It's day 26 of 31. It's time for the final push for Blaugust 2015.
For anyone struggling with Blaugust fatigue, I heartily recommend throwing a quiz out there. A quiz
is can be pretty easy to write, allows you to explore fun ideas, and be as clever (or not) as you feel like being. This week I had a quiz all written, but then I saw a fun idea over on Murf's page and decided just steal his idea wholesale instead. If you're not a keen gamer type, I have to apologise, as this got a little...specialised, but just sit back and revel in the strangeness of what's coming to you and I'm sure you'll still have fun.
One other things that I liked was that Murf used an embedded google form instead of having people respond in the comments. I guess that's the sort of thing that you need to do just for administrative reasons if you have readership like Murf's instead of having a lone reader called Gladys like I do, but it seemed like it would solve the problem of accidentally (or deliberately, I guess) seeing other people's answers. Would you be more interested if I moved to such a system for the quizzes, or would you prefer sticking with the current system, which has its own charms?
On to the main feature...
Video Game / Literature Mashup Quiz
Anyway, this week I require you to provide mash-ups of a the titles of works of literature and video games based of their descriptions they would bear if such bastard children were spawned in some kind of hideous cloning machine. For example: 'In this Australian arcade game considered the most important fighter of all time, two very different families move into the same house and must battle each other and the four mysterious "Grand Masters" for supremacy' might describe 'Cloudstreet Fighter II'. As always, points shall be awarded for creative or amusing but incorrect answers as well as the intended ones.
1) Leo "Blizzard" Tolstoy's biggest and most famous game pits five families of humans against French-speaking orcs during the 1812 invasion of Azeroth.
2) In a departure from the usual format of the series, this title for the Game Boy featured the protagonist falling through a rabbit hole into a strange world populated by flying stone heads, aliens, Cheshire cats and exploding Koopa shells.
3) This Louisa May Alcott platformer explores the romantic lives of four sackgirl sisters, with a focus on the production and sharing of user-created levels (mostly in a US civil war setting) through the Playstation Network.
4) In this free-to-play MMO game created by the benevolent rule of The World State, tanks are built specifically to fulfil certain combat roles, and the lower tier units are made deliberately inferior. All tanks are separated from their factories immediately after production, and immediately destroyed once they've given 60 years of service.
5) The first-ever graphical MPORG , this Bioware RPG was set in the world of Middle-Eastern and Arabic folk tales inspired many other games, including Pokemon and Disney's Aladdin, and retained much of its popularity until AOL pulled the plug in 1997.
6) One of only three legitimate reasons to own a Gameboy Advance to Gamecube link cable, this Orwellian classic pits a team of players against the forces of Big Brother, dictator of Hyrule. Playing with the maximum number of players requires a LOT of broadband adapters.
7) Another Orwell classic, this dystopian farming simulator was the most popular social media game for a long time. Players plant crops and raise animals until those same animals rise up against them with the slogan "all animals are equal, but some animals pay more to play than others".
8) Supposed to be the killer app for the Xbox One, this Edgar Allen Poe short first-person shooter game features a family of gravity-defying hypochondriacs whose battle-tank exoskeletons are regularly destroyed due to a series of self-fulfilling prophecies. Depending you you talk to, it's either a masterpiece or "a bit too weird, really".
9) Named for a roman à clef inside a roman à clef (à clefception?), this Margaret Atwood open-world stealth title won the Booker Prize for Best Action Game in 2000. Through the course of the story, the protagonist interweaves memories of both her own past love affair and the lives of her ancestors, members of the ancient sect of Hashshashin.
10) Yann Martel shot to fame with this Man Booker winning first-person shooter. Most of the story involves a physicist fighting aliens while trapped in a small boat with a Bengal Tiger. It's better than it sounds.
Video Game / Movie Mashup Quiz
I didn't feeling like stopping, so here's some movies too:
11) Once the highest-grossing game ever made, this Francis Ford Coppola masterpiece chronicles the transformation of Kratos from Spartan warrior into a ruthless Mafia boss (though the word never occurs in the script) according to a fine family tradition.
12) There are many games based on the classic Alexandre Dumas tale, but I've always been fond of the version that features Douglas Fairbanks as Link. Nominally a sequel, the story features an older, wiser Link and his quest to rescue Epona, the true King of France, from the clutches of the evil Louis XIV the Skull King. The mechanics require the use of a number of disguises that provide transformations giving the protagonist wide-ranging powers.
13) Distributed on a huge 24-megabit cartridge, a first for the SNES, this classic side-scroller follows Samus Aran as she attempts to eat nothing but fast food for a period of 30 days. In a thrilling finale, having experienced mood swings, sexual dysfunction and fat accumulation on her liver, an 11-kg heavier Samus faces and defeats the 'Mother McBrain'
14) Subtitled How I learned to stop worrying and love the pill. After a mad Surgeon-General prescribes the wide-spread carpet bombing of pharmaceuticals for the treatment of all known viruses, this puzzle game portrays the attempts of the President of the Italy and his advisors to prevent the development of a potentially civilisation-ending drug-resistant superbug.
15) Widely considered the greatest videogame ever made, this Orson Welles simulation game was originally published in the heady days of the Commodore 64. The player attempts to build up the city of Xanadu and supporting infrastructure and defend it from natural disasters. And monsters. And Rosebuds.
16) Orson Welles again, this time as the compulsive self-medicating. pulp-fiction writing hero of the archetypical game noir. Notable for its soundtrack and atmospheric graphics, the most famous scene depicts the hero being chased by ghosts on the iconic Vienna ferris wheel.
17) Licensed games are never a sure thing, and musicals are more likely to flop than make any money, so the success of this flight simulator set in a Paris nightclub must have been a great relief to LucasArts and the developer, Factor 5. The voice acting talents of Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor, as well as a host of secret and unlockable craft including the Naboo Starfighter, may have been a significant factor in the game's enormous popularity
18) In this FPS-RPG first released in 2000, a nanotechnologically augmented Antonio Salieri tells the story of his rivalry with, and plot to kill, fellow composer Mozart for his part in a plan to infect humanity with a deadly virus contracted through hearing his Requiem in D minor. In the end it turns out that Mozart was an AI all along, or something, I don't know, I haven't even played the game.
19) Features Charlie Chaplin in his famed "007" role on the Klodike minefields, this game remains an icon of the silent game era, with a number of scenes such as the "roll dance" and the "Trevelyan reveal" admired and paid homage to this day. Some people say that Pitch Perfect Dark is the definitive Nintendo 64 first-person shooter, but they are sadly misguided individuals.
20) In this 2D co-operative beat-em-up by Hayao Miyazaki first released for Xbox 360 in 2008, up to four players act as knights attempting to rescue four princesses who have been abducted and transformed into 90-year old women by an evil magic user. It's a Miyazaki game, so of course there's a happy ending.
Some clever person should totally make up some screenshots of these.
Last Week's Quiz Answers
And finally, we reach the bit where we award prizes for people's efforts last week.
1) Christopher Monck's butcher won the day. Bad luck, chaps.
2) Pope Benedict X, opposing Pope Nicholas II was not the real deal. There were three Avignon anti-popes ( Benedict XIII, XIV(i) and XIV(ii) after the Roman restoration, but there were legitimate Benedicts of those numbers too, so the answer we wanted was 15!
3) Monks was Oliver's evil half-brother.
4) There have been 13 Dalai Lamas prior to this one. As far as I know, there are no Anti Lamas.
5) Diablo III has a Barbarian. Because one character class always hails from the frigid Northlands.
6) Rafiki is supposed to be a mandrill, though I'll accept baboon, as the canon is in disagreement on that point. He may be a baboon that just looks like a mandrill.
7) Smashmouth played a strictly inferior version of I'm a Believer.
8) The Monk Islands are in the Southern Ocean, just off Antarctica, and are disputed by the UK and Argentina. A little misdirection on the behalf of the quizmaster there, I'm afraid. The South Orkneys are like New South Wales.
9) I was looking for Jainism. Vaishnavism is a fancy name for the Hari Krishnas, though, so I'll award half points for that.
10) The fellow in question is Tony Shalhoub.
11) Monachus are, as John correctly surmised, Monk Seals.
So, this winner once again is John, with 4.5 points again! Can anyone unseat our returning champion this week? Can I finally learn to make the quizzes easier? Tune in next Wednesday to find out.