Monday, August 24, 2015

Let's Play Lords of the Fallen - Test Video


Howdy guys I'm just posting this here to get an idea of what people think of it. Obviously there's the audio issue of either me breathing into the mic or it picking up my fan which is something I've sorted out for future videos. I'm mainly interested in whether people thought the video flowed well and whether I sounded reasonably intelligent in the proceedings. I will undoubtedly redo the episode in the future and while I don't think I can do a better opening monologue I can certainly improve on the other aspects of the video.

I intend to play through the entire game with Rogue, I'm unsure whether I'll play any other classes aside from random additional videos to show off whatever boss weapons I can't or don't pick up over the course of the LP. If someone knowledgeable about the game has any specific advice as to what things I should look at, remember, talk about et cetera I'd be very interested in what they had to say.

Don't be afraid to bash the video (aside from the aforementioned audio issues), I'll take any sort of criticism I can get just to get a general idea of what the public perception the video will wind up being.

An idea as to what I could talk about with more specificity is explaining that the opening cinematic is demonstrating the Mimic spell in a very over the top fashion, though since I'm not playing a Cleric I don't think it immediately flows well to implement such a discussion. If you have any questions regarding the game or its status as a "Souls Clone" and why I think that very concept in and of itself has lot of merit then feel free to ask.

Here's me singing Battle Hymn of the Republic for no reason in particular:


Edit: Here's the actual first video, fixed most of the audio issues:



Saturday, August 8, 2015

Mr Holmes and Bad Lieutenant



Out of the blue my mother asked me to go see Mr. Holmes earlier this week, the rare opportunity to see a PG movie in the wild was irresistible. We saw the film at 3:30 PM and the theater was packed with octogenarians. The film stars Gandalf the Grey as an aging Sherlock Holmes, a wonderful fit for the role. Mr. Holmes takes place in the post WW2 era and Sherlock is at the ripe old age of 93; though they also show him at a comparatively younger age as well (late 60’s/early 70’s). Ian McKellen is only 76 at this point (17 years younger than Christopher Lee) so it’s an interesting age dichotomy as they put on makeup to make him look more ancient and makeup to make him look younger than his present age.

Holmes is effectively a more realistic portrayal of a brilliant detective who has had fictional tales written about his exploits from the dear, absent Watson. In the place of Watson we have his housekeeper; played wonderfully by the incomparable Laura Linney of Truman Show fame, and her young son Roger. In contrast to your typical annoying child role Roger is actually a fairly interesting character and I suppose the closest thing to an audience insert that the film has. He looks on Holmes with wonderment and wants to emulate his every step, but is also reasonably clever in the proceedings.

As a last act in his life Holmes wants to write a “the true story of” sort of adjustment to one of Watson’s tales. However he simply can’t remember it so he takes various herbal remedies in an attempt to adjust his memory, all for naught. In actuality the mental activity of discussing things with Roger is what helps him to remember the tale. Over the course of the film this mystery alongside two others are resolved, with some relatively predictable moments of peril along the way. However the main overarching mystery has an interesting resolution that isn’t entirely obvious and leads to an intriguing ending.

This is on the whole simply a satisfying movie, since it is PG nothing particularly horrible could happen but you can still have the implication of horrible things happening. It is rare for a film to be simultaneously intelligent and “happy” as it were and Mr. Holmes certainly accomplishes that. Mithrandir, Olorin, and Magneto are all wonderful additions to the Holmes Filmography and the film’s appeal to “Genius troubles” might just earn it some Oscar support; though it isn’t nearly as overbearing as most of those movies.





So, what’s the best thing to do after you see a heartwarming PG movie? Well of course you want to go see an NC-17 movie. Admittedly I didn’t realize it when I bought it but the DVD version of Bad Lieutenant definitely has that rating. It’s hard to say whether it would keep the same rating if made today but it would certainly at least be a hard R. I went into this film with relatively high expectations as the unmatched masterpiece that is Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans certainly set the bar extremely high.


So how does this film stack up? Well, it has most of the same basic plot elements but not much of the charm or intrigue. Bad Lieutenant is basically all about drug abuse and has very little to do with police work or mystery solving but the pseudo sequel actually accomplished both sides of the story quite well.  There’s also maybe 15 solid minutes of old baseball broadcasting (not historical, though aside from the conclusion most of the broadcasts sound legitimate), and as much as I like baseball I don’t necessarily need that directly in the middle of the film I’m watching. Yes it does contribute to Harvey Keitel’s mood but I think you could chop it down to 3-5 minutes and do just as well.

The crime in this film is the raping of a Nun by 2 noble churchgoers, including some rather visceral details. And so for like 25 minutes of the movie Keitel actually engages in police work in an attempt to solve the case, to no avail. After a late interview with the Nun in which she says she has forgiven them Keitel has a crisis of faith and you get to hear the indiscernable Mr. White moaning from Reservoir Dogs for what feels like 10 minutes. He has a mental projection of Jesus who he asks “why?” to perpetually. As a religious person I actually find this scene rather fascinating but I have no idea how someone who didn’t understand that mindset would respond to it (apparently rather well), this is a great scene and sort of makes the movie all by itself.

The rest of the film is perfectly adequate in demonstrating how much of a horrible person Harvey Keitel is (Nicholas Cage’s character is more of a “Chaotic Good” sort). The ending is a predictable enough result whereas the ending of Port of Call is total insanity. I think this film is trying to be disturbing at its core but the thing is, I’ve seen Oldboy and nothing is disturbing now so it doesn’t really work for me personally. I really like dirty cop movies and I liked Dark Blue quite a lot which I saw recently, but this one is just sort of alright. Not a bad film by any stretch but not a particularly amazing one either.

A random criticism I have of the film is that all of the women in the film are ridiculously gorgeous, and if you’re trying to make a film “gritty” as it were you have to dress them up in such a way that they don’t look like that. Port of Call has only one attractive woman in it and even she still looks fucked up half the time, but regular old Bad Lieutenant apparently has a drug dealing/perpetually using woman who just looks fantastic all the time, no side effects guys; those only impact the Keitel.



This review comes off a little harsh but I don’t mean to disparage the film that much.  It’s still quite good and you should see it, just make sure you watch Port of Call New Orleans at some point because that shit is fucking amazing.


Aside: I bought Edge of Tomorrow and saw that yesterday, still pretty damn incredible. Guess what the first trailer is when you boot up the DVD? That’s right, Mad Max. So WB has put out in the past 2 years the best two movies as well as Shadow of Mordor, The Witcher 3 (US distributor, the overwhelming GoTY favorite), Mortal Kombat X, and Arkham Knight, good work WB I dunno how this happened but keep doing what you’re doing.


Sunday, August 2, 2015

What's so wrong with Arkham Knight?



I recently played through the entirety of the new Batman game and am in the process of 100%’ing it. The game is really interesting with superb gameplay, but I acknowledge it has some minor issues going on that prevent it from being superior to City; I’d say it’s arguably on par with Asylum overall (maybe a little bit better, as someone with a gameplay slant). Of course in Asylum you can get perfect variety in almost every fight in the game which is fun and it’s virtually impossible to get perfect variety (around 30 different moves) in Arkham Knight with a finite number of enemies; but I still find it fun to try.

The first major “dungeon” of the game, Ace Chemicals, is utterly fantastic and makes surprisingly good use of the Batmobile, combat, and predator rooms and even has some pretty intense drama at the end of it. The problem is the somewhat non-linear aspect and feel of that dungeon is only duplicated at one other point in the main game; the rest of the game is just a series of short diversions in various different areas. You might consider the usage of the batmobile nonsensical but it does work on a gameplay/puzzle front and that’s ultimately what matters; the main underlying Joker theme is pretty damn nonsensical and that’s probably the best part of the story.



Speaking of the Batmobile at first it feels rather awkward and forced, but over time it sort of grows on you and the game throws some very difficult fights at you assuming limited upgrades (we’ll get to that in a bit) which are really interesting and entertaining. The issue is that early game fights are very bland and straightforward; the game doesn’t ramp up on the tank front until the final few tank battles the game has to offer. Fortunately those specific fights are excellent and you can really see the potential of the Battank. The major tank boss fight in the game is great, though the major regular ass batmobile “fight” is pretty terrible (again without upgrades, probably not that bad otherwise); that isn’t because of the batmobile though just the boss fight itself is badly designed. I immediately started playing through the game again a second time and the batmobile’s awkwardness had almost totally faded away and it was quite fun to use, so I think it’s just a substantial learning curve plus some rather tedious usage of it in the game that turned people off.

The upgrade system in this game is extremely robust, however in the process of simply beating the main story and doing one major sidequest I was only able to unlock less than 10% of the abilities available. I forgot to upload a screenshot of it (playing at my brother’s house), but there’s a whole huge ability tree for everything imaginable and most of them have some relatively expensive parts to them. To give you an idea there’s a tree that has close to 20 different nodes that are all exclusively related to gadgets. Essentially you have to do a whole lot of the expansive different sidequests just to even get a mildly upgraded Batman in the end. Ultimately this actually makes the game reasonably difficult in a non 100% run which is a common enough criticism of the previous Rocksteady Arkham games.

Edit:



The 100% process is actually not overly painful this time around, and this is the main thing this game has over Arkham City; there’s not quite as much Riddler Diarrhea to go around and the rest of the sidequests are generally more interesting than their Arkham City counterparts (and of course the main game is substantially less interesting aside from a few elements). Brad was fascinated by the Super Grapnel in the Quick Look but there’s actually 2 more upgrades to the Grapnel Boost beyond that so you have the Super Mega Ultra Grapnel Boost (5 X button presses then hold) by the end which makes flying around the city incredibly fast, this allows you to make traversal in a fairly large environment substantially less painful. Though the area covered is ostensibly 5 times larger than Arkham City it certainly never feels like it just due to the sheer speed of your character (also there’s not a big fuck-off wall in the middle).

A major change from previous Arkham games that also aids in relieving some of the 100% stress is there’s very few traditional “challenge rooms” in the game, instead you have several different kinds of challenges integrated into the world with a really cool leaderboard system. A personal favorite of mine is the one where you have an infinite supply of enemies and the objective is simple: don’t get hit. The sheer limitless skill opportunity this provides is kind of mind boggling to comprehend but I gave it a good try with no upgrades near the beginning of the game (having no idea what half the enemies were naturally). However even the dreaded Batmobile Challenge Rooms got pretty fun near the end of the game and the one that I thought was underwhelming was fun to do after having learned how to play with the vehicle. As someone with a specific fondness for the old challenge rooms I still welcome the change and especially the more compelling leaderboards for each of these, it really does make me want to go back and perfect each of them.

Overall I feel like Arkham Knight is an outstanding game, the problem is the year that it came out. If Arkham Knight came out last year it would be a strong game of the year contender, but since it came out this year alongside Bloodborne, the Witcher 3, Mortal Kombat X, Helldivers, and of course Rocket League; with Metal Gear Solid V, Fallout 4, and Just Cause 3 still on the way it was really hard to stand out. The game’s handful of disappointing moments and generally hamfisted plot (complete with overly obvious “The Dark Knight” references) combined to lessen its impact. However I still whole heartily recommend the game.

Aside: After playing Arkham Knight I even said to myself “hey this game is totally better than Shadow of Mordor and that was easily the best game last year.” But the thing is I went and played some Mordor just to test out this theory and uh… yeah Mordor’s better.  I don’t think it has better combat or even better exploration but there’s something about the specific feel and tension of the game that Batman just doesn’t have. When I booted up Mordor I checked out my handy dandy ubiquitous 100% save file and to my surprise all of my abilities were *poof* gone and I could run around the world with a completely basic character. Whereas in Batman this is mildly frustrating because you really just want to be a little OP as Batman, in Mordor you become too overpowered too quickly so being decidedly underpowered (while still being a fully capable murder machine) is actually very compelling.


This led to me trying out the “Test of Defiance,” a relatively easy challenge with a fully upgraded character that takes about 35-40 minutes. However, with a baseline character it took me over 2.5 hours and I had lots of really close calls and a lot of usage of uncommon tactics that were nigh useless in the regular game. With zero upgrades in Mordor you have no access to Branding, Combat Finishers, Mounts, Fast Travel, Explosions, Teleporting, and various other things; but to my surprise the game is still fully functional and almost every captain variant in the game is killable in that state (though you’re very fragile so extended combat is infeasible in most situations). The test furthers the complication by making it so you can’t drain enemies for health or arrows, which maximized the necessity of learning and knowing the environment to find herbs and fixed arrow locations. All of this combined to make for a wonderful experience and I can’t help but thank Monolith for unnecessarily patching the Game of the Year edition in and fucking up old save files; good job, it made the game more fun somehow.


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Youtube Musings



Note: This is a post from this giant bomb thread, but it is something I wanted to talk about on my blog at some point and seemed reasonably articulate in that regard.

Okay so I have a vaguely successful Youtube Channel at this point (300,000 views, most of them since late March), I think a lot of that had to do with just random ass luck but also playing a new game (Bloodborne to start with). I have zero production values other than trimming videos and pretty much just straight upload stuff from the PS4 with no commentary, I do have “ambitions” of becoming a dedicated LPer on Something Awful or what have you but simply don’t have the setup for it at present, nor is there much evidence that doing so would cause the channel to grow. I think talking on a mic and having a facecam would, but not necessarily having high quality videos.

The esteemed Supergreatfriend, the best LPer in the universe, only has like 13,500 subscribers; and a random douchebag like Kailvin has roughly the same amount. I suppose there’s another lesson to be learned here and that is to buddy up with someone else who has a youtube channel, for example Northernlion’s wife is a twitch partner and has 43,000 subscribers on youtube. I haven’t done this  yet but it could feasibly happen in the future when I’m actually in LP mode and not just upload a bunch of stuff mode.

So what sets me apart aside from playing new games? I happen to be good at games, like almost every game. Okay, maybe not Rocket League. I think that + luck + relevancy/immediacy is what causes a channel to grow. You might want to start out with a smaller game with a devoted Reddit community, this is sort of what I wound up doing with Helldivers and it’s possible simply having a couple dozen videos with a few hundred views was enough to propel all the Bloodborne videos to whatever “heights.” As far as retaining the audience, well my current Bloodborne videos get like a dozen views in a couple weeks time (whereas some of the ones closer to release have over 10,000); I mean it’s just a vicious decline due to the average attention span of the modern video game player. I do however get 1-3 subscribers a day and theoretically that will eventually help to outweigh the desolation of interest in anything older than one month/one week/one day/one hour.

A large question is “how important is charisma?” Well, it certainly is important but maybe not on the absolute bottom, I think charisma is more of a thing that matters later on, that’s what keeps viewers watching Kripparrian throughout his entire adult life; early on what’s more important is playing new stuff, playing it reasonably well, and uploading something every single day; possibly a lot of things. If we look at the Men Drinkin’ Coffee, perhaps the most charming bunch of gentleman on the face of the earth, they’ve been at it for at least 2 years and they only have 4,000 subscribers; I could feasibly reach that number (assuming a natural growth) in the same time period without ever saying a single word in any video I do.

As far as what games to play, well play something that you can distinguish yourself with; if you play an adventure game that plays out almost exactly the same as everyone else’s run then there’s not really any reason to watch yours over someone else’s that the viewer is presumably already familiar with. This is why Bloodborne is such a great game to start with, there’s very disparate approaches to the game and there just weren’t a ton of people doing Logarius’ Wheel stuff at the moment when I started, which led to at least like 40-50 thousand views on that concept alone.
So if I wanted to start afresh I would begin with Dark Souls 3 when that comes out and try to play with weirdass weapons and play with them well.

For more evidence of the recency issue: when it was released I did a Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition run through the weirdest mode with the new characters Lady and Trish and it has done pretty well aside from copyright issues (apparently every song and almost every cutscene in the original is content ID matched); one of the videos is over 1000 views now and I’m sure several others will be there at some point. The game is like 7 years old or something, but not this edition.


I’ve also done Arkham Knight videos 3 or so weeks after it came out and almost every video is still in the single digit view count as far as I know. Now granted while Batman has a huge skill ceiling it is difficult to actually show that off and people just aren’t that interested in it on that level. DMC has an even higher skill ceiling but whereas absolute perfection is what you go for in Arkham in DMC you can still play well and occasionally take a few hits; which leads to a much different viewing experience from player to player. So DMC is a more specialized game and I played it right when it came out and this is the reason why the videos do well but the Arkham videos do terribly.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Here's this really dumb thing I did in the Witcher 3



I’ve been playing the Witcher 3 a fair amount in the past week, though due to work and youtube stuff I haven’t had a ridiculous amount of time with it yet. Once I reached the larger overworld I immediately set to exploring as much of the world as possible with no regard to my miniscule level; and lo! I found a pretty interesting quest line that was level 24. So I decided what the hell, let’s give it a shot. And somehow it worked, big assist to NPC helper buddies. The quest reward wound up being pretty crappy since I was so low level but it was really fun just being able to dick around 30-40 hours past where I was supposed to be.

Eibhear Hattori, an elvish scumbag, wants you to help him secure supplies so he can go back to being a smith, which apparently he’s pretty good at. However he was forced into the dire trade of “Master of Dumplings” (“mmm… tasty” says Geralt) and amusingly enough this has proven to be quite profitable; however he grows tired, hence the initiation of the quest. Eventually you wind up negotiating a la the Departed or something, but the guy you’re negotiating with really isn’t that unreasonable so you kind of just realize that Eibhear is a moron; regardless (I believe) you wind up fighting about 6 level 24-25 dwarves, all of which could kill me in one hit. So I went and cowered behind some boxes until the NPC guy did all the work. Hell of a guy that King of Beggars assistant.

This then leads to a few amusing scenes and Eibhear eventually runs, terrified, back to his shop. You meet him there and he keeps whining for a bit; but suddenly has a bright idea (why wasn’t this the plan all along?) to send you to Sukrus of Skellige; who you have to fight outside a bar. Took a while for the NPC to actually load in so I just sat around for about 45 seconds. Fortunately fist fighting isn’t scaled to your level so I still managed to kick Sukrus’ behind; and then we had a chat in the bar. Turns out he’s just a super cool dude; way less of a douche than Eibhear himself. I love the Witcher’s depiction of these kinds of characters that runs totally against the standard generic oaf.

Anyway you help him out so that he eventually helps you out, then you meet a guy who makes a Witcher 2 (and possibly book) reference, I wound up just getting level 3 in Axii to make this go smoothly. After this there’s a big rumble outside, but true to form the game provides you with more allies so you don’t actually have to do anything. Foolishly I decided to try to participate and died to the last guy when he had about 2-3% hp left or so (in one hit naturally), then it took me a few tries to find a safe afking location; but pacifism eventually won the day.


After bidding Sukrus good day I went off to see the smith and collect my shit, unfortunately even though the quest scaled to level 24 the loot didn’t and I wound with a level 2 “relic” sword that was worse than a random drop that I found on the quest. It’s possible the sword is upgradeable and it does look cool, but naturally this was a bit of a bummer; one that you’d expect a douche like Eibhear to provide. However I still immensely enjoyed screwing around with the game’s difficulty systems and unlocking a master smith super early on for the hell of it. I’ll revert to an earlier save just so the sword isn’t useless but this game’s pretty good; even if it seems like you’re directed on a particular main route you can still dick around wherever the hell you want and might even be able to finish elaborate questlines to boot.




Saturday, May 16, 2015

Mad Max - Fury Road



Mad Max is easily the best pure action movie to come out in well over a decade, that doesn’t mean everyone will like it equally but the first 2 action sequences are amongst the best ever put on film. The final action sequence is almost as good but I think the audience will be very slightly weary of the same basic setpiece, even if it’s an incredible fucking setpiece. Also the leadup to the denouement is just a little bit too long, it’s certainly not tiresome in that process but if you want to compete with T2 your pacing has to not only be good or great but absolutely perfect.

So how does it stack up to Terminator 2? Well they both have ridiculous trucking fetishes that I’m sure most people will appreciate, they both have female badass characters, and they both have motorcycles and lots of explosions. T2 is mostly actually stuff they filmed though (including a helicopter flying under an overpass) and Mad Max is probably about 50/50 or 40/60 on CGI (which is certainly much better than most movies at present). I actually like the annoying kid from T2, I freely admit it, but for all the people that don’t this movie’s closest analogue is not that young and has so much gusto it’s very hard to dislike him. Nicholas Hoult, the guy who plays Beast in X-Men, plays this character and shows quite a bit of range so doing.

Just how metal is this movie? I think it’s probably the most metal you can fit in 2 hours before you ascend to Chrome Valhalla Heaven. As a Man’o’War fan I really appreciate the obsession with Norse Mythology and the fucking incredible vehicle/character designs going on. I suppose it’s worth mentioning that Mad Max himself (played well by Tom Hardy, I get the feeling this is the Bane voice minus audio editing) looks amazing when he has an iron imprisoned mask on and just looks sort of bland afterward. I mean the villain has a gigantic fuck off army of 60-70 vehicles ranging from Mustang-Tanks to VW Beetle Monster Trucks to a rival Semi the likes of which the legends speak. To prepare yourself for this movie I highly recommend this video:




It’s just so fucking cool, I don’t have any other way to put it, one admires the raw industry of the villain and his methods of controlling the populace. There isn’t really a comparable movie out there, every Super Hero movie follows a very similar arc so they’re inherently predictable; which ones are vaguely close to Mad Max in some way? Iron Man 3 is probably the best comedy in the past 10 years, the first Avengers is the best CGI action movie but still certainly vastly inferior to this on most fronts just due to the nature of CGI, Edge of Tomorrow is a much more interesting movie fundamentally but can’t stack up on the action side of things, The Dark Knight is probably a better movie but does flipping a semi in real life compete with blowing up 3 or 4 semis with explosive spears and the aid of CGI? I dunno. In a world where Furious 7 grosses 1.47 billion to actually have a good car movie come out is kind of shocking to be honest; sometimes the movie industry just pulls magic out of the hat and you really feel like there’s some originality and creativity left in the world. As long as there’s milk farms consisting of giant fat ladies the world is safe and sound.


Monday, May 4, 2015

Breaking Down a Game of Thrones Action Sequence


So this past Sunday the beloved Barristan Selmy was presumably slain at the hands of the “Sons of the Harpy”. This was particularly surprising considering he’s still alive in the books and is probably one of the more likely characters to not die for quite some time. I actually applaud this decision and the willingness to stray quite clearly from the path that the lethargic George RR Martin has set, it means the show will be less predictable and it also means that Peter Dinklage will likely have a more interesting role in the future; which can only be a good thing.

However in eliminating an exalted combatant such as Selmy one needs to take special care that the audience doesn’t lose faith in his skills in the process of him dying. In this case 7 Unsullied + Barristan fought around 20 knife guys and apparently everyone died except Grey Worm (Grey Worm himself being another of the foremost warriors in the world), this wasn’t an ambush in favor of the 20; no no no in fact the assassins were chased down and caught essentially, which in any case would put them at a severe disadvantage.

Non Orthodox troops, such as guerilla fighters in modern wars will only have a functional advantage when fighting regular Orthodox troops if they have the initiative; if the ambush is laid by them and triggered as they expect. Orthodox troops will absolutely annihilate non-Orthodox in a straight fight, and must be worn down over time. The Unsullied are supposed to be amongst the best troops in the world so naturally they would have an enormous edge in this fight, even when outnumbered. For the whole “Dagger beats spear” in close quarters argument, yes that’s true but Greek Hoplites also wielded swords and it’s rather farcical for spearmen to be roaming the streets as police when they could easily be using their swords instead; however even if they used spears they would probably still have an edge simply due to superior training and teamwork.

However in the show they really don’t have any teamwork, in fact there’s little or no communication at all once the fighting starts. The Unsullied could have easily held the hall with 4 or so men abreast on either side (reminiscent of Winfield Scott Hancock’s stand at Chancellorsville that secured the Union retreat); but instead they split up for no reason and just acted like morons in general. Even accepting that the Unsullied somehow lose this impossible to lose fight you still have Grey Worm and Selmy backing them up, and presumably these 2 could probably take a whole shitload more knife guys unless they were incredibly capable (from the shows’ depiction they just seem to be fanatics and not ably trained warriors).

For Grey Worm I’ll draw a comparison to one Zhao Yun or Zhao Zilong, Zhao Yun is historically one of the greatest Chinese warriors who ever lived and his most famous accomplishment was riding amongst a 200,000 man host with only a few companions and wreaking havoc for about 5 or 6 hours, saving the totally worthless Liu Shan in the process and even nabbing a really nice sword for more killing. This is ably discussed in Three Kingdoms but as far as I know this is not a fabrication, there are certainly elements of RoTK that are but Chang Ban is an historical event and Zhao Yun really did lead a cavalry charge through enemy lines reminiscent of JEB Stuart’s performance during the peninsular campaign. So essentially Zilong was worth say 200 guys or so on that given day, if he is capable of that then surely a fictional character in a universe with dragons and undead ladies is capable of taking on 10 chumps with daggers.

As far as Selmy goes he even has it worse, he gets in there right near the end of the fight which should have been quite a surprise for the Harpy bros and immediately starts murdering fools. But the harpys don’t even give a shit, they’re not taken aback by his presence instead they seem to fight with even more fervor; this is not how this supposed to work. He only had around 7 to fight and he could easily eliminated 3 of them with his opening salvo so there would remain 4 or so, and these 4 would not really be up for fighting immediately if he doesn’t give them a chance to catch their breath and pushed his advantage; he might take a few wounds so doing but this is the best warrior on the planet surely he can handle some random guys. Nope.

If we want to go more in depth with the numbers game we can look at more Three Kingdoms examples, such as Zhang Liao’s 800 man rush into Sun Quan’s army of 100,000 which led to the defeat of the Southern army. Yes perhaps in actual history Sun Quan only had 10,000 men or so but that’s still over 12 times as many troops; so yes 8 elite warriors can take on 20 knife wielding scrubs and even do so easily as long as they’re not in a horribly disadvantageous position. The preposterousness of the scene just eventually caught up to me, despite my appreciation for killing off Selmy randomly.

So, what options do we have to make the scene better? Well I count three. The first is simply to add a shitload more Harpies, hire more extras you cheapskate bastards, if there were 80 of those guys in there I would have totally bought what happened; but it just wasn’t compelling enough as is. The choreography could use some work as well but that’s beside the point. Though of course 8 guys could probably take 80 in a narrow hallway where the number advantage was largely negated, so this option is not really that great.

The next option is to let Selmy and Grey Worm win the fight, however as they reconcile and gradually walk off into the sunset out of the blue an individual harpy runs up from behind and stabs Barristan through the heart. Selmy is enraged by this impossible event, turns around and decapitates his assailant. He then says “I am a Knight” and dies in Grey Worm’s loving arms. This is a little silly but it does work, the only situation where the Non Orthodox troops will win in a straight fight is when they catch the opponent unawares.

The third option is a lot more interesting and would show a level of tactical thought that neither George RR Martin nor whoever directed this episode possesses, however one can dream. The Unsullied chase down the Harpies, who briefly fight and lose a few men and then run (as Non Orthodox troops would always do in this situation), the Unsullied give chase and wind up in a large empty room. Suddenly over a hundred Sons of the Harpy close in from all sides and bumrush the Unsullied. They still fight poorly in comparison but the positional advantage combined with the surprise leads to their eventual victory after taking many casualties (think Tet Offensive numbers); Selmy bursts in and the tide seems to be turning in favor of him and Grey Worm, but Selmy is mortally wounded in the proceedings.


This is called a feint, a simple action to pretend an offensive measure only to lure the opponent into a more dangerous trap; feints are a thing of beauty and something that Satellites have kind of ruined as far as major wars go. In executing this tactically brilliant maneuver the Sons of the Harpy seem much more threatening while Selmy’s erstwhile invincible reputation remains undisturbed and everyone’s pretty much happy in the end.  Except Bronn because he really is invincible.