space, either. However, a stable internet connection is a necessary requirement for a smooth gaming session and so is installing Java Script and the Adobe Flash plug-in on your device. It matters not what type of browser players use as the casino is accessible via all of them, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Safari and Internet Explorer. The site is compatible with all widespread operating systems, so whether your computer runs on Windows, Linux or Mac is of no importance. Players, who register at this casino will be able to enjoy the games while on the move as the casino is mobile-responsive. There is no need to download and install any applications on your portable device as no downloadable apps are currently available for this particular online casinos. To play on the go, you simply need to enter the casino's address in your smartphone or tablet's browser and you will be automatically redirected to the mobile version of the website. You can also scan the available QR code to the same effect. For further convenience, players can easily add the website to the Home Screen of their portable device and access it with a single tap. The mobile catalog is just as diverse as the desktop version of this domain. There are still hundreds of slots to choose from, though some of the games failed to make the list. For instance, there is only one video poker variant, which is Bonus Deuces Wild. The number of arcades is limited to two options, namely Keno and Triple Chance Hi Lo. Still, the mobile portfolio boasts a considerable versatility that is rarely found at most casinos. The mobile casino is optimized for a wide variety of devices running on the iOS and Android, including iPhones, iPads, iPods, Samsung Galaxy, Nexus tablets and smartphones, Motorola and Sony Xperia, among others. The minimum system requirements for Apple and Android devices are as follows – iOS 6 and Android 4.1. >>Claim Free Spins Bonuses<<
CasinoLuck Bonuses and Promotions
This online casino demonstrates its appreciation for both new and existing members by rewarding them with a myriad of bonuses. A great number of giveaways and ongoing promotional offers are available as well. And certainly, we all know there is no better way to start a gaming session than playing with some bonus casino chips. Players, who open an account can benefit from its fantastic Welcome Package as long as they make an initial deposit of $10 or the equivalent in their currency of choice. Here is what the Package consists of. To begin with, your first deposit will earn you a 100% bonus match of up to $150 and 200 Extra Spins on the Starburst slot. Sounds good, doesn't it? And it does not end here as players' second deposits of $20 or more will be matched at 50% with up to $200 to play with for free. Certain playthrough conditions are attached to the Welcome Bonuses, however. Players will be able to withdraw the winnings they've accrued with the free funds only after they have wagered the deposit and bonus amount 20 times or more. The Extra Spins are also subject to wagering requirements of 30 times. Existing players can extend their gameplay as each month there is a special 50% Reload Bonus of up to $200. Have in mind your stakes with this bonus should be limited to $10 per game round until you fulfill the playthrough requirements, which in this instance are 13 times the deposit and bonus amount. If you happen to place a wager exceeding the said sum, your bonus and its associated winnings will be forfeited. One important thing to mention is the games' contribution towards clearing the aforementioned playthrough requirements. For example, if you wager $100 on the slots, you will clear the same amount from your wagering requirements since most slots have a 100% contribution. Meanwhile, progressive slots' contribution is 50%. In comparison, other games like Punto Banco, baccarat, Jacks or Better and Casino Hold 'em have a far smaller contribution of 1%, which means players will have to put more of their money on stake to clear their playthrough. Note that with most bonuses, you have a limited amount of time (15 days) to cover the requirements. If you fail to clear the playthrough in time, your winnings will be declared void. Each new player, who registers a real-money account automatically becomes a member of the Cash Rewards program. Players are rewarded with the so-called Frequent Player Points for participating in the games with real-money wagers. Different games generate points at different rates. As soon as you have generated 200 points you, will be able to exchange them for cash at the rate of $1 per 100 points. Apparently, here, loyalty pays out too!
CasinoLuck Payment Methods
Being a renowned gaming provider, the website accepts a vast range of convenient, time-efficient and easy-to-use methods of payment. All banking solutions available at the website are reliable and secure, not to mention the casino aims to prevent frauds, misappropriation and identity thefts by utilizing SSL encryptions up to par with those, implemented by banking institutions. This means using your credit card to deposit is just as safe as paying with your Visa at the local convenience store. The number of methods, players can use to fund their accounts is impressive, to say the least. Some of the most popular deposit options include credit/debit cards by Visa, Maestro, Mastercard, e-wallet Skrill, Neteller, EcoPayz and Moneta, prepaid vouchers by PaySafeCard and instant banking solutions such as Trustly, Moneta, Euteller, eKonto, Nordea, Sofort, POLi and Giropay as well as bank wire transfers. Keep in mind, some of these methods are used only in given regions and may be unavailable in your country. We recommend you use PaySafeCard or e-wallets like Skrill and Neteller as no fees are imposed on payments processed with those. In comparison, players who fund their accounts with debit/credit cards will have a 2,5% fee deducted from their balance. The minimum deposit amount is $10, while the upper limit is set at $5,000 per day. In most cases, deposits are approved and processed immediately, but bank transfers may take up to 7 business days to complete. A large portion of the methods, mentioned above are suitable for withdrawals with a few exceptions such as PaySafeCard and Mastercard. The minimum and maximum amounts, players can cash out per day, coincide with those for the deposits. However, withdrawals are not processed as quickly as deposits. The delay can be attributed to the numerous checks the transactions undergo before they leave the casino. That is why there is a pending period of 1 to 12 hours during which players' withdrawal requests are being approved. Opening an account in the currency used in your country is, without a doubt, a major advantage as this way you will not incur currency conversion fees. Thankfully, a mind-blowing number of currencies are accepted. Players can open their accounts in any of the following – USD, CAD, AUD, EUR, GBP, BGL, NOK, SEK, ZAR, CNY, CZK, DKK, PLN, RUB, VEF, GEL, TRY, RON, MXN, NGN, HRK, HUF, PEN, CHF, KRW, ILS. >>Claim Free Spins Bonuses<<
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One great way to establish a good relationship with your customers is by providing them with excellent support service around the clock. There is no exception here as the operator offers very courteous, timely and adequate Customer Support to all players, who happen to experience any type of issues with their accounts, payments or bonuses. Which happens rarely, if ever. On many occasions, players contact support merely to request more detailed information on given matters. The good news is great Customer Support is provided to all players in need of assistance. The support representatives are on standby via the Live Chat functionality, available at the website. Their approach is beyond professional which is hardly surprising, considering the fact they are expertly-trained to solve all types of issues and provide clear-cut information in the quickest manner possible. Players, who are not in a hurry can opt for reaching the support staff via email. A less time-efficient option, of course, yet the agents typically respond quickly, within hours. If you wish your issues to be handled adequately, it would be best for you to provide your email address and account username in advance, since this will greatly facilitate the support agents. Please note, support at this online casino is currently unavailable over the phone. To cater to the needs of its diverse, multinational gaming community, the online casino is available in 12 different languages, namely: English, German, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish and Danish.
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The Force Awakens Not all that horrible as far as the sequels go, at least in the first half, but still severely lacking and bad. It was meant to look and feel at least sort of like Star Wars, but it was the façade, not the substance. A desert planet that's basically Tatooine with fewer buildings and more space junk, two-seated TIE fighters, slightly different stormtroopers, an obtuse reference to the trash compactor in Episode IV, and much more. Even in the midst of this movie's boatloads of manufactured hype, I could tell that Kylo was a weak character, maybe Poe, Finn, and Rey too, not to mention that Starkiller Base was an obvious piece of lazy writing, and Captain Phasma and Maz Kanata turned out to be disappointingly underused characters. I'll admit that it felt a little fun and inspiring how easily Finn and Rey beat Kylo Ren at the end, until we realized that Rey was going to be overpowered like that for the entire series. Leia was also barely recognizable. The quick-thinking, spunky personality that made her such a great character is gone and she's reduced to nodding and saying "yep" to everything Rey says and sighing about how difficult Poe is. Speaking of the original Skywalkers, I was disappointed that this movie didn't have a lot more Luke, and maybe some of you are, too. Perhaps the only fair-quality moment is Han Solo's death, but it had been rumored for months, maybe close to a year before the movie came out, so a good %60, arguably more, of that scene's potential effect was out the window. We've seen how powerful unleaked twists can be- just look at Baby Yoda, for example! The creators of The Mandalorian were careful not to leak his existence, even latening merchandising opportunities for it- and, for the next few months, the Internet went crazy for him. They missed a big opportunity to make the film substantially better by simply guarding their secrets better. George Lucas understood this concept. Heck, the biggest spoilers of the Original Trilogy- Luke losing a hand, Darth Vader being Luke's father, and Leia being Luke's sister don't even appear in the original script for The Empire Strikes Back. The then-secret of Luke's father didn't even come out when the scene was filmed! Specifically to keep it from seeping out, Lucasfilm had James Earl Jones instead say "No, Obi-Wan killed your father!" And dubbed over it later. Darth Maul's second blade was similarly concealed in the advertising for The Phantom Menace. Finally, it irritates me that the scene in which General Hux picks up Kylo Ren and takes him to Snoke wasn't in the theater version, or that it was an after-credits scene, which you can't easily catch in theaters. You shouldn't have had to buy the DVD version to see extra content that you didn't know existed. It was a cheap move both in writing and storytelling, as it deprived a huge portion of the viewers some information that would be vital to the next movie: that Kylo Ren survives, and that Snoke is important. We were all excited for this movie. Kylo Ren looked so cool and we were finally getting new Star Wars movies! But when you strip away all the idle hype over it existing, there was little in this movie. It was a virtual A New Hope remake with better visuals and some story tweaks, nearly all of them for the worse. In regards to the ending, putting a main character into a coma was an unbelievably clichéd idea. As I walked out of the theater where I saw it the first time, I overheard people discussing it, a little confused, and already finding inconsistencies. The Last Jedi The snail bombers needed much better defenses to make them make sense, but they were a metaphor for the entire movie; constant, nonsensical run-around action that's not very satisfying nor leads anywhere. It distracts from the barely-existent plot, and it's bad writing in general. Instead of tactically pausing the action when it showed the Resistance fleet in space to give the movie some pacing relief, the directors had something explode every 10 minutes. And, though this doesn't bother me as much as it does some people, Luke's state of being in this movie was too severe in ways. I'm all for tragic character arcs, but him completely shutting himself off from the Force was a step too much. The rest doesn't seem too irrational to me, (sure, he thought about killing Kylo, but he was a major threat to his small, fragile Jedi school.) But I cannot easily see him having such bad luck that he throws away the superpowerful set of abilities that he had chosen to define him and his life for the past 30 years. He had seen firsthand how powerful a force of good it can be. This was especially interesting considering how acting on emotion is against the Jedi way. But, in all fairness, he had failed a substantial number of important people to him and, though the sequels shouldn't intrude on the originals like this, possibly many high, old hopes of bringing the Force back to the Light Side that had seemed achievable since defeating the Emperor. But instead of trying again and learning from his mistakes, by shutting himself off, he buried the Jedi's last hope. Returning to the subject of this movie's use of action, the Praetorian guards fight scene was cool to watch the first time, but it seems very rushed and easy looking back, especially weighing that there are piles of weak, frequent action scattered around this movie, in the form of things like the First Order destroying the Resistance's medical frigate and Rose, Finn, and BB-8 dodging Kanto-Bight police. When there are action-packed moments spread all around a movie like this, it loses its effect. You stop caring about the action because you've seen so much of it, and so it gets less exciting, and lots of effect that should have been saved for the really combat-heavy scenes is lost to them. Speaking of the "casino planet", I have some issues with those scenes, too, though not as much as many people. The first couple shots were actually a preciously rare bit of world-building for the sequels, but the effect drained out quickly. Apparently, everyone being a rich gambler was the whole theme of that town. Rose also apparently put unsaddling a space horse above freeing child slaves, not to mention that they somehow had Earth-design cakes in an extragalactic tea room. Rey's "conga line" Force vision was bad, and a blatant, obvious attempted remake of the Cave of Evil, but at least this movie did SOMETHING with the Force. I wouldn't be surprised if Disney made the Force non-canon. The Holdo Maneuver was interesting, but very bad for the villain presence at the end of the film. After Snoke's Super Star Destroyer is run through, (along with several others, but it's unknowable how many because of the darkness in that shot) Kylo orders to gather "all our forces", which turn out to be just a few gorilla walkers, Ren's shuttle, and one big gun. The end of the movie had me thinking less in terms of "oh, the Resistance did some damage to the First Order, but the First Order crippled them back!" And a lot more "Both sides may have decimated each other. Now neither side is very strong." Majorly, the Matrix reference during Luke and Kylo's 'duel' should never have been in there. Star Wars movies shouldn't follow references. If anything, they should be the movies that are referenced later! Finally, it was as true in this movie as the last one: the scene aboard the Millennium Falcon should NOT have been DVD (or, in today's case, Disney+), exclusive! Fans deserved to know that Rey had the pieces of Luke's lightsaber and that the Jedi texts survived. Their survival made no sense all the same, but better to get it then and there than to be surprised by yet another plot hole in TROS. The Rise of Skywalker In addition to being a weak ending in general, TROS, in my opinion, has the most plot holes of any Star Wars movie, which is saying a lot, and missed a lot of opportunities TLJ tried to give it. As most of us can attest, the writing in this movie was horribly inconsistent, a result of JJ Abrams, Rian Johnson, and some Disney-imposed fan service (and deadlines) fighting to write the script, I suppose. We see Rey struggle a little bit, but not enough to break her out of her status. The visuals are amazing in the first eighth or so- the Blood Net, that space glacier thing, Exegol- but it was still ruined by the trademark Rian Johnson cheese and JJ Abrams nonsensical banter that was mixed in. Let's see what was written into those few scenes: a gaping hyperspace retcon, TIE fighters that can somehow track through lightspeed, that insufferable line "Win the war!", and a quote repeat by Palpatine that all but ruined the beloved Revenge of The Sith version. And Kylo Ren's helmet gets fixed. I became disappointed as soon as I saw this in the trailer. Everyone complains about the porgs being a blunt merchandise-grab, but I'd say this is substantially worse. Yes, the red looks cool, but it outright undid one of the most meaningful moments in the entire trilogy. In addition to looking intense, that moment in which Kylo smashes his helmet on the elevator wall showed that the money-hungry makers of this trilogy might have been willing to give up a little iconography for the sake of a richer story. But they proved eager to take that back. Not only did they just reintroduce one of the most overused images of the late 2010s, but they tried to shallowly make it look cooler. Especially pointless given how the helmet was heavily shown in the advertising, but barely seen in the actual movie. And, according to the novelization, the remains of the Supremacy where combed through for the helmet's pieces. That had seemed like promising scavenging ground for one of my own trilogies, but enough about that. The world building in TROS was okay, but the characters were awful. Exegol and the aforementioned space formations looked epic, Kijimi (the snowy mountain world), was an interesting planet, but, like Anch-To, suffered from a lack of one solid theme. That desert planet had the opposite problem: it was a near-complete clone of Tatooine, Jakuu, and Nevarro (the desert planet from The Mandalorian). And the culture of the festival held on it didn't go as deep as I hoped. The Death Star ruins should have caused apocalyptic damage to the moon they landed on, but at least we finally got to see the plains of Endor... sort of. Now onto the characters. Rey got a few tiny, tiny tinges of development (when she accepted that girl's necklace at the desert festival and oiled D-0's wheel), but for the most part just remained too powerful. Palpatine is defeated YET AGAIN because he can't wrap his head around the thought that when someone is blasting your own Force lightning back at you and using it to kill or severely weaken you, MAYBE YOU SHOULDN'T KEEP BLASTING!! Rey just holds up two lightsabers to him and becomes invincible and unchallenged. Kylo Ren is probably at his worst in terms of development. (Last word: "Ow.") Nearly all the new-this-movie characters: Babu Frick, Jannah, and the D-0 droid, were either placeholder characters or merch-generators. Or both. The Knights of Ren and the Sith Troopers were both grievously underused; again, largely merch-bait, and from Rey we got a healing-a-troubled,-dangerous-creature-with-the-Force scene that we've seen at least four times in Star Wars by now. It was supposed to be impactful, but other, better writers had gotten there first. Finally, I felt that there was something wrong with the final battle. Every ragtag fighter in the galaxy suddenly just decides to come and blow up some ships, and then much the same thing happens again 20 minutes later. (Though we do see the Ghost, captain Rex's starfighter, and a Mandalorian starfighter, which I find very exciting.) And the Final Order had been working on those ships for the past twenty years. I think they'd find something as obvious as a weak spot in the cannon. Sith hubris can't make you that stupid, especially considering that finding weak spots is very much on the lines of how Sith think. _______________________________________________________________ Although bad on several levels, the sequels can teach us something. They don't show us what good Star Wars is, but at least they show us what bad Star Wars is. They've fallen into pits that it is now up to future Star Wars writers to find and avoid. That's one of the reasons why intelligently criticizing Star Wars is so important.
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