obscuritan: (corpseparty_megane)
So I took a plunge last week and bought Far Cry 3. Not a big plunge by regular standards, but due to a limited income buying a current-gen game within a year of its release is something I almost never do. But since the PSN took £7.99 of my money that I couldn't get back I decided to spend it on the DLC for this one and save my second choice, the new Tomb Raider since it turns out it isn't about rape after all, for another time. And I'm glad I went with this one, since it turned out to be not only one of my new favorite games but also a lot smarter than it gets credit for. Here, let me show you why.

Note: In the following the very few outright spoilers will be in tiny tiny text while the following as a whole will be under the cut, since there doesn't seem to be HTML shortcuts for spoiler tags like black highlights etc.

In which I argue Far Cry 3 is better than Apocalypse Now. Well, kinda... )

So ultimately this game made me truly think about myself and my actions, and the world around me. And really, that's the highest recommendation I can ever give a piece of media.
obscuritan: (Poe)
  1. I'm thinking of trying some of the games in the Mass Effect and Fallout series, since I've heard so much about them. But since I'm a PS3 user I'd have to start with ME2 and either Fallout 3 or Fallout: New Vegas. To those of you who've played either franchise, is it possible to dip into those series at that point, or will I completely lose the plot?
  2. I played the opening bit of Metal Gear Solid 3 this evening, since I've had it waiting unused on my shelf for a long time. I'm trading it and MGS2 in tomorrow and getting the HD 3-pack of them and Peace Walker so I thought I'd whet my appetite first. But you know how one sometimes thinks of an offhand joke, then can't get it out of their head? Well I thought to myself "So he's called Snake because he eats snake meat, huh? Just as well he wasn't fond of Potato Chips." Now I'm a hair's breadth away from writing up a fic outline for Potato C.R.I.S.P* Solid: Tactical Appetizer Action (*Covert Recon, Infiltration & Special Procedures).
            So I guess my question is (*sigh*) "What flavour crisp would each of the MGS characters be?" I hate my brain sometimes.
 
Salted Chip, your mission is to infiltrate the base of your nemesis, Barbecue Chip. He and his unit SIX-PACK, went crinkle-cut after the war...
etc etc etc
obscuritan: (Avatar Iroh)
Woah, that last post took a negative tun fast, so I'll mention a few fun things to lighten the mood. By which I mean troll the stuff I've been enjoying for the lulz. Yeah, positive!

TV
I've been keeping up with Avatar: The Legend of Korra and I'm loving it to pieces, but it's hard not to feel like you're the only one who does. Pretty much the only Fandom stuff I do apart from read Fandom!Secrets is Capslock ATLA and there is sooo much hate going on for this show right now. It's sad because I remember how excited the fandom was for anything new in the way of Avatar (after a film so reportedly bad I'm not even gonna see it because I know I'll hate it) but now what, what they're getting isn't good enough for some people? Also, much as I love my "Delectable Tea?" icon, can someone PLEASE direct me to a LoK icon post? I feel left out.

In more positive news, I treated myself to both seasons of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex after loving the first season, and I've finally gotten season one of Fringe - I was looking for it on Netflix or Lovefilm but the nearest I could find was buying it on the Playstation Network for £1.80 an episode (nearly $3). Aww hell naww. Speaking of which I'm also up to Season 5 of The X Files which is continuing to be entertaining despite a handful of really dumb episodes (such as Mind's Eye and that fucking Cher episode).

Games:
It's been more of a mixed bag on this front. I got Little Big Planet and am hoping to trick my friends into coming over and playing it, since I now have the holy trinity of of A) a multiplayer game, B) the means to play online with people, and C) some friends I would actually want to play with. Sure I've had Bioshock 2 for some time now (for which over half of the trophies are multiplayer-based) but I don't think I could trick my friends with a Ps3 into playing an FPS if their lives depended on it. I also got The Orange Box so that I could play Portal at long last (I've never had the right hardware for PC games). It's as engrossing as I've heard, although I was disappointed that it turned out to be seemingly a spin-off of Half Life (which also came with it, though only Part 2. WTF?).

On the flipside, at the same time as that last one I got a grade-A piece of shovelware, Mobile Suit Gundam: Target in Sight. That one's so bad I'm not going to even talk about it, it's so lame. Lastly, a couple of days ago I bought then beat Batman: Arkham City. Yeah, I know, behind the times, but my friends have been playing it and I wanted to jump onto the bandwagon. I dunno, though... there's just something that hasn't clicked with me about it. I still completed story mode in two sittings, don't get me wrong, but there's not quite the same charm as there was before. Maybe part of it is that there's sooo fucking much to do. And I don't mean "that you can do :)", I mean "stuff that needs to be done :(" For example, after I rescued this one guy and was off to get a tool upgrade before getting on with the story I got a phonecall that meant I had to run to the other side of the city in 1:30 or lose the game. As I took off I bumped into a guy who watches you but couldn't talk to him or note on the map where he was BECAUSE TIME LIMIT and on the way to the place I had to get to I had to stop a mugging. Sheesh! Thank goodness I wasn't going for one of the FOUR HUNDRED BONUS TROPHIES at the same time.

Brief, spoiler-containing aside... )

See! Wasn't that positive?
obscuritan: (Moyashimon)
After 12 (count 'em) 12 weeks of holdups I'm finally in a place of my own at last. This is a break, need I remind you, that was meant to last a fortnight. I've had summer holidays at highschool that were shorter. Apparently the main cause of all this bullshit was not -as I had suspected- the fact that my parents were living abroad, but the woman who owned the flat before us. I don't know most of the technical stuff on how she f'd up, but here's one demonstrative example - she wanted to finish the sale of the flat and then give her tenants their four-week notice to move out. I don't think I need to tell you what's wrong with that plan.

So here I am, and it turns out the flat's not so bad - sure it's mildewy in places and it needed a good clean (and still needs a bit of decoration) but it's a roof over my head. Mum in particular seemed concerned that I wasn't being very OMG!excited what's to say? It's circumstance; not something I'm choosing to do but that is required. Besides, I'd rather have gone with a flat and grown to love it over time than go for a flat I fell in love with then be disappointed. And I am indeed growing to like this place. The kitchen and living room are nice and big, the bedroom won't be sportsfield green forever and I have a whole room now to work on my paintings. Yesterday and today I even got my broadband, phoneline and TiVO-equivalent BT package up and running. All I need now are hot water (a guy is coming "at some point") and a washing machine ([personal profile] scarelyquinn has generously offered to help me out with that) and I'll be set.

There is something however which, though it's a fantastic windfall, I'm uncomfortable about accepting (even though anyone else would consider me certifiable for not accepting with open arms).What's the problem THIS time, Rob?... )

FFS self. The more things change, eh?

obscuritan: (Avatar Iroh)
Okay so I finally got round to watching The Legend of Korra last week. Not because I'd been putting it off, you understand, I just didn't realize it had started until the Fandom!Secrets and Capslock!ATLA comms had gone from saying "Korra's gonna be so cool" to "Korra is so cool". Plus being psyched about it is what egged me into finally getting the artbook for The Last Airbender and somehow reading through it it didn't occur to me that "wasn't there some other big Avatar-related thing going on?" Bravo Rob, bravo.

So anyway, what did I think? Well...

Korra
I saw the 'first ten minutes' preview of ep1 and thought to myself "there's a good chance this is going to suuuuck". Maybe I'm just a bit too jaded but having Korra know three different types of bending (her native Waterbending and Firebending, and Earthbending IN A LAND WITH NO EARTH!) without any need to be taught rang my "mary sue" alarm bell good and hard. With the benefit of a few episodes they mentioned it's about which element her personality is opposed to (laidback Aang = Earth, active Korra = Air), but still. Thankfully she's turned out to be just as well-rounded a character as most of the Avatar universe and I know a lot of people say this but I really do like how non-typical a heroine she is in the same way you could tell Katara was. Maybe it's something about Waterbender gals? Plus... D'awww, she's such a dork! I just wanna give her a big bear-hug! I dunno about Kiyoshi but avatars Roku, Aang and Korra seem to have all had the same personality, perhaps that's a hereditary thing, too?

And while nothing trumps "last of your people" in the aangst stakes (see what I did there?) the crap Korra's dealt with in the last episode really made me feel for her. Yes she was afraid and cried, but since that's how Aang got into the whole "century in an iceberg" thing in the first place, it feels good to have that out of the way so that Korra can go all badass training montage (I also watched Rocky for the first time recently, can you tell?)
Read more... )
obscuritan: (Default)
To celebrate my finishing the original Legend of Zelda game this afternoon, here's some random madness that I scripted in my head while playing.

Herein are excerpts taken from interviews with various eyewitnesses and survivors of the infamous terrorist known only as 'Link'.

Greg and Roy, Molblin Archers 3rd Class
ROY: H..he... he ate his...
GREG: Don't try and talk mate, you'll rip your stitches. See these gashes on his shoulder? That's from that lazer thing he does with his sword. Only a wooden one the first time he was sighted. That and his shorts & cap, you could have mistaken him for a child, if it wasn't for all the blood. Anyway, we'd just seen this 'Link' guy go through the other squad patrolling our sector, when he kneels down by one of the guys he's just killed and-
ROY: HE ATE HIS FUCKING HEART, GREG! He ripped it out and ate it!
GREG: Calm down, Roy, calm down! Anyway, it was horrible. Have you ever seen someone kill three people with a candle and a boomerang? [Gags slightly] Once he was finished he walked along the row of bushes, plain as you like, tapping each one until he got to one on the end, like he was counting. Bold as brass he torches the one he's at, and there's only a bleedin' staircase down there. I hear the guy's got a tunnel network all over Hyrule. We tried to open fire before he got away but... well, we're in the infirmary so you can tell how that turned out.
Cut for... well, lack of sense, really... )
//////////////////////////
To this day the Zelda administration denies all knowledge of Link. However, possibly due to the strain of her much-publicised battle with Stockholm Syndrome, the Princess and her recently announced fiancee declined to be interviewed. An individual matching 'Link's description was last seen making camp somewhere in the Death Mountains. Travellers are advised to steer clear.
obscuritan: (corpseparty_megane)

First off a little about the emulators themselves. I've just been through this process and, as of doing it today the files work and are virus free. The playstation one's the trickiest, so I've saved it until the cut. For the rest, Emulator Zone has all of these emulators I mention.

Now for some of the games. To save this being a hellaciously long post, I'll stick to the funnies for now, and recommend a few at the end that I liked.

 

Cut for arresting IN THE FACE... )

These are just a sample; i'll let you find your old favourites and hidden gems yourselves. Personally my recommendations are;
(PS) - Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Ghost in the Shell, Doom and Final Doom,

(GB/GBA) - Zoids: Legacy, Pokemon Red and Blue, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Harvest Moon, SD Gundam Force

(SNES) - Megaman, Super Castlevania IV, Wolfenstein 3D,

Join me for the third installment where i'll reveal some of the truly weird games I found, give my thoughts on playing some of the classics for the first time and delve into the seedy world of hacked games.
 

obscuritan: (corpseparty_megane)

When I was a kid I sure loved me some Pokemon. The TV show, the cards (I've still got my deck somewhere at home) but I never had a Gameboy. I had a Playstation so I guess I felt bad about asking for another games console. Plus only a few kids had one, and one of the big draws was playing games together. Still, getting to borrow someone else's Gameboy for awhile was a rare treat, especially Pokemon – I must have played that opening bit with your first pokemon a dozen times as, of course, you couldn't save over the owner's game. If you did then, I dunno, you were taken outside and stoned or something. One of my housemates in third year heard that I didn't have a Gameboy as a kid and apparently this is a big deal – I'd missed out on a big part of my generation's legacy (I swap in bits of Anthropology when I don't get the things people do). So out of the goodness of her heart she gave me her old Gameboy and a copy of Pokemon Red. It was great having something to idly mess around on while putting in a long coursework session – it was one of those ones you flip open, so I could set it down on the desk by my mouse and reach over to tap in a few attacks or moves during a break.

Still, I was missing out on something – the trading. Now with one Gameboy, no trading cable and no-one else who happened to be playing a decade-old game at the same time as me I figured that was one area I'd never get into. So I started looking around online to see if someone had made an online Flash version or something, kind of like the games on Miniclip I'd played before. I'd also run into online versions of Mario and Crash Bandicoot so I figured it'd be the same. That's when I ran into Gameboy Emulators. I'd read once about Emulator programs back when I read Playstation magazines as a kid and it seemed incredibly fiddly: you had to run a disc in your computer, then swap it out for the Playstation Game disc (assuming you have the game, the Playstation Magazine but not the Playstation itself). By now though people have copied the simply-programmed cartridge based Gameboy, Sega and NES games into games you can download and play on equally easy download-and-play programs. Even Playstation 1, Atari CD console and (god help us) Phillips CDI games like Link: The Faces of Evil have got programs and emulators you can download. Since there were a bunch of outdated consoles with games I'd always wanted to play but couldn't afford, I figured I'd go exploring. By now I've got programs for the Gameboy, Gameboy Advance, NES, Super NES, Playstation, Mobile Phone and the Virtual Boy, as well as 4 games in the Yume Nikki series. I decided to share the lulz I've come across, as well as mention how to play them if you're so inclined. For example...

Pokemon Red and Blue (Gameboy)


Man that Gengar's an asshole


I got these games after I found an emulator called ((TGB-Dual)), which allows you to run two separate Gameboy games together as though they're linked by a cable, which is good for trading pokemon and... probably nothing else, but it runs well as a standalone game, too. So let's say I want to get something from Red to Blue. Well, I leave my Blue save as it is, then for the Red game I play until I get what i'm after, then change the file extension from .sa1 to .sa2. Then if you boot up Red as the second game it can read the new save file, and you can trade it. When I was just getting the other two starter pokemon I called my trainers on the throwaway saves names like ASS or BUMRAPIST (paging Dr Freud on the anal fixation, there.) Hell, my beta game on Red is called SLAVE; I like to imagine him as a golem operating in another dimension that AWESOME (my player on Blue, because I'm mentally seven years old) uses to collect exclusive pokemon and send them over in exchange for lousy Bellsprouts that he can release into the wild, ruining the ecosystem. Yeah, I think about these things too much. I suppose I could have kept going on them, too, trying to complete the game starting with a Pidgey or whatever I randomly caught to trade.

Come to think of it my actual Gameboy is around here somewhere – my recharge cable broke, so that trainer and his pokemon are trapped, possibly forever, in that cartridge, existentially terrifying though that may be.

Anyway, you can get Pokemon and a couple hundred other Gameboy games -or ROMs as they're called- at RomHustler (the site I use now, since it's virus-free) and TGB-Dual at The Emulator Zone. Just run the file with the game program and the emulator will make the folders it'll need to make saves etc automatically.

In the next part i'll talk about some of the good (Zoids: Legacy), bad (Alone in the Dark) and weird (Jesus: Kyoufu no Bio Monster) games I've been playing. Unless one of you politely comments "Dude, we all totally knew this already, so STFU".

obscuritan: (corpseparty_megane)
So I chilled out after the benefits thing last night, but then this afternoon I watched an episode of Ancient Aliens which got me almost as pissed off for purely academic reasons (does it make me laugh because it's bullshit or because it's giving me a brain tumor?). So I figured I'd post some quotes from my current Game of the Now, Zoids: Legacy. Specifically some of the weird broken English from the lousy translation that might amuse you. These are things that the characters yell whileeither shooting or being shot at. And it goes without saying that none of these typos, missing punctuation or complete lack of sense are from me.


At shooting, yes. At English...?

Mercenary 1 (being shot at) - Ha!
Mercenary 2 (Getting hit)- Ha?
Soldier (dying) - Ha-Ha

Zan (firing) - Ugh!
Mercenary 3 (being killed)- Ugh!

Zan (dodging) - & this!

Moonbay ('yelled' while attacking)
I'm a supplier
I like making money
What? I too yell things from my two-sentence character bio when I attack people.

Albane
Gun ho!
Ready for Gattai? CHANGEMIZE!
             All: CHANGEMIZE!

Claudia (while dodging)
me, lose?
awk

Tita
(while being hit) we must
(attacking) We do it!

Max (attacking) - terrible

Some camp guy riding a scorpion
(attacking) - Hee-hee! Resist me!

Wild Zoids
(Attacking) Grr!
(Being hit) Grr, grr!
(Dying) Grr, grr...
Zan (attacking them) - Grr!
obscuritan: (corpseparty)
So I was meant to be going to an assessment on Wednesday. It was going to be the same test as back when I first signed onto Incapacity benefits, and I was shitting bricks about it. I resented the test last time (I'll go into why after the cut) and since I'm between houses I had to do this in a town I'm not familiar with. But I got a call this morning to say that there wasn't anyone to do the assessment so I would be contacted at some point to be told how may weeks I would have to wait for my next one. Most likely once I've moved into my new place in a different county. But what exactly am I stressing about?

Read more... )

Our current government has labelled ours a "sick-note culture", convinced that we're all scroungers who are simpy "work-shy". And you know what? Your government and the media call you a scrounger often enough, you really feel like it. I'm in the same boat as people who have to take shopping lists of drugs to stop them mutilating themselves, people whose bodies have been broken by lifetimes of hard labour and people with terminal diseases, and even they get the government and media treating them as guilty until proven innocent.

And what do I have? What my doctor calls severe depression? For fuck's sake, people claim to be depressed when the coke machine didn't have the drink they wanted. So I haul myself off to a meeting, having gone over the drill of what I need to do, clearing my schedule otherwise, arriving half an hour early just to be safe and sitting stock still, simmering with dread over what I can't predict. Then I get into the meeting and all they see is a middle class university graduate who after all made it to the meeting, so how ill could he be? I begrudge being thought of like that, but I hate it even more that they treat those other people the same way, too. Hell, I feel like a fraud just telling you all this.

But hey, at least now I don't have to worry about doing all this in two days. Now I can worry about this lurking at some unknowable point in the future. Awesome.
obscuritan: (finger)


Found, out of context, in the quotes section of ReSearch magazine's Modern Primitives.

obscuritan: (finger)
Since I just talked about Yume Nikki and .flow I figured now would be a good time to talk about Corpse Party for the PSP, which just came out in November and also started out as an RPGmaker style game. But in terms of comparisons, if those other two were "lost in a garden at night" style nightmares, this is a "forced to watch an endless seal-clubbing" nigtmare. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say this is not only one of my favourite horror games, but also one of the few to consistently and variedly scare me. And this wasn't like being scared of the dogs in Resident Evil when I was 12 or having no idea how to survive the bosses in Silent Hill when I wasn't much older - I'm 23 and get a sinking feeling in my gut when I know there's something awful about to happen in this one.
The start of all their problemsRead more... )

Overall then this game does many inventive things, challenges the player and is one of the few horror media that not only scare but deeply move the player. And since it's somewhat cheaper than other PSP games (download only), it is well worth buying, even if only to encourage games to take further risks like this one.
obscuritan: (Default)
You might remember a long time ago I had a good gush about Yume Nikki. Well, since then I read a little more into the series, discovering its fandom (who mostly lurk in places like 4chan rather than here) and learned a little bit more about the fanmade games. Since YN is an indie game (Dojin Soft), and its creator(s) prove to be pretty elusive themselves, the fans both here and in Japan made their own free games using the same RPGmaker program that YN did. So they're dojin dojin software? Woah, meta. There's mixed results, but two of them looked promising - Yume 2kki, which is unfortunately untranslated as yet (since it's also the fans who translate these games) and .flow. So I figured that, like last time, i'd talk a little about it and maybe you'd want to check it out.

Sabitsuki in her room
Read more... )

So overall? It's hard to approach this as someone who didn't play the original first, and if you did it can seem a bit samey. However it does have all the same charm and atmosphere as the last one. Once again you can find yourself playing this into the night without realizing it. In fact I'm going to be charitable about this one and say you could as easily jump into the YN experience from this one as the original, and if you got a kick out of Yume Nikki itself and like free games this one is worth downloading.

Next up I'm going to talk about possibly one of my favourite new horror games Corpse Party. Stay tuned.
obscuritan: (Default)
Hey, remember how I said I might shift my old Occult/Folklore/Anthropology blog over here so I could actually start posting on it again? Well, despite your cries of dismay I did it anyway :D I've backdated the old entries so that they don't clog up your Reading Pages / Friendslist, but here's a full list of those articles
  • Yokai - Japanese goblins and ghouls
  • Bakemono - Japanese monsters that used to be other things, including people, bloodstained trees, and sandals
  • Henge - Japanese spirits that revolve around animals, including the Kitsune and the flying weasels that cut you. Yes, that's real.
  • Yurei - AKA Japanese ghosts. And yes, Sadako gets a look-in
  • Werewolves - Full of helpful how-to's, including serving your children's flesh to Zeus and drinking from particularly deep ponds
  • Vampires - Actually covers all sorts of walking corpses from the Dark Ages as well, from the Norse draugr to the medieval Revanants
  • Witches - Taking in Nordic rune magic and bloodsucking Serbian shtriga
  • Angels - Going into the intricate rankings and sometimes bizarre descriptions of angels from the Persians, Jews, Christians and Muslims
What sort of things can you endure look forward to? Here's an example:

The butcher of the town, quite old and very maladroit, began by opening the belly rather than the chest. He rummaged about for a long time in the entrails, without finding what he sought, and finally someone informed him that it was necessary to cut into the diaphragm. The heart was torn out to the admiration of all bystanders. But the body stank so terribly that incense had to be burned, but the smoke, mixed with exhalations of this carrion, did nothing but increase the stench, and it began to inflame the minds of these poor people. Their imagination, struck by the spectacle, filled with visions. They took it into their heads to say that a thick smoke was coming from the body, and we did not dare say that it was incense. People kept calling out nothing but “Vrykolakas!” in the chapel and in the square before it, this being the name they give to these supposed revenants. […] Several of the bystanders claimed that the blood of the of this unfortunate man was quite red, and the butcher swore that the body was still warm, from which they concluded that the deceased had the severe defect of not being quite dead, or, to state it better, to let himself be reanimated by the devil, for hat is exactly the idea they have of a vrykolakas.They caused this name to resound in an astonishing manner. And then there arrived a crowd of people who professed loudly that they had plainly seen that the corpse had not become stiff, when they carried it from the fields to the church to bury it, and that as a result it was a true vrykolakas. That was the refrain. (Barber, P. Vampires, Burial and Death, pp22-3).
obscuritan: (Default)
This is... also a test, I guess?
obscuritan: (Default)

Hello and welcome to The Obscuritan. This month we shall discuss the study of Angels and Demons, beginning with various names, provinces and hierarchies of Angels, then those of Demons, before looking at the ways in which Diabolists, Diviners and other Nigromancers have attempted to utilize this information.

A note before we begin: Given that this concerns the work of hundreds of scholars, theologians and questers over several centuries, we have striven to provide representative, if not exhaustively complete, information. Believe us when we say there is almost as much information that we have not included as there is that we have, and most definitely far more that we have not uncovered. As always with our articles, we suggest you take this as your starting point for further research. Enjoy!

Read more... )
obscuritan: (Default)

Hello and welcome to The Obscuritan. We apologise for the slight lateness of this month’s last article (it being the 2nd of August), and in order to get a fresh start and add a little spice to the proceedings, we are serving up a hot batch of original sources on Witchcraft and Sorcery. As previously stated, we shall most likely devote a month to each of this month's topics so as to cover them more thoroughly.

Enjoy!

Read more... )
obscuritan: (Default)

Hello and welcome to The Obscuritan. This week we explore another well-known creature from European Folklore - the Vampire. What we in the modern era consider to be a vampire - the corpse of an evil man, which rises immaculate from the grave to feed upon the blood of the innocent for eternity until it is burned alive by sunlight or impaled with a stake through the heart - is as much a composite of many different local legends as it is a product of romantic fiction. Over the course of this article we shall examine scattered accounts and reports by officials, shed light on creatures from the corners of Europe and the distant past, to answer the question of what the vampire truly is.Read more... )

obscuritan: (Default)

Hello and welcome to The Obscuritan. For this month’s series of articles, we take a look at the origins and incarnations of three staples of nightmares worldwide – the Werewolf, the Vampire and the Witch. For our first article, given that most of these accounts come from folk-tales, and are scarcely recorded in books in some cases, let alone illustrated, rather than providing the same tired illustrations of Werewolves (or –heaven forbid– contemporary depictions) we have instead provided a plethora of original quotations and sources for one to follow up oneself. Whether we can maintain this quantity as we proceed along the month remains to be seen.

The story most commonly associated with the “origins” of werewolves is Lycaon of Arcadia in Greece. King of that region, he sought to please the god Zeus by making a sacrifice of one of his sons. However, as in the tale of Tantalus, who invited the gods to a banquet and served the flesh of his son, Lycaon was punished, either for the insult that human flesh would appease the gods or for daring to assume the power to take human life as the gods do, by being turned into a wolf. Thus was founded the Lykaia cult, who sought to replicate the process via wild hedonistic ritual, much like the Bacchanals, and worshipped an aspect of Zeus – Lykaios, or “wolf-Zeus” – although in some versions he is the first priest of this cult. However, it is in the North of Europe where the true roots of the Werewolf as we know it can be found.

Read more... )
obscuritan: (Default)
Hello and welcome to The Obscuritan. For the last (for now) in our Japanese Creatures articles, we’re departing from the previous format and discussing one creature in particular – the Yurei or ghosts – and the various forms in which they appear.

Ghosts ( – Rei) in Japan come under a variety of names. The most common is Yurei (faint spirits), although Borei (ruined spirits) and Shinryo (dead spirits) are occasionally used. In some popular culture, Ayakashi is also sometimes used, although this is technically only used for those who have drowned at sea. The process of becoming a ghost was, to the Japanese, similar to the one most people who believe would subscribe to, in that it arises from complications in “passing on”. Japan, like many Asian countries, maintains a strong belief in Ancestor Spirits, the ghosts of departed family members and historical clan members, some of whom over time may be promoted to the status of minor deities, particularly if they were the clan founders. Furthermore, the spiritual dimension of the afterlife was distinct from that occupied by gods and spirits, which overlapped closely with the material realm. This then necessitated a “crossing over” that the spirit (Reikon) must achieve in order to depart the mortal realm, a process aided by the prayers and offerings of incense given at funerals. However extreme emotion, usually of anger, hate and so forth, though sometimes of simply things like envy or grief, can cause either the person’s spirit itself or a part of it to remain behind, either seeking vengeance for its being wronged (assuming it can even remember the life it had) or simply expressing its fury and grief to anyone who crosses its path. Some are simply a “loop” of such anger that lashes out at bystanders, and as such are extremely dangerous. In some cases, too, the spirit of a living person can enter this state as an Ikiryo, similar to Astral Projection, as the result of great rage or hate, in order to deliver a curse to the object of their feelings.

As one might expect from a feudal (and therefore patriarchal) civilization where hardship was a common factor of the majority of the population’s lives, women faced a hard life and thus many of the more popular archetypal Yurei have been of women wronged by husbands, lords or just the simple facts of life. This is so prevalent that many associate the term Yurei exclusively with such female spirits (perhaps due to its similarity to the feminine name Yuri or Lily). Below we have illustrated some of the most well-known of these wronged women and their origins.

Read more... )
Page generated Aug. 21st, 2017 11:25 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios