fantasy

Cassiopeia Lane: Little Shop of Shadows

Sometimes, I write. Sometimes, I think up little universes where different adventures take place. The following story is from an urban fantasy setting my girlfriend and I are creating, called Cassiopeia Lane. We’re still exploring the world ourselves, and this piece of fiction has been “doodled” in an evening. You won’t find out why its called that in this story, but you will discover that you should not just go out and buy a jade statue from a nice old man. Have fun reading!

Click here to download the short piece of fiction!

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Fixing Elves, Part 1

thranduil elf party art

“Thranduil the Party King” by TiaAnthy

Quite some time ago, I wrote a piece about why I’m not so fond of Elves in fantasy fiction. While I’m still anything but a fan of our pointy-eared perfectionists, I think that hating something without offering any suggestions for improvement is just…lame. Everyone can be a hater, but it takes constructive criticism and feedback to actually improve something. That’s why today, I want to take a look at how I would approach the old fantasy trope with the long hair and even longer lifespans. I’ll tell you which traits I would keep, but how I would put those into two new and different settings. Leave your lembas at home, it would just feel out-of-place where we’re going!

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You’ll never forget your first one…

 

I’m spending Christmas at my parent’s place, and since my gaming computer is not so easy to carry around, I’m stuck with my laptop here. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t visit my family so I can game twenty-four-seven, but it’s nice to have something with you to keep in touch with the world.

My lack of hardware made me find games that I could play on my laptop, and so I discovered that the PC version of the RPG classic Final Fantasy VII is on sale on the Square Enix Store. Since I’m more than willing to pay just €6,50 for such an epic game, I opened my PayPal wallet and just minutes later, I returned to Midgar and the adventures of Cloud and his allies.

It’s a crazy experience, revisiting the game that started my love for the genre. It’s like travelling back in time, knowing what the future of RPG’s will look like. Playing a game with an old-school ATB combat system (and a still awesome magic system) makes you forget about the emphasis modern RPG’s put on action-rich combat and dynamic experiences. The quite linear progression of both the story and your characters is something that would be the death of any new title, but in the time this jewel was released, it was praised and loved. Oh, how I remember the days when I put the first of three discs in my PSX, and how my brother, my friends and I enjoyed the marvelous world Square had created. Dressed in our pyjamas and armed with endless reservoirs of patience, we became one with the epic story and grand world of Final Fantasy VII.

Maybe it’s nostalgia combined with the holiday spirit, but as I equipped my heroes with Materia and started chasing Sephiroth, there were several occasions that brought tears to my eyes and a kind of sadness. I know that this generation of gamers will never experience a game like this again, and that my children will ask me what “my” generation found so great about this game, but just like my first kiss, I will never forget my first RPG love. I’ve already placed a box of tissues next to my laptop, knowing well what moments of tearjerkery await me.

Now excuse me, while I trod down memory lane, slaying monsters and breeding Chocobos…