the room is full of ghosts (yamamanama) wrote,
the room is full of ghosts
yamamanama

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hydra's heart

Everyone complains about Giacomo and company in the Celestial Alps, but they were easy. Malpercio is tempting me to just say fuck this and watch the ending on Youtube. A pity, since it's a good game otherwise.

It wouldn't be so frustrating and stupid if he could only attack once per turn and if he didn't attack characters in such a way that all the defensive magnus piles up and I can't do anything for the next five turns when he finally attacks because he's k.o.ed the others. He just wears you down faster than you can wear him down. Good luck with combos, too. The generator for the cards you get apparently has something against me.

I don't want to spend the next week grinding, for fuck's sake. I'm at the end. I want to beat the boss and I want to play Chrono Cross. There's nowhere to grind in this game anyway. The hand things and the lions only give ten thousand experience. That seems low, because I think I fought ten of the damned things before

So, you're probably asking what, if anything, this has to do with Caliphate and my sporking of Caliphate? Well, the final boss of Baten Kaitos crushed my spirits, so this might seem a bit lazy.

Chapter 7
Petra's being auctioned off as a slave, dressed in such a way that I actually don't want to know what the narration is thinking.

Hans crucifies a priest, just to make sure we're not accidentally sympathizing with the wrong side here. He screams like a hare caught in a falcon's talons, and Tom Kratman hammers this metaphor into us like a crucifixion.

It takes a while for him to die, which was kind of the purpose of a crucifixion, unfortunately, we're treated to religious discussions while he dies.

Honsvang, in Baya. Wherever that is. Apparently, it's an ethnic group in the Central African Republic. Honsvang doesn't exist. It sounds vaguely Danish.

Noisvastei doesn't sound like anything in any language I've ever heard. Kratman points out that the word houri and the word whore aren't related, but they're pretty much the same here. Whatever.

The military SF is conspicuously absent. It still jumps back and forth about ten times. Oh, yeah, and Mahmoud has a philosophical discussion in his head. Yawn. Get to the military wank. At least that's somewhat more amusing. I never thought I said that. This chapter isn't short because of that boss fight being frustrating, it's short because not much actually happens.

Chapter 8.

Caruthers wants to nuke something. Probably Canada because that's where the action is when we get back to him after Lifetime: Television For Republicans concludes for the page.

That doesn't last very long, and we're back to Castle Noisvastei, a whorehouse. Nevermind that the heroes also take advantage of whores in the Americas and southeast Asia, this one's run by evil Muslims. A description of the castle and some utterly pointless dialogue is all we get. Back to Quebec, where all the French was removed and speaking French will get your door kicked in. So why did Hamilton or whatever the fuck his name is bother to learn French? Hamilton has second thoughts about sending a girl he fucked to the gulag in Nunavut. The Inuit names weren't purged? I'm surprised about that, considering later events.

Hamilton is relieved to find out she's going to be re-educated instead.

Ling and Petra relieve themselves with kinky lesbian pr0n. Despite Ling beating her when she throws up. Gleesh. If this was better written and less of an ideological screed, this would remind me of the breeding factories in Geomancer.

Some of them are sex bots controlled by China.

Why do they even bother teaching English? It's quite clear that America is their enemy and for good reason, the UK and Australia are puppet regimes.

The Caliphate is developing biological agents with the help of three Canadians who fled to a castle with an onion dome. Revenge for the ethnic cleansing in the rest of the Americas and, with the Boer's assistance, Africa. Israel learned the lessons Himmler and Eichmann sought to teach. I'm not quite sure what that means, but since the Arab world is now uninhabited, I don't like the sound of it.

The Caliphate can't even get on the ocean without their ships getting sunk, so the Canadians figure the best way to deal with this problem is to introduce a virus. One that is airborne, would kill quickly and not mutate, so as to not hurt anyone in Canada or Europe.

Ling is Caruthers' contact in Europe. We're over a third of the way in and the plotlines finally start to intersect. She's a sex-cyborg who talks the way the stereotypical Sassy Black Woman does.

We get some of Kratman's opinions on Arabic architecture. Petra thinks its lifeless. It's not lifeless, play Final Fantasy XII. Actually learn something about Islamic architecture by people who aren't named Bat Yeor.

You want bland architecture, go to Norway. Somehow, the Scandinavians made art nouveau bland and lifeless.

Mahmoud converts to Christianity and moves to America, complaining that the British lack the will to defend themselves.

Chapter 9

Hamilton doesn't want to pose as a slave trader. The Boers don't buy slaves, they probably have breeding factories and everything. I don't get what he's so concerned about, he was involved in kidnapping Moro children, brainwashing them into Christianity, and raising them as child soldiers. I guess it's because he's not selling Muslims into slavery. That's the only thing I can think of.

Exposition exposition!

Hamilton hates learning Afrikaans, but he doesn't want to be implanted. Come to think of it, couldn't he pose as a Canadian? Just say "aboot" and "eh" and "death to the american swine" a lot. Or talk like Raocow. This book would be better if Raocow wrote it.

They can't nuke the castle or anything else because they might have backups of VA5H or they might blow up England.

Apparently, unlike the actual third world, the Caliphate reverted to landlines because, once again, Kratman thinks Muslims are stone-age savages. I wouldn't think the landline network would be intact after a century of neglect, and cellular networks are much easier to maintain. However, they do have their advantages, so maybe they were on to them.

John's mission: Get a sample of the virus and kill the Canadians. Then either make a machine or destroy Canada and the Caliphate with the virus.

This reminds me of Ilium/Olympos, except those were a different kind of bad.

They teach him how to eat food, kabsa in this case, although Kratman insists on not using the standard orthography for anything and calls it kibsa, and not point their feet at anyone. He's not used to it; he's never socialized with the Moros, only killed them and rounded them up to be killed in Indonesia and Malaysia.

Kibsa makes me think of kibology and therefore, the kind of kabsa they'll eat in jihad school. Which means the only spice on it is a bit of paprika to make it as exotic as school cafeteria food will ever get.

That, or kibbles and bits, which is what a kid in middle school called the Japanese snack mix a student teacher brought in once.

Gabi and Mahmoud aren't in this chapter. I don't mind; they've been kind of dull lately.

Other things
Sarah Palin's new house is probably the ugliest example of architecture I've ever seen and that includes pictures of Ceausescu-school Israeli settlements and that hotel in Pyongyang.

I'm reading the Dream Archipelago right now, and one of the lines regarding the war (it's maybe a reference to the cold war, because they want to fight the wars where it won't damage either of their countries) really resonated with me; the war there is being prolonged indefinitely for economic reasons.


Burning Question: What's the most annoying boss in a video game? Amazingly, Donkey Kong 64's bosses make me even more angry than Malpercio. Specifically, the castle boss and the factory boss. I never beat the game because of that. Well, that and a few of the more annoying minigames and the mandatory retro Donkey Kong with added artificial difficulty.
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