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Found 49 results

  1. Chucklefish, the developer/publisher known for its work on Starbound and Stardew Valley, announced a partnership with Shanghai developer Pixpil to bring the post-apocalyptic adventure Eastward to audiences everywhere. Eastward has humble beginnings as an independent project built by Pixpil's three founding members around the work of pixel artist Hong Moran's mesmerizing work. The game stands as a love letter to classics like Earthbound and The Legend of Zelda. It's a narrative heavy experience mixed with action-RPG elements. The adventure takes place in the not-too-distant future at a point when the human population has shrunk to dangerously low levels and monsters stalk the husks of abandoned cities. Players take on the role of John, a digger who unearths a hidden facility beneath his mine. In that facility, he finds a mysterious white-haired girl. This discovery sets John on a path that will take him away from his village and through countless dangers. Since the company's founding in 2015, Pixpil has grown along with the scope of Eastward. The developer has brought on Joel Corelitz, the composer of The Unfinished Swan and Gorgogoa, to compose the soundtrack and the ever-amazing Hyperduck Soundworks to handle sound design. There's no release date quite yet, but the trailer certainly has a lot of phenomenal pixel animations that are a real joy to see in motion.
  2. Chucklefish, the developer/publisher known for its work on Starbound and Stardew Valley, announced a partnership with Shanghai developer Pixpil to bring the post-apocalyptic adventure Eastward to audiences everywhere. Eastward has humble beginnings as an independent project built by Pixpil's three founding members around the work of pixel artist Hong Moran's mesmerizing work. The game stands as a love letter to classics like Earthbound and The Legend of Zelda. It's a narrative heavy experience mixed with action-RPG elements. The adventure takes place in the not-too-distant future at a point when the human population has shrunk to dangerously low levels and monsters stalk the husks of abandoned cities. Players take on the role of John, a digger who unearths a hidden facility beneath his mine. In that facility, he finds a mysterious white-haired girl. This discovery sets John on a path that will take him away from his village and through countless dangers. Since the company's founding in 2015, Pixpil has grown along with the scope of Eastward. The developer has brought on Joel Corelitz, the composer of The Unfinished Swan and Gorgogoa, to compose the soundtrack and the ever-amazing Hyperduck Soundworks to handle sound design. There's no release date quite yet, but the trailer certainly has a lot of phenomenal pixel animations that are a real joy to see in motion. View full article
  3. stodd.ELBoston

    Anime Boston 2018

    until
    Anime Boston ***Schedule Subject to Change*** Schedule for Anime Boston FRI Manager @stodd.ELBoston 11-6 PM @The Guat 11-6 PM @Anino 11-6 PM @alleenc 11-6 PM @Serolis SAT Manager @aradiadarling 9-2 David DiMare Messier 9-2 @alleenc 9-2 @DMo2TheMax 9-2 @Robop1g 1-6 @Serolis 1-6 @SassyJ 1-6 Taylor 1-6 @KriptiKFate 1-6 @FobWatch00 1-6 @JustSkoink SUN Manager @aradiadarling 9-2 @SassyJ 9-2 Taylor 9-2 @Serolis 9-2 @DMo2TheMax 1-6 @KriptiKFate 1-6 @thats_spinach 1-6 @Zander207 1-6 @EdFries
  4. stevekrusel

    Anime Expo

    until
    We are working on securing booth space at this convention for recruitment purposes.
  5. Sometime in the early 2000s, my mother purchased a 3D movie viewer and glasses for our TV and some 3D movies from eBay and other online retailers. Included was Elysium, a CGI film mailed without a case in a package that appeared to be addressed in Chinese. This movie, mistakenly believed to be 3D, ended up sitting in a box, unwatched until 2013. Shortly after I began critiquing odd, obscure, and adult-oriented CGI movies for fun, I happened to remember the foreign film my siblings, cousins, and I abandoned more than a decade earlier in favor of Frankenstein and Night of the Living Dead in 3D. Ever since, it has humored, shocked, and baffled me. The film shows signs of tampering with places where the audio cuts out and sloppy video editing. The English adaptation is extensively re-edited from the original film and, oddly, includes thirteen minutes of brand new footage. Redubs of the film from other countries are translations of the English script rather than the original and include a bizarre collection of special features on their DVDs. Most people would have discounted Elysium as a half-baked attempt at a giant robot anime gone terribly wrong, but instead, I set out to find how the movie came to be. While I wasn’t entirely successful, I did discover many strange things surrounding what has been referred to as the Final Fantasy of South Korea. Its proximity to the release of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001) and video game-like graphics earned Elysium (2003) its comparison to Square Picture’s film, and it roughly follows the “heroes come together to save the world” storyline seen in many Final Fantasy games. Van, a bike racer and pizza delivery boy; Paul, a juvenile delinquent; Christopher, a fighter pilot; and Nyx, an alien from the planet Elysium, are chosen to pilot four giant armors and protect the Earth from evil. Together they must defeat Necros, the general of the Elysium army who started a war between the Elysium and humans to set his plans to gain power into motion. The first time I watched this film, however, its problems were more apparent than its story or its tenuous resemblance to Final Fantasy. It suffered from bad animation and special effects, poor writing, and most of all, frantic editing that made the story nearly incoherent. Robots and spaceships exploded like Death Stars. The attempts that characters made at displaying joy, horror, or terror with their plastic faces had more hilarious than successful results. The subtitling was sometimes comically bad, but even if it were flawless, the film had little room to explain itself. It was edited together so chaotically that it lost all sense of time and place. Transitions to move characters from one location to another were missing. Instead, characters traveled an impossible distance, like from a space ship to the middle of a city, in a single shot or disappeared mid-scene, making it seem like they could teleport. Some scenes, particularly battles, seemed to be composed of shots that had been placed in a random, nonsense order. The film often jumped between scenes to suggest that multiple events occurred at the same time or sequentially. Sometimes, however, the scenes placed together couldn’t reasonably happen at either of those times, and the film made no attempt to explain when they occurred or to even provide a transition between them to suggest time passing. This problem was so prevalent that anywhere from a few days to a few years could have passed in the course of the movie. Also on the DVD, I discovered, shockingly, a short “The Making Of” film. In it, the creators showed off their use of motion capture and their attention to continuity, which the film seemed to lack entirely. Someone at some point cared about and showed pride in this hacked together film. Who? What were they trying to achieve, and why did it fail so completely? I looked to the Internet for answers. Unfortunately, all that I found was a tiny Wikipedia article, an incomplete IMDB page, and a small number of reviews, half of which weren’t in English. The official website had become what appeared to be a website for a park. All that anyone seemed to know for certain was that the film was made in South Korea. Even simple plot summaries were wrong half the time. One website claimed that it was a wartime drama that took place in Budapest and was based on a true story. A reviewer claimed that Elysium (2013) was a remake of Elysium (2003), to which it bore no resemblance. Even the official IMDB page claimed that “the story is about the message, only love for humanity can save the earth.” I couldn’t see how anyone could pull that out of the series of images I watched. Even stranger, some user reviews praised Elysium for its superb animation and reasonable, well told story. Excuse me? Had we watched the same movie? As it turned out, we hadn’t. During my search, I found to my delight that the film had been redubbed in English. The only way the film could possibly be worse, and more hilarious, would be to give it a terrible English dub. Naturally, I absolutely had to have it. I bought one of the last remaining copies from the dark corners of Amazon. With actors who clearly didn’t care, obvious and badly improvised lines, and weird dialog that didn’t match the film, the redub was as amazing as expected. Crispin Freeman, a popular voice actor in English dubs of anime, who voices Kronos and Lycon in Elysium, was about the only actor who gave a consistently decent performance. Differences in the script, however, made the story more coherent. Primarily, an added narrator tied together starkly cut together scenes and provided a better sense of time passing. As I continued to watch the two dubs of the film in preparation to review Elysium though, I noticed something else. I was watching the English version of the movie when the protagonist Van made a tasteless joke about bulimia. I’d just watched the Korean version the previous day, but I couldn’t remember Van joking about bulimics in it. More than likely, he’d made a different joke, he spoke about something else, or the subtitles were indistinguishable. I wondered though, so I opened the Korean film and looked for the scene. To my surprise, the part of the scene where Van made the joke didn’t exist. Comparing the length of the two films, I realized that the English dub was thirteen minutes longer than the original film. I proceeded to go through both versions of Elysium and map out the differences between them. While they told basically the same story, they were edited together much differently. The scenes appeared in different orders, the English version had shots and entire scenes that the Korean version didn’t, and the Korean film also had shots that didn’t exist in the English film. While the English adaptation was still a mess, it was overall better paced and better put together than the Korean film. Going to my experience with English dubs of Japanese anime, I knew that sometimes adaptations were also re-edited to add or remove elements in the footage or reorder scenes and shots to tell a different story, but the English adaptation of Elysium contained seemingly brand new content that someone animated and rendered! By this point, I was seriously questioning the DVD that came without a case in that package addressed in Chinese all those years ago. I thought I had the original Korean film, but clearly, more footage existed. As I watched it again, I could see and hear where the scenes were abruptly cut off where they continued in the English version as if someone had butchered the film to make it shorter. If I didn’t have the original film, then what did I have? I again went back to my experience with Japanese anime, specifically bootlegs of anime. Perhaps I had some crazy Chinese import. These ethically questionable, if not illegal, purchases are usually cheap and have Chinese subtitles and poor English subtitles. My supposed Korean copy of Elysium fit this description. Why would bootleggers take the time to re-edit the film, and make it worse, though? They don’t even subtitle properly. I needed more copies of the movie if I wanted to answer these questions. Perhaps I had some early edit of Elysium that mistakenly released to the public, and somewhere out there the actual original Korean film, one even more complete than the English adaptation, existed… Or maybe whoever wanted to redub the movie in another language got a box of footage to edit together. The only DVD of the movie I could find that had a Korean audio option was the German DVD. It claimed to be of the same length as the English version. I also found a Polish adaptation that claimed to be of a different length than the Korean and English versions. I found a French DVD on eBay, too, but I’d already nearly emptied Amazon of its copies. I didn’t want to get too crazy with this terrible movie. The Polish DVD was perfect for any Elysium fan’s shelf and, simultaneously, the most bizarre DVD I’d ever seen. In its beautiful packaging were five Elysium trading cards, words that I never thought I would say let alone use to describe real objects. The DVD had well-designed, interesting menus and included character descriptions and the name of the armor each character pilots, information that wasn’t revealed in the movie. Contrary to its description online, it contained the English version of the film with Polish and English audio options. Things got weird starting with the Polish dub, which featured one guy repeating all the dialog in Polish over the English dub. The DVD also contained descriptions of about 186 random movies, from Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer to Kill Bill, and samples of all the songs from seven CDs that had nothing to do with Elysium. Most of the music was electronica. I could dig that. Anyway, the German DVD proved to be more relevant to my search, but it left me with more questions than answers. “Is the Korean on this DVD actually Korean?” was among them. The DVD, subtitled “Koreas Antwort auf Final Fantasy,” which Google translated to “Korea’s answer to Final Fantasy,” contained the English version of the film with German, English, and Korean audio options and German subtitles. The Korean audio, however, didn’t contain a full length version of the dub on my Korean DVD as I expected. The voice actors were different, and the script was obviously translated from the English dub. Most bothersome of all, the dialog didn’t sound like Korean. I wasn’t super familiar with Korean, but I knew that something was strange. At times, it sounded similar to Spanish and other times it sounded more like Chinese. I asked the Internet, but as of this writing, I still don’t have a definitive answer to what language it is. Early opinions concur; it isn’t Korean. Unlike the twenty plus games and movies that Japan’s Final Fantasy spawned, Korea’s Final Fantasy truly is a final fantasy. Thirteen years after its release, Elysium has been nearly forgotten, leaving strange artifacts behind. Among them is the original Korean film stitched together like Frankenstein’s monster, a “The Making Of” featurette showing the care that went into creating it, thirteen minutes of previously unseen footage that appeared in the English dub without explanation, and a German DVD with a “Koreanisch” audio option that doesn’t sound Korean. Someone saw enough potential in the original film to not only redub it but also extensively re-edit it. Similarly, someone saw enough potential in the mediocre English redub to translate it into other languages and package it in nicely crafted DVDs. These adaptations, however, buried the original film and left a trail questions, “What went wrong?” being the biggest among them. While these DVDs remain enigmatic mysteries, I continue on my search for answers. --- Any other Extra Lifers out there with some writing skills and a good idea? Read about how to become a community contributor and start submitting today! View full article
  6. Sometime in the early 2000s, my mother purchased a 3D movie viewer and glasses for our TV and some 3D movies from eBay and other online retailers. Included was Elysium, a CGI film mailed without a case in a package that appeared to be addressed in Chinese. This movie, mistakenly believed to be 3D, ended up sitting in a box, unwatched until 2013. Shortly after I began critiquing odd, obscure, and adult-oriented CGI movies for fun, I happened to remember the foreign film my siblings, cousins, and I abandoned more than a decade earlier in favor of Frankenstein and Night of the Living Dead in 3D. Ever since, it has humored, shocked, and baffled me. The film shows signs of tampering with places where the audio cuts out and sloppy video editing. The English adaptation is extensively re-edited from the original film and, oddly, includes thirteen minutes of brand new footage. Redubs of the film from other countries are translations of the English script rather than the original and include a bizarre collection of special features on their DVDs. Most people would have discounted Elysium as a half-baked attempt at a giant robot anime gone terribly wrong, but instead, I set out to find how the movie came to be. While I wasn’t entirely successful, I did discover many strange things surrounding what has been referred to as the Final Fantasy of South Korea. Its proximity to the release of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001) and video game-like graphics earned Elysium (2003) its comparison to Square Picture’s film, and it roughly follows the “heroes come together to save the world” storyline seen in many Final Fantasy games. Van, a bike racer and pizza delivery boy; Paul, a juvenile delinquent; Christopher, a fighter pilot; and Nyx, an alien from the planet Elysium, are chosen to pilot four giant armors and protect the Earth from evil. Together they must defeat Necros, the general of the Elysium army who started a war between the Elysium and humans to set his plans to gain power into motion. The first time I watched this film, however, its problems were more apparent than its story or its tenuous resemblance to Final Fantasy. It suffered from bad animation and special effects, poor writing, and most of all, frantic editing that made the story nearly incoherent. Robots and spaceships exploded like Death Stars. The attempts that characters made at displaying joy, horror, or terror with their plastic faces had more hilarious than successful results. The subtitling was sometimes comically bad, but even if it were flawless, the film had little room to explain itself. It was edited together so chaotically that it lost all sense of time and place. Transitions to move characters from one location to another were missing. Instead, characters traveled an impossible distance, like from a space ship to the middle of a city, in a single shot or disappeared mid-scene, making it seem like they could teleport. Some scenes, particularly battles, seemed to be composed of shots that had been placed in a random, nonsense order. The film often jumped between scenes to suggest that multiple events occurred at the same time or sequentially. Sometimes, however, the scenes placed together couldn’t reasonably happen at either of those times, and the film made no attempt to explain when they occurred or to even provide a transition between them to suggest time passing. This problem was so prevalent that anywhere from a few days to a few years could have passed in the course of the movie. Also on the DVD, I discovered, shockingly, a short “The Making Of” film. In it, the creators showed off their use of motion capture and their attention to continuity, which the film seemed to lack entirely. Someone at some point cared about and showed pride in this hacked together film. Who? What were they trying to achieve, and why did it fail so completely? I looked to the Internet for answers. Unfortunately, all that I found was a tiny Wikipedia article, an incomplete IMDB page, and a small number of reviews, half of which weren’t in English. The official website had become what appeared to be a website for a park. All that anyone seemed to know for certain was that the film was made in South Korea. Even simple plot summaries were wrong half the time. One website claimed that it was a wartime drama that took place in Budapest and was based on a true story. A reviewer claimed that Elysium (2013) was a remake of Elysium (2003), to which it bore no resemblance. Even the official IMDB page claimed that “the story is about the message, only love for humanity can save the earth.” I couldn’t see how anyone could pull that out of the series of images I watched. Even stranger, some user reviews praised Elysium for its superb animation and reasonable, well told story. Excuse me? Had we watched the same movie? As it turned out, we hadn’t. During my search, I found to my delight that the film had been redubbed in English. The only way the film could possibly be worse, and more hilarious, would be to give it a terrible English dub. Naturally, I absolutely had to have it. I bought one of the last remaining copies from the dark corners of Amazon. With actors who clearly didn’t care, obvious and badly improvised lines, and weird dialog that didn’t match the film, the redub was as amazing as expected. Crispin Freeman, a popular voice actor in English dubs of anime, who voices Kronos and Lycon in Elysium, was about the only actor who gave a consistently decent performance. Differences in the script, however, made the story more coherent. Primarily, an added narrator tied together starkly cut together scenes and provided a better sense of time passing. As I continued to watch the two dubs of the film in preparation to review Elysium though, I noticed something else. I was watching the English version of the movie when the protagonist Van made a tasteless joke about bulimia. I’d just watched the Korean version the previous day, but I couldn’t remember Van joking about bulimics in it. More than likely, he’d made a different joke, he spoke about something else, or the subtitles were indistinguishable. I wondered though, so I opened the Korean film and looked for the scene. To my surprise, the part of the scene where Van made the joke didn’t exist. Comparing the length of the two films, I realized that the English dub was thirteen minutes longer than the original film. I proceeded to go through both versions of Elysium and map out the differences between them. While they told basically the same story, they were edited together much differently. The scenes appeared in different orders, the English version had shots and entire scenes that the Korean version didn’t, and the Korean film also had shots that didn’t exist in the English film. While the English adaptation was still a mess, it was overall better paced and better put together than the Korean film. Going to my experience with English dubs of Japanese anime, I knew that sometimes adaptations were also re-edited to add or remove elements in the footage or reorder scenes and shots to tell a different story, but the English adaptation of Elysium contained seemingly brand new content that someone animated and rendered! By this point, I was seriously questioning the DVD that came without a case in that package addressed in Chinese all those years ago. I thought I had the original Korean film, but clearly, more footage existed. As I watched it again, I could see and hear where the scenes were abruptly cut off where they continued in the English version as if someone had butchered the film to make it shorter. If I didn’t have the original film, then what did I have? I again went back to my experience with Japanese anime, specifically bootlegs of anime. Perhaps I had some crazy Chinese import. These ethically questionable, if not illegal, purchases are usually cheap and have Chinese subtitles and poor English subtitles. My supposed Korean copy of Elysium fit this description. Why would bootleggers take the time to re-edit the film, and make it worse, though? They don’t even subtitle properly. I needed more copies of the movie if I wanted to answer these questions. Perhaps I had some early edit of Elysium that mistakenly released to the public, and somewhere out there the actual original Korean film, one even more complete than the English adaptation, existed… Or maybe whoever wanted to redub the movie in another language got a box of footage to edit together. The only DVD of the movie I could find that had a Korean audio option was the German DVD. It claimed to be of the same length as the English version. I also found a Polish adaptation that claimed to be of a different length than the Korean and English versions. I found a French DVD on eBay, too, but I’d already nearly emptied Amazon of its copies. I didn’t want to get too crazy with this terrible movie. The Polish DVD was perfect for any Elysium fan’s shelf and, simultaneously, the most bizarre DVD I’d ever seen. In its beautiful packaging were five Elysium trading cards, words that I never thought I would say let alone use to describe real objects. The DVD had well-designed, interesting menus and included character descriptions and the name of the armor each character pilots, information that wasn’t revealed in the movie. Contrary to its description online, it contained the English version of the film with Polish and English audio options. Things got weird starting with the Polish dub, which featured one guy repeating all the dialog in Polish over the English dub. The DVD also contained descriptions of about 186 random movies, from Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer to Kill Bill, and samples of all the songs from seven CDs that had nothing to do with Elysium. Most of the music was electronica. I could dig that. Anyway, the German DVD proved to be more relevant to my search, but it left me with more questions than answers. “Is the Korean on this DVD actually Korean?” was among them. The DVD, subtitled “Koreas Antwort auf Final Fantasy,” which Google translated to “Korea’s answer to Final Fantasy,” contained the English version of the film with German, English, and Korean audio options and German subtitles. The Korean audio, however, didn’t contain a full length version of the dub on my Korean DVD as I expected. The voice actors were different, and the script was obviously translated from the English dub. Most bothersome of all, the dialog didn’t sound like Korean. I wasn’t super familiar with Korean, but I knew that something was strange. At times, it sounded similar to Spanish and other times it sounded more like Chinese. I asked the Internet, but as of this writing, I still don’t have a definitive answer to what language it is. Early opinions concur; it isn’t Korean. Unlike the twenty plus games and movies that Japan’s Final Fantasy spawned, Korea’s Final Fantasy truly is a final fantasy. Thirteen years after its release, Elysium has been nearly forgotten, leaving strange artifacts behind. Among them is the original Korean film stitched together like Frankenstein’s monster, a “The Making Of” featurette showing the care that went into creating it, thirteen minutes of previously unseen footage that appeared in the English dub without explanation, and a German DVD with a “Koreanisch” audio option that doesn’t sound Korean. Someone saw enough potential in the original film to not only redub it but also extensively re-edit it. Similarly, someone saw enough potential in the mediocre English redub to translate it into other languages and package it in nicely crafted DVDs. These adaptations, however, buried the original film and left a trail questions, “What went wrong?” being the biggest among them. While these DVDs remain enigmatic mysteries, I continue on my search for answers. --- Any other Extra Lifers out there with some writing skills and a good idea? Read about how to become a community contributor and start submitting today!
  7. Bandai Namco teased Code Vein back in April with a slickly animated teaser that conveyed the general idea of their upcoming game, but didn't show much of the in-game visuals. From that initial teaser, it seemed like Bandai Namco was trying to create an IP under its control since FromSoftware has stated that they are moving on from the Dark Souls series following the release of The Ringed City DLC. The published found a great deal of success with its God Eater games and the subsequent anime and light novel adaptations, so there was some speculation that the company might try their hand at doing something similar with a Souls-like game in Code Vein. Now the first proper trailer ha arrived to reveal what the vampiric title looks like in action. Like many have speculated, Code Vein looks much like Bloodborne and the Souls series. The visual tone nails the bright, washed out look of Dark Souls, while the action seems to be more of the Bloodborne variety. Cryptic, heavy dialogue permeates the trailer, lending it a certain gravitas. The trailer very clearly shows that some kind of earth-shattering cataclysm has occurred, forever altering life on the planet. Cities are laced with jagged crystalline structures called the Thorns of Judgment. In the middle of the devastation caused by the sudden appearance of the Thorns, a remnant of civilization has survived. The final society, composed of powerful vampires called Revenants, has been dubbed Vein. Revenants exchange their memories for their great power. Vein's Revenant protectors must fight to satisfy their bloodlust and also to protect Vein from the Lost, shells of the world that once was now warped in the absence of their humanity. Players will be able to create their own characters in Project Vein, but don't worry about venturing into the ruins alone! Players can also enlist the aid of an AI companion (possible co-op opportunity?) from an in-game roster of helpers. These companions come with differing combat styles, stories, and can change the entire feel of encounters depending on which one is brought into the fray. Progressing in Code Vein means slaying enemies and then using their blood to empower attacks or weaken enemies. These blood veil enhancements can allow players to make use of various weapon abilities or charge destructive moves. Confirmed weapons so far consist of axes, spears, swords, bayonets, rifles, and claws. The anime influence of God Eater appears to be present, too. Some of the enemy designs and especially the human (erm, Revenant?) faces exhibit anime qualities. It's a little jarring with the other aspects of the presentation, but I'm eager to see more of it in action. More weirdness, please! Code Vein releases sometime in 2018. View full article
  8. Bandai Namco teased Code Vein back in April with a slickly animated teaser that conveyed the general idea of their upcoming game, but didn't show much of the in-game visuals. From that initial teaser, it seemed like Bandai Namco was trying to create an IP under its control since FromSoftware has stated that they are moving on from the Dark Souls series following the release of The Ringed City DLC. The published found a great deal of success with its God Eater games and the subsequent anime and light novel adaptations, so there was some speculation that the company might try their hand at doing something similar with a Souls-like game in Code Vein. Now the first proper trailer ha arrived to reveal what the vampiric title looks like in action. Like many have speculated, Code Vein looks much like Bloodborne and the Souls series. The visual tone nails the bright, washed out look of Dark Souls, while the action seems to be more of the Bloodborne variety. Cryptic, heavy dialogue permeates the trailer, lending it a certain gravitas. The trailer very clearly shows that some kind of earth-shattering cataclysm has occurred, forever altering life on the planet. Cities are laced with jagged crystalline structures called the Thorns of Judgment. In the middle of the devastation caused by the sudden appearance of the Thorns, a remnant of civilization has survived. The final society, composed of powerful vampires called Revenants, has been dubbed Vein. Revenants exchange their memories for their great power. Vein's Revenant protectors must fight to satisfy their bloodlust and also to protect Vein from the Lost, shells of the world that once was now warped in the absence of their humanity. Players will be able to create their own characters in Project Vein, but don't worry about venturing into the ruins alone! Players can also enlist the aid of an AI companion (possible co-op opportunity?) from an in-game roster of helpers. These companions come with differing combat styles, stories, and can change the entire feel of encounters depending on which one is brought into the fray. Progressing in Code Vein means slaying enemies and then using their blood to empower attacks or weaken enemies. These blood veil enhancements can allow players to make use of various weapon abilities or charge destructive moves. Confirmed weapons so far consist of axes, spears, swords, bayonets, rifles, and claws. The anime influence of God Eater appears to be present, too. Some of the enemy designs and especially the human (erm, Revenant?) faces exhibit anime qualities. It's a little jarring with the other aspects of the presentation, but I'm eager to see more of it in action. More weirdness, please! Code Vein releases sometime in 2018.
  9. stodd.ELBoston

    Anime Boston

    until
    DAY TIME POSITION NAME ROLE FRI 12-6 LEADER Shawn Todd LEAD/PITCH FRI 12-6 VOLUNTEER Angela -DiMare Messier GREET FRI 12-6 VOLUNTEER Gregory Harris- Jones @Serolis PITCH FRI 12-6 VOLUNTEER CONSOLE SUPPORT SAT 9-2 LEADER Danielle Standring @DMo2TheMax LEAD/PITCH SAT 9-2 VOLUNTEER Rebecca Ash GREET SAT 9-2 VOLUNTEER Javier Para @Javier PITCH SAT 9-2 VOLUNTEER Sam @quitecrazy PITCH SAT 9-2 VOLUNTEER CONSOLE SUPPORT SAT 1-6 LEADER Angela DiMare-Messier @aradiadarling LEAD/PITCH SAT 1-6 VOLUNTEER Gregory Harris- Jones @Serolis GREET SAT 1-6 VOLUNTEER Kris Waterman PITCH SAT 1-6 VOLUNTEER David Kinghorn @Robop1g PITCH SAT 1-6 VOLUNTEER David DiMare-Messier CONSOLE SUPPORT SUN 9-2 LEADER Eric Richburg @PotatoTaco LEAD/PITCH SUN 9-2 VOLUNTEER Ana Richburg GREET SUN 9-2 VOLUNTEER John Gillis (Precision Gaming) PITCH SUN 9-2 VOLUNTEER Gregory Harris-Jones @Serolis PITCH SUN 9-2 VOLUNTEER Allen Chamberland @alleenc CONSOLE SUPPORT SUN 1-6 LEADER Angela DiMare @aradiadarling LEAD/PITCH SUN 1-6 VOLUNTEER Rebecca Strauss @BeccaCora GREET SUN 1-6 VOLUNTEER Simon Strauss @kineticmedic PITCH SUN 1-6 VOLUNTEER Christine Reale-Strauss PITCH SUN 1-6 VOLUNTEER David DiMare CONSOLE SUPPORT
  10. stodd.ELBoston

    Anime Boston 3/31-4/2

    Anime Boston Calendar Event Once again, we have space at Anime Boston. We can have all hands on deck, as many badges as we need. So volunteer away. I set only so many shifts, but on Saturday, we can never have too many people. Comes with a weekend badge to AB.
  11. LifeSalubrity

    Colossalcon

    until
  12. Many people remember the Super Mario Bros. movie from 1993. The live-action film involved Mario Mario (Bob Hoskins) and Luigi Mario (John Leguizamo) battling against Bowser (Dennis Hopper) and his minions across dimensions. It's... weird to say the least and it performed so catastrophically that Nintendo has rarely allowed its characters to set foot in another film since. However, many people don't know that there is actually another Super Mario Bros. movie that released several years before, becoming the first video game movie in history (along with another film that happened to release the same day, but that's a story for another time). Super Mario Bros.: Peach-hime Kyushutsu Dai Sakusen!, which roughly translates to Super Mario Bros.: The Great Mission to Rescue Princess Peach, released in Japanese theaters on July 20, 1986. The film was intended largely as an advertisement for the Famicom Disk System and the Japanese version of Super Mario Bros. 2 (known as Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels), which had both released earlier that year. After its theatrical release, the film pretty much disappeared. Nintendo didn't consider the film worth distributing on VHS or bringing it to regions outside of Japan. However, the Super Mario Bros. anime did make it to a limited VHS and Betamax release that was solely intended for video rental outlets. This extremely small-scale distribution made it one of the rarest video cassette tapes in the world. After tape-based media began to phase out in favor of DVDs, Nintendo did not re-release Super Mario Bros.: Peach-hime Kyushutsu Dai Sakusen! and the film fell into complete obscurity. The film was, for all intents and purposes, considered lost with only preserved magazine advertisements and a scattered assortment of merchandise testifying to its existence. Obsessed Mario Bros. fans scoured the world for years searching for one of the elusive tapes. Then, several years ago, someone struck gold. Uploading the footage to YouTube, the source files for the movie began bouncing around the internet. Of course, the video ripped off of a VHS tape wasn't of the best quality, so a group of fans undertook a restoration effort, revamping the film into a crisp, clear experience and translating subtitles for English and Spanish audiences. These efforts concluded earlier this year in September when YouTuber Magiblot1 uploaded the most recently remastered version of the 60-minute film. These efforts weren't supported by Nintendo, of course, and several uploads of the unobtainable film have been taken down from YouTube. However, Magiblot1's restoration remains untouched by Nintendo's copyright arm - so far. Aside from watching these videos via streaming services like YouTube, the only other option is to track down an old VHS/Betamax tape. If you can manage to find a copy up for auction on an obscure corner of the internet (and that's a big if), expect to pay hundreds of dollars. I'm not going to lie - this is a bizarre movie. For starters, Mario and Luigi live in our world, running a grocery store. Mario plays the Super Famicom to escape the drudgery of life, but one day Princess Peach leaps out of the screen of his television with Bowser in hot pursuit. The Koopa King manages to make off with Peach and life seems to return to normal. That is, until a dog from the Mushroom Kingdom manages to reopen the portal and seemingly recruit the brothers to rescue the princess. Though the film is ostensibly for kids, it does feature words that roughly translate into curses and a surprising amount of violence directed toward Luigi (who wears blue and yellow). One sequence in the film even involves Luigi tripping out on mushrooms. All in all, this is a pretty fascinating piece of film and video game history that I feel glad to have seen. The strange eccentricity comes across as oddly endearing and I enjoyed it much more than the live-action film the followed it. Think of what might have been if this title had been localized for Western audiences and released prior to the 1993 debacle that largely tanked video game movies in the eyes of Hollywood and game publishers for almost two decades. The landscape of video game movies could be vastly different today if Nintendo had released its films a little differently. View full article
  13. Many people remember the Super Mario Bros. movie from 1993. The live-action film involved Mario Mario (Bob Hoskins) and Luigi Mario (John Leguizamo) battling against Bowser (Dennis Hopper) and his minions across dimensions. It's... weird to say the least and it performed so catastrophically that Nintendo has rarely allowed its characters to set foot in another film since. However, many people don't know that there is actually another Super Mario Bros. movie that released several years before, becoming the first video game movie in history (along with another film that happened to release the same day, but that's a story for another time). Super Mario Bros.: Peach-hime Kyushutsu Dai Sakusen!, which roughly translates to Super Mario Bros.: The Great Mission to Rescue Princess Peach, released in Japanese theaters on July 20, 1986. The film was intended largely as an advertisement for the Famicom Disk System and the Japanese version of Super Mario Bros. 2 (known as Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels), which had both released earlier that year. After its theatrical release, the film pretty much disappeared. Nintendo didn't consider the film worth distributing on VHS or bringing it to regions outside of Japan. However, the Super Mario Bros. anime did make it to a limited VHS and Betamax release that was solely intended for video rental outlets. This extremely small-scale distribution made it one of the rarest video cassette tapes in the world. After tape-based media began to phase out in favor of DVDs, Nintendo did not re-release Super Mario Bros.: Peach-hime Kyushutsu Dai Sakusen! and the film fell into complete obscurity. The film was, for all intents and purposes, considered lost with only preserved magazine advertisements and a scattered assortment of merchandise testifying to its existence. Obsessed Mario Bros. fans scoured the world for years searching for one of the elusive tapes. Then, several years ago, someone struck gold. Uploading the footage to YouTube, the source files for the movie began bouncing around the internet. Of course, the video ripped off of a VHS tape wasn't of the best quality, so a group of fans undertook a restoration effort, revamping the film into a crisp, clear experience and translating subtitles for English and Spanish audiences. These efforts concluded earlier this year in September when YouTuber Magiblot1 uploaded the most recently remastered version of the 60-minute film. These efforts weren't supported by Nintendo, of course, and several uploads of the unobtainable film have been taken down from YouTube. However, Magiblot1's restoration remains untouched by Nintendo's copyright arm - so far. Aside from watching these videos via streaming services like YouTube, the only other option is to track down an old VHS/Betamax tape. If you can manage to find a copy up for auction on an obscure corner of the internet (and that's a big if), expect to pay hundreds of dollars. I'm not going to lie - this is a bizarre movie. For starters, Mario and Luigi live in our world, running a grocery store. Mario plays the Super Famicom to escape the drudgery of life, but one day Princess Peach leaps out of the screen of his television with Bowser in hot pursuit. The Koopa King manages to make off with Peach and life seems to return to normal. That is, until a dog from the Mushroom Kingdom manages to reopen the portal and seemingly recruit the brothers to rescue the princess. Though the film is ostensibly for kids, it does feature words that roughly translate into curses and a surprising amount of violence directed toward Luigi (who wears blue and yellow). One sequence in the film even involves Luigi tripping out on mushrooms. All in all, this is a pretty fascinating piece of film and video game history that I feel glad to have seen. The strange eccentricity comes across as oddly endearing and I enjoyed it much more than the live-action film the followed it. Think of what might have been if this title had been localized for Western audiences and released prior to the 1993 debacle that largely tanked video game movies in the eyes of Hollywood and game publishers for almost two decades. The landscape of video game movies could be vastly different today if Nintendo had released its films a little differently.
  14. Graydon

    Holiday Matsuri

    until
    Holiday Matsuri 2016 is a festive holiday convention held every year in Orlando, FL! This year, the convention will be at the glorious Orlando World Center Marriot, from December 16-18! Last year, the Orlando Guild was invited to table at Holiday Matsuri, and we were even the benefactors of their benefit ball where we raised over $2,000! This year should be even better as attendance is expected to increase, which will help with sign-ups AND the benefit ball fundraiser. Info: This will be updated as more information arrives, but as of right now, this is what we know. Two tables Vendor Hall Gaming Room Benefit Ball All proceeds donated to Extra Life Orlando Guild We are looking for any and all volunteers, so if you're interested, please let this be know. We can't wait for this event, and we look forward to making a great impact for the kids!
  15. Super Hobbit

    Anime St. Louis 2016

    From the album: Events & Conventions

  16. Sarah

    Otakon

    until
    Otakon is one of the largest pop-culture conventions (and the largest anime convention) in our area. Otakon has consistently pulled attendance numbers of 28-33k attendees, many of whom are in our target demographic. Otakon hosts a large gaming hall in which many unusual, rare, or popular video and arcade games are available for free play to attendees. In this gaming hall, there are also small indie developers with booth space who are promoting their games. This is where our booth will be located. COVERAGE We will be staffing this booth at Otakon in hopes of recruiting new Extra Lifers to participate in this year's Game Day. Unfortunately, two of our core volunteering team are attending/presenting at the convention and will not be able to provide significant coverage. Since we were unable to confirm our space until the last minute, we are going to be scrambling for coverage. Any individuals interested in volunteering are encouraged to message @Sarah with any questions, or in the comments below. Please RSVP on this page if you intend to help, and comment with which times you are available. Further instructions will be provided throughout the week. We have secured two badges for volunteers, which will need to be switched off throughout the weekend. PLEASE DO NOT TAKE YOUR CONVENTION BADGE HOME UNLESS OTHERWISE INSTRUCTED. We are in need of volunteer coverage for the following windows: Friday 11 am - 6 pm includes booth setup 3 pm - 10 pm @KJCoin Saturday 10 am - 5 pm @Aaron 12 pm - 7 pm @Ceraph1216 5 pm - 12 am this shift is tentative and may end early depending on how many other booths are still in operation @Ceraph1216 Sunday 10 am - 3 pm includes booth breakdown @KJCoin PARKING Please plan on parking 1 hour prior to your volunteering shift. Traffic in the city gets heavy in the late morning, particularly on Friday and Saturday. It may become harder to find a garage that is not full on Saturday or Sunday. If you are not staying at the convention late into the evening, it may be better to use public transit into the city. Please reference Google Maps to assist you in locating a parking garage close to the convention center. The Sheraton parking garage is most convenient and obvious as you turn in on Conway (not marked on this Maps search), however it fills up very quickly and it is unlikely you will get a spot there during the convention. Google Map of Parking Garages close to the Baltimore Convention Center Volunteers who will be driving to the convention will incur parking expenses. These parking expenses will not be reimbursed, however they can be written off at your end-of-year tax return as volunteer expenses. Please be sure to request a receipt if you use cash-paid event parking. Retain a copy of your receipts for your tax records. PUBLIC TRANSIT The Baltimore Convention Center has it's own light rail stop with service from the Red, Yellow, and Blue lines. MARC Trains run into Baltimore from more distant county departure points, and stop nearest to the Baltimore Convention Center at Camden Yards, which is a comfortable walking distance of several blocks. For further information about using public transit, please visit the Maryland Transit Authority website at https://mta.maryland.gov/. If choosing the Light Rail, it is suggested that you purchase a day pass. You can also message @NodnarbDude with public transit questions. IF YOU INTEND TO USE PUBLIC TRANSIT, PLEASE BE AWARE OF HOURS OF SERVICE BEFORE COMMITTING TO A SHIFT. Otakon has created a guide to alternative transit options here: https://www.otakon.com/allroads.asp Volunteers who will be driving to the convention will incur transit expenses. These transit expenses will not be reimbursed, however they can be written off at your end-of-year tax return as volunteer expenses. Retain a copy of your receipts for your tax records. ATTENDING PANELS, EVENTS, OR EXPLORING THE CONVENTION At this time, we are not entirely sure if the industry badges provided by Otakon will allow normal access to panels and events. This section will be updated with further information as it becomes available. During your volunteer shift (especially since coverage is going to be minimal), you are not permitted to use your badge to attend events or panels. You are expected to be present at the table and actively recruiting future Extra Life participants. Before or after your volunteer shift, if your badge does not need to be handed off to another volunteer, you are welcome to explore the convention. All badges MUST be turned in to @Sarah before leaving the Baltimore Convention Center/Hilton. You may not attend off-site events (Hyatt, First Mariner Arena), and you may not attend 18+ or hentai panels. Badge hand-offs will be coordinated via group text message. If you attend an event, please be sure to remove/conceal your Extra Life name badge. Before, during, and after your shift — especially every minute that you wear that convention badge — you are representing Extra Life, Johns Hopkins Children's Center, and the Extra Life Baltimore Guild. Otakon has generously waived their fees for us in order to make it possible for us to attend and volunteer at this event, and it is a very successful convention for us. It is very important that we maintain a great relationship with the staff at Otakon so that we can continue to attend. Remember, you are representing a children's charity. None of us would judge you for attending cosplay burlesque , but you shouldn't be attending it using a badge donated for professional use. Use common sense, and check with @Sarah if you aren't sure if the panel or event you'd like to attend is appropriate. To consider and plan out panels and events you'd like to attend, download the Guidebook app from Google Play or iTunes. This is a great resource for additional information about the convention (hours, directions, and updates). LUNCHES AND POTTY BREAKS If you need to take a lunch and you do not have backup coverage at the booth, please coordinate with @Sarah and @NodnarbDude who will plan a time to cover you for lunch. If you need to take a quick bathroom break and you do not have backup coverage at the booth, please take any loose valuable items with you (i.e. laptops, tablets, cell phones). There will be a small lock box available in our booth as well. There are bathrooms conveniently located in the gaming hall. If you have backup coverage at the booth and need to leave to get food or take a bathroom break, please be courteous and let the other volunteer know that you are leaving the table. Lines at the food vendors nearest the gaming hall are horrendous, and it is not practical to leave the convention to purchase food (trust me, the lines will be even worse at normal restaurants). The best location for purchasing something to eat quickly is in the third floor above the gaming hall. Any food you may be able to purchase will be overpriced convention food. It is strongly suggested to pack a lunch if possible. SIGNING UP TO VOLUNTEER Please let us know when you can volunteer. I will update the event with confirmed volunteer names below the shifts they have agreed to work. We need one volunteer minimum per shift to start off with, however extra coverage during periods that there is a badge free would be appreciated (11 am - 3 pm Friday, 6 pm - 10 pm Friday, 7 pm - 12 am Saturday, and 10 am - 3 pm Sunday)! For additional details, please message @Sarah, @NodnarbDude or @Ceraph1216. Volunteers will receive ongoing updates and instructions throughout the week and during the convention. Thanks so very much for donating your time and energy for the kids! RESOURCES Maryland Transit Authority Regional Transit Map Downtown Baltimore Parking Map Downtown Baltimore Visitors Map (Includes Light Rail and Bus Information) Marc Train Map:
  17. Otakon is coming up this weekend and we are still working on confirming volunteer coverage. I believe we will have a skeleton crew available, however I would like to invite local Extra Lifers as well as volunteers from the surrounding area (Hershey, Philadelphia, and DC) to participate! We have two badges available, and these badges will need to be handed off between volunteers throughout the weekend. If coverage (and terms of the badges) allows for it, participants will be allowed to attend panels or events before or after their volunteering shifts however this cannot be guaranteed. People attending Otakon for fun who are willing to provide brief lunch break coverage to volunteers are also encouraged to RSVP at the event below. Looking forward to seeing everyone! http://community.extra-life.org/calendar/event/941-otakon/
  18. Emily Palmieri

    The Seeker’s Greatest Weakness

    In 2012, Oxybot, the producer of Appleseed and Vexille, released Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker, a CGI movie based on BioWare’s Dragon Age. The film follows Cassandra, a fierce and loyal member of the Seekers and a talented dragon hunter. The loss of her brother, who was killed by mages when she was a child, has made her bitter, angry, and prone to violence and recklessness. Her mentor, Byron, believes that her fury blinds her and will get her or someone else killed. Her behavior frequently endangers her and her companions. Contrary to his warnings, Cassandra demonstrates inhuman strength and an imperviousness to damage, leading one to wonder what she or her companions have to fear by her thoughtlessness. Indeed, her need for revenge for what happened to her as a child seems to fuel her uncanny strength more than it hinders her. The only attack in the movie that seriously damages Cassandra reveals her true weakness. Blind fury doesn’t make Cassandra vulnerable. Her unfortunate choice to not wear pants leaves her true vulnerability fully exposed: Her “Achilles heel,” her left thigh. Cassandra, born into a family of talented dragon hunters, serves the Chantry as a Seeker to avenge her older brother’s murder. As a member of the Seekers, the most loyal of the Templar knights, Cassandra maintains balance and order between knights and mages. When she catches her fellow Seeker Byron kidnapping Avexis, an elf girl with the power to control beasts, however, she begins to question her loyalties. Byron believes that the High Seeker is conspiring with mages and holding Avexis hostage as part of their plans. When Byron dies protecting her and Avexis, Cassandra continues his mission to discover the truth. To do this, she must disobey the Chantry and trust an allied mage named Galyan. Cassandra’s anger frequently puts herself and others into dangerous situations, which makes it easy to assume that she must learn to control it to achieve victory. Her uncontrolled temper shows from the first fight scene of the movie when Byron finds Cassandra hacking angrily away at the corpse of a mage in a fit of rage, leaving her unaware of her surroundings and open to attack. Byron demonstrates Cassandra’s weakness again when he defeats her in a sparring match by using his shield as a weapon. He explains that she has blinded herself with vengeance and can’t see all the possibilities available to her. The consequences of Cassandra’s behavior escalate when her recklessness kills Byron. During their escape from the Chantry with Avexis, a large group of mages ambush Cassandra and Byron. Byron recommends that they retreat, but Cassandra takes the opportunity to kill more mages. Fearing that they will kill her, Byron stays and fights, too. He dies while protecting her, and the mages recapture Avexis. Cassandra laments that this wouldn’t have happened if she had retreated. In the scope of the entire movie, however, Cassandra’s mindless rage never really puts her in danger, causes her grief, or proves to be an obstacle. She demonstrates superhuman strength and damage resistance, which suggests that nothing poses a threat to her even when rage consumes her. In the course of a few days, she murders dozens of people and monsters. She can kill dragons with a knife, fist fight armed and armored knights into unconsciousness, and swing a sword hard enough to cut through armor and chains. Among other damage she receives, she survives a massacre as a little girl, jumps off three cliffs, stands on top of a flaming monster and doesn’t burn, and smashes into walls and the ground multiple times. The characters around Cassandra also recognize her abilities as exceptional. The Clerics express amazement when they hear that she killed a dragon by herself. Byron says that he knows no man better with a sword than her. Galyan sees her as the bravest person he’s ever met. The leader of the enemy mages retreats only when he recognizes Cassandra among the knights surrounding him at the end of the first fight scene. Cassandra and others refer to her as a member of a legendary dragon hunting family. Byron’s death, the most devastating consequence of Cassandra’s blind fury and the most likely to convince her to change, ultimately doesn’t affect her. She even stops believing that she caused it. Less than thirty seconds after Byron passes away, Cassandra attempts to kill his friend Galyan, and her thoughtlessness continues for the rest of the movie. As soon as she discovers the person truly behind the conspiracy within the Chantry, she blames him for killing Byron instead of herself. After she defeats the conspirator, she briefly takes Byron’s last words to heart: “Hate can only breed more hate.” In Byron’s memory, she shows the traitor mercy by allowing him to live… but then beheads him anyway. Despite Byron’s and Galyan’s insistence that Cassandra’s anger impedes her, Cassandra uses her pent up rage and impulsiveness to their advantage at every opportunity. She kills dragons and monsters at least fifty times her size and dozens of mages who would have killed her or members of the Chantry if she hadn’t. She intimidates an elf to gain valuable information. She saves herself and Galyan when she decides to jump off a cliff to escape the Templar knights. Despite everyone except Cassandra thinking that her rash decision would kill them, she and Galyan survive the fall. Instead of learning to control herself throughout the story, she instead convinces Galyan that her fury helps rather than hinders her. Originally a pacifist who dislikes Cassandra’s foolishness and need for revenge, Galyan tosses Cassandra the sword that she uses to execute the conspirator and admits that he should have let her kill him sooner. He also seems to reinterpret her recklessness as bravery. Perhaps if Byron had more trust that she could protect herself while he escaped with Avexis, he would have survived. Cassandra does have a weakness, however. This can be observed when Cassandra receives an attack that damages her left thigh. During a fight with 100 giant monsters, one of the beasts backhands Cassandra, which knocks her unconscious and cuts open her leg. This deep but small cut leaves her debilitated and vulnerable for two days. She can’t even defeat a single person when before she could cut down fifteen in minutes. Her reaction to this injury can’t be explained by the fact that a monster brutally smashed her out of the air. A similar attack later in the movie, where a large creature swats Cassandra into a brick wall, doesn’t damage Cassandra’s leg or incapacitate her. If Cassandra has a character flaw, her apparent preference for running around without pants on would be a better candidate. This choice leaves her thighs, and thus her weak point, fully exposed. Byron and Cassandra escape the Chantry with Avexis late at night when both of them wear light armor as opposed to full armored suits. Cassandra happens to not be wearing pants and must continue without them for the rest of the film. Sure, she and Byron had to make a quick escape, but why would she casually wear light armor with no pants in the first place? While Cassandra stubbornly refuses to change her personality, she does more than put clothes on to conceal her Achilles heel at the end of the movie. In the first fight scene, Cassandra wears a suit of armor that defends Cassandra so well that even magic bounces off of it throughout the battle. When she returns to the Chantry as a hero for exposing the conspiracy, she wears that miraculous suit of armor once again. Perhaps if she wore it through the whole adventure, she would be invincible and have nothing to worry about regardless of who or what she decided to swing a sword at. Dawn of the Seeker leads the audience to believe that in order to fulfill her goals, Cassandra must learn to solve problems with means other than recklessness and violence. The hopes that Byron and Galyan had for her becoming a more tactful and forgiving person, however, go mostly unfulfilled. Aside from befriending a mage, Galyan, Cassandra shamelessly chooses the path of rage and revenge from the beginning of the movie to the end. She not only survives, but also shows that her personality doesn’t make her weak. Her childhood trauma haunts her, but it has also made her strong. She doesn’t need to change her temperament to protect herself. When an attack to her left thigh can nearly kill her while everything else has no effect, putting on pants appears to be the more reasonable course of action. --- Any other Extra Lifers out there with some writing skills and a good idea? Read about how to become a community contributor and start submitting today!
  19. In 2012, Oxybot, the producer of Appleseed and Vexille, released Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker, a CGI movie based on BioWare’s Dragon Age. The film follows Cassandra, a fierce and loyal member of the Seekers and a talented dragon hunter. The loss of her brother, who was killed by mages when she was a child, has made her bitter, angry, and prone to violence and recklessness. Her mentor, Byron, believes that her fury blinds her and will get her or someone else killed. Her behavior frequently endangers her and her companions. Contrary to his warnings, Cassandra demonstrates inhuman strength and an imperviousness to damage, leading one to wonder what she or her companions have to fear by her thoughtlessness. Indeed, her need for revenge for what happened to her as a child seems to fuel her uncanny strength more than it hinders her. The only attack in the movie that seriously damages Cassandra reveals her true weakness. Blind fury doesn’t make Cassandra vulnerable. Her unfortunate choice to not wear pants leaves her true vulnerability fully exposed: Her “Achilles heel,” her left thigh. Cassandra, born into a family of talented dragon hunters, serves the Chantry as a Seeker to avenge her older brother’s murder. As a member of the Seekers, the most loyal of the Templar knights, Cassandra maintains balance and order between knights and mages. When she catches her fellow Seeker Byron kidnapping Avexis, an elf girl with the power to control beasts, however, she begins to question her loyalties. Byron believes that the High Seeker is conspiring with mages and holding Avexis hostage as part of their plans. When Byron dies protecting her and Avexis, Cassandra continues his mission to discover the truth. To do this, she must disobey the Chantry and trust an allied mage named Galyan. Cassandra’s anger frequently puts herself and others into dangerous situations, which makes it easy to assume that she must learn to control it to achieve victory. Her uncontrolled temper shows from the first fight scene of the movie when Byron finds Cassandra hacking angrily away at the corpse of a mage in a fit of rage, leaving her unaware of her surroundings and open to attack. Byron demonstrates Cassandra’s weakness again when he defeats her in a sparring match by using his shield as a weapon. He explains that she has blinded herself with vengeance and can’t see all the possibilities available to her. The consequences of Cassandra’s behavior escalate when her recklessness kills Byron. During their escape from the Chantry with Avexis, a large group of mages ambush Cassandra and Byron. Byron recommends that they retreat, but Cassandra takes the opportunity to kill more mages. Fearing that they will kill her, Byron stays and fights, too. He dies while protecting her, and the mages recapture Avexis. Cassandra laments that this wouldn’t have happened if she had retreated. In the scope of the entire movie, however, Cassandra’s mindless rage never really puts her in danger, causes her grief, or proves to be an obstacle. She demonstrates superhuman strength and damage resistance, which suggests that nothing poses a threat to her even when rage consumes her. In the course of a few days, she murders dozens of people and monsters. She can kill dragons with a knife, fist fight armed and armored knights into unconsciousness, and swing a sword hard enough to cut through armor and chains. Among other damage she receives, she survives a massacre as a little girl, jumps off three cliffs, stands on top of a flaming monster and doesn’t burn, and smashes into walls and the ground multiple times. The characters around Cassandra also recognize her abilities as exceptional. The Clerics express amazement when they hear that she killed a dragon by herself. Byron says that he knows no man better with a sword than her. Galyan sees her as the bravest person he’s ever met. The leader of the enemy mages retreats only when he recognizes Cassandra among the knights surrounding him at the end of the first fight scene. Cassandra and others refer to her as a member of a legendary dragon hunting family. Byron’s death, the most devastating consequence of Cassandra’s blind fury and the most likely to convince her to change, ultimately doesn’t affect her. She even stops believing that she caused it. Less than thirty seconds after Byron passes away, Cassandra attempts to kill his friend Galyan, and her thoughtlessness continues for the rest of the movie. As soon as she discovers the person truly behind the conspiracy within the Chantry, she blames him for killing Byron instead of herself. After she defeats the conspirator, she briefly takes Byron’s last words to heart: “Hate can only breed more hate.” In Byron’s memory, she shows the traitor mercy by allowing him to live… but then beheads him anyway. Despite Byron’s and Galyan’s insistence that Cassandra’s anger impedes her, Cassandra uses her pent up rage and impulsiveness to their advantage at every opportunity. She kills dragons and monsters at least fifty times her size and dozens of mages who would have killed her or members of the Chantry if she hadn’t. She intimidates an elf to gain valuable information. She saves herself and Galyan when she decides to jump off a cliff to escape the Templar knights. Despite everyone except Cassandra thinking that her rash decision would kill them, she and Galyan survive the fall. Instead of learning to control herself throughout the story, she instead convinces Galyan that her fury helps rather than hinders her. Originally a pacifist who dislikes Cassandra’s foolishness and need for revenge, Galyan tosses Cassandra the sword that she uses to execute the conspirator and admits that he should have let her kill him sooner. He also seems to reinterpret her recklessness as bravery. Perhaps if Byron had more trust that she could protect herself while he escaped with Avexis, he would have survived. Cassandra does have a weakness, however. This can be observed when Cassandra receives an attack that damages her left thigh. During a fight with 100 giant monsters, one of the beasts backhands Cassandra, which knocks her unconscious and cuts open her leg. This deep but small cut leaves her debilitated and vulnerable for two days. She can’t even defeat a single person when before she could cut down fifteen in minutes. Her reaction to this injury can’t be explained by the fact that a monster brutally smashed her out of the air. A similar attack later in the movie, where a large creature swats Cassandra into a brick wall, doesn’t damage Cassandra’s leg or incapacitate her. If Cassandra has a character flaw, her apparent preference for running around without pants on would be a better candidate. This choice leaves her thighs, and thus her weak point, fully exposed. Byron and Cassandra escape the Chantry with Avexis late at night when both of them wear light armor as opposed to full armored suits. Cassandra happens to not be wearing pants and must continue without them for the rest of the film. Sure, she and Byron had to make a quick escape, but why would she casually wear light armor with no pants in the first place? While Cassandra stubbornly refuses to change her personality, she does more than put clothes on to conceal her Achilles heel at the end of the movie. In the first fight scene, Cassandra wears a suit of armor that defends Cassandra so well that even magic bounces off of it throughout the battle. When she returns to the Chantry as a hero for exposing the conspiracy, she wears that miraculous suit of armor once again. Perhaps if she wore it through the whole adventure, she would be invincible and have nothing to worry about regardless of who or what she decided to swing a sword at. Dawn of the Seeker leads the audience to believe that in order to fulfill her goals, Cassandra must learn to solve problems with means other than recklessness and violence. The hopes that Byron and Galyan had for her becoming a more tactful and forgiving person, however, go mostly unfulfilled. Aside from befriending a mage, Galyan, Cassandra shamelessly chooses the path of rage and revenge from the beginning of the movie to the end. She not only survives, but also shows that her personality doesn’t make her weak. Her childhood trauma haunts her, but it has also made her strong. She doesn’t need to change her temperament to protect herself. When an attack to her left thigh can nearly kill her while everything else has no effect, putting on pants appears to be the more reasonable course of action. --- Any other Extra Lifers out there with some writing skills and a good idea? Read about how to become a community contributor and start submitting today! View full article
  20. The sequel to 2012's PS Vita title has a confirmed release date for this holiday season. New environments, enemies, abilities, and characters are teased in the new trailer. Along with the trailer and date, pre-order bonuses have been laid out for fans. Those who order Gravity Rush 2 from certain retailers will snag a white DLC costume for protagonist Kat. Pre-ordering from PSN after August 2 will net customers 10 PSN avatars from Gravity Rush 2. Sony Interactive Entertainment Japan Studio, the developer, has put an anime into production. Called Gravity Rush The Animation ~ Overture ~, the anime is being created by Studio Khara. Khara is probably best known for their work adapting Neon Genesis Evangelion to the big screen in Rebuild of Evangalion. The anime will bridge the gap between Gravity Rush 1 and 2. No release date has been announced, but it will be released prior to Gravity Rush 2. Gravity Rush 2 will be making its way to PlayStation 4 on December 2.
  21. The sequel to 2012's PS Vita title has a confirmed release date for this holiday season. New environments, enemies, abilities, and characters are teased in the new trailer. Along with the trailer and date, pre-order bonuses have been laid out for fans. Those who order Gravity Rush 2 from certain retailers will snag a white DLC costume for protagonist Kat. Pre-ordering from PSN after August 2 will net customers 10 PSN avatars from Gravity Rush 2. Sony Interactive Entertainment Japan Studio, the developer, has put an anime into production. Called Gravity Rush The Animation ~ Overture ~, the anime is being created by Studio Khara. Khara is probably best known for their work adapting Neon Genesis Evangelion to the big screen in Rebuild of Evangalion. The anime will bridge the gap between Gravity Rush 1 and 2. No release date has been announced, but it will be released prior to Gravity Rush 2. Gravity Rush 2 will be making its way to PlayStation 4 on December 2. View full article
  22. Sgoast

    GeekKon 2016

    until
    What: From geekkon.net... Geek.Kon is Madison Wisconsin's very own anime convention, sci-fi convention, and gaming convention all rolled into one! As the name implies, Geek.Kon is a place to celebrate all that is geeky from strong foundations in anime, science fiction, video gaming, tabletop gaming, and costuming to up and coming fandoms like steampunk and gothic lolita. From Lord of the Rings to Doctor Who, Mario to Solid Snake, Geek.Kon covers it all. Where: Marriott Madison West 1313 John Q Hammons Dr Middleton, WI 53562 (Remember MidWestLAN? Same area. ) When: August 26th-28th (Fri-Sun) How: GeekKon has graciously invited us again to take part in this year's event, offering us a table to help spread the word. Our volunteer needs for this event will be a minimum of two people for each shift. Volunteers will be provided one badge for the tenure of their volunteered time and must return it at the end of your shift. If you want to enjoy the event after your scheduled shift, consider supporting the convention by purchasing a badge as they are kind enough to host us at no cost to the hospital. Please see the MKE/MAD forums to register to volunteer!
  23. Emily Palmieri

    The Art of The World

    The .hack multimedia franchise began in 2002 and now spans video games, anime, movies, manga, and novels that all explore the fictitious online roleplaying game (ORPG) known as The World. .hack//Sign, the animated series that began the franchise, centers on Tsukasa, a player who, after waking up in a dungeon, finds himself trapped inside the ORPG with no terminal in front of him to log off of. On his journey to find out what happened to him and why, he must also come to terms with the cruel reality waiting for him in the real world. One of the latest entries into the series, the computer-animated movie .hack//Beyond the World, tells the story of Sora, a technology-averse teenager who is persuaded to play The World. Initially hoping to become more connected to her technology-obsessed friends and love interest, she instead finds herself entrusted with saving not only the game but also the entire world. Like the anime series that preceded it, .hack//Beyond the World makes a visual distinction between the game, where part of the movie takes place, and the real world the characters live in. The artistic choices in both works complement their stories’ commentary on gaming, Internet addiction, and social connection or disconnection in the age of technology. .hack//Beyond the World, however, isn’t as successful in creating a believable and relatable story because it doesn’t also use its art style to elaborate upon its characters as .hack//Sign does. .hack//Sign takes place almost exclusively inside The World with brief fragments of the real world appearing in some episodes. These settings have different moods that are heavily laden with the emotions of the characters who inhabit them. To Tsukasa and his friends, The World is an escape from reality for various reasons. What each of them face is only hinted at throughout the series, but the dreariness depicted in the scenes showing the real world conveys their feelings well enough. Reality is shown through grainy and desaturated footage. Character’s faces aren’t usually shown, and if they are, their eyes are hidden in deep shadows. No sounds can be heard other than music or static, and if there is dialog, the words are only displayed against a black background. It’s as if we’re viewing the scenes from the perspective of people so internally focused on their own pain that the world around them has lost detail. Only in the last episode does the real world gain sound and color as Tsukasa and his friends have each fulfilled some desire that makes reality a much more bearable place. The game, while it appears happier for the characters than reality, is just creepy enough to serve as a reminder that beneath the surface there is something wrong. Scenes taking place here are colorful and have sound, dialog, and characters… as expected. Occasionally, however, shots are sideways, upside down, tilted, held at a distance for an abnormally long time, or focused on a random object in the scene reminiscent of the unusual shot choices in scenes taking place in the real world. The color palette is usually dark and the score is haunting. Frequently, these elements create a dark and mysterious atmosphere. The happier mood is tainted by some unseen or unaddressed problem. About half of .hack//Beyond the World takes place in the real world while the rest takes place inside the ORPG. With its pastel coloring and use of 2D elements, the real world is shown as dull, flat, and ordinary, but it isn’t a bad place. Scenes can be well described as moving paintings. The 3D character models appear to have painted textures and light cell-shading. In many cases, all or part of the environments are 2D painted textures that are composited with the 3D elements in the scene. The coloring of everything is soft and muted. In contrast, scenes that take place inside The World have semi-photorealistic 3D graphics, depicting an adventurous and awe-inspiring environment. The cell-shading is gone, the colors are saturated, and most scenes are composed entirely of 3D models. Camera movements are also more dynamic and exciting, including point-of-view shots and spins. Unlike those in .hack//Sign though, the two worlds have a similar tone to one another. When one is in chaos so is the other. While initially The World is amazing to Sora, it soon becomes the new ordinary. This, however, is consistent with a theme that runs throughout the movie: the real world and the digital world have differences but are overall the same. When Sora is finally convinced to try The World, she isn’t particularly happier there or more connected to the people around her. She is as clueless about ORPGs as she was in reality and as content to train by herself as she is to train with her friends. While it appears that her parents have separated and she feels somewhat disconnected from her classmates, her life isn’t particularly depressing. Her experiences in the game are as confusing and frustrating as they are extraordinary, which doesn’t make it much of an improvement. By the end of the movie, her feelings towards both worlds are still neutral. Let’s face it. .hack//Beyond the World and .hack//Sign are about people in the near future playing World of Warcraft with VR headsets. The success of their stories depends on convincing the audience to care about fetch quests, boss fights, leveling up, and the possibility that the characters might die in a game where they have an infinite number of lives. .hack//Sign accomplishes this by giving the game believable real-world consequences. Player killing is equated to bullying. Failing a time-sensitive fetch quest is devastating to someone who didn’t have any self-confidence to begin with. Breaking up a faction also breaks up a friendship. As has already been discussed, even how the setting looks and sounds mirrors the thoughts and feelings of the characters. While these events don’t have widespread repercussions, they show that the game has a real effect on the characters and make the game’s more farfetched elements easier to believe. For example, an anomaly within the ORPG can cause players to fall into an unconscious or comatose state in the real world. By the end of the series, we still don’t know much about the players behind the controls, but through the emotions we’ve experienced with them, we want them to find happiness in the real world… even if they have to defeat an AI powered by negative emotions to do so. .hack//Beyond the World gives the game much more devastating and widespread real-world consequences, but because it never takes the time to show how the game affects the protagonist, who we spend most of the movie with, it stretches the suspension of disbelief and fails to convince us that we should care. A computer virus has infected networks and servers around the world, including The World’s game servers. With electricity and networks down worldwide, reality is in chaos. In the game, the virus appears as a black cloud that destroys 3D assets and infects the brain signals of the players, causing them to fall into a comatose state. To save both worlds, Sora must find Aura, an artificial super-intelligence within the game, and give her information she needs to destroy the virus. The audience, however, has no reason to believe that Sora would do this. The World hasn’t had a significant effect on her personally. Even after playing it for a while, Sora still doesn’t seem to care that much about anyone or about technology. She continues holding her friend Tanaka, who she has a mild crush on, at a distance, and stops playing The World after a minor argument. When Tanaka becomes a comatose victim of the virus, Sora resolves to save him in an uncharacteristically impassioned outburst, but when everything is over, nothing about Sora changes. In the final minutes of the movie, she tells her friends of her indifference towards continuing to play The World. The final image is apparently of her enthusiastically breaking Tanaka’s cellphone to get his attention. Despite everything she went through, she is as disconnected and indifferent as ever, leaving us wondering why she even bothered. In a story about a fantastic, futuristic ORPG, providing the audience with a way to relate to the characters is crucial to the story’s believability. The art style in .hack//Sign is only one of many ways that it explains the characters and their relationship to the worlds they live in. The ORPG serves as an escape from reality and a place to work through personal feelings. In .hack//Beyond the World, the differences between worlds appear to be superficial, which mirrors the movie’s theme that the virtual and real worlds are only different ways to communicate with people; one isn’t better than the other. The movie, however, fails to provide an alternative to the art style to explain its characters. As a passionless and randomly impulsive individual with unclear goals, Sora is difficult to understand. In turn, it’s difficult to care about or believe the final scenario where she must save an ORPG to save the entire Internet. By using its art style to the fullest, .hack//Sign is able to take the audience on the emotional journey of a handful of anonymous people in an alien environment. .hack//Beyond the World tells a grander tale, but its believability suffers from inferior visual storytelling. --- Any other Extra Lifers out there with some writing skills and a good idea? Read about how to become a community contributor and start submitting today!
  24. Emily Palmieri

    Community Content:The Art of The World

    The .hack multimedia franchise began in 2002 and now spans video games, anime, movies, manga, and novels that all explore the fictitious online roleplaying game (ORPG) known as The World. .hack//Sign, the animated series that began the franchise, centers on Tsukasa, a player who, after waking up in a dungeon, finds himself trapped inside the ORPG with no terminal in front of him to log off of. On his journey to find out what happened to him and why, he must also come to terms with the cruel reality waiting for him in the real world. One of the latest entries into the series, the computer-animated movie .hack//Beyond the World, tells the story of Sora, a technology-averse teenager who is persuaded to play The World. Initially hoping to become more connected to her technology-obsessed friends and love interest, she instead finds herself entrusted with saving not only the game but also the entire world. Like the anime series that preceded it, .hack//Beyond the World makes a visual distinction between the game, where part of the movie takes place, and the real world the characters live in. The artistic choices in both works complement their stories’ commentary on gaming, Internet addiction, and social connection or disconnection in the age of technology. .hack//Beyond the World, however, isn’t as successful in creating a believable and relatable story because it doesn’t also use its art style to elaborate upon its characters as .hack//Sign does. .hack//Sign takes place almost exclusively inside The World with brief fragments of the real world appearing in some episodes. These settings have different moods that are heavily laden with the emotions of the characters who inhabit them. To Tsukasa and his friends, The World is an escape from reality for various reasons. What each of them face is only hinted at throughout the series, but the dreariness depicted in the scenes showing the real world conveys their feelings well enough. Reality is shown through grainy and desaturated footage. Character’s faces aren’t usually shown, and if they are, their eyes are hidden in deep shadows. No sounds can be heard other than music or static, and if there is dialog, the words are only displayed against a black background. It’s as if we’re viewing the scenes from the perspective of people so internally focused on their own pain that the world around them has lost detail. Only in the last episode does the real world gain sound and color as Tsukasa and his friends have each fulfilled some desire that makes reality a much more bearable place. The game, while it appears happier for the characters than reality, is just creepy enough to serve as a reminder that beneath the surface there is something wrong. Scenes taking place here are colorful and have sound, dialog, and characters… as expected. Occasionally, however, shots are sideways, upside down, tilted, held at a distance for an abnormally long time, or focused on a random object in the scene reminiscent of the unusual shot choices in scenes taking place in the real world. The color palette is usually dark and the score is haunting. Frequently, these elements create a dark and mysterious atmosphere. The happier mood is tainted by some unseen or unaddressed problem. About half of .hack//Beyond the World takes place in the real world while the rest takes place inside the ORPG. With its pastel coloring and use of 2D elements, the real world is shown as dull, flat, and ordinary, but it isn’t a bad place. Scenes can be well described as moving paintings. The 3D character models appear to have painted textures and light cell-shading. In many cases, all or part of the environments are 2D painted textures that are composited with the 3D elements in the scene. The coloring of everything is soft and muted. In contrast, scenes that take place inside The World have semi-photorealistic 3D graphics, depicting an adventurous and awe-inspiring environment. The cell-shading is gone, the colors are saturated, and most scenes are composed entirely of 3D models. Camera movements are also more dynamic and exciting, including point-of-view shots and spins. Unlike those in .hack//Sign though, the two worlds have a similar tone to one another. When one is in chaos so is the other. While initially The World is amazing to Sora, it soon becomes the new ordinary. This, however, is consistent with a theme that runs throughout the movie: the real world and the digital world have differences but are overall the same. When Sora is finally convinced to try The World, she isn’t particularly happier there or more connected to the people around her. She is as clueless about ORPGs as she was in reality and as content to train by herself as she is to train with her friends. While it appears that her parents have separated and she feels somewhat disconnected from her classmates, her life isn’t particularly depressing. Her experiences in the game are as confusing and frustrating as they are extraordinary, which doesn’t make it much of an improvement. By the end of the movie, her feelings towards both worlds are still neutral. Let’s face it. .hack//Beyond the World and .hack//Sign are about people in the near future playing World of Warcraft with VR headsets. The success of their stories depends on convincing the audience to care about fetch quests, boss fights, leveling up, and the possibility that the characters might die in a game where they have an infinite number of lives. .hack//Sign accomplishes this by giving the game believable real-world consequences. Player killing is equated to bullying. Failing a time-sensitive fetch quest is devastating to someone who didn’t have any self-confidence to begin with. Breaking up a faction also breaks up a friendship. As has already been discussed, even how the setting looks and sounds mirrors the thoughts and feelings of the characters. While these events don’t have widespread repercussions, they show that the game has a real effect on the characters and make the game’s more farfetched elements easier to believe. For example, an anomaly within the ORPG can cause players to fall into an unconscious or comatose state in the real world. By the end of the series, we still don’t know much about the players behind the controls, but through the emotions we’ve experienced with them, we want them to find happiness in the real world… even if they have to defeat an AI powered by negative emotions to do so. .hack//Beyond the World gives the game much more devastating and widespread real-world consequences, but because it never takes the time to show how the game affects the protagonist, who we spend most of the movie with, it stretches the suspension of disbelief and fails to convince us that we should care. A computer virus has infected networks and servers around the world, including The World’s game servers. With electricity and networks down worldwide, reality is in chaos. In the game, the virus appears as a black cloud that destroys 3D assets and infects the brain signals of the players, causing them to fall into a comatose state. To save both worlds, Sora must find Aura, an artificial super-intelligence within the game, and give her information she needs to destroy the virus. The audience, however, has no reason to believe that Sora would do this. The World hasn’t had a significant effect on her personally. Even after playing it for a while, Sora still doesn’t seem to care that much about anyone or about technology. She continues holding her friend Tanaka, who she has a mild crush on, at a distance, and stops playing The World after a minor argument. When Tanaka becomes a comatose victim of the virus, Sora resolves to save him in an uncharacteristically impassioned outburst, but when everything is over, nothing about Sora changes. In the final minutes of the movie, she tells her friends of her indifference towards continuing to play The World. The final image is apparently of her enthusiastically breaking Tanaka’s cellphone to get his attention. Despite everything she went through, she is as disconnected and indifferent as ever, leaving us wondering why she even bothered. In a story about a fantastic, futuristic ORPG, providing the audience with a way to relate to the characters is crucial to the story’s believability. The art style in .hack//Sign is only one of many ways that it explains the characters and their relationship to the worlds they live in. The ORPG serves as an escape from reality and a place to work through personal feelings. In .hack//Beyond the World, the differences between worlds appear to be superficial, which mirrors the movie’s theme that the virtual and real worlds are only different ways to communicate with people; one isn’t better than the other. The movie, however, fails to provide an alternative to the art style to explain its characters. As a passionless and randomly impulsive individual with unclear goals, Sora is difficult to understand. In turn, it’s difficult to care about or believe the final scenario where she must save an ORPG to save the entire Internet. By using its art style to the fullest, .hack//Sign is able to take the audience on the emotional journey of a handful of anonymous people in an alien environment. .hack//Beyond the World tells a grander tale, but its believability suffers from inferior visual storytelling. --- Any other Extra Lifers out there with some writing skills and a good idea? Read about how to become a community contributor and start submitting today! View full article
  25. Sturbinator

    C4; Central Canada Comic Convention

    until
    Extra Life Winnipeg will be at Ai-Kon to promote Extra Life in the community and recruit gamers to join. We will also be hosting a panel to explain what Extra Life is to Ai-Kon attendees. http://www.c4winnipeg.com/about/ The Central Canada Comic Con (C4) is the largest convention of its kind in central Canada. Every October, more than 46,000 fans from around the world gather in Winnipeg, Manitoba to celebrate the best in comic books, science fiction, gaming, anime, fantasy, horror, and pop culture. C4 is a non-profit organization that is proud to support many Manitoba charities.
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