Song of the Week: Lost a Piece of My Soul

Hey, readers.

Here are some lyrics to a song I just wrote concerning a movie I’d seen yesterday evening that, while popular, turned out to be one of only two movies I’d ever walked out on in my life. I’ll leave it up to you to guess which movie that would be, although I will give one hint: I’d originally recommended on February 11 to go see this movie instead of…*ahem*…a different, much more openly despised movie that I still think is much worse than this one on based on merit alone, although not by much, IMO. Granted, this was the first film I’d ever seen from this particular director, but even after giving it a fair chance all the same, I’m pretty sure that this will be the only film I’ll ever see from this particular individual from here on out.

That being said, for those of you who know the film about which I speak, please keep an open mind and take my opinion with a grain of salt. In the meantime, here’s Lost a Piece of my Soul.

*****

Lost a Piece of My Soul
by Dustin M. Weber
February 28, 2015

Refrain
Lost a piece of my soul tonight.
Crossed the dark side just to see the light.
Can’t win a war when fueled by hate.
No point in arguing. I ain’t up for debate.

Verse 1
Tried to fight a war against smut by supporting something else instead,
And I let all the good I heard about this other cause go to my head.
Now I’m ten dollars poorer and feeling sorry for myself.
Oh, how I wished I would’ve stuffed the cash in that box I keep on my shelf.

Repeat refrain

Verse 2
It’s bad enough the perverts of the world keep shilling out for swill,
But when it comes to the competition, it takes an iron will
To not buy into the hype and instead educate oneself on the trash
Before heading out to the cineplex and parting with one’s hard-established stash.

Repeat refrain

[Interlude]

Verse 3
A fool and his money are soon parted. That I’ve come to know,
Especially when it comes to the crap that become blockbuster shows,
And while I have lost faith in humanity for this nasty trend,
I blame myself as well in this case for my contribution, friend.

Repeat refrain twice.

*****

Author Pages: Smashwords.com

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Poem of the Week: Brain on the Fritz Again

Brain on the Fritz Again
February 25, 2015

Buzz! Crackle! Fizz! go the wires in my mind.
A hundred random images I swore I’d left behind.
A pressing task before me I must complete ASAP.
A sense of exhaustion coaxing me into taking a nap.
How can I overcome this? How can I try to cope?
How can I discipline myself? Have I any hope?
Even with my distractions don’t fall into my lap,
My mind keeps going on the fritz, and I’m sick of this crap.
I try to slog on through it all, but things simply won’t flow.
My mental plumbing’s all clogged up and just won’t let crap go.
I try giving in to my distractions, but that backfires, too,
As my focus only gets more distorted than before. Aw, phoo!
I’ve also tried balancing things out between one job and the next,
But even then, it’s one step forth, another back, and I’m vexed.
There’s clearly something I’m doing wrong—or, at least, not doing right.
Such is what I put up with every day and every night.
Is my work ethic that shoddy? Am I just that slow in the head?
Have just that many cells of my gray matter gone dead?
Is my talent waning just that fast? Had I even that much at first?
Whatever the case, all I know is that this problem’s at its worst
And might even worsen all the more, lest I do something fast.
After all, I’ve a dream to forge, and I can’t have this last.
It’s back to getting my together again before it’s too late.
This static force with which I must cope is no longer up for debate.

*****

Author Pages: Smashwords.com

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Poem of the Week: Taking Back the Entertainment Industry

Hello, readers!

This week’s “Poem of the Week” is my first attempt at a ghazal. Feel free to leave me feedback on it, especially if you’re familiar with ghazal poetry yourself and have any constructive criticism concerning how this one stacks up with other poems of its type. In the meantime, enjoy!

*****

Taking Back the Entertainment Industry
February 17, 2015

The gates of Hell have opened wide for you, my friend.
There’s nothing to escape that you can do, my friend.

You’ve lined the pockets of the Devil with your cash
To support a thing most foul, which you knew, my friend.

Now Karma’s come to collect from us all, no thanks
To the patronage ol’ Scratch has from you, my friend.

Soulless, tasteless, pandering—is that what you want?
If so, all I can say is toodle-oo, my friend.

I’m fed up with this status quo. I demand change!
I won’t buy in or sell out. I’m not you, my friend.

It’s time we all took a stand against perversion
And let the makers know how much we’re through, my friend.

We’re not dumb, you know. We know trash when we see it.
The mindless masses we don’t belong to, my friend.

Should Judgment Day come, we’ll be one black mark cleaner
Than any liar or thief backed by you, my friend.

We won’t be so simply underestimated.
We’ll win back the industry. We’ll show you, my friend.

After all, yours truly isn’t one to give up,
And in the end, all this crap will be through, my friend.

*****

Author Pages: Smashwords.com

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Bonus Poem of the Week: Facing Fear

Facing Fear
February 13, 2015

There’s no running from Fear; ‘tis part of life
And something we all must face down the road.
No matter the path one may take, there’s strife,
And when one does, one can either be bold
And take on all that comes one’s way with heart
And gusto to make the most out of things
Or succumb to it all and fall apart,
Accepting whatever pain said strife brings.
I myself know pain, believe it or not,
Knowing I can’t please all under the sun.
Even so, I refuse to sit and rot
When I know that I still can be someone.
Come then, Fear! I dare you to hold me back,
For in the end, ‘twill be you who gets whacked.

*****

Author Pages: Smashwords.com

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Poem of the Week: Fifty Shades of Corruption

DISCLAIMER: The following poem is dedicated to everyone who has grown sick and tired of all the attention that the book Fifty Shades of Grey and its subsequent motion picture by Universal Studios have received and continue to receive in the media. If you are reading this and happen to like any of the books in E.L. James’s Fifty Shades trilogy for one reason or another, please do not take offense to this post. As for everyone else—particularly those of you who HATE Fifty Shades with a burning passion and do not understand why it has become so popular over the years, considering what it effectively represents—I hope the poem offers some sort of catharsis. After all, while I do not care for this series at all and thus do not wish to draw any further attention to it than it has garnered over the years, especially on the grounds of angering certain people, I myself have been pushed to the point where I feel the need to voice my opinion about this particular book series, which even I myself cannot defend as an author in my own right for reasons that have already been explained by countless other detractors. Truth be told, I feel as though I probably should have written this poem QUITE some time ago. At any rate, though, should any of you disagree with what I say here, let us at least agree to disagree.

Thank you for your time and consideration, everyone.

*****

Fifty Shades of Corruption
February 11, 2015

Countless voices never to be heard,
No matter the wisdom of their words,
No matter the matter of which they speak,
For they’ve been buried six feet deep
‘Fore anyone chanced to learn who they were.
Meanwhile, the Media’s wretched curs
All turn their attention—ours as well—
To cheap, blatant smut from the pits of Hell.
Next thing we all know, visions of lust
And perversion haunt every last one of us,
Flooding the Mainstream like feces in a river,
Breaking apart so that the ‘Stream delivers
Unto the masses a beverage so foul
That it rots people’s brains, hearts, and bowels,
Leaving us all sick in one way or another
From skanky sisters and horny brothers
To cousins already so jaded from their lack
Of hope in humanity, they’ve turned their backs
On the one industry once safe from such sin.
Now look at the trouble the market’s in:
Talented people leading various lives—
Sons, daughters, dads, moms, husbands, and wives—
Being denied the privileges of a dream
Solely ‘cause their work doesn’t fit the ‘Stream’s
Now-corrupted sense of what makes a buck,
Making those in charge wish them, “Best of luck!”
And kick them hard ‘tween the legs and in the ass
Just so they can turn to those of little class—
If any at all—and hand them the key.
Now their messages run amok, you see,
Distorting our sense of sensibility
To the point where there’s no hope for you or me
Or anyone else to hear our cry
Of how the Morals of Old have died
And how our old values we’ve cast aside
In the name of the baseness that smugly hides
In the hearts of the masses, much to our dread,
Until coaxed to rear its ugly head
On account of whatever attention’s been gained
From anything vile, graceless, or inane
To logically churn the common folks’ guts
And speak unto the most warped amongst us
And have them step out into the clear
And announce the truth that we all fear:
That guilty pleasures are stronger than we think,
As is morbid curiosity…which stinks!
Pretty soon, all who’ve struggled for years
To remind us of the truths we all hold dear
Are cast aside like pieces of trash,
Forever forgotten, their works burnt to ash
Within Hell’s blazes, leaving us to praise
The devils who’ve given us these dark days
With their backwards lessons and twisted truths,
Fattening us with their toxic fruit
Bloating our bellies as well as our heads
With words that have left us spiritually dead,
All no thanks to our own Media, too,
For causing this world to turn black and blue
And showing us all that which we were better
Off leaving alone in its chains and fetters,
Safely contained in its corner of the world
From the cat-like curiosity of boys and girls.
Now, ‘fore anyone says, “Don’t like it? Don’t read it.
It’s just a dumb book. No need to throw a fit.”
You clearly haven’t read, for I’ve already said,
I’ts not my own fate alone that I dread,
But the fate of everyone who’s worked so hard,
Only to have the top dogs discard
Their masterpieces in preference of the swill
I’ve been ranting ‘gainst with all my will
For so many lines now, it’s insane—
Even to me, one who feels their pain.
After all, I’m in their camp myself,
Hoping to have my work hit a store’s shelf,
Yet here I am, one of so bloody many,
And for too long now, I fear I won’t see any
Of my life-long dream at last come true,
And Media mouths, it’s no thanks to you
Spouting off ‘bout the crap that deserved to never
See the light of day and enjoy the endeavors
It’s made for so long at the expense of
Much worthier works that deserved such love
And attention from us all, myself included,
Yet here we all are, so dense and deluded
Into ignoring all that we should’ve loved
And would’ve fit our style like a hand in a glove.
Then again, we should blame ourselves as well
For allowing the industry to go to Hell
And not using judgment to help elevate
That which deserved love rather than hate,
To recognize treasure ‘mongst a sea of trash
And tell others ‘bout it so that they can dash
To the store and support and enjoy it, too.
Such is the practice I preach to all of you.
Blow off what the Media tells you what to like,
For you yourselves can set things right.
Think for yourselves and spread the word
Of that which you love and what you find absurd.
Don’t let the Media tell you what to think,
For they’re the ones who’ve taken us to the brink
Of decadence and debauchery that we
Have yet to overcome, so follow me
In supporting works that deserve the attention
And putting filth into permanent detention
‘Til it finally dies of rightful neglect
And is but a remnant of the years we’ve wrecked
From listening to those who should’ve known better,
Who belong in prison themselves, chained and fettered,
For unleashing the beasts that have roamed free,
Stampeding throughout society,
And decimating all in their wake,
Their thirst for destruction so hard to slake.
The time to slay these beasts is now.
It’s our time to take a stand—and how!
This era of sickness can no longer last.
Let’s build for the future and learn from the past
And see to it that the days of smut
Are forever purged back into Hell’s gut
And that we all create and support class
And decency for every lad and lass
From our generation to those down the road.
It’s a burden, yes, but we can all bear this load.

*****

One final word before I go, people: If you insist on seeing a movie this Valentine’s Day weekend, I STRONGLY suggest you go see ANY OTHER MOVIE than Universal’s Fifty Shades of Grey. Kingsman: The Secret Service looks and sounds like fun, for example. Heck, even SpongeBob: Sponge Out of Water has been receiving some positive feedback, including the following review from YouTuber Austin Putnam. Just whatever you do…please…don’t give Fifty Shades of Grey a penny of your hard-earned money. It simply doesn’t deserve it, even if only in my own opinion.

Thank you.

Regards,
Dustin M. Weber

Author Pages: Smashwords.com

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In Relation to My Work: How Would I Reboot the Bloody Roar Series? part 4

Bloody Roar Extreme Primal Fury

Bloody Roar Extreme for the Microsoft X-Box or Bloody Roar Primal Fury for the Nintendo Game Cube…take your pick.

How’s it going, readers?

Today, I’m finally going to get back to work on my Bloody Roar reboot series that I’d started all the way back on July 23, 2012. I know it’s been a while, and I wholeheartedly apologize to everyone who’d been looking forward to the next installment of this miniseries. That aside, now is just as good a time as any for me to discuss the fourth installment in the BR video game franchise, Bloody Roar Extreme/Primal Fury and how I would reboot it according to my initial revision of the entire saga from game one on. Taking place between BRs 3 & 4, this particular game, on one hand, returned the BR story to its sci-fi lite roots with allusions to the conflict between baseline humanity and zoanthropekind was well as with references to the apparently ongoing experimentation on certain zoanthrope subjects to create the ultimate fighting machine. On the other hand, BR E/PF also made room for Xion to continue his story within the Bloody Roar universe by having him search for answers regarding his being the host of the Unborn. The game likewise kept BR 3’s Hyper Beast Mode mechanic for particular implementation with Prince Cronos, one of the game’s two new characters (three in the case of Bloody Roar Extreme), thus making an effort to tie it in closely with BR 3. In short, Bloody Roar Extreme/Primal Fury does its best to find its niche within the rest of the franchise, even at the expense of being less well-received as an installment in comparison to BRs 2 & 3 and at the expense of offering more of a side story than an actual installment in the BR saga’s primary plot.

As an installment of my reboot to the Bloody Roar series, this article will be an attempt to help BR E/PF retain its niche within the BR saga as I’ve retooled it in the past so as to maintain the overall flow of the narrative between each game. I will also attempt to find a place for preexisting BR characters within this specific title, including those who have never before been made playable, as well as characters I’d created for previous installments within my reboot. Previously existing plot points from earlier BR games will also find their way into this reboot as I see fit. All that being said, let’s dive in!

The Story

Welcome to the Kingdom of Zoanthropes.

Welcome to the Kingdom of Zoanthropes.

To begin with, Bloody Roar Extreme/Primal Fury centers itself upon the emergence of the Kingdom of Zoanthropes, an infant nation founded upon the dream of equality between common humanity and zoanthropekind and introduced as a safe haven for zoanthrope immigrants across the globe. However, the KoZ, new as it is, still relies heavily upon its zoanthrope military for security and its special mercenary brigade for income. Not only that, but there have been rumors of clandestine, Tylon-esque experiments going on behind the scenes with the apparent attempt to discover the secrets of zoanthropy. However, as much as everyone—human and zoanthrope alike—who has heard these rumors is opposed to such experiments taking place, all have yet to discover proof of their existence, much less the identity of the party responsible for them. Needless to say, the nation’s leader, King Orion, feels that the time is right to bring the nation together by hosting the ultimate zoanthrope fighting tournament and provide a cash prize to he or she who wins it all to become the first ever “Zoanthrope Champion.” It is this very competition that draws the interest of many of the playable characters in this installment for a multitude of reasons, including the hope of discovering the truth behind the experiments that have allegedly been taking place.

Such is how the story for the official BR E/PF story goes, and while it works fine in and of itself, I am of the opinion that with some stronger ties to earlier games in the Bloody Roar series, it could be even more compelling and engrossing than what it already is. I especially hold this true in conjunction to some of the characters’ individual backstories, especially those whose importance in the BR saga has dwindled on account of the BR creative team’s strict focus on newer characters’ involvement in the overall plot. Therefore, in an effort to incorporate everyone and everything presented in my reboot thus far, the first question I would ask myself would be this:

How did the Kingdom of Zoanthropes come to be?

Find out just what exactly is going on behind the scenes of the Kingdom of Zoanthropes' first annual Ultimate Zoanthrope Fighting Tournament.

Find out just what exactly is going on behind the scenes of the Kingdom of Zoanthropes’ first annual Ultimate Zoanthrope Fighting Tournament.

My answer: Simple. Following the destruction of Tylon’s main laboratory in my reboot of the first Bloody Roar, a number of renegade Tylon scientists unite with one another and scrap together what little remains of the destroyed lab and relocate to a remote location where they can carry on whatever research they’d been conducting earlier without Tylon’s instruction. The scientists’ secret base eventually becomes the underground hub for the safe haven for zoanthropes that later evolves over time into the Kingdom of Zoanthropes, which is governed by the handful of test subjects whom the scientists were able to rescue from Tylon’s lab. Among these refugees is Prince Cronos Orma, a Romani boy who had been abducted from his village in France (which, at last note, has an estimated Romani population of 400,000 people) by Tylon operatives and experimented on by the corporation’s scientists to become a zoanthropic engine of destruction. Though usually a compassionate young man who dedicates himself to bringing peace and prosperity to the people over whom he presides, he is also the host of the X-Genome Code, which, when stimulated within his body, produces the same kind of mental conditioning that once plagued Long during his youth and helped result in him absentmindedly killing his sister Lin Li and his mother upon beastorizing (Read Part 3 of my Bloody Roar reboot for more information.). Sadly, though Long has long been able to gain control over his strand of the XGC and henceforth his ability to transform without falling prey to the code’s mind-debilitating effects, Cronos has yet to do the same, more likely than not on account of some psychological experimentation he’d undergone following his initial abduction. Such experiments had thus made it easy for Tylon to manipulate the otherwise gentle prince into utilizing his abilities as a raging phoenix zoanthrope against innocent human victims, razing villages such as the one from which his own bodyguard Ganesha hailed prior to the events of BR 1. Cronos only vaguely remembers such instances, however, thus leaving him with many a question about himself and the experiments that are going on secretly within his own kingdom. He thus enters the tournament in hopes of coming closer to the truth and discovering a way for his people to live in peace once and for all.

Prince Cronos of the Kingdom of Zoanthropes: An innocent face with a dark secret

Prince Cronos of the Kingdom of Zoanthropes: An innocent face with a dark secret

As the Kingdom of Zoanthropes continues to rise to power, news of its growth attracts the attention of another remnant faction from Bloody Roar history, the Zoanthrope Liberation Front. Now led by Lance Underwood, who has risen through the cabal’s ranks to take over the position that used to belong to Shenlong (See Part 2 of my reboot.), the ZLF plot to take control of the Kingdom and make it their base of operations in their campaign against regular humans and their persecution of zoanthropekind. Upon doing so, the Front threatens to become even more of a force to be reckoned with than it had been during BR 2’s story by using the advanced research that the kingdom’s scientists have developed over its six years of secrecy and employing the Kingdom’s own army—whether by threat or out of genuine adherence to the organization’s dogma—in their bloody crusade. They even convince King Orion, Prince Cronos’s father, that the experiments that they commission the original scientists to perform on their behalf are for the Kingdom’s benefit and for the benefit of the world as a whole and encourage him to host the Ultimate Zoanthrope Fighting Tournament as an act of good will towards all who wish to test their might against the Kingdom’s soldiers. As the tournament takes place, Underwood and his minions plan on using it as an opportunity to discover and weed out anyone who might be a threat to their scheme, whether by eliminating such adversaries altogether or brainwashing them into serving their cause.

The Players

Next up, I’ll discuss who from the Bloody Roar universe would fit within the context of this story. So far, I’ve already given Prince Cronos his role in the plot, which is the only reason why I won’t be going into too much more detail about him here. As for everyone else…well, read on to find out.

Yugo Ogami, WOC leader, ready for action

Yugo Ogami, WOC leader, ready for action

As the leader of the World of Coexistence, Yugo finds it his obligation to investigate the Kingdom of Zoanthropes and the experiments that have allegedly taken place within it. He garners just the opportunity to do so, too, following a series of events in which an alleged representative of the Kingdom (who is actually a front man for the ZLF) invite him to participate in the UZFT after seeing Yugo’s fighting skills in action against a pack of thugs whom he himself had deployed against him earlier. Needless to say, Yugo’s story doesn’t change much at all in my reboot.

The United Nations, meanwhile, elects Gado to represent them in their dealings with the Kingdom, thus giving him a chance to investigate the alleged experiments himself. Aside from Jenny’s involvement, his storyline remains the same as it did in the original BR E/PF.

Alice Tsukigami, destined to receive more backstory in this reboot than in the original BR E/PF

Alice Tsukigami, destined to receive more backstory in this reboot than in the original BR E/PF

Still an operative for the WOC, Alice initially feels overwhelmed with the rate at which the organization has grown over the past year or so and as such feels concerned about her place within it. She is also concerned for Yugo’s safety upon hearing that King Orion has allegedly invited him to partake in the UZFT. Her interest in the Kingdom grows, however, when Kenji/Bakuryu reports to her that he may have discovered some information on the whereabouts of her father, whom she has otherwise been lead to believe has been dead since before the events of BR 1. It is with this information in hand that she attends the tournament as well in hopes of proving the validity behind such tidings. Though the inclusion of Alice’s father and his whereabouts is a diversion from Alice’s backstory in the original Bloody Roar Extreme/Primal Fury, I’ve included it nonetheless to add more depth to her character than simply being Yugo’s love interest and as such enhance her involvement in the BR story as a whole.

Uriko Nonomura, destined for greatness as a participant in the UZFT

Uriko Nonomura, destined for greatness as a participant in the UZFT

Uriko, meanwhile, has been invited to the UZFT by a representative for the ZLF in the same manner as Yugo has. Her story, therefore, remains unchanged for the most part, save for whatever over-the-top childlike behaviors she demonstrates in the original game. Mitsuko, on the other hand, will be available as an actual character in the story on account of Kenji coming across some information concerning Mitsuko’s estranged husband/Uriko’s missing father, thus spurring her to check out such information herself in the same vein as Alice with the info regarding her own father. Likewise, Mitsuko could also be a playable character on account of her concern for Uriko partaking in something as serious as a global fighting tournament for zoanthropes that’s being hosted in a foreign land with a questionable reputation. The tournament itself, on a similar note, could prove to be the ultimate means for Uriko to prove to her mother that she is indeed growing up and learning how to handle herself and her zoanthropy as a fledgling adult.

Kenji "Bakuryu" Ogami, getting into the thick of things once more

Kenji “Bakuryu” Ogami, getting into the thick of things once more

Speaking of Kenji (a.k.a. Bakuryu), his story isn’t too much different from what it is in the original BR E/PF, save for his investigations into the whereabouts of Dr. Tsukigami and Dr. Nonomura, Alice and Uriko’s respective fathers. The only difference here, however, is that Kenji must learn to balance his work as an investigator for the WOC along with being a willing participant in the UZFT and not only prove to his foster brother Yugo that he is a capable operative for the WOC, but also thank Yugo in a way for the sacrifices he’d made upon adopting him in the first place.

Long’s original story in Bloody Roar Extreme/Primal Fury never made much sense to me in that it was a complete diversion from what it had been in previous installments in the BR saga as a whole. Ever since BR 1, Long has been known as more or less a loner—first as a former Tylon assassin on the run for the very corporation that took him into their fold, then as a solitary monk who later became Uriko’s kenpo instructor, and finally as a drifter who moved in with his newest master and said master’s daughter. In BR E/PF, however, he’s apparently in charge of a laboratory conducting research similar to the research being conducted by the KoZ government. Even his ending in arcade mode, which depicts him envisioning his life flashing in his mind as he carries Cronos’s unconscious body doesn’t help make the transition from roaming martial arts instructor to scientific researcher flow as smoothly as I would like. Thus, my reboot of Long’s story for BR E/PF would be as follows:

Long Shin, bound for a change in story in this reboot

Long Shin, bound for a change in story in this reboot

Following Lanfa’s recovery from the complications she’d suffered from her strand of the X-Genome Code, Long does everything in his power to help her grow stronger, including training her in the martial arts. Following his instructions to the letter, Lanfa becomes a capable fighter in her own right and decides to participate in the UZFT to prove her mettle in the martial arts with Long accompanying her to provide moral support. His presence proves to be quite the convenience, unfortunately, for the ZLF, who soon enough target him and try to remove him as a threat to their plans—even going as far as to arrange a fight between him and his clone Shenlong.

The battle never ends for Jane "Shina" Gado the Fighting Marvel.

The battle never ends for Jane “Shina” Gado the Fighting Marvel.

Next up is Shina, whose story from the original BR E/PF basically plays upon the idea that during her childhood, she lived in the same village as Prince Cronos and was subsequently friends with him before their village had been burned to the ground. Assumed by Cronos himself to have died in the blaze, Shina herself admits that the disaster still gives her nightmares with which she tries to cope (i.e., distract herself from) with all the time she spends on the battlefield. However, she learns from Yugo that Cronos is still alive and well and decides that by meeting him, she’ll be able to overcome her post-traumatic stress disorder. Sadly, as I’d detailed in my second installation of my miniseries, I would have written things so that Shina was Gado’s biological daughter rather than his adoptive one. That being said, I would have to throw this story out in favor of this one:

Alan Gado, representing the UN in their dealings with the Kingdom of Zoanthropes

Alan Gado, representing the UN in their dealings with the Kingdom of Zoanthropes

According to her ending from BR 3, Shina had disappeared without a trace to lead a more peaceful life following her desertion of the “Eye and Claw”/”Klaw and Fang” coalition. Unfortunately for her in my reboot, she doesn’t happen to receive such a break, as she is soon discovered by legitimate KoZ ambassadors, who invite her to train the latest recruits to their army. At first, she is skeptical, seeing as such a job will result in her being a “government lackey”—the very thing she resented turning out to be at the end of BR 3. However, seeing as her father has been assigned to represent the UN in their dealings with the Kingdom, she feels a sense of familial responsibility to see to the drilling of the KoZ’s soldiers, hoping that her instructing them will see to their reliability as their nation’s number one line of defense and not into the next Zoanthrope Liberation Front. Much to her dismay, though, the real ZLF will be watching and waiting behind the scenes to undermine her work and start recruiting the more gullible and/or idealistic members of the military into joining their cause. This includes General Sobek, a former Tylon test subject-tunred-soldier whose past oppression by Tylon’s scientists prior to BR 1’s story prompt him to become a ZLF sympathizer and persuade him and several of the soldiers under his command to support the Front, thus driving Shina to target him in an attempt to set him straight and put a cramp on the ZLF’s plans for world domination. Plus, the whole “love connection” that certain BR fans assume exists between Shina and Cronos (according to TVWiki.tv) can very easily be played upon here, even without the whole assumption of them being old friends from the same village.

Busuzima and Stun return for more fun and fisticuffs in Bloody Roar Extreme/Primal Fury.

Busuzima and Stun return for more fun and fisticuffs in Bloody Roar Extreme/Primal Fury.

The stories for Stun and Busuzima pretty much stay the same in comparison to the original game. In Stun’s case, he is basically a clone of his original self, the post-experimental version of Dr. Steven Goldberg, albeit without Steven’s genetic instability and with only a fraction of the memory he used to have when his original self was alive. The ZLF, however, have instructed the scientists responsible for his resurrection to remove certain tissues within his brain to eliminate his memory recall completely and from there begin mass production of zoanthrope soldiers based on his DNA…unless, of course, he can fight his way back to freedom so that he can try to live as normal a life as he can, given his biological circumstances. Busuzima, on the other hand, will still be carrying on with his research in hopes of developing the “Ultimate Life Object” until he hears rumors about the secret experiments going on within the Kingdom of Zoanthropes and wonders to himself not only if the rumors are true, but also—if so—the research that the scientists responsible for the experiments have discovered the secret he needs to complete his own work.

No secret within the KoZ is safe from international superspy Jenny Burtory.

No secret within the KoZ is safe from international superspy Jenny Burtory.

Jenny, meanwhile, has been coping with the disappointment she’s been feeling upon not discovering the secret behind the Tabula of a Thousand Beasts at the end of BR 3 by leading her near-endless life the best she can. Suddenly, she receives word from her superiors to investigate the goings-on behind the UZFT and discover the truth behind the rumors of the KoZ’s experiments. She makes no hesitation in accepting this mission, either, especially when she hears that Gado will more likely than not be caught up in the thick of things one way or another.

As for Shenlong, he’s been in hiding since the events of my Bloody Roar 3 reboot—a bitter rogue with a bloody past who can’t help but resent having been manipulated to serve the whims of a man who sought power and dominion over those whom he saw as “inferior” to him. However, a mysterious invitation from the KoZ prompts him to participate in the UZFT, unaware of the fact that it was the ZLF who sent him the invitation in the first place and who plan to recruit him back into their fold as their puppet leader. The twist this time around, however, will be that Lance Underwood rather than Busuzima would end up being in control of Shenlong’s every move and action up until things go awry. That way, when things eventually do turn for the worse, Lance can simply expose Shenlong as yet another Tylon experiment, thus further sullying the legacy of the already corrupt (albeit inactive) corporation.

Prepare for more brutality and bloodshed as Shenlong and Xion make their mark in this reboot of BR E/PF.

Prepare for more brutality and bloodshed as Shenlong and Xion make their mark in this reboot of BR E/PF.

Xion also gets to continue his story from BR 3 by seeking redemption for the misdeeds he’d caused during the course of the previous game and discovering the secret behind his zoanthropy and mental lapses. According to the official BR cannon, however, Xion was somehow involved with the KoZ’s experiments to find out just that. How, unfortunately, was never really explained. In my version, though, I would make a point of illustrating him infiltrating the laboratories beneath the Kingdom’s palace and discovering the research going on there. He would then try to persuade the scientists to “cure” him of his zoanthropy—or, at the very least, the “Jekyll and Hyde” complex from which he’d been suffering during the course of BR 3—only to end up being abducted and used as a pawn in the ZLF’s game of chess against anyone who would dare to root them out. This thus leaves the question of whether or not Xion, as per Long’s advice at the end of his original BR E/PF ending, learns compassion and as such evolves beyond the monster he’d become in BR 3.

Golan Draphan, a.k.a. Ganesha of the Kingdom of Zoanthropes

Golan Draphan, a.k.a. Ganesha of the Kingdom of Zoanthropes

As was the case with Prince Cronos, Ganesha made his debut in BR E/PF, which was sadly also the only BR game he’d appeared in. Originally hailing from Israel, Golan Draphan (whose name is Hebrew for “Refuge” according to BabyNamespedia.com and “Passage/Revolution” according to SheKnows.com) had witnessed firsthand the destruction of his village once upon a time by Cronos and as such has vowed to avenge his fellow villagers for the prince’s misdeed. In order to exact such vengeance, he has immigrated to the Kingdom of Zoanthropes and arranged things so that he becomes Cronos’s bodyguard. From there, he defends the prince against all would-be assassins, thereby enabling him that he alone would be the one to punish him for the decimation of his village…only to [allegedly] meet his own demise in the end at Cronos’s hands. Overall, his original story stays intact with little to no variation with the question remaining as to whether or not he survives Cronos’s “killing blow” on him following his victory over the naïve, puppet-like prince.

Uranus finally makes her debut in my version of the Bloody Roar saga.

Uranus finally makes her debut in my version of the Bloody Roar saga.

Finally, though Kohryu from BR 3 shan’t be making a comeback to the BR E/PF stage, Uranus will—and with a full-fledged story to illustrate her place in the BR universe, too. Though her origins will be shrouded in mystery in the beginning of the story for the most part, the truth of the matter is she has been cloned from Uriko’s DNA following the experiments that had turned her into the were chimera from BR 1. One key difference between her and Uriko’s werechimera form, however, is that like the present incarnation of Stun, Uranus’s body is much more stable than Uriko’s synthetic form from the first BR, thus allowing her more control over the power that flows through her veins. Likewise, her personality is very sullen and dark, and though she secretly enjoys the sensations of fire and destruction, deep down inside, she questions her purpose on the planet and wonders who she really is. In reality, she is the ultimate zoanthrope weapon recreated by the scientists responsible for creating the KoZ as per the orders of the ZLF and is more or less used as their trump card in the war against humanity. Her purpose in the game is simple: to wipe out anyone who should discover and dare stand against the ZLF’s plans, so long as the ZLF has her under their control. Then again, there is no guarantee that she will stay obedient to her masters, meaning that someone will eventually have to take her out, lest she have her way and use her power to vanquish anyone and everyone whom she sees as an enemy.

New Characters

King Orion, the well-meaning yet horribly misguided ruler of the Kingdom of Zoanthropes

King Orion, the well-meaning yet horribly misguided ruler of the Kingdom of Zoanthropes

Amongst the new characters in my reboot of Bloody Roar Extreme/Primal Fury, the one whom I’ll bring over directly from the original to make a playable character would be King Orion himself. Being the monarch of the Kingdom of Zoanthropes, Orion is naturally very much preoccupied with the idea of helping his people prosper and his nation grow stronger. On that note, he has been persuaded by the ZLF to believe that the experiments they have forced the KoZ’s founders to perform will provide the Kingdom with more powerful and reliable soldiers than what he already has in his employment. This can be likened to how he would feel in the story of the original BR E/PF, where he was convinced that an army of more physically empowered zoanthropes would be the boon that his nation needed and as such insisted that the experiments that were happening behind the scenes of the UZFT commenced. I’m therefore pretty surprised that nobody in the original game dared to confront him directly for his decision aside from his own son and that he wasn’t made a playable character on account of it. Even then, he could have made his decisions on account of the advice he’d receive from an advisor of sorts—perhaps the very man/woman who was standing behind that one pillar and smiling evilly in Gado’s ending after His Majesty and Gado had signed that peace treaty. At any rate, leaving out King Orion as a playable character in the official BR E/PF was a lost opportunity for some great storytelling, and I think throwing him into the mix would do wonders not only for the story as a whole, but for him specifically as a character. As for his beast form and martial art…hmm…I’d say Salamander/Wyrm with in-game mechanics similar to his son’s Penguin/Phoenix beast form and a martial art like Shaolin Quan that compliments the aerial prowess of a dragon without directly ripping off Cronos’s ballet-inspired fighting style.

As for veterans of the first BR, I’ve already briefly mentioned Mitsuko’s role in this story, and Greg will still be out of commission on account of having to cope yet with his XGC complications. Hans, on the other hand, will indeed be around to mix it up with the rest of the gang as a UN operative whose mission parallels Jenny’s in that he is expected to find out who’s behind the alleged experiments that have been going on within the KoZ and bring the perpetrator to justice. That’s assuming, of course, that his days as a Tylon assassin don’t come back to haunt him and trigger the same psychoses he’d suffered while under their control upon being reminded of the experiments the corporation had put him through.

Lanfa, Long's foster sister, at long last gets' her chance to shine in this telling of the Bloody Roar tale.

Lanfa, Long’s foster sister, at long last gets her chance to shine in this telling of the Bloody Roar tale.

Annette from Bloody Roar Beast Corps and my reboot of BR 3 will be making a comeback, too, as will Nathan from BRBC 2 (See the second and third part of this series for more on each of them.) as participants of the UZFT who hope to raise the money they need to cover their respective loved ones’ medical bills following their respective recoveries from their XGC complications. Fang and Mashiro will be available to play as well, seeing as they’d both appeared in the Bloody Roar Extreme V-Jump Book, also known as the bonus thirteenth chapter of Bloody Roar: The Fang. Fang’s appearance as an Easter egg character/third costume for Yugo in Bloody Roar Extreme further validates his presence in the game, and for fans of the manga to see Mashiro available as another Easter egg character/a third costume choice for Alice would only add icing to the cake. Finally, as mentioned earlier, Long’s “foster sister” Lanfa will finally get a chance to shine as a playable character as she puts her newly acquired skills in Bai He Quan (a.k.a. Fujian White Crane kung fu) to the test against the other participants in the UZFT. Naturally, as her fighting style suggests, her beast form would be that of a crane.

Reiji would be in my version of BR E/PF as well, having lost his way in the world once Andreas Drakos’s assassin cabal disbanded following the events of Bloody Roar Beast Corps 2 and my version of BR 3. Hot-blooded as ever, Reiji continues to seek strong opponents against whom he can test his mastery of both the martial arts and his own zoanthropy and sees the UZFT as his chance to do just that—especially since it just so happens that his old rival Kenji “Bakuryu” Ogami will be there for him to at least try to destroy. Who knows? There might even be a subplot involving Reiji and the Zoanthrope Liberation Front in which the ZLF recognizes his bloodlust, fighting prowess, and zoanthropic pride and decide to recruit him into their fold.

Reiji Takigawa, bloodthirsty rogue and potential ZLF recruit

Reiji Takigawa, bloodthirsty rogue and potential ZLF recruit

Speaking of the ZLF, their representatives in this game will be none other than Lance and Gayle, both of whom I’d introduced in the second installment of this miniseries. Lance, naturally, is the new leader of the ZLF and is thus the one responsible for holding the founders of the Kingdom of Zoanthropes hostage and forcing them to conduct the nefarious experiments they have been for the sake of bolstering the Front’s numbers. I need not explain the purpose, either, for such an increase in the organization’s militaristic might. Gayle, on the other hand, is a reluctant member of the ZLF who would like nothing more than to purge herself of the zoanthropy she’d once stolen money from her former fellow animal rights activists to attain in the first place on account of the complications it has made on her way of life. Granted, doing so would also mean having to abandon the cause she’d once chosen to support during the events of my version of Bloody Roar 2, but the way she sees it, such is a small price to pay on her part. As such, her reason for wanting the scientists’ experiments to continue is simple: She wants them to discover a way to safely revert her back to a baseline human, after which she can go back home, report the Front to the authorities, and try to live as normal a life as she can from thereon out. Sadly, it seems like she’ll have to fight for such a right via the UZFT, but at this stage of her zoanthropic life, she’ll do whatever it takes to regain the humanity she’d sacrificed a mere year to year-and-a-half prior.

Will the Nonomura family reunite once and for all after the dust has settled in this retelling of the BR E/PF story?

Will the Nonomura family reunite once and for all after the dust has settled in this retelling of the BR E/PF story?

As for the scientists responsible for the birth of the KoZ, there are two amongst them who stand out the most: Dr. Hiroshi Nonomura and Dr. Matabei Tsukigami. Both having been missing for several years, these two men were the leaders behind the movement to construct the Kingdom of Zoanthropes following the collapse of Tylon’s corporate headquarters in South America, and they’d been in charge since up until the moment the ZLF had taken over their operation. It was they who’d salvaged as many experimental subjects of Tylon as they could and made them the members of the Kingdom’s royal family, heads of government, et cetera. On one hand is Hiroshi, Uriko’s estranged father and Mitsuko’s lost husband, who had been abducted by Tylon before the events of BR 1 and made to use his pharmaceutical knowledge to create not only the brainwashing formula that the corporation used to “recruit” subjects into servitude, but also the synthetic Factor B used to empower his own daughter into become the werechimera and also Uriko’s synthetic body. Needless to say, he is extremely repentant for his involvement in Tylon’s scientific progress and wishes for nothing more than to redeem himself for allowing his research to fall into the wrong hands once already…that and reuniting with his family, of course. Unfortunately, though his and his fellow scientists’ foundation of the Kingdom of Zoanthropes had promised to be the first step in paying zoanthropekind back for all the evil for which their work had been used, the ZLF’s hostile takeover of their hidden laboratory has certainly put an end to that act of good will, specifically in terms of the experiments that the Front have been having them perform. This angers Hiroshi greatly, and though he is loathe to put his colleagues in danger, it may only be a matter of time before he beastorizes into a monkey and lets loose on his captors with his mastery of Hou Quan (monkey fist kung fu).

On the other hand is Matabei, Alice’s biological father, who had been working for Tylon before the events of the first Bloody Roar. Having lost his wife/Alice’s mother to the X-Genome Code, Matabei once had his daughter tested to make sure that she, too, wasn’t a carrier of the XGC herself. However, after his superiors’ tests had proven that she was indeed XGC-free, they insisted on conducting further tests on her (i.e., brainwashing her into becoming one of their soldiers), which Matabei adamantly protested against. Much to his dismay, however, his employers separated him from Alice and began experimenting on him as well in a manner not too unlike the way Busuzima had experimented on his colleague Steven Goldberg and turned him into the original Stun. The result of such experiments resulted in the first amoeba zoanthrope and, in Matabei’s cae, a body so unstable that he must live on a special life support system constructed by his fellow ex-Tylon scientists in order to survive. Then again, despite his fragile state, he can still fend for himself when need be, dispatching assailants with his mastery in aikido when the going gets rough.

Sobek, the ancient Egyptian god of the Nile River and inspiration behind one of my new characters to this reboot of Bloody Roar Extreme/Primal Fury

Sobek, the ancient Egyptian god of the Nile River and inspiration behind one of my new characters to this reboot of Bloody Roar Extreme/Primal Fury

General Sobek is next on this list, and though I’ve briefly mentioned him before, I will say that just as is true with the royal family of the KoZ, the general of the Kingdom’s military also happens to be a former test subject that the renegade scientists had rescued from Tylon’s corporate HQ. Formerly from Egypt, Hru-Amen Mansour used to be an excellent soldier prior to his abduction by the corporation and very proud of his success as a field commander and tactician for the troops under his command. Unfortunately, his falling prey to an ambush by Tylon zoanthropes changed all that for him, as did the decimation of his platoon in the ambush. Still suffering the memory of such a humiliating defeat, Sobek naturally wants to redeem himself for what he sees to be a tragic fault of his and is thus easily persuaded by the ZLF that the experiments they have the KoZ’s scientists conduct will only bolster the soldiers of whom he is in charge and thus ensure them to become an army of no equal. It is thus up to Shina—whom he doesn’t trust on account of her reputation as a mercenary and as the hired co-trainer of his troops—to teach him that the best way to ensure the reliability of his soldiers is to have them develop their talents organically rather than through whatever artificial enhancements they might receive from the ZLF’s cruel and untrustworthy scientific tampering.

Finally, we have Daedalus, a robotic bull zoanthrope who bears a lot in common with Kohryu from BR 3. Basically the mechanized version of Hogarth Howards from my BR 1 reboot, Daedalus was created by the engineers of the KoZ’s founders and originally meant to serve as a police droid of sorts before the ZLF infiltrated their labs and had him reprogrammed into a shock troop for their little scheme. Little did both parties know, though, that just like with Kohryu, Daedalus has a hidden agenda that others’ programming of him can only temporarily override. That agenda: the destruction of pretty much any zoanthrope with whom he crosses paths, using the same fierce fighting style he’d used when he was alive to cripple his adversaries.

To imagine the concept behind Daedalus, just combine the likes of Battle Arena Toshinden 3's Adam with Minatek from Midway's BioF.R.E.A.K.S. from 1998.

To imagine the concept behind Daedalus, just combine the likes of Battle Arena Toshinden 3’s Adam with Minatek from Midway’s BioF.R.E.A.K.S. from 1998.

Bloody Roar Beast Corps 3

Finally, to sign off on this article, one final way in which I would reboot Bloody Roar Extreme/Primal Fury is to have a Bloody Roar Beast Corps game accompany it as I had done from BRs 2 and 3. This particular mission for the heroes of BRBC would be the simplest yet, too, in that all they need to do is to infiltrate the Kingdom of Zoanthropes and get to the bottom of what’s going on behind the scenes with the experiments that have allegedly been taking place within the young nation. Doing so won’t be an easy task, unfortunately, for the ZLF have remained on top of things and as such have arranged a number of operatives from the various chapters they’ve established globally to obstruct Paul, Sonja, Mireille, and Yao as they make their way towards the KoZ and root out the evil that’s infesting it. Chances are, furthermore, that they might come across some allies to aid them in their mission, although said allies won’t be appearing in the game in the same way Annette and Rupert has appeared in the first BRBC game or the way Nathan, Fang, and Mashiro had in BRBC 2. Rather, I would allow the player to create his or her own zoanthrope to assist the four primary heroes in eradicating the Front. Gender, height and weight, outfit, nationality, fighting style, beast form—I would include it all in BRBC 3’s Create-a-Hero mode along with a score of ZLF mooks and bosses for the Beast Corps to wage war against as well as a number of villains from my BR E/PF reboot. Lance, Gayle, General Sobek, Reiji, Daedalus, and even Shenlong would all be welcome additions in this game, to be sure. I’d even throw a few original Front members into the mix as well, plus some branching paths to help lead the BRBC and their allies down different trails toward the KoZ and end up facing off against different chapters of the ZLF with each unique path they take.

Well, that pretty much sums up my reboot of Bloody Roar Extreme/Primal Fury. Thanks to all who took the time out of their day to read this, and I apologize for introducing this installment to my miniseries as late as I have. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before I introduce the fifth and final part of this reboot, where I’ll tackle the “black sheep” (no pun intended) of the BR franchise, Bloody Roar 4. In the meantime, though, be sure to check out my author page at Smashwords.com and my Author Central pages at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk, and feel free to subscribe to this blog, if you haven’t done so already. Otherwise, thanks again for the support, and as always, happy reading!

Regards,
Dustin M. Weber

*****

PS: For the sake of convenience, here are the links to the other parts of this miniseries:

Part 1: July 23, 2012

Part 2: December 12, 2012

Part 3: February 2, 2013

*****

Bloody Roar (c) 1998-2012 Hudson Soft Co., Ltd./2012 Konami Digital Entertainment. All visual materials used in this article are as follows:

Bloody Roar Extreme & Primal Fury covers: GameFAQs.com

Bloody Roar Primal Fury Story Intro: PFTMClubcomuv.com

Bloody Roar Extreme/Primal Fury character models: BloodyRoar.Wikia.com

King Orion: Bloody Roar Primal Fury [GC] Stun the Insect’s Ending by zedk8

Daedalus: Toshinden 3 BAT 3 PSXRip OST Rungo & Adam BGM by greenshun GABO (Battle Arena Toshinden 3 Adam) & Mobygames.com (BioF.R.E.A.K.S. Minatek)

Sobek hieroglyoph: Egyking.info

All opinions expressed and ideas shared within the above article, however, are solely those of the author himself and no other party.

Poem of the Week: Two Faces

Two Faces
February 3, 2015

Shallow and broken in so many places,
So many who see that you have two faces—
Tough yet sensitive at the same time,
But really, you’re just in a pain in the behind.
Grow the hell up, you pain in the ass.
You’re naught but a punk with zero class.

One moment, you act like you’re high class,
Tickling the ladies in all the right places.
Next thing people know, you’re being an ass,
Screaming and spitting in your fellow men’s faces,
Leaving all your civility behind.
Such is how you behave time after time.

Embarrassed I become every single time
I witness you acting with zero class,
Wishing someone would kick your behind—
Not to mention various other places—
And slap you across each of your two faces
For acting the way you do, you ass.

Honestly, what do you get for being an ass,
For being so rude and cocky time after time,
For wiping the smiles off others’ faces,
For acting like you don’t know the meaning of class?
Do you really think such behavior will take you places?
If you do, you’d best leave that attitude behind,

For who knows who’ll whip your sorry behind
And make you realize just how much of an ass
You’ve been to so many people in so many places?
It may not happen now, but over time,
You’ll come to realize that your lack of class
Is bound to blow up in your two faces.

Do yourself a favor, then, and ditch the faces,
Leave this insanity once and for all behind,
And finally learn the meaning of class
Before you get bit once and for all in the ass
For how you’ve acted out all those times
And have left a dark mark in so many places.

So many places, you’ve shown two faces
Time after time. Now leave it all behind,
You pain in the ass, and show some class.

*****

Author Pages: Smashwords.com

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