80+ Best Casino theme parties images casino theme ...

[Let's Build] Attractions in a demon pleasure palace that aren't sexual

My players are going to be visiting the palace of a demon lord of pleasure who's more CN than CE. I want to show that despite his title, he represents all forms of pleasure and good feelings, not just sex. Also space in his realm doesn't work the same way as it does in the mortal plane. He essentially has an infinite amount of space to work with and can customize it as he pleases, so there are no size constraints.
  1. A casino to feel the thrill of gambling.
  2. A dining hall with an endless buffet that visitors are allowed to eat as much as they wish.
  3. An idyllic beach with perfectly white sand to relax or play on.
  4. An arena where gladiators brawl it out against each other. The point of it isn't to kill each other as much as make the battles look stunning to the audience.
  5. A hotel with the most comfortable beds possible. Here anyone with enough money can enjoy a good rest after all the excitement.
  6. A beautiful and well tended garden filled with aromatic flowers and sweet fruits.
  7. A vineyard where exquisitely-aged wine can be produced just by pressing the grapes. (u/_SovietMudkip_)
  8. A petting zoo full of the babies of dangerous creatures. (u/_SovietMudkip_)
  9. An opulent concert hall where the best musicians of the realms perform (u/_SovietMudkip_)
  10. A small, cozy looking wooden library, with a cushioned bay window where rain gently scatters against the glass and a cup of some hot liquid gently rising with steam. (u/QuietOracle)
  11. An owl-bear hugging zoo. Go to sleep in the embrace of their soft down. (u/QuietOracle)
  12. The room of sensory experiences. The room itself is fairly plain, with the main feature being long tables running the length of the room. On closer inspection there are fist-sized carved holes, each one holding a small round crystal... (u/QuietOracle)
  13. A room with dozens of sacks filled with beans, lentils and grains where visitors can put their hands in and let the contents run through their fingers. (u/_WhiteCubeCat_)
  14. A hag (or any other long nailed creature) giving visitors a scalp massage. (u/_WhiteCubeCat_)
  15. A museum of little-known or long-forgotten art pieces, sculptures, and history. (u/MoonlightMancer)
  16. A festival full of colors, music, and drinks. Everyone seems to love you, and you can’t stop laughing. (u/MoonlightMancer)
  17. A hallway of endless doors. In each room is someone you know, complimenting you endlessly, sharing every positive, even begrudgingly jealous thought they ever had about you. (u/MoonlightMancer)
  18. A room full of bubble wrap. (u/EmmaDrake)
  19. A hot spring/spa, with fluffy towels, those showers that are like rain with perfect water pressure, mud baths, and refreshing food and drink. (u/lionesslindsey)
  20. A room full of people that constantly give you validation and laugh at all your jokes. (u/CountryJeff)
  21. Never-ending line of gold chalices, crystal vases, silver artwork, and other valuables. (u/PutridMeatPuppet)
  22. People who are “better” than you are marched in a stripped of their superior qualities. Beautiful people are disfigured and turned ugly. Wealthy powerful people are ruined and made to beg you for pennies. (u/PutridMeatPuppet)
  23. Mass groups of people enter the room and tell you how they admire you and how wonderful you are. They stroke your ego and inflate your pride. (u/PutridMeatPuppet)
  24. Servants do everything for you. Feed you, give you drinks, wash you, wipe your arse, etc. (u/PutridMeatPuppet)
  25. You are given a wickedly barbed leather whip. A slave creature is bound to a post and you can whip this creature to inflict your wrath upon them as much as you desire. If the poor soul dies, another is brought in to replace them. (u/PutridMeatPuppet)
  26. 'Knight for a day'. The full experience; lance, shiny outfit, a squire, a trusty stead, a dragon and a princess/prince to rescue. (u/mr_earthman)
  27. The magical equivalent of a holo deck (u/cyber-viper)
  28. Wide, flat plain with the fastest vehicles in the multiverse (a good place to use the Avernus vehicles) (u/Clickclacktheblueguy)
  29. A selection of cities and villages for you to destroy with war machines or your own magic. (u/Clickclacktheblueguy)
  30. A collection of wand that allow you to test out powerful magic. (u/Clickclacktheblueguy)
  31. A magical version of a movie theatre, allowing you to watch all manner of stories, true and legendary. (u/Clickclacktheblueguy)
  32. A moderately large pool where small battleships with tiny animated crewmen can be deployed in teams to shell and board each other for the audience's amusement. Honored guests can put their strategic abilities to a test against other players by directly giving orders to their ships, and in certain hours guests may even swim in the pool to live out the power fantasy of being a sea monster. (u/VIixIXine)
  33. A colorizer-device that transforms any clothes/armoweapons/other gear to any desired hue you wish (as long as it doesn’t affect the workings of the gear) (u/PaigeOrion)
  34. A grand screen, showing a nearly infinite number of (screen)plays from all space and time, including the show with the disgraced human paladin delivering a green baby gnome back to his home land through incredible odds. (u/PaigeOrion)
  35. A tiara that allows you to experience the sensory experience of a black cat as long as you wear it and close your eyes. (u/PaigeOrion)
  36. A plethora of small, multicolored blocks that will magically interlock with one another to render almost any architectural structure imaginable. (But don’t step on them barefoot!) (u/PaigeOrion)
  37. A band of musicians who are the perfect musical backup for any performances. Alone, they are more low key, but no less skilled, playing haunting melodies of unknown origin. (u/PaigeOrion)
  38. A massive walk-in closet where you can try in any clothes in any fashion you like. (u/Tezla44)
  39. A "schadenfreude" theatre, with shows that rely on slapstick and cringe comedy. (u/Martinus_XIV)
  40. A REALLY good chocolate fountain (u/BrokenBanette)
  41. A room designed to give you closure. When you enter this room, someone you loved and lost is there, sitting in a couch. The room feels vaguely familiar, but you can't place why. If Detect Magic is used, the room is full of magic (divination, transmutation, illusion) but the person seems like a normal person. You can chat with them for as long as you like. They behave just as you remember them, with the good and the bad. (u/ohsurenerd)
  42. A theatre performing the most magnificent tragedies. When you watch the performance, you find yourself completely enraptured: you cheer when things go right, scream when something terrifying happens, and moan and weep at the inevitable horrible ending. When you leave, it feels like removing a backpack full of lead that you'd been carrying for so long you'd forgotten it was there. (u/ohsurenerd)
  43. A room where there's a button, there's someone outside and it explains that if you enter there's a 50/50 chance of you dying or not, the room won't actually kill you and it's there just to make you feel the pleasure of near death experience. (u/SupremeGodDictator)
  44. A massage parlor with the universes best staff pampering your every need as you receive the most relaxing massage of your life whether it be scalp, back, foot, full body, etc. Has the worlds fluffiest towels and robes to luxuriate in while you wait or if you simply want to sit in a comfy chair and enjoy your ache free muscles. (u/Blue_Mando)
  45. An arena where you and your opponents heal near instantly, and you can fight endlessly (u/ellen-the-educator)
  46. A reenactment of your greatest failures in life, but this time they turn into your greatest achievements. (u/CountryJeff)
  47. A room with the world's finest works of art.... and a myriad of implements you can use to destroy them. (u/redrosebeetle)
  48. A torture chamber with mages on hand to create illusions of the people you wish to torture. Or increasingly realistic versions of them, depending on the level of magic you wish to implement. (u/redrosebeetle)
  49. A room full of gold and jewels you can roll around in, ala Scrooge McDuck. But woe betide anyone who tries to take a souvenir.... (u/redrosebeetle)
  50. As you're walking through the gardens, a person comes up to you. They introduce themselves as an adventurer who's also here on a quest. They seem to be the same class as you, and they're incredibly attractive-- almost exactly your type. You immediately click and end up spending the day together, talking about everything and anything. You tell them things you've never told anyone else before. They understand everything you tell them, almost innately, but they're still impressed by your feats and your stories. The two of you find an empty bedroom and close the door behind you. It's perfect in its imperfections. In the morning they're gone. No matter where you look, you can't find them. (u/ohsurenerd)
  51. A room lined with shelves and shelves of bottles and vials containing a crimson liquid flowing slowly (like a syrup), all with small labels on them. As you inspect the labels, you realize they've all got names on them: famous adventurers, kings and queens, great sages. If you drink one, you experience a selection of their memories as they experienced them: battles won, discoveries made, historical alliances and friendships being forged or broken... (u/ohsurenerd)
  52. A room that turns anyone that enters it into a child. It is full of every toy imaginable (u/arual_x)
  53. A tour of a chocolate factory. Kobolds work there, and the owner, who gives the tour, is a Metallic Dragon in Humanoid form. (u/arual_x)
  54. A fortune teller who has a Deck of Many Things with only the good cards. If you in any way offend them, they will sleight of hand vs perception check slip you a bad card instead. (u/arual_x)
  55. An island theme park of reanimated dinosaurs. The owner is a level 20 Necromancer called Hamm Johnand. (u/arual_x)
  56. A Virtual Reality style game that allows you to battle horrible monsters over and over again without risk of injury physical. But still allows you to gain XP... (u/arual_x)
  57. A perfect expanse of thick snowy ground. There is constantly a snowball fight going on. (u/arual_x)
  58. A giant room full of mattresses where everyone immediately gets a wonderful massage. (u/Revanclaw-and-memes)
  59. A room where you get to torture all of your worst enemies (u/Revanclaw-and-memes)
  60. A room where people applaud you, give you a trophy, etc (u/Revanclaw-and-memes)
  61. A room where you get something that was denied to you (u/Revanclaw-and-memes)
  62. A room full of gold and exquisite things, from beautiful furniture to magic weapons (u/Revanclaw-and-memes)
  63. A seemingly endless room where adventurers can drink a potion to grow wings and flit about to their hearts' delight (u/iriedashur)
  64. An ordinary classroom containing the adventurer's childhood friends, enemies, and their most hated teacher. Upon entering the room, the adventurer discovers that they are invisible, and free to pull pranks as they wish (u/iriedashur)
  65. A brightly colored room piled high with wrapped gifts, large and small, for the adventurers to open endlessly (u/iriedashur)
  66. A purple and black dragon named Ace who cooks you garlic bread and cake. (u/sanorace)
  67. A magic pair of goggles/glasses that simulate any “What if” question you pose to them. (u/lewiscann)
  68. A magical weather room where you can ask for any weather for your pleasure (I love listening to rain) (u/lewiscann)
  69. A room full of lounges with a floating slow burning piece of wood that warms the whole area, the piece of wood is so large you can see the flame spread through this piece of wood forever (u/lewiscann)
  70. A room where you can bite your fingernails and they grow back instantly ( so you can bite them some more )(u/razenastie)
  71. A room with incredibly weakened versions of powerful monsters. (u/Your_InsideMan)
  72. A vast room on wooden sculptures, oil, and torches. (u/Your_InsideMan)
  73. A zoo of sentient races (u/Paralytica)
  74. A collection of legendary heroes magically transfixed in blocks of ice. (u/Paralytica)
  75. Palanquin rentals (u/Paralytica)
  76. A booth that will remake your face whilst in the palace (ostensibly to make you more beautiful but it could be used for anything) (u/Paralytica)
  77. A magic chair that gives really good back massages (u/TenNinetythree)
  78. A playground where the slides and carousels are for adults (u/TenNinetythree)
  79. A room where you become a giant and can destroy cities and fortresses kaiju style. (u/Paralytica)
  80. Drug Olympics. A room with every drug imaginable to try. Leaving the room cleanses you of their effects. (u/Skitsafrit)
  81. No Pauses. A room that has the effect of making all conversations flow perfectly. No silence stretches too long, no one mishears you, and every topic segways perfectly into the next. (u/Skitsafrit)
  82. Deprivation Room. The room is so absolutely featureless and quiet, that you can meditate magnitudes better here than anywhere else. (u/Skitsafrit)
  83. A games room where you play against your perfect match (u/Nesurame)
  84. Similar to the previous, a games room where you're matched against nothing but weaker opponents (u/Nesurame)
  85. A smoky, dreamweed hookah lounge (u/reallyenjoyscarbs)
  86. A heist simulator where you always get away with the big diamond, chest, etc (thrill of theft) (u/reallyenjoyscarbs)
  87. A sauna room with a central pillar. Inside the pillar is a chamber containing a magic stone which can detect the exact temperature preferences of those inside, and making each person feel said preference. (u/TgagHammerstrike)
  88. An oval-shaped room with countless glass lotion bottles, with each smelling better than the last. If you look for a specific scent (no matter how rare), you'll certainly find it with the help of a goblin near the back of the room. (u/TgagHammerstrike)
  89. A room that consists of A bunch of mortals so utterly jaded from years of plesure seeking that they need the hardest of drugs and the wildest of sensations to feel anything,with lesser demons feeding on their pursuit of euphoria. Think the emperors children from warhammer 40k. (u/TgagHammerstrike)
  90. A buffet of the lids of yogurt/pudding cups to lick. (u/Hunter37594)
  91. An olfactory room that reads your memories and replicates smells that remind you of your most joyous moments. (u/lecorbusianus)
  92. A wildlife reserve for Druids to find new and exotic wild shapes. (u/lecorbusianus)
  93. A room with musical instruments that you're able to master immediately. (u/lecorbusianus)
  94. Zero gravity obstacle course. (u/lecorbusianus)
  95. A cooking class taught by a master chef that always seems to have enough time to guide you one-on-one. (u/lecorbusianus)
  96. An enchanter who allows you to relieve the best moments of your life over and over again. (u/lecorbusianus)
  97. An illusionary room that brings up past experiences and let’s you make different choices to fix mistakes or win arguments. (u/The_Rhibo)
  98. A murder simulator to allow an individual to live out the fantasy of killing that special someone. (u/Brann_The_Kid)
  99. A library full of blackmail and secret knowledge regarding historical and political figures. A conniving, plotting character’s dream! (u/MoonlightMancer)
  100. A room where you can see colors that shouldn't exist. (u/Clickclacktheblueguy)
  101. A room with a creature in a dark robe sitting at a table covered in maps and dice. He helps you play a strange game where you and your party make up characters that go on adventures while the robed creature acts as all of the other characters and determines new events. (u/Clickclacktheblueguy)
  102. ...
submitted by Quantext609 to d100 [link] [comments]

[OG+REMAKE SPOILERS] I'm Gonna Do It, I'm Gonna Talk About The Cat. Part 2 Theory.

Cait. Sith. Is. Valid. Also, buckle up, this is a long one.
For those who dont remember, Cait Sith is a playable character in FFVII who appears as an anthropomorphic black and white cat wearing a small red cape and a gold crown. In later installments, he has a Scottish accent and no longer rides on that huge moogle robot thing. Cait Sith is a character that is tied directly to Reeve Tuesti, his creator and the man who is able to assume control over him from time to time. In so many videos and articles and such, Cait is often pinned as the "worst thing about FFVII" or "the most useless Final Fantasy character". As for me, personally, I actually like Cait, but I have come up with a few ways to get more on the fence people to warm up to him. Behold, my FFVII Remake Cait Sith Theory/Speculation.
First things first, all of those people who think Square will entirely cut Cait out of the game are wrong. No, seriously, he's already in the Remake. He made a short cameo when the Sector 7 Plate fell. So many people were confused as to why he seemed so upset. One person, I don't remember who, wondered "Why would Reeve make Cait be all dramatic like that???" So, firstly, I thought it was common knowledge that Cait wasn't entirely remote-controlled, but oh well for the sake of this theory I'll have you know that I'm looking at it as though Reeve is not puppeteering Cait 100% of the time. He has an AI, at the very least, but for now, AI does not mean sentience, by the way. But Cait has a programmed personality, voice (the reason that Cait has a Scottish accent and Reeve doesn't), and movements. He may or may not become sentient but that's a story for another time.
Also the reason Cait would have a personality and programmed "emotions" is so 1, he can calm people who are distressed during a crisis so they can get to safety, 2, he can further convince people of things using emotion in his voice to appeal to their sympathy, and 3, I dunno Reeve wants him to be more than just a robot.
Now, this programming is the reason he spies on the group. I doubt Reeve has the time to sit and watch everything that happens, so maybe Cait sends a sort of report to him about any important info he gets in the day, if any. The thing is, maybe you can have a few scenes where Cait is showing uncharacteristic reluctance or regret over being a spy. Making him more sympathetic. The reason Reeve would even use Cait as a spy? Well, Avalanche is still the cause for the plate falling. If Avalanche hadn't bombed the reactor, Shinra wouldn't have viewed them as a threat, the plate wouldn't have been dropped. Reeve most likely doesn't know about the reactor being Shinra's fault moreso than Avalanche. You can see that Heidegger and President Shinra are the only ones in the room during that scene. Now, Reeve was in the room for the plate falling, he knows Shinra caused that, and he attempted to stop the President (to no avail).
By the way, it is my theory that during that conversation or immediately following it, Reeve dispatched Cait to go to the pillar to stop the Turks, or maybe to issue an evacuation. Reeve was not controlling Cait at this time, so Cait's despair was his own, he was upset that he failed his mission and failed to save Sector 7. Another reason why he has programmed emotions, so he can have determination and investment in his mission, and the regret experienced when failing will make him figure out a different way to solve similar problems.
So, while Reeve knows Shinra caused the plate falling, he probably does not know that Shinra caused the reactor 1 bombing to be much more deadly that it would have been. So, in Reeve's and subsequently in Cait's eyes, Avalanche is a threat just as much as Shinra is (and you could say that's kinda true, looking at being a threat to people, not the planet btw). Both hurt innocents. So Reeve could be trying to help the Turks get Avalanche out of the way so he could focus again on trying to mitigate the damage Shinra causes on it's own. Also, maybe it just isn't up to Reeve. If he refuses to do what Shinra wants him to, he will lose his job. You would think that losing your job could be survivable, but with Shinra and Reeve's position in the company, actually it isn't. Reeve knows company secrets, so he would be a very major threat. The Turks would probably have to either assassinate him or imprison him somewhere where he can't spread the truth.
So, with that being said, there's your motives for Cait being a spy. Now, onto making Cait himself more likable and more useful. Firstly he can have a manipulate ability. In OG, he joins the party with a manipulate materia, though that materia never really became useful. I think, in Remake, manipulation can be simular to that thing Aloy can do in Horizon Zero Dawn. Basically, Cait can make monsters fight for us for a period of time. So using one monster to kill the others for you or distract them while you are healing or running away. That could have some use, especially in the Remake.
Now, Cait fights by using a giant moogle as a sort of... mech. He rides on top of it and shouts commands... using a megaphone... This concept is pretty goofy and kinda cute, but I don't really think they should keep it in the Remake. So, remove the moogle mount. Now, what to do with his weapon? Sure, you can still kinda make him fight with a megaphone but why would you do that? So, inspired by an original concept (so it's not that far fetched), Cait can fight using whips and/or cards. The way this can work is when you purchase weapons for him, the name will be something like "Iron Whip" and the card deck that comes with it will be grey cards. Basically, the cards will be a color, the whips will be of different materials. But when purchasing, it'll just name the whip, the cards aren't named. That is thinking that the cards will even change. Maybe Cait can equip different whips. And the cards part of it will be abilities/movesets. Like, an ability can be named after a card game and he can fling a bunch of cards at the enemies simular in style to 1,000 needles.
His abilities can be themed after casino based things and slot machines and all that, but they aren't actually slot machines. Example, his limit break, Slots, isn't randomized. It does the same attack every time, like Cloud's Cross-Slash. But the animation involves a slot machine. A slot machine appears with a bunch of fancy lights and Cait hops onto the switch, the slots roll, all three land on Cait's face, then I dunno, it explodes onto the enemies or sends projectiles at them or something. Another idea I had for his "Dice" attack could be him rolling a bunch of dice, and flinging them at the enemies, the dice exploding on impact kinda like grenades or something.
Another thing to make him better in the eyes of those who dislike him, he can have some minigame uses. When at an inn or resting place, and all of the characters are just chillin, doin their own thing, you can walk up to Cait, and when you talk to him, after his dialog, there's an option to play a game. When you click it, Cait hops up all happy and more options pop up. You can unlock mini games as you progress, so there can be things like darts. They can do a card game as a reference to Tetra Master and Triple Triad (from FFIX and FFXIII, respectively), a memory game, anything really. So, there you go, another use for Cait Sith.
In regards to level design, Cait can actually come in really handy. He is a robot created by someone in Shinra, so he would be able to hack into some Shinra tech to open doors and proceed through dungeons. This could come into play in part 3, or whenever the party gets arrested by Shinra and are brought to Junon. So, he's a hacker. Nice. Aslo, Cait is a lot smaller than the rest of the party, so he could squeeze into spaces that the others couldn't. Just a thought, and also another reason why he shouldn't have the giant moogle.
Okay, now, this is a lot, but I have one last thing to talk about. His intro. So many people don't like Cait that I really don't think anyone would mind if his intro would change. Unlike the points people made in my post about Vincent, where some people pointed out that a lot of fans feel an attachment to his OG introduction, there's not much thats really... iconic about Cait's. Yes, I know, the way he joins the party is supposed to be sudden and weird because he's a spy and your supposed to be all like "oh that is... that's suspicious". But hey, I just wanna see who else thinks a new intro could be nice. This is purely for funzies and I don't actually think they're gonna introduce him like this. It's too specific for a theory so this is more of a "hey wouldn't it be cool if" kinda thing.
Alright, for the sake of this, I'm assuming Remake part 2 goes up to at least Gold Saucer. Long story short(er), we find Cait in a casino. Maybe he runs the casino, maybe he's a prominent member. Anyway, he claims that you can win a better amount of GP (special points that work as currency in Gold Saucer) by playing his card game then with any other game. So, Cloud sits down to play. After you play the game, or maybe it's interrupted, there's some commotion at the entrance of the casino. Cloud looks over and almost everyone has stopped playing to look as well. None other than Elena of the Turks walks in, spotting Cloud. She is obviously looking for Avalanche, and has found them. (Also you can assume that Cait pretty much set up this whole thing.) They get ready to fight, when Cait springs up and says "Wait, you can't fight here, there's not enough room! You'll break things or hurt people! If you have to fight, do it in the Battle Square!"
So, you go to the battle square and beat up Elena (also yay! She gets a solo boss fight! Next is Tseng getting a boss encounter and we'll be able to fight all of the Turks solo). When your about to defeat her, reinforcements arrive and... yeah, there is just way too many of them. Then suddenly, a smoke bomb goes off, and Cait rescues Cloud. They regroup at that Haunted Hotel, and Cloud explains everything. Everyone decides that it would be a good idea to leave, but then they hesitate. Where's Barret? Tifa says that he could be at the battle square, where else would he go? So, reluctantly, the group moves back to the battle square, avoiding the Shinra troops that are now crawling everywhere. The park has a completely different vibe to it, the music is no longer blaring, and instead someone from Shinra is on the speakers telling everyone to keep a lookout and report any strange individuals.
Once we get into the Battle Square, we see that all of the Shinra infantrymen that were in there are all dead. Shot to death, each one. Then Barret runs in. So it wasn't Barret? Anyway, Dio, the owner of Gold Saucer, emerges, blames you for the deaths of not only the soldiers but a few staff members as well, and throws you into the desert prison, also notifying Shinra of your presence. This leads into Dyne's story and eventually Cait will convince Dio to let us go, or maybe we highjack a Shinra vehicle and escape the prison that way.
*long exhale
So, to wrap this all up, Cait has a good reason to be a spy, he can make enemies fight for him, he fights with whips and cards, when talking to him at an Inn or resting place you can play minigames like a card game similar to Tetra Master from FFIX or darts or maybe a memory game, and lastly he has a more interesting and memorable intro at Gold Saucer.
ALL RIGHT! I'M DONE WOOOO I'M TAKING A BREAK!
submitted by _shiba_inu to FFVIIRemake [link] [comments]

Dec/21/2020 wrap-up: \\ borders demarcation per 2010 Armenian law \\ Pashinyan visits Syunik: supporters & opponents \\ Russians will guard border road \\ weekend memorial events \\ more POWs return \\ search operations continue \\ electricity prices \\ Russian peacekeepers \\ housing & aid \\ sport

Your 15-minute Weekend & Monday report in 3688 words.

Saturday: three days of mourning

From Saturday to Monday, the country pays tribute to those who died in the war. Pashinyan and other officials participated in the memorial march to Yerablur Pantheon. Some opposition outlets had earlier claimed that Pashinyan would skip the march and use his father's death as an "excuse".
During the march, a group of anti-Pashinyan activists blocked the crowd from moving forward. The police were involved to clear the way. The PM spoke with families of fallen soldiers and laid flowers.
Education Ministry, Labor Ministry, and Cadastre Committee rebutted opposition media rumors about someone allegedly calling state workers and forcing them to participate in the Yerrablur memorial. Government bodies called the "fake news" an "attempt to create an atmosphere of division in the public."
The opposition, led by the former regime, held its own rally from the Freedom Square. They marched to St. Gregory Illuminator church. BHK chief Tsarukyan was also present. The theme remains the same: Nikol must go, Vazgen Manukyan must become the new PM.
Yerablur photos: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038352.html
Crowd size from above: https://youtu.be/rbFBDMNoaPI ,
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038343.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038348.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038340.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038349.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038351.html , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203328

Sunday memorial events

President Sarkissian visited Yerablur on Sunday. "These are difficult days. I hope that with the end of 2020 we will close the tragic page and we will be able to stand up and open a new page. The only thing we will remember from 2020 is the sacred memory of the people who gave their lives to defend the Homeland. All misfortunes should be lessons, not painful memories. We have to start our life again. I look forward to the end of this year".
PM and family paid tributes to fallen soldiers in Tavush province.
LHK and church leadership visited Yerablur Pantheon.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038367.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038378.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038379.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038381.html

parts from Pashinyan speech: past & present, investigation, border demarcation

We will need a comprehensive evaluation of how and why things developed and ended that way. We must face the reality and admit that we have made mistakes for many years, the mistakes we have made have been systemic, conceptual, substantive. This cannot be a result of one person or events in just a few years.
Did I understand all this while taking office as Prime Minister? Of course. Was I trying to change the situation? Of course. I am now more convinced than ever that there was simply no time to stop the spinning wheel of history.
The borders in the Syunik sector are being adjusted, or rather, the Armenian Armed Forces are being stationed on the internationally recognized borders of Armenia (there were no soldiers here before because Syunik was not bordering Azerbaijan before the war). This process changes certain setups we're familiar with, introduces inconveniences, complications, and emotions. In reality, this is being done to ensure and strengthen the safety of Syunik.
How? In areas outside of the Republic of Armenia, there was a high risk of military actions, which could carry on to Syunik with all their consequences. By doing the border demarcation of our internationally-recognized lands, we are introducing security assurances. Additionally, Russian border guards are already stationed in some parts of Syunik, which creates a whole new situation.
The demarcation can complicate travel on some roads, but these are issues that can be resolved by having an AM-AZ-RU document (specifically about road safety).
Not one millimeter of Syunik or Republic of Armenia land has been conceded. Any claim to the contrary is simply false.
The people, only the people, should decide the fate of the government and not the elite circles. My November 18th Roadmap will address post-war issues and establish internal stability.
"Let's build Armenia anew." I chose this slogan before the war to guide Armenia's transformation strategy. And this formula is useful for our future as well. We have to perceive the world in a new way, we have to look at what we have to do in a new way, we have to re-evaluate our capabilities in a new way, first of all in education, science, technological development, we have to build our dream anew, and we have to dream anew.
Glory to our fallen heroes, glory to our living heroes, and glory to those who will still be heroes on the way to realizing the dreams of our people.
Full: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038333.html

borders: fake news, rumors, and rebuttals

Artsakh president office: the media rumors about giving Karmir Shuka (south) to Azerbaijan is fake news. Moreover, we plan to build new housing there soon.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038399.html
MoD denied media rumors that two Tavush villages are being handed over to Azerbaijan and that the soldiers were told to leave. "Refrain from spreading unverified fake news," said MoD. Tavush governor called the reports "irresponsible and dangerous".
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038457.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038464.html
Sosu Purak is a park in Syunik province, bordering Azerbaijan. The Nature Ministry rebutted the media rumors about half of the park going under Azeri control. *"Sosu Purak, which is managed by Zangezur POAK, has 64.1 hectares of lands, which are located within the Republic of Armenia."
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038477.html

border demarcation continues in Syunik / Pashinyan visits the border settlements

NSS says: border adjustments are being made in Goris-Kapan road sections under the mediation of Russia. (read Friday report for details). The process will finish in a few days. It'll nesure safe passage for cars.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038380.html
Syunik governor Melikset: don't exit the Armenian border to collect or chop wood. Keep your animal herds within Armenia. The border roads will have info-plates with numbers that you can dial if you have questions.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038383.html
Pashinyan before visiting Syunik:
I am saddened to learn that my visit to Syunik has ignited certain passions. I hope you will be convinced that my decision to visit Syunik is not intended to inflame everyone. I made the decision to convey my respect and appreciation for the people of Syunik. The second most important reason is to answer your questions, to give the necessary explanations. Not a single millimeter of land has been ceded from Syunik Province of RA and I hope we'll be able to talk about this.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038397.html
protesters
A group of protesters, lead by the city's deputy-mayors, closed the Goris road so Pashinyan couldn't enter the city. The police were involved, there was a scuffle.
Goris mayor ex-HHK Arush Arushanyan was taken to the police station earlier that day and charged with attempting to organize an unauthorized event/protest (Code 34-2251) to prevent the PM from entering the city. HHK and BHK officials gathered outside of the police station to show him support.
2010 border demarcation law, the "GPS" myth
Pashinyan met the crowd in Sisian. One of the opposition's complaints has been "GPS is inaccurate and cannot be used for demarcation", to which, Pashinyan answered, "[the demarcation] is done multiple times, with different methods. There is no issue in this regard."
Pashinyan: There is a lot of talk about *"giving away" Syunik". In fact, it is quite the opposite. When we deploy our border troops in accordance with the Armenian border, our level of security increases because that border also becomes the border of the security system of which we are a member.
The demarcation is carried out following the law adopted in 2010. The issue is that the current borders, the description of the administrative borders of our communities, were clarified by the law on the "administrative-territorial division of the Republic of Armenia", adopted in 2010.
In that law, for example, villages Khndzoresk and Tegh were drawn to include borders with Azerbaijan. The government in 2010 had accepted that demarcation; now we're facing problems here. And today, some of the people, who ask why and how the borders are being demarcated this way, are the same officials who were public officials in 2010, who adopted this law.If what we're doing today is "treason", then what happened in 2010 is even more of a "treason".
"why didn't CSTO get involved during war?"
Pashinyan: why didn't CSTO act during the war? For the same reason: our 2010 law states that this is what our official Republic of Armenia border is and that anything beyond Tegh village is Azerbaijan. CSTO, naturally, couldn't act beyond our official borders. We have received assurances that in the event of action within our borders, the bloc will act.
army & people
Resident: our army did not lose the war.
Pashinyan: Our army and the people are heroes, there can be no two opinions about it. That doesn't mean there weren't issues, or some soldiers and generals didn't complete their tasks. We must build our self-confidence and optimism one by one, we must rebuild Armenia and Artsakh.
meeting in Sisian
Pashinyan visited Sisian city Pantheon. He then met a crowd in the main square and thanked them for "for such an understanding, for such an acceptance". During a speech in Sisian, Pashinyan said he will avoid confrontation with those who closed the road to Goris city. He said there were families and supporters who wanted to meet in Goris, and that one of the reasons the road was closed to possibly prevent that from happening.
Father of a fallen soldier: Pashinyan still has 8 months to go. He must and will answer all the questions. Tomorrow, ARF Ishkhan Saghatelyan and those guys [ex-regime] must also answer. Tomorrow they [ex-regime] will say "go ask Nikol if you have questions". So Nikol should do his part and answer the questions, so others can answer theirs.
Pashinyan: please try not to politicize today [about giving ARF Ishkhan's name].
Father of a fallen soldier: we must give their names. The same names and their parties are gathered in the public square today. Today you [Nikol] must enter Sisian and elsewhere with your head held high and without bodyguards. Let's get rid of pain and sorrow then we will know what to do next.
various concerns
Residents spoke about various border and social issues.
Pashinyan: I came to look at Syunik residents in the eye. I know that I'm guilty in many ways. Our citizens deserve more. Unfortunately, not a single government, including ours, has been able to deliver what our citizens deserve. I apologize on behalf of all governments.
priest vs Pashinyan
While in Syunik, Pashinyan entered a church and lit a candle in memory of the fallen. Upon exiting, he came across priest Pargev Zeynalyan. Pashinyan raised his hand to greet but the priest let it hang in the air. Pashinyan left.
A church representative said the priest had the right to express his political beliefs.
That didn't prevent the crowd, angry at the priest's conduct, to march to the church and block its entrance. They wanted to kick the priest out. The police told the crowd not to enter. The priest refused to meet the protesters. The protesters left and promised, "not to allow the politicized priest to enter that church again".
The priest denied subsequent false rumors about police allegedly raiding his house over the incident. (of course, gotta throw a couple of fake news here and there for "political persecutions" illusion)
 
Pashinyan was supposed to travel from Sisian to Goris, but the road was closed, as mentioned earlier. He decided not to confront the group and returned to Yerevan. "Now I am convinced that the road was closed so that it does not become obvious that the atmosphere in Goris, Kapan, Kajaran, Meghri was the same as in Sisian *[generally welcoming]. We will not resort to force, especially on the day of mourning. We are returning to Yerevan. I owe one visit to Goris, Kapan, Kajaran, and Meghri. Peace to our martyrs."*
https://youtu.be/asPPVNg_k0Y , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203410 , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038442.html, https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038422.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038401.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038396.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038408.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038414.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038426.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038428.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038444.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038456.html , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203407 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203415 , https://youtu.be/4pqY2hmff68 , https://youtu.be/M9wP9e_UoBA , https://factor.am/322943.html

border demarcation: Shurnukh border village suburbs

Mayor of border village Shurnukh, Syunik: The 12 houses in the lower suburbs, which according to rumors were supposed to go under Azeri control, will stay under Armenian control, according to the latest updated information. The army and Russians came and began working on border installation beyond the village area. I'm not entirely sure this is the final status, it could change, so stay tuned.
There will be a demarcation process but I don't know when. Our local volunteers guard the borders. Women and children were evacuated from the area for now, just in case.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203332

re: Russians will guard parts of 21km Syunik road

MoD says: some of the 21km Goris-Kapan road goes through disputed areas. We have an agreement for Russian border guards to monitor Goris-Kapan and Goris-Davit Bek sections to ensure safe passage. Armenian and Azeri troops will be stationed on opposite sides of the road. More info in the coming days. (if you look at the map, the road is the exact border)
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203346

press unions condemn attacks on media outlets / free press

First incident. Former regime's activists attempted to prevent Pashinyan and tens of thousands of participants from marching to Yerablur Pantheon on weekend. During the incident, they identified a journalist from "Azatutyun" (pro-western) and began assaulting him. (Azatutyun office was also raided by supporters of former regime on November 10th).
Second incident. 5TV is owned by Kocharyan's friend. It has a record of manipulating interviews and information in general (e.g. the March 1st documentary). Some people don't like them for this reason. 5TV reporter was cussed by Pashinyan supporters, while QP MP Andranik Kocharyan refused to take questions from him.
Third incident. Opposition activists cussed Azatutyun reporters and tried to prevent them from doing the work.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038471.html

PRESS casualties during the war

HR Ombusmn: Five foreign and two Armenian reporters received severe injuries during the war. One reporter was killed. They were targeted by Azerbaijan intentionally. They were wearing PRESS uniforms, which are visibly different from army uniforms. Azerbaijan prevented reporters from working in front lines and launched a felony investigation against some international reporters (Semyon Pegov) for visiting Artsakh.
https://web.archive.org/web/20201219074426/https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203315

POWs & search operation

62 Armenian soldiers remain encircled/captured near the Khtsaberd village after the previous weekend skirmishes in the narrow strip of land held by Armenia west of the Shushi-Hadrut corridor. "They are alive and well."
Azerbaijan has acknowledged their presence. Work is being done with Russian peacekeepers to repatriate them. 70 others had returned a few days ago. One volunteer guard said it began after over a thousand Azeri troops moved forward and told them to leave a position; some did while others didn't. This area did not have Russian peacekeepers until the incident.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038368.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038369.html , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203369
Six POW soldiers returned home on Sunday. They were captured during the war. President Arayik thanked Putin for mediating the transfer.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038386.html
Two more POWs returned on Monday.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038479.html
Since the ceasefire, 1039 bodies of soldiers have been recovered from battlefields. The searches continue in the Shushi region, Martuni, Hadrut, Fizuli. 22 found today.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038417.html , https://factor.am/322564.html

medals awarded

Four Emergency Ministry employes received medals posthumously.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038452.html

felony investigations post-war / SIS launches an investigation to examine:

1) Reports of officers disobeying commands during the war, and desertion. 882 cases are being examined. Dozens have been charged.
2) Several civilian and military individuals intentionally spread alarming information to create panic among soldiers in the front lines (Vitalik's friend's incident, possibly), and claimed that the war was already decided, it was a conspiracy, and that it was pointless to fight. There are multiple felony cases regarding this. Investigation continues.
3) A felony case is launched against an officer who refused to do his duties in the southern part of Artsakh. (if this is General Movses Hakobyan, expect him to cry "political persecution" because he was the first one to give a press conference to create a narrative, a-la Dodi Gago).
4) Investigations over claims made by General Movses Hakobyan on November 19th. We're investigating a group of high-ranking officials for possibly violating protocols set by the Defense Ministry, which lead to reduced performance, which impacted the outcome of the war.
We are also examining the reports, submitted by various political parties, to investigate the $5 billion offer that was made to Pashinyan by Aliyev (the offer Aliyev made to Serj and Pashinyan to give away 7 regions without a fight).
5) A felony investigation was launched [to investigate Pashinyan] after [former regime figure] Garnik Isagulyan claimed that Pashinyan took a $48 million bribe from Turkey and that his NSS chief Qyaramyan gave away 1400 passports to Azerbaijan, and helped Azeris to invade Hadrut. Isaghulyan was invited to SIS to provide evidence; he refused. The examination found no proof of these claims. A felony case was launched against Isagulyan himself for making false reports.
6) There were multiple reports in mid-November that Shushi was "sold" and an order was given for soldiers to deliberately retreat so Azeris could take it. This was investigated by SIS and NSS, courts were involved, reports from various media outlets are being investigated, including Arayik's leaked phone call and General Samvel Babayan's "post-mortem" interview.
Additionally, there is an investigation of the embezzlement of property belonging to the army.
Besides investigating these claims, we will also investigate their impact on the final outcome of the war.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038432.html

lawsuits / Pashinyan's son / army officer / Dmbo Gago

Volunteer soldier Mikael Mikaelyan is suing pro-Kocharyan blog "Politik" over an alleged defamation.
The soldier says: Earlier I wrote that on October 1st I was yelling at deserting soldiers not to leave positions near Jabrayil. Then a similar story in Kubatlu; I wrote that I witnessed how Pashinyan's son Ashot was yelling at deserting soldiers; he was asking them to stay and help.
My post received a lot of attention. It's clear that these two were separate incidents on separate dates, right? They [former regime] began calling me a liar because I could not have seen Pashinyan's son on October 1st because he was sent to the front lines on the 5th. They wrote an article "Yet another chatlakh who says everyone routed except Ashotik".
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202933
Deputy Army General Chief of Staff Tiran Khachatryan is suing BHK MP Naira Zohrabyabn over an alleged defamation.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038342.html
BHK chief Gago's casino "Onira Club" (Shangri La) was in legal trouble over alleged financial crimes. It also lost the license on July 9th over not paying the necessary fees. The casino is now suing the Finance Ministry to have its license back.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203413

the cost of Minimum Consumer Basket in Artsakh

... was AMD 58,801 as of December, or +0.4% YoY. The Food Basket costs AMD 33,221.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038441.html

Russian peacekeepers & medics

306 refugees returned to Artsakh on Sunday. 1.6km of roads were cleared of explosives, and 1 house was renovated. The peacekeepers have so far renovated 23 houses and rebuilt 8km of electric lines in Martakert. 35 patients were given medical care in Chartar settlement.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038385.html

Russian sappers

Russia's Emergency Ministry presented a new de-mining vehicle that's being used in Artsakh's east. Robots play a big role in these operations; they reduce casualties.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038400.html

Turkish sappers

Turkey will send 64 sappers to join the existing 135 experts to help Azeris clear the Azeri-controlled areas.
https://factor.am/322816.html

Russian aid

Seven more trucks with humanitarian aid arrived in Artsakh from Russia.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203358

housing for Russian peacekeepers

Modular housing blocs were built for 250 Russian envoy members in Stepanakert. It has apartments, a gym, a medical office, and other accommodations.
Photo: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038429.html

interview with Artsakh residents

https://youtu.be/tBb6Wbwovsg?t=8

Spanish city of Santa Pau

... has officially recognized the independence of the Republic of Artsakh. The resolution condemns the Azeri aggression, Turkey's active involvement.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203392

Germany wants to purchase drone missiles

... after analyzing their use in the Artsakh war. Israeli-made Heron TP will be purchased in the coming months.
digit 3: exists
Germany: mhmmm 🤔
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038398.html

COVID stats

+2563 tested. +652 infected. +14 deaths. +604 healed. 18011 active.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038365.html
In Artsakh, 2585 tests have been done since October 1st. 1130 were positive. 70 daily tests nowadays. 232 people have been treated in hospitals; 129 have been discharged. 30 deaths.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038436.html

electricity prices

The Public Utility Commission decided to keep the electricity prices the same for low-income families, and 90% of those who consume less than 400 kW/h. The large-scale consumers will see AMD 3 increase. The rate will go into effect in February. (the nuclear plant will be closed for much of the year for the final big renovation; there were talks that it could impact prices)
https://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/288860/

infrastructure repairs

7km of roads and water drainage were repaired and installed in Horbategh, Vayots Dzor. It's a tourist area. Locals hope the renovations will improve their economic status. Smbataberd, Tsaghatsqar complex, and St. Hreshtakapetats are located nearby.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203420

sports news

Armenia's Sambo team has won 5 medals (2S, 3B) in the world cup.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038364.html
Arthur Davtyan won 4 gold and 2 bronze medals in the Voronin Cup athletics competition. One was won by Armen Petrosyan.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038372.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038387.html
Henrikh Mkhitaryan gave a goal-pass in the third minute. That didn't stop his team Roma from losing to Atlanta 4:1.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038390.html

HimnaDram.org / housing for Artsakh civizens

All Armenia Fund met Artsakh govt to discuss housing for refugees and the homeless. They plan 9 new buildings with 236 in Askeran, 132 in Martuni, while the assessment for capital Stepanakert and elsewhere continues. Contracts were signed with construction firms. Artsakh govt thanked Himnadram for continuous help.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203336

humanitarian aid

Aurora humanitarian foundation has doubled its aid to Artsakh to $400,000. It'll be spent on 46 projects, including on HALO de-mining efforts. Aurora invited charity organizations to visit Artsakh.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038418.html
The Red Cross has provided construction materials to renovate 500 houses in Artsakh.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203399
My Step foundation has donated $13,500 in household appliances to Artsakh families.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203401

you can donate to Artsakh & Armenia

www.1000plus.am (soldiers' medical help)
www.HimnaDram.org (for Artsakh & Armenia)
www.ArmeniaFund.org (U.S. tax-deductible)

archive of older posts

Armeniapedia's archive of my daily news threads:
http://www.armeniapedia.org/wiki/Daily_Anti-Corruption_Reports

disclaimer

All the accused are considered innocent unless proven guilty in the court of law, even if they "sound" guilty.
submitted by ar_david_hh to armenia [link] [comments]

A Cinematic Guide to The Weeknd: Pt 3. My Dear Melancholy and After Hours

A Cinematic Guide to The Weeknd: Pt 3. My Dear Melancholy and After Hours

My Dear Melancholy

Gaspar Noe/Cannes Film Festival
The My Dear Melancholy era notable for being a time when The Weeknd was in proximity to a lot of serious directors. While he’s had a foot in Hollywood for awhile, 2017 through 2019 he was actively engaging with filmmakers like the Safdies Brothers, Gaspar Noe, and Claire Denis, amongst others. While he had been actively courting the Safdies since Good Time was released, he attended the 2018 Cannes Film Festival where he crossed paths Noe, whose film Climax took home a number awards at Cannes. Noe’s Enter the Void had previously served as an inspiration for Kiss Land, and for MDM (and later After Hours) seem to call back to Noe’s other films, like Irreversible and Love, which are both twisted depictions of heartbreak. On the other hand, Climax is about a French dance troupe who accidentally take LSD, and according to Noe is not a “message” movie. It is an audacious psychedelic technical exercise, with numerous long takes and highly choreographed set pieces. The idea for Noe, who had previously captured the feeling of drugs in previous films, was to do the opposite, and present the objectively reality of drugs, watching people high from a sober perspective.
Noe is a rather strong advocate of film, and the opening scene of Climax features VHS boxes of a number of films that have influenced his filmmaking. Two of note are Schizophrenia, otherwise known as Angst, one of Noe’s favorite films which The Weeknd name checked to the Safdies, and Possession, which would go on to be an influence on After Hours (more on this later). He is also said to have sat next to Benicio Del Toro at Cannes, which means he likely caught some of the Un Certain Regard section, where Del Toro served as a jury member. Outside of that section, there were a few other films of interest such as The House That Jack Built from Lars Von Trier (The Weeknd has previously expressed affection for Von Trier’s Antichrist), Mandy from Pastos Costamos, and music video director Romain Gavras’s The World Is Yours, as well as a restoration of 2001: A Space Odyssey, which Noe has referred to as the film that got him into filmmaking.
https://preview.redd.it/qga7a3l8ct261.png?width=910&format=png&auto=webp&s=371cf20d42ee8783cc23bfe7f2cfa16a0a927a0e
Asian Cinema
Later in 2018, The Weeknd continued his globetrotting with a tour of Asia. He once claimed in an interview that whenever visiting a foreign country he only watches films from there. I’ve previously written about the influence of Asian cinema on Kiss Land, and there’s not enough work from the MDM era to glean anything cinematically adjacent to this, but now would be a good time to mention that the "Call Out My Name" video was heavily inspired by the work of famed Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto. The Asian tour poster seems to be a reference to Ichi the Killer, which leads us to Takashi Miike. Though he is notoriously prolific across a number of genres, his most popular works internationally are genre melding blends of horror, comedy and crime, most notably Audition, Ichi the Killer and Gozu. Another film worth mentioning is Perfect Blue, Satoshi Kon’s masterwork about a pop star’s mysterious stalker that The Weeknd posted about on Instagram before. Bloody and haunting, the film was a major influence on Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan and Requiem for a Dream. In Interviews he has also mentioned a number of Korean films, such as The Wailing, I Saw the Devil and Oldboy. While Wong Kar Wai was previously mentioned as an influence on Beauty Behind the Madness, also worth mentioning is the work of John Woo, specifically A Better Tomorrow, well known for the shot of smoking a cigar off money, and Infernal Affairs, Andrew Lau’s crime classic which served has the basis for Scorsese’s The Departed.
https://preview.redd.it/fx7o9s2bct261.png?width=642&format=png&auto=webp&s=0fec2f841e9d3b09104238d0f89595daa6140faa
https://preview.redd.it/n4x7fiy9ct261.png?width=1316&format=png&auto=webp&s=8a9650263272518216fc5f36913e80a10d2b0a8e

After Hours

Martin Scorsese
While After Hours more so than any other Weeknd album is bursting at the seams with cinematic references, the influence of Martin Scorsese stands above all. Similar to The Weeknd’s body of work, many Scorsese’s are explorations of violence and masculinity, investigating them from a perspective that depending on who you ask (and how they’re feeling) glamorizes, condemns or just simply presents the reality of characters on the fringes of society.
While there are direct references to a number of prominent Scorsese films, what’s interesting is that his influence also reverberates in other films/filmmakers that influence After Hours. Todd Phillips’s Joker is in effect an homage to Scorsese’s loner-centric New York films, and the Safdie Brothers have been putting their own millennial spin on the type of 70s gritty thriller that Scorsese trafficked in (Scorsese was also a producer on Uncut Gems). Specific Scorsese works will be discussed more in depth in the requisite sections, but it is worth mentioning upfront what a prominent role that Scorsese plays in the nucleus of After Hours.
https://preview.redd.it/wcds9qpdct261.png?width=1196&format=png&auto=webp&s=246c560c72340782e26ad03b8ff63367999eaadd
Urban HorroIsolation
With After Hours, The Weeknd departs from the slicker sounds and influences that permeated Starboy and returns to the cinematic grittiness of Beauty Behind the Madness. While urban horror is a theme that permeates throughout The Weeknd as a project overall, there is a thorough line to be drawn here that follows a number of 70s and 80s cinematic and aesthetic references. For one thing, while the initial bandaged nose was a reference to Chinatown (previously, The Weeknd has a Kiss Land demo titled "Roman Polanski"), the full bandaged face that is so prominently featured throughout the After Hours era is a classic cinematic visual trope that was especially prominent throughout 60s and 80s, though it saw a slight re-emergence in the 2010s. The fully bandaged face is often used to remake someone in the image of another, usually against their will (The Skin I Live In, Eyes Without Face), or as a case of mistaken identity and doppelgängers (Good Night Mommy, Scalpel), themes present throughout much of After Hours. The "Too Late" video acknowledges these references, but instead presents the bandages on two Los Angeles models recovering from plastic surgery, in a nod to a famous Steven Meisel’s photoshoot for Vogue Italia.
https://preview.redd.it/dtbxjc3ict261.png?width=900&format=png&auto=webp&s=66a98cc3cba73d502f8586a215a65cc41c5408a1
The “masks” people wear is another horror trope that is featured prominently on After Hours, and this is best seen in the red suit character. One important reference in the film is to Brian De Palma’s Dressed To Kill, where a serial killer is targeting the patients of a psychiatrist (any more on this film will veer towards spoiler territory). The Weeknd is on the record as saying Jim Carrey’s The Mask as being a large influence on the Red Suit character, it being one of the first film’s he watched in theaters. One of the more complex references would be to Joker. While it sort of an in-joke that the character of the Joker is commonly overanalyzed and misinterpreted, referencing Todd Phillips’s Joker is more nuanced because it is in essence a full on homage to Martin Scorsese’s New York films, most notably Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy, which focus on eccentric loners, and can both be seen as cautionary tale of urban isolation, a theme explored perhaps in songs like "Faith." The King of Comedy revolves around a would be obsessive stand up Rupert Pupkin haggling his way to perform on late night TV, with The Weeknd’s talk show appearances being a prominent part of the early After Hours marketing, most notably in the “short film”. This idea of isolated and compressed urbanites recurs throughout After Hours and it’s films.
https://preview.redd.it/egap17ttdt261.png?width=900&format=png&auto=webp&s=1aab204ac0845a7df74ceeff6d1f714274f9ace0
The idea of urban repression is in the subway scene of the After Hours short film. The entire film itself is something of a reference to the subway scene to Possession (another Gaspar Noe favorite), mimicking the (also subway set) scene in which Isabelle Adjani’s Anna convulses on the subway due to a miscarriage, as well as Jacob’s Ladder, a 90s cult classic horror film starring Tim Robbins as a Vietnam vet (like Taxi Driver’s Travis Bickle) who is experiencing demonic hallucinations, encountering them in the subway and later at a party he attends, splitting the scene into two.
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Las Vegas
As always, The Weeknd once again grounds After Hours with a strong sense of place, this time setting the album against a nocturnal odyssey through Las Vegas. One of the most prominent films is Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Terry Gilliam’s adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson’s book. This is directly referenced in the "Heartless" video, which sees The Weeknd and Metro Boomin in the Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro roles as they tumble through a Las Vegas casino. The Weeknd has gone on the record to state that the famous red suit character was influenced by Sammy Davis Jr.’s character in the film Poor Devil. However, similar red suit has also been sported by a number of Vegas characters, most notably Richard Pryor and Robert De Niro’s Sam Rothstein in Martin Scorsese’s Casino. With the red suit, The Weeknd seems to be playing with the idea of a devil-ish other, another side of his personality that emerges in Las Vegas.
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While the city lights are the oft discussed part of part of Las Vegas, it should be noted that similar to Beauty Behind the Madness, the desert that surrounds Las Vegas is just as important to the juxtaposition of its beauty. The "Until I Bleed Out" video ends/"Snowchild" video in the desert, similar to the confrontation between Robert De Niro’s and Joe Pesci’s showdown in the desert in Casino, as well as Joe Pesci's death in Goodfellas. The idea of a hedonistic desert playground also bears semblance to Westworld, both the film and the TV show. The desert seems to represent some sort of freedom to The Weeknd, as the "Snowchild" video portrays the desert as a pensive location for reflection, as well as the "In Your Eyes" video showing the girl prominently dancing with the dismembered head out in the open, in reference to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, another prominent desert film.
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New York/The Safdies
Despite it’s Las Vegas setting, After Hours also takes a good amount from films set in New York, most notably Martin Scorsese’s 1983 film After Hours. Besides the title, After Hours is similarly about a twisting and turning nighttime odyssey. The film stars Griffin Dunne as Paul, a working class stiff who heads downtown to rendezvous with a woman he met at a diner earlier that night. Of course, things don’t turn out the way they should, chaos ensues, and Paul is set on a dangerous trek back uptown. Like the film, the album After Hours is set off by a woman (though the album takes more stock in romantic endeavors), seems to be set over a single night (or at least a condensed period of time), and involves similar chaos and misadventures (sirens at night at the end of Faith). Tonally, After Hours the film is more comedic perhaps than After Hours the album, however The Weeknd is on the record as having said that "Heartless" and "Blinding Lights" placement on the album is intended to be somewhat comedic, reflecting exaggerated machismo and ecstasy, respectively (to comedic effect).
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Another of the most prominent filmmakers of After Hours are the Safdies, who featured The Weeknd in Uncut Gems. They also served as a link to Oneohtrix Point Never, who scored their last two films and later worked After Hours. I believe there are three major film tropes (not genres) that inspired After Hours, all of which the Safdies’s have engaged with. There is the one-long-night films, in which a character spends one-long-night on the run from whatever chaos and forces may be that they left in their path. This can be seen in the Good Time, as well as After Hours (the movie). Then, there is the descent-into-madness type, where a character slowly loses grip with reality and ends up in over their head (something like Scarface or Breaking Bad, but for our purposes Jacob’s Ladder can be categorized here as well), which the Safdies did with Uncut Gems. Lastly, but maybe most importantly, the Safdies also explored toxic romance (more on this later) in their less seen film Heaven Knows What, about two heroin addicts and the destructiveness their love brings out in each other, an idea that recurs throughout After Hours on songs like "Until I Bleed Out" and "Nothing Compares." A recurring song throughout Heaven Knows What is Isao Tomita’s synth version of Debussy’s "Claire De Lune", which is featured in some episodes of Memento Mori and bears some resemblance to the start of "Alone Again".
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Obsession/Toxic Romance
While love and lust and the ups and downs with it have been a formative part of The Weeknd’s ideology and themes, I don’t think it would be remiss to say that After Hours is perhaps his most outwardly romantic album. Despite this, one of the major arcs of the album is toxicity that comes with it, which a number of already mentioned films deal with. While "In Your Eyes" is one of the more romantic and accessible songs on the album, a re-assessment of it Ala Sting’s “Every Breathe You Take” could frame it as lonely obsessing, such as Travis Bickle’s infatuation with Jodie Foster’s teenage prostitute Iris, Joker's fixation on Murray Franklin, Rupert Pupkin’s obsession with Jerry Langford. Casino also deals with toxic romance, another prominent theme in After Hours, best seen in the love triangle that forms between Sam, his partner Nicky and his wife Ginger, played by Joe Pesci and Sharon Stone respectively.
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In almost all of the After Hours’s video content, The Weeknd seems to constantly meet his demise at the hands of women. Another interesting reference that may be something of a reach is to Phantom Thread, Paul Thomas Anderson’s film about Reynolds Woodcock, a couture dressmaker loosely based on Cristobal Balenciaga and his muse Alma, played by Daniel Day Lewis and Vicky Krieps, respectively. The film delves into their dysfunctional relationship, with Woodcock berating her and Alma poisoning his tea to keep him dependent on her. One of the highpoint of the film is a New Years Eve Party that bears strong resemblance to the "Until I Bleed Out" video. While the balloons may just be a callback to his earlier work, there is something about the color grading/temperature and the production design of the "Until I Bleed Out" video (as well as parts of the "Blinding Lights" video) that made me immediately think of Phantom Thread. A similar relationship is seen in the German horror film Der Fan, which The Weeknd has mentioned in a recent interview. In Der Fan, a young girl Simone spends her days obsessing over popstar R, until she finally encounters him outside his studio. The film is similar to the aforementioned Takashi Miike’s Audition in its exploration of obsession and idealization. In the film, an older man puts up a fake casting call to search for the perfect girlfriend. While Audition explores these themes from an Eastern perspective of societal pressure, Der Fan explores it through a Western lens of pop idolization and idealization. Both films deal with the idea that despite outward appearances, the perfect partner does not exist, and anyone that claims to be (or has the expectations put on them) is not who they seem.
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One film he has spoken at length about is Trouble Everyday, Claire Denis’s arthouse vampire movie. The film stars Vincent Gallo as Shane, a scientist who travels to Paris under the guise of his honeymoon to track down core, a woman who he was once obsessed with who has now become a vampire. Core is locked up in a basement but sometimes sneaks out to seduce and consume unwilling victims. This seems to be where some of the bloody face stuff comes from, but I believe it’s influence is a little more conceptual. To me, a good companion film to Trouble Everyday is American Psycho, which seems to also have been a thematic influence on After Hours. Both films concern idealized version of masculinity and femininity, both very sexual and physical, but hostile as well. American Psycho ends with Patrick Bateman confessing to the killing of a prostitute, but no one believe him. Trouble Everyday ends with Shane killing Core, but Shane is unable to arouse himself after that except through violence. Koji Wakamatsu, a former Yakuza turned prominent extreme Japanese filmmaker (and a major influence on Gaspar Noe) is quoted as saying “For me, violence, the body and sex are an integral part of life.” Despite being hollow, idealized impressions of the self, a vampire and as a banker (cold, seductive bloodsuckers = monsters), Patrick Bateman and Core represent the Frankenstein-ian relationship between sexuality and violence, which I believe is the main theme of After Hours. Truly, we hurt the ones we love.
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Postscript

To cap things off, I would just like to illuminate some key takeaways. As a filmmaker myself, this has been an extremely helpful exercise in understanding other artists process and ideas.
Steeped in the history of the medium…
It’s clear that The Weeknd is not your typical “I’m influenced by cinema” artist but an extremely legit film buff with serious credentials. The Weeknd’s film taste leans towards 70s-00s genre works, mostly horror, drama and thriller, and is well versed in the classics but also has the nose to sniff out deeper cuts and obscurities. The mantra of “good artists borrow, great artists steal” works even better if not many people know where you’re stealing from! What is impressive to me is that he is not just versed in “mainstream” obscurities, but also serious deep cuts. Films like Possession and Phantom of the Paradise may not stick out to the average person on the street but are well known in most film circles. Films like Inland Empire and New Rose Hotel (Der Fan was especially impressive to me, it is one of my favorite films) however are not as well known and it is very impressive to me that he can come across films like that, and really get enough out of it to bring into his own work.
…is able to interpolate contemporary/mainstream films…
This perhaps is one of the most impressive aspects of his integration of film into The Weeknd’s work. It is very easy for film buffs to get lost within their own obscure taste, living in a world where everyone is an idiot for not knowing who Shinya Tsukamoto. Trilogy and Kiss Land had a lot of contemporary obscurities, like Stalker, David Lynch etc., well known but they still existed as artifacts, not of the time we live in. However, perhaps picking something from his work on Fifty Shades of Grey, of late he has kept his finger on the zeitgeist and anticipated/integrated what the filmmakers of today are doing, such as his work on Black Panther and Game of Thrones, general appreciation of Tarantino, the works of Nicolas Winding Refn in Starboy, and his use of the Joker and Uncut Gems on After Hours, both of which came out just a few months before the album. It feels Jackson-esque, and I believe this is one thing that will help him further in his quest for pop stardom.
…while also being fully in tune to the works of modern transgressive auteurs…
In addition to keeping up with the mainstream is in touch with, The Weeknd also makes it a point to seek out and learn from the cutting edge filmmakers of today. While the Safdies were always going to blow up, I don’t doubt that a Weeknd co-sign accelerated their rise. Gaspar Noe is one thing, Enter the Void and Irreversible exist as masterpieces of the mainstream obscurities I’ve been mentioning, but he really truly tries to understand the heart of Noe’s work, even going so far back as to understand Noe’s influences (I sincerely hope he is tuned in to the work of Koji Wakamatsu). But most of all, to be a fan of Claire Denis is one thing, but to seek her out and make her an offer that she ACCEPTED is absolutely astounding to me. Just spitballing but it would be like if Michael Jackson shot a music video with Rainer Werner Fassbinder (who I’d bet good money that The Weeknd was put on to by Noe). We can only PRAY that one day we will be blessed with a David Lynch Weeknd video.
---------------------------
…and that just about does it. Hope you enjoyed this and thanks for being patient with me. I got quite busy after the first two and had my own projects/work going that kept me occupied. As we’re still technically in the After Hours era, I also wanted to wait until a few more videos and interviews came out to aid me in my research.
I also wanted to find enough time to make the Letterboxd for this. I personally don’t love Letterboxd culture, I find the popular culture surrounding the site a bit snobbish and exclusive, but I’ve gotten a number of requests for one and you gotta give the people what they want. Throughout the list are a few films that he hasn’t mentioned but are some of my personal favorites and I believe Weeknd fans will like, I encourage you to accidentally stumble upon things on it. Don't overthink, just pick something and watch!
If you’d like to follow me further, you can find me on Instagram here, where I post about film reviews Letterboxd style. I prefer Instagram so that more average people see it instead of an echo chamber of film snobs. I am also a filmmaker myself, I just recently wrapped this short film and am currently in the process of putting together my next project.
The main reason I did this however, besides a general appreciation of The Weeknd’s work, was to put more people on to the beautiful art form that is cinema. One thing I learned from Scorsese is that one must be an advocate and truly champion your medium. I hope that this encourages to check out more interesting movies than they wouldn’t normally come across, and I hope this will inspire more people to create more as well, whether it be to write, make films, music, anything. If even one person picks up a pencil, a camera or a keyboard because of these posts, I will be satisfied.
Thanks all!
submitted by eve_salmon to TheWeeknd [link] [comments]

A Wishlist for the future

Hey all. Here’s another post with another person’s ideal additions to the game. And yes, I want bugs to be fixed, too. I just wanted to write up a list of things besides bugs, since we all know they exist. I’ve organized these by categories to an extent, but some of them certainly overlap.

Gameplay:

* Decisions that affect the game. I understand that can be difficult given the multiplayer nature, but it is not impossible, and very much needed.
* Phasing. This builds on top of the former. Phasing would allow us to see different things in certain places depending on where we are in the story and what we’ve done. This was already sort of implemented with Wastelanders and interiors, but it could be expanded upon to really improve the game. If I make a decision that blows up another faction’s town, then the town should look destroyed to me, but intact for someone who did not destroy it. World of Warcraft does this very well. When you enter certain zones, you’re kind of just instantly phased into a zone that is tailored to you and your game. Your party members are still visible on your map, and if they’re at the same point in the story, they remain visible to you and you all see the same things. If they’re not, then they remain visible on your map, but invisible in the actual game and are phased into their own version of the zone. I know the fallout engine is old, but so is WoW’s, and they’ve had to work on it a lot over the years. Phasing was only implemented back in 2014, I believe.
* Mail and banking systems. It drives me insane that I can’t send items to my alts, or even other people. It’s also maddening that I can’t access an account-wide stash. Some of my characters have exactly what the others need, but the only way I can transfer it over is by being a FO1st member and then hoping I can log in and out fast enough on a private server to pick up some stuff that I dropped on the other character. That’s not a great system. Plus, think about how fun it would be to RP as a mailman in Appalachia. Just leave some goodies in mailboxes and skip off.
* Better Survival. I can appreciate trying to balance survival needs without crippling us if we forget to sleep or eat, but… survival adds so much to the game. We’re in a desolate wasteland, trying to rebuild society while also trying to find edible food, drinkable water, and not get destroyed by a giant mutated bat. I’ve always found RPGs so strange in that they rarely force you to actually take care of your character. You’re just this invincible adventurer that never has to eat or drink or sleep or even hit the john. We have to restore mana, but not our bellies? When Fallout started including survival elements, it made the game next-level for me. FNV was so much harder and exciting when I needed to find food without a cazador killing me every five seconds. FO4 was incredible with all the crafting and cooking and dying before I found a bed. FO76 has the advantage of not needing to save, so survival can really be implemented without making the game as difficult as previous entries have been. Recently, the food and water debuffs were nerfed, which is the opposite of what should have been done. With all of these amazing recipes in the game, there should be a need to eat them. We should need our water purifiers. We should need a bed. We should be weakened if we don’t take care of ourselves. Diseases should actually hurt us. Survival has been one of the unique, and brilliant traits in Fallout as an RPG, and it should be expanded upon, not shrunk down.
* Fishing. I’ve seen a lot of people asking for this, with a small amount saying they wouldn’t like it. If you don’t want it, you don’t have to use the feature. Fishing could be so freaking fun. It doesn’t need to be complicated. Action button to cast, action button to reel in. However, with fishing tournaments, unique loot, new food recipes, new weapons, new enemy encounters, and more, fishing would quickly add a fantastic experience to the game. There’s gotta be mutated fish in those waters, and I wanna catch them. It’s always puzzled me that this wasn’t implemented in FO4, honestly. All of Far Harbor was fishy, and yet, there were no fish. We could also have fish nets/traps in our camps; something we can put in the water and use to catch fish over time. I loved the idea of trappers in FH, and this would also allow some great RP.
* Mini-games. Holotapes of games that we can play on our pip-boys are cool! It’d be even cooler if we could place arcade machines in our camp like we could do in FO4. Maybe in a future settlement, there’s a casino. Let’s wager some caps and go for it. Got a deck of cards? Cool, let’s play some Caravan while we wait for an event to pop up.
* Achievements. I love the challenges. I know not everyone does, and that’s fine. I like having to work toward weird little goals. An achievement system could add to the current season passes and challenges. I don’t know exactly what it would do, but I know that I would like seeing a banner pop up saying that I’ve achieved something, and then be able to show off my achievement somehow with a trophy or something. Obviously, Scoreboard does this in a way already, it would just be cool to have other types of achievements to display.
* Better farming. If I can plant a wild blackberry at my camp, I should also be able to plant a pumpkin or cranberry or anything else. Maybe we have to complete a questline to plant certain things, that’s totally fine! I like the idea that certain ingredients and plants are more rare and difficult to attain. It only makes sense that we should be able to plant them in our camp, too, though.
* More maps. This one is obviously something that should grow overtime. I know there's hints that we may be able to go to other states fairly soon, and I really hope that's true. It sounded like they will be places we've visited in past games, which is an awesome idea. I would love to see new areas, though! We've yet to visit really anywhere in the south, but there's a ton of potential for the Fallout down there, I think!


Roleplay and Combat:

* More clothes. I dunno about y’all, but I like to make characters based off a combination of name, outfits, “occupation,” and then their build. So, for instance, a mailman as mentioned above would be wearing a postman outfit (model exists in fo4 already) to fit his theme, and then maybe specialize in thrown weapons. I mean, that sucker should be able to just chuck stuff at their enemies (will expand more on throwables later). But, there’s no mailman outfit. For all the gunslinger fun, there’s really not a whole lot of cowboy-esque outfits. The “western” ones are decent, but the pants look pretty weird on the characters for whatever reason. Some more cowboy outfits would be great. More flannels, please, holy moly. We’re in Appalachia. There should be flannels everywhere. I want to run around as a lumberjack and just decimate people with an axe. There’s so many fun possibilities for characters, we just need more clothes to make more unique looking builds.
* Display character names. Please, please, please. What is the point in naming a character and coming up with a story and theme and build if everyone just sees “biscuitlicker42069” in the game??? It makes no sense. There is absolutely no reason to not show character names. If we want to play with people again, we just add them. Still don’t need to know their account name. And, please allow us to rename characters. Other games simply charge a fee to rename your characters. I’d love if this were a free feature, but whatever, do what you must, just allow us to change their names. If we can change everything else on the spot, we should also be able to change their names, especially if their names are being displayed.
* Special/perk resets. Let us go to an NPC and wipe everything so that we can easily rebuild characters. My first character was alllll over the place. Now I’m having to spend twice the amount of time I would by just starting a new character to be able to move his build around and make him actually viable. I don’t want to delete my first character. I just want to rebuild him (and maybe change his name).
* Give us more than 5 character slots. Why???? Why are we limited to 5???? I make alts on alts in every single game. I’m an altoholic. It’s a problem. But usually a game at least lets me make like, 10 characters per server. Not 5 account-wide. There are so many different builds you could try in this game, yet you’re forced to choose 5. I want my throwables mailman. I want my bloodied chef. I want my junkie cowboy. I want my irradiated barbarian. I want my power armored energy heavy gunner that works in the mines and collects ore in his excavator set. I want a stealth archer. I want a sniper. I want a fisherman that stabs mirelurks with harpoons and a pole hook. I want a farmer that runs around with a flaming pitchfork. I want a hippie musician that pacifies animals but demolishes humans with a guitar sword. I want a character that worships cryptids and only uses primal weapons. I want a bartender that just launches molotovs. There’s SO many things that we could do with all the perks and all the very cool weapons out there. We should have more character slots to be able to try these things out.
* Better throwables. As is, throwing knives are great until about level 20. Nothing makes them do more damage. Sheepsquatch quills have poison damage, but that’s it. Throwing weapons are really untapped right now. They could be so much fun. Meat cleavers are so savage, and taking my chef around with a rolling pin, or ripper, or flamer, or meat hook, and then also launching meat cleavers at enemies would be incredible. More perks that improve explosives and throwables in general are really needed to make them usable.
* More Factions. I don’t particularly care for the BoS, or the Enclave. I still enjoyed running around doing errands for MODUS, and I’m sure I’ll still enjoy the BoS quests. I didn’t like Paige’s attitude upon first meeting him. I did like Meg, though. And I enjoyed completing the Wastelanders quest line with both of them. Getting to work with these four factions is great. I’m a huge fan of working with factions and even playing multiple sides in my Fallout playthroughs. With that said, it’d be awesome to see more factions.

Community:

* Hub cities. Crater and Foundation were steps in the right direction, but not many people hang out there. Hub cities would be great for trade and teaming up, and make the game feel more alive.
* On the same note, perhaps an Auction House. I love vendors, don’t get me wrong. They bring people to your camps, and that’s awesome. But maybe we could have like themed weekly auctions. You can only auction certain types of items that fit the weekly themes. I dunno. Just a thought.
* Chat so that we can talk in a trade channel in the city, or a zone’s general channel, or with our party, etc.
* Dedicated servers. Now, I love being able to server hop. But the game desperately needs some sort of structure like this. Being able to hit up your friends and say, “Hey, I’m playing on Rob-Co tonight, let’s all head there,” would open up a lot of multiplayer options, including the auction house as mentioned above. It’d also definitely make clans/guilds more of a thing, which is a big plus. This would also!!!! Really!!!!! Help!!!!!! Server disconnection issues!!!!!!! Even if we still D/C, we can just log back into the server we were D/C’d from! No more losing loot or missing events because we got disconnected in the middle of a fight! Just log back in and continue! (That’s not to say that server stability improvements wouldn’t be welcomed, though…)
* Allow more players in the servers. I don’t know if this was a design choice, or a necessity due to the engine, but I really want more players in the servers. Sometimes the maps are depressingly empty, so I server hop, and find a ton of people on a different one. Allowing us to pick dedicated servers and allowing more players on each server would really build an even stronger community.
* This one is probably controversial, but, Level Caps. It’s so unbelievably weird to me that we’re allowed to level willy-nilly infinitely. What’s the point of that? Why are there players in the thousands? We never should’ve been allowed to level past 50. I think we should be reset down to 50, allowed to rebuild our characters for free (then pay caps to an npc to rebuild afterwards), and then steadily increase the cap over time. When “expansions” or DLC come out, then we get an increase, with fresh new (or old if you needed an old one) perks and special points that we can add, instead of having to take a point from somewhere else. This is how pretty much every other online game works, and it would make leveling a lot more exciting when the cap increases.
* Instances/Dungeons. The game really needs more of these. A lot more. Give us more end-game content. Give us a reason to need certain builds. Give us a reason to need a power armored 2H melee build, a stealthy ranged build, a medic build, a commando build, etc. all working together. Currently, teams are just kind of there. They’re almost never necessary. No roles are filled. It’s not like we have a tank, 2 dps, and a healer. But we could, so easily, and it’d be so, so, so tight.

The game has incredible potential. It really does. It is so unique. It has fascinating, deep lore that most of us have been invested in for years and years. The setting is breathtaking, and I can’t wait to see where else we go. However, it kind of scratches the surfaces of survival, RPG, and MMO, without really developing a solid foundation in any of them. I really feel adding some, if not all, of these things would help counter that. I’m looking forward to playing this game for years to come and seeing how it progresses. I played WoW for around 11 years (and will probably hop back into it soon to try out the new expansion), and I absolutely love being able to invest time into games like that and see my hard work go toward something. WoW felt like a second home. Many of us play video games for enjoyment, for an escape, for the feeling of success, for community. FO76 is a brilliant game capable of doing the same for a very, very long time. And that’s a good thing! We probably won’t see Fallout 5 for another decade. This game will be our wasteland home until then, and sometimes homes need some renovations and additions.

I may add more bullets or points to this list if I think of more, and will be sure to add a note when/if I do. I would love to hear what you all think, and what additions you would like.

I want to thank everyone that works on this game. I know it probably hasn’t been even remotely easy. I know that Covid has probably been affecting your lives, too. I know that at times, it probably seems like nothing you do will ever make the players happy. I know that your passion for games may be weakened at times because of the stress surrounding your jobs. Your work is greatly appreciated, though. You are bringing an experience like no other to us. You are providing these moments of joy. These escapes. The setting for our communities. Thank you for everything you’ve done, and everything you continue to do. You are appreciated.
submitted by -outstanding- to fo76 [link] [comments]

Explanation of the terms in the Iceberg of Final Fantasy XIV secrets and conspiracies.

Greetings my fellows Final Fantasy XIV players. My name is Sirocco "Shameless Flirter" Occoris, and I have been playing FF14 since the first day of 2.0 Early Access (so almost 7 years) and never actually stopped playing. My /playtime is 1253 days and with the permission of u/papayatulus to use his iceberg picture as the reference I will try to explain all the terms that are on that. His original thread is here https://www.reddit.com/ffxiv/comments/hs0fi5/the_iceberg_of_final_fantasy_14_secrets_and/. A user https://old.reddit.com/ffxiv/comments/hs0fi5/the_iceberg_of_final_fantasy_14_secrets_and/fy9ag14/ wishes someone to explain all to them so I'm here to fulfill that request. Please feel free to let me know if I have anything wrong. This post will be full of spoilers big and small, so please read at your own risks.
Note: From this point onward (the third row), there appears to be less and less known features and more memes.
Note: Most of the terms in the bottom row are memes.
Thank you all if I use any of the threads that you started.
Edit 1: Thank you very much for the medal!
Edit 2: I was able to clarify a few terms and make some adjustments thanks to the people commenting below.
submitted by SiroccoTheDawn to ffxiv [link] [comments]

An unnecessarily long analysis as to why I think Ride or Die is the best written book in Pixelberry's library

Okay, I want to start this by saying that while Endless Summer is my favorite book due to emotional attachment (Yeah, this is no longer the case as of October 31st, ROD GOAT) I still think that Ride or Die comfortably surpasses it and every other Choices story when it comes to writing quality. I've been consuming some truly kino media like Steins;Gate, The Last of Us Part II and Better Call Saul in the past few months but seeing that the tumblr side of the fandom was having a ROD Appreciation Week made me have the book constantly wrestling for time in my mind along all those other things that I greatly enjoyed (Obviously, I'm not trying to imply this is anywhere near the same level of quality as these other pieces, cause that'd just be stupid) but yeah, I've been wanting to talk in depth about why I hold Ride or Die in such high regard for a long time now, so this post is for me, for anyone else that might be big fans of the book or even for people that didn't like it and don't understand why it's a fan favorite. It's also my late, not proofread contribution to the appreciation week since I can't really draw for shit.
PREMISE AND THEMES
Quick summary, it’s a story about growing up and finding oneself that focuses on an 18 year old girl in her last weeks of high school that joins a criminal crew without even realizing it due to her sheltered life making her feel like she missed out on her teenage years for the past 5 years since, after her mother’s death, her dad became incredibly protective of her. As she grows attached to the crew she gets deeply immersed in their world until she realizes what the pursue of freedom, fast cars and bad boys/girls truly entails. Of course, you all know that.
So, themes. Most Choices stories don’t have any big, noticeable theme that encompasses the entire story they’re trying to tell, which is completely fine since you can still write a good, compelling story without it (Unless you’re David Benioff). Of course, while not necessary, overarching themes elevate a story a lot more in my eyes if executed properly and I feel like Ride or Die excels at it. And what are these themes? Well, obviously, it’s up to every individual’s interpretation but to me the three biggest stand outs are freedom, obviously; the choice between someone’s own past and future; and how the typical Bad Boy Romance is not always the cheesy, idealized life most of us are used to. I’ll explain how the story presents these themes in the following segments.
ELLIE WHEELER, aka THE MC
I’ve raved about her at almost every chance I get because I feel like I can make a pretty compelling argument as to why she’s the best MC and one of the best characters PB’s ever written, but it’s about time I finally sat down to properly explain this stance. I might refer to her as Ellie at times instead of MC since I just don’t like having an essay this big and introspective and just referring to her as MC, even if I didn’t actually keep her default name myself.
So, let’s start from what most of the ROD MC masterrace knows about, she’s different from 95% of the MCs. She has a clear goal, a clear personality and, one of the most rare traits in MCs, her dad’s an actual character and he has an actual relationship with her. She’s also far from perfect, she’s an incredibly smart young woman that lacks “street” knowledge and as she gets in deeper and deeper with the MPC, her previous and new relationships suffer because of it, because she doesn’t know how to juggle both sides of her life. The hardships Ellie has to face are both products of the environment she lives in and a product of her mistakes, which acts as a nice balance so that she doesn’t come of as a bumbling idiot that fucks up everything for everyone and an overly perfect protagonist who’s only flaw is that the world just plots against her so that there can be a story to tell.
Her goal is a pretty simple one, she wants to go to Langston university, her dream school. The thing that stands out to me is how she never betrays her dream and it’s always present in the back of her mind, well, technically you can choose to skip out on all of her classes but that always seemed really out of character to me, so I’m not really taking that into account, since she expresses that she loves to learn and she sees it as a challenge to be better than herself from yesterday. She manages to involve Logan into her school life so she isn’t fully distracted from her studies and even when she’s living on the Gramercy Garage, she still finds time to study for her finals. Even when everything goes to shit and she starts losing sight of who she is, Logan, Colt and Mona know that being a criminal is not the life she’s meant to live and it isn’t until after prom that she realizes who she really is. There’s so many choices throughout the story that, while ultimately not relevant to the outcome, I feel can add a lot of character to her if you’re willing to “headcanon” a bit, so minor things such as picking the color of her car due to it being the same as Logan’s or the one Colt or Mona suggested, choosing to listen to rap music as she’s driving the MPC around since it can be seen as a rebellious sort of music that her dad probably wouldn’t have approved of, treating Brent’s party invitation as something of no importance to her, getting a tattoo… wait this one’s supposed to be big, why does no one acknowledge it dammit? Then there’s also some bigger choices such as her being able to tell Riya that she’s most excited about being able to leave LA on the first chapter or being able to choose to stay with Logan and help him fight Salazar, choosing to focus on her studies even when living with the MPC, and so on.
Now, how is she tied to the themes I mentioned above? Well, it’s clear that her desire for freedom and independence is what initially leads her to want to be a part of the MPC’s life, when Kaneko brought her to the garage for the first time she didn’t quite see them as criminals, but as people that lived as they wanted and were still, well, humans. She’s constantly seeking her own freedom from her dad’s overbearing presence and from her own boring life and she achieves it twice, one is the fake freedom she got when she ran away after her dad found out about her involvement with the MPC and the second one is what I like to think of as her true freedom. The definition of true freedom is tied to the second theme I mentioned, the choice between past and future, after the Brotherhood attacks her and her LI after prom she realizes that she can no longer try to keep on living both lives, the nerdy valedictorian girl and the criminal that gets a thrill by being behind the wheel, the inability to choose between one and the other is what initially landed her into that mess and it’s only by finally choosing that she’s able to get herself and everyone else from the MPC out. It’s a very unique way of showing a character being strong, she got herself out of the mess she herself helped cause and she did it without the conventional strengths of MCs such as being a warrior queen, a part of an alien entity that transcends time or a literal vampire.
Ultimately, she chose to embrace her future (And her past, in a roundabout way), her long time dream, which meant letting go of the life and people that once made her feel so free and alive and by doing so, she got the freedom she desired so much while also finding who she truly was and what she valued in life. That’s also tied to the third main theme I mentioned, in the end she couldn’t keep on living an idealized version of the bad boy romance where you get to keep a good life out of living on the wrong side of the law and while I could definitely go more in depth about how she embodies this theme, I’ll do that when I talk about other characters, since I’ve already talked about about Ellie a lot.
LOGAN
The cover boy, the boy with the car, the “bad boy”, the mandatory “good boi” LI, the only Love Interest that has managed to rival Quinn Kelly in terms of how much I love them. I feel like the love for all 3 LIs is mostly evenly distributed on this sub but I’ve definitely seen some people say that Logan is kinda boring compared to Colt and Mona and honestly, that just couldn’t be further from the truth in my mind. Prepare for another long ass analysis.
Being a fan of the anime/manga series Attack on Titan has made me gain a great, great appreciation for story recontextualization and that narrative element is exactly what Logan brings to the story at the end of Chapter 10 and boy, did Luke and the team knock that shit out of the park with how they implemented that tool into their story. ROD Ch. 10 is notorious for being the chapter that officially turned the book from an initially hated book that people were slowly warming up to, to a current fan favorite as far as online communities are concerned, seriously, you can look up the discussion for that chapter in the search bar and the first comment you’ll see if someone taking back everything negative they said about the book and then it’s just constant praising for the next 6 weeks. Why did all of that happen? Because of how much starts making sense or becoming clearer because of the reveal that Logan initially started dating (?) MC because he was trying to get whatever intel her dad had on them from her, seriously, everything becomes so clear after the end of the chapter, everything starts falling into place like a carefully crafted Lego build, be it for the stories’ themes or for characterization of characters like Colt, Mona, Kaneko, Jason and Logan himself.
Let’s focus on Logan for now though. A couple of chapters in, as we start learning more about his life, we can see that Logan is someone that’s never truly had someone in his life that could show him true human love and bonds, the closest he has to that prior to Ellie is his “cousin” Vaughn. Initially, it seems like a weak attempt at making the titular bad boy seem like a layered character, specially since he seemingly just fell for a random girl that literally stumbled upon him on a high school parking lot, but in reality the reason his fake interest in Ellie started to become reality was exactly because of the lack of proper, meaningful connections, which we couldn’t have known until after Colt reveals the truth. As we know, Logan always had the mentality that, no matter how good a crew might be, he should always be ready to bail when the heat is too much, that’s a philosophy that he adopted and he knows that any criminal that’s as good as him will share the same sentiment, which proves to be the case when the MPC immediately disbands after Kaneko’s death... but Ellie isn’t a hardened, professional criminal, she’s a girl that, while certainly enamored by the allure of their life, still sees them as people, not as mere means to an end that are just fun to hang out with, which is why she doesn’t run away after the escape from the mall or the encounter with Salazar’s crew at the drive-in cinema, that’s not something Logan thinks people are capable of, why would such a saint of a girl not get away from them after things like that?
That’s when Logan’s guilt enters the scene. He tries to undo what he now considers to have been a great mistake since he’s slowly catching real feelings for the girl that was just supposed to spill all of Detective Wheeler’s info and leave them as soon as she realized how dangerous their life was, but how is he supposed to do that now when doing so would mean losing this person that’s so incredibly unique in his world? We see how his guilt starts weighing on him more and more as the story progresses, until he almost does something very stupid by almost revealing the truth right before the stadium job, so he probably wouldn’t have lasted much without revealing it but, for better or worse, Colt was the one that did it for him and once again Logan turns Ellie’s whole world upside down. For the rest of the book, he does everything in his power to show her that, while he was lying in the beginning, he actually did come to care for her a lot (even if his actions might’ve pushed her into the arms of Colt or Mona, or at least acted as the final push in their routes).
After the MPC disbanded there was only one person I could see appearing on Riya’s doorstep when I played through ROD during release and that was Logan, because it just made all the sense in the world in my mind. Backtracking a bit, we know from his two diamond scenes on the early chapters that Logan dropped out of high school but he always liked to learn about random stuff, hence him reading while on the road, and that he always toyed with the idea of going back (He also says that he’d probably be graduating that year if he hadn’t dropped out, which tells us that he’s the youngest of the 3 LIs, which is a neat detail), so I always saw that as him showing up not just for Ellie’s sake but also for himself in a way, since it’d be a good way to live out the life he never had, even if just for a few hours. Speaking of prom night, I absolutely adore how when he tells Ellie he loves her, she can reply with “Logan… no you don’t.” since it’s only natural she wouldn’t believe him 100% since not only did they get together through a web of lies spun by him and Kaneko, but because as far as she knows, Logan can’t possibly know what real love feels like.
Fast forward to the final chapter and it’s time for the MPC to go their own ways, for real this time, to avoid getting entangled with the FBI and, even if Logan wasn’t your actual LI he still shows that he’s completely accepting of the fact that he isn’t the one Ellie loves, and on both cases he shows that he also grew to truly love her by deciding to not be a part of her life any more, because it just isn’t feasible for her to pursue her dreams while also being involved with potential suspects on the FBI watch list, so he chooses her future over his because he can’t and he won’t let her risk her future for something as small as a space rock lucky enough to burn up in her atmosphere for a moment and with that, a heartfelt kiss, an explicit and tacit declaration of love, a request for Troublemaker to give ‘em hell and a brief but tense showdown with Detective Wheeler, Logan speeds off into the night.
COLT KANEKO
The actual leather wearing bad boy of the story that sauntered his way into the hearts of many fans, both as a character and a love interest, he’s sarcastic, he’s funny, he’s soft-ish only with the MC and he’s also a multilayered character, how could he not be liked? I want to preface this section by saying that, just like with really popular LIs such as Jake Mackenzie, Damien Nazario or Ethan Ramsey, I could never bring myself to like Colt in a romantic way, even though I can certainly see the appeal of their route but even then, just like the aforementioned gentlemen, he’s still one of my favorite characters of the series regardless of that, simply because of how much he brings to the table. So without further ado, let’s get started with Mr. “Christ, who caaares?” Kaneko’s unnecessarily long essay.
Right off the bat we can see that Colt has a bone to pick with Logan due to their relationship with Kaneko, he’s always butting heads with Logan and Kaneko at the beginning because he resents both, the latter for sending him away to college and not being willing to let him in on the family business and the former for, in his eyes, being the son Kaneko always wanted, not knowing that the only reason his dad kept him away from the business and seemingly replaced him with Logan was because if Jason actually harmed the MPC he could live with the loss of Logan on his conscience, but not Colt’s. As time goes on Colt finds himself slowly warming up to Ellie, even if he initially just thinks of her as one of his dad’s mistakes waiting to blow up in their faces, and even if he does relentlessly teases/annoys her it’s very obvious that he can connect with her because of her complicated relationship with her dad and she can understand him, they both love their dads immensely but they severely disagree on the view they have of their respective child. And against Colt’s predictions, Ellie proves herself as a valuable asset to the crew (Not knowing until later on just how deep that rang true) and he eventually starts falling for her as well, which is what sets the Chapter 10 plot twist in motion.
After the MPC manages to steal the super cars for the Brotherhood, Kaneko opens up to the idea of letting Colt into the business, since it’s clear he won’t just pack up and leave for college anymore, especially after Kaneko is shot and threatened by the Brotherhood and he has to rely on Colt’s plan of kidnapping one of their members and at some point he reveals the truth about their current situation to his son, where Colt finds out about the truth behind Logan and Ellie but it isn’t until after the stadium heist that he makes shit hit the fan by starting a fight with Logan and spilling his secret. That always seemed to me that it came from a place that’s equal parts being mad at Logan for using Ellie like that but also him seeing it as a petty opportunity to sow discord between them, which is why she later has the choice to unload on Colt for deliberately keeping the truth to himself until the right moment. This also marks the moment where the somewhat toxic, somewhat supportive, somewhat wholesome and entirely complicated romantic relationship between them can start to flourish, since Ellie obviously doesn’t see Logan in the exact same way she did 24 hours before and depending on the player, she could’ve actually started to develop her relationship with Colt (Or Mona) prior to the reveal.
Something I haven’t seen being mentioned about Colt’s arc is how him being misjudged and misunderstood by both Ellie and Kaneko plays a huge role in it. After Ellie leaves the MPC, he decides to put the rest of his plan in motion, luring The Brotherhood into an illegal casino’s vault using the member they kidnapped and kill them via gassing. Toby completely disagrees with their actions and decides to recruit Ellie to help him stop the crew from crossing a line that they seemingly haven’t crossed yet, yes they’re criminals but much like Ellie’s initial impression of them, they’re not psychos and much less murderers, they’re still good people; so she sets out to stop them with the help of Toby and a Logan that’s desperate for atonement, but her biggest mistake was assuming that Colt isn’t the kind of person that can kill another person if it means protecting those he cares about. This is where it gets incredibly interesting and compelling to me, since not only does her misjudge of character ruin Colt’s entire plan but there’s also the possibility that she had been working for Jason and the Brotherhood the whole time, so in some cases they might’ve actually escaped the trap directly because of her and it doesn’t stop there, since as a result the MPC lose their entire advantage and are once again being targeted by The Brotherhood and that directly leads to not only another huge reveal from Kaneko’s part but also his death, him sacrificing himself so that the crew could escape as he let’s Colt know that he wishes for him to just let go of this life and do something better for himself. Before the rest of the MPC reunites at Gramercy Park, Colt tells Ellie how he plans to kill them all, to rebuild the garage and kill them all before finally breaking down on her arms as his loss catches up to him, right before the Mercy Park Crew splits up after their loss against Jason.
In the end, the two people Colt cared about the most failed at truly understanding him, his dad kept him at an arm’s length for a long time, missing out on time with his son because he never considered the fact that what he wanted for Colt was not what he wanted for himself, despite of all the risks it might entail, and Ellie played a part in Kaneko’s death by not realizing that Colt would be willing to cross such a fucked up line if it meant protecting the people and legacy he cared about so much. Those two factors play a huge role in the rest of the book since they’re the reasons why Colt is pushed dangerously close to a downward spiral that will most definitely only bring him more pain at the end of the book. After Jason is dealt with, he laments the fact that he and Ellie met under such circumstances and not in a classroom where they could annoy each other and become friends and/or significant others but he doesn’t lament his current situation, he’s dead set on becoming the king of LA, on carrying on his father’s legacy, now more than ever. I’d argue Colt Kaneko is the biggest cautionary tale in this book about the dangers of the often glorified life of the bad boys and fast cars and how it can consume you, he was very special to Ellie and Kaneko but they didn’t fully understand who he was, how he was shaped by his ideal future and they couldn’t see how the most important thing for him was his past, his legacy and as a result, he’s alone against a dangerous world, but that’s a danger that he very much welcomes.
If any of you have done Colt’s romance route and feel like I missed out on anything, do let me know in the comments, I feel like my appreciation for him only grew more as I wrote his section.
MONA
The bad girl, the loner, what even is her real name? I’m also going to dedicate an analysis to her but I also want to direct you to a post from a few months ago by user u/elbenji who has reviewed ROD from a WLW perspective that I think you should also check out if you’ve got the time. Anyway, Mona’s turn.
So, who’s Mona? Well, she’s kind of the Drake Walker of the book, which is a role that you don’t usually see being filled by a female LI. She doesn’t seem to like anyone, she’s pessimistic, she rarely misses the chance to mock people, she’s damn good at her job and she’s loyal to no one but herself, to some she might actually be the worse person of the 3 LIs during the early chapters but as everything else in this book, the layers to her start to show the more the story advances. She shares Logan’s worldview of everyone only being out for themselves but unlike Logan, she knows that not everyone is necessarily like that but in her eyes those people are in for a rude awakening from the world at some point for being dumb enough to think that they can count on someone else and that’s why she’s borderline condescending towards Ellie when the topic of interpersonal relationships comes up between them.
If Colt is shaped by his future, Mona is shaped by her past. Once upon a time she used to be little Miss Perfect like Ellie, honor roll, on the path to valedictorian, the whole thing, until she met a girl that she fell in love with, a criminal that made her enjoy life to its fullest and ended up becoming her whole world until one day they got caught and were taken to interrogation separately where Mona, fully trusting of her partner, lied about their involvement but was still arrested because her girlfriend ended up giving her up in exchange of freedom. That event shaped Mona’s entire philosophy, when it came down to it, people would always put themselves above everyone else and after Kaneko gave her back her freedom that’s the only code she stuck by, her own personal freedom and survival became the most important thing in Mona’s life, even when the man that saved her was in danger she considered multiple times to just leave the MPC to their luck. That is, until she met Ellie Wheeler.
Obviously, in typical Pixelberry fashion, Mona doesn’t have as much screen time as her male counterparts but what she lacks in screen time she more than makes up in both narrative and thematic relevancy. As mentioned previously, Mona’s always reminding Ellie how out of her depth she is and treating her like a dumb girl that doesn’t know what she’s doing (Which, to a certain extent, is true) but when shit goes south after the stadium heist it turns out that she’s the only LI that never actually played with Ellie’s feelings and was always straight (Heh) with her. It's things like this that I love immensely about ROD, the 3 love interests have so many layers to them, they do good and bad things and they feel like actual people that exist in this fictional Los Angeles, their actions are a product of what’s established as their characters, not just as stuff that happens because the plot needs it to. Back on track, just like with Colt, this is the point where Ellie and Mona’s relationship really takes off if the player chooses to and unlike Colt, her going after Ellie feels like it comes off from a place of actual concern since she understands what she’s going through, regardless of whether their relationship is platonic or not at that point, she still sees a girl that feels like she’s got no one left that she can trust in, so she takes it upon herself to be there for her, slowly shedding her walls that she’s put up for so long, probably without even realizing it.
After the failed job at the casino, Mona once again contemplates leaving the MPC in the middle of the shit storm but Ellie manages to get her to help since she owes Kaneko that much at the very least, only for her to find out a few minutes later that Kaneko knew The Brotherhood were corrupt cops from the beginning and never confided in them with that information and, in another cruel twist of fate, Kaneko ends up sacrificing himself so that Ellie, Logan, Colt and Mona could run away, once again, giving Mona her freedom even after completely betraying her trust. As the MPC discuss their course of action after that, she breaks and let’s out what’s probably my favorite quote in Choices: ”You wanted freedom? The fast cars, the bad boy, that whole life? This is it… and it’s not for you. Go home, for everyone’s sake.”, in that moment she let’s the entire pressure of the situation get to her and unleashes on Ellie, the main reason why they’re all in that whole mess. It’s an incredibly cathartic quote that perfectly encapsulates what ROD is all about, the criminal life is not something one can just juggle as if it were a part time job that’s there for the thrills, it can only lead to a life that most people, if presented with the choice, would never want for themselves. When I read that for the first time I completely forgot that I was just reading a story on a free Visual Novel app where you’d never expect to find writing of such quality. I can perfectly feel Mona’s anguish and anger in that quote, the whole weight of the events of the book finally come crashing down on us after we read those words and it’s just such a great feeling that I’ll never stop praising.
Let’s get to prom night though, much like Mona going after Ellie on Chapter 11, I feel like her showing up for her prom is still really fitting and the diamond scene that follows after is arguably the best wlw dirty thirty in the app, the dialogue during it is just top tier to be honest. But even better than it to me is the scene after that, where she decides to join The Brotherhood if it means Ellie gets to run away from them since they’re obviously looking to tie up lose ends, it is especially hard hitting if she’s your LI but the version with Colt or Logan is still amazing and I especially love how she uses the hot wiring skills Mona taught her to run away. After the Mercy Park Crew’s last ride together, Mona ends up taking a bullet for the girl that reminded her so much of herself and as Ellie drives her to the hospital she talks about how hard she’s going to be to forget, before reaching the hospital and walking herself inside, knowing that she’d be imprisoned once again before the day is over. I’ve seen a fair share of people that were unhappy with Mona having to deal with such harsh consequences but I personally love, love the end of her route since Mona’s always been about self preservation and only being there for herself but meeting Ellie gets her to slip, she starts caring for her and in the end chooses to give up on her freedom if it means Ellie gets to walk away with hers, in a way being for Ellie the complete opposite of what her ex-girlfriend was to her all those years ago (The dramatic irony can be turned to 11 if you choose the options that show her slowly adopting Mona’s philosophy during the final chapters, so she can slowly become more cynical as Mona slowly sheds her cynicism). In the end, Mona might not be free but she’s still on her element, she’ll be on a place where she’d have to count only on herself and while she’ll definitely have to face some time for her crimes, I’m pretty sure she’d thrive in prison.
End of Part 1
Okay, I initially wanted to talk about the supporting characters as well but this shit is truly living up to its title at almost 5K words, that’s already a decently sized one shot, so I’ll stop here since I still want to post it close to the appreciation week, though I might make some edits here and there as I reread it later on but I'm too lazy to do that right now. If I see there’s a good reception for a stupidly long post like this I’ll probably get to work on the second part where I talk about Kaneko, Jason, Detective Wheeler, Toby, Ximena and Riya and Darius, as well as maybe analysis for other books that I hold in really high regard such as the Endless Summer trilogy, Open Heart or It Lives Beneath. If you actually made it all the way here, I just want to thank you for taking the time of your day for reading my semi-coherent thoughts and definitely let me know what you think, if you agree, if you disagree, if you think I should go outside, etc. Thank you for your attention.
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