Book Review: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Frankenstein is one of the most well known stories and novels of all time, it was written by author Mary Shelley and released in 1818. This horror story has since gone on to inspire countless adaptations and references/homages in pop culture.

In the book Victor Frankenstein is found freezing to death in the Artic Circle by Captain Robert Walton, the story is told through letters Walton sends to his sister explaining to her the bizarre story Frankenstein told him of how he wound up in the Artic Circle in the first place.

Walton and his crew had previously spotted a Giant Man on a snow sled, Frankenstein is also pursuing this being but in the hopes of putting a stop to his destruction and tells his story of madness, obsession and chaos as a warning to Walton to not let his obsessions take over his conscience.

Now we all know the story of Frankenstein but the book did have some differences to the 1931 movie that I am most familiar with.

There is a lot more back story to Victors obsessions, his mother died due to a Scarlet Fever she caught from his adopted sister Elizabeth who would later become his wife. After his mothers death Victor becomes obsessed with the idea of reanimating corpses and creating life, reading books and studying everything he can find in his university library.

I feel a connection to the death of his mother was the trigger point for him to make his monster, my theory is that he originally wanted to bring his mother back but when too much time had passed he became adamant to prove to himself that his studies would pay off and he could create man.

Life and Death are two massive themes in the book, you cannot have one without the other and this tragic story is a testament to that when the Monster kills his one true love Elizabeth and last living Female companion, his mothers death inspired him to bring life to a monster that only gave Death in return, it is a vicious cycle and one that Victor lives to regret.

Speaking of the Monster in the book Victor was terrified of it the moment it woke up and runs away, the Monster runs away too, later killing Victors brother another example of how our actions have consequences.

The Monster is described as followed

https://www.monstrous.com/monster/frankenstein-monster/frankenstein-description/

8-foot-tall (2.4 m), hideously ugly creation, with translucent yellowish skin pulled so taut over the body that it “barely disguised the workings of the vessels and muscles underneath”; watery, glowing eyes, flowing black hair, black lips, and prominent white teeth.

The description may not seem all too unexpected but we should pay attention to the Yellow Skin, I find this interesting because in most media the monster is depicted as Green, it makes me question why this is since it clearly was not the intentions of writer Mary Shelley.

The Monster can actually speak in the original story and very well, during his monologue we learn that he spent months watching a family in the woods, from watching them he taught himself skills such as speech, poetry and reading. The Monster does eventually introduce himself to the family but it doesn’t go well and results in them leaving the home and this deeply pains the Monster eventually causing him to seek revenge on his creator but also realising that he may also be the only person who can help him.

This is all spoken to us through the monologue of the Monster to Victor Frankenstein, the Creature explains how he tried to rescue a child who was drowning only to be shot at by the boys father. Moments like this cause the creature to hate humanity, he eventually finds Victor and asks him to create him a Female Monster who can love him.

Its hard to not sympathise with the Monster because he never asked to be created, he was born through a man obsessive behaviours and cruelly made to live in a hideous body that humans fear, the Monster tried to be like man but mankind would never accept him because he is different and now all he wants is another creature like him so that he doesn’t feel so isolated, alone and misunderstood.

Victor does begin to create this Monster before backing out and destroying it after he realises how dangerous having two of them could be. This triggers the Monster to kill the whole of Victors Family including his Wife Elizabeth and his best friend Henry, Victors father also dies but from what I understood this was due to poor health and not a murder.

During the story’s climax the monster does eventually kill Victor on Walton’s boat and in a moment of sadness realises that killing his creator did not bring him satisfaction, he was still depressed and miserable so vows to take his own life as he sails into the ocean on an ice raft closing this sad and traumatic tale of Life and Death.

Frankenstein is one of the darkest and saddest stories I have ever read, it packs so many different themes and emotions into its text that you really feel sorry for both Frankenstein and the Monster although I think to be fair the Monster definitely deserves just a little more sympathy.

This truly is a tragic story with a good morale that just because we can do something it doesn’t necessarily mean that we should do it.

Every traumatic event in this story was triggered by the creation of the Monster, it was Victor Frankenstein’s greatest achievement but also his greatest mistake and one that would not only cost him his own life but the lives of his loved ones and eventually the Monster itself. The Suicide really was the final tragedy because with the Monster dying its existence would only become a folktale with Victor and his Monster soon being forgotten to time.

I think that just about covers it, Frankenstein is a great book and one that I highly recommend picking up and reading not only to truly appreciate the true horror of this story but its over 200 year legacy in literature as a whole.

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Marble Madness (1989) (NES) Review

A NES game about marbles?

2362030-nes_marblemadness

 

Marble Madness may be one of the most bizarre video games that I own, you play as a marble and the objective of the game is to roll the marble through six different obstacle courses.

all levels

 

You may think that this seems really easy, but believe me it’s not because the controls are very sensitive, one tap on the d-pad can get your marble rolling and then its up to you to carefully traverse past any obstacles,it genuinely feels like you are controlling a marble and because of that reason the game is immensely difficult, anything can happen you can fall into a dip in the course and then you will need to roll around to build up momentum and speed in order to push yourself back to the flat area, you can roll into acid and melt, you can be eaten by a snake, you can be blown off of the course by powerful gusts of air and you can even spin out of control and smash, and while all of this madness is happening you have a time limit!!

depending on how quickly you finish a course will determine how much time you will be given for the next course and once you hit zero seconds its game over and back to course 1.

You have six courses to get through and each course has its own specific design and theme.

Course 1 Practise

practise

This is literally the practise stage, no obstacles just a good way to get used to the controls by rolling to the goal while trying to avoid falling off of the course.

Course 2 Beginner

beginner

Things start to get a little more challenging here, you will now need to travel through a bigger course than before while avoiding those green snakes who will eat you and also staying clear of the mean black marble that will try to knock you off of the edge.

Course 3 Intermediate

Marble_Madness_-_NES_-_Intermediate_Race

This course isn’t too difficult but it does introduce a new hazard, puddles of acid are now in the game and if your marble touches any of these puddles it will immediately melt, also introduced is a really tough section of the course that requires you to avoid a green wave that will push you off of the edge of the map.

This course also brings back those annoying green snakes and the course in general has many high slopes for you to climb in order for you to reach the goal.

Course 4 Aerial

Marble_Madness_-_NES_-_Aerial_Race

This is where the game gets really tough, in the aerial course you will need to use fast speeds and patience in order to survive, while trying to build up speed to jump large gaps you will be greeted by many air blowers, the air blowers will blast heavy gusts of air at the marble attempting to knock it off course, also some areas of this course will have floors that will raise very quickly often throwing your marble into the depths below

Course 5 Silly

Silly

When you first start the silly course you are made to traverse up some rather steep hills, this is not too difficult to do but it can cause you to lose quite a lot of seconds if your not quick, you are again having to deal with the green snakes and the black marbles but now they are tiny and because of this they are much less dangerous and you shouldn’t have any trouble avoiding them, a new enemy introduced here is the purple birds, these birds are a pain they show up in a flock right at the end of the course and it is your job to try to avoid them while quickly making your way to the goal, it took me lots of practise before I could finish this level.

Course 6 Ultimate

Ultimate

This is the final level of the game and so as you may expect it is really hard, you need to patience, good timing, fast reflexes and constant movement in order to make it to the goal. You will need to get past puddles of acid, the black marble, and an extremely annoying final section that requires you to carefully travel across many disappearing and reappearing sections of a dangerous path and if you fall your marble will smash.

Marble Madness does in fact have a multiplayer mode, if 2 player mode is selected on the main menu, you will need to go through the same six courses from the single player mode, the only difference is that now there are two marbles on the screen instead of just one, Player one (Blue Marble) will need to race Player two (Pink Marble) to the goal, both players will be given the usual time bonus upon starting each course but whoever wins the race will be given extra time on top of the usual starting bonus.

multplayer

The overall winner is whoever makes the most points at the end of the game

Once you select either singleplayer or multiplayer you will be given a choice of either playing the game in 90 degrees mode or 45 degrees mode.

marblemadness_degrees1

In 90 degrees mode you hold the NES game pad vertically and you control the marble with all four of the D-PAD buttons

In 45 degrees mode you use all four of the D-PAD buttons but in this mode you need to rotate the NES controller so that the D-PAD looks like an X, some players find this mode easier because while playing the game you will be moving diagonally more often than you will be moving horizontally or vertically.

When I played through the game I realised just how brilliant the soundtrack is not only because the music if super fun to listen too but because of how it evolves throughout each course. In the early stages of the game the music is really fun and happy but when you go to the later stages the music starts to get more intense and crazy as if its warning you of the dangers lurking in the later sections of the game.

Final Verdict

Due to the sensitive controls this game can prove to be very difficult, I see this as positive thing because in reality marbles are round which means that they are very difficult to have control over once they start rolling and also due to their round shape the slightest touch can get marbles moving quite a distance before they come to stop, Marble Madness follows these rules and so it may surprise you that this game is actually quite realistic, its not just the physics based game play that’s impressive its also the way that the music changes with the atmosphere it really helps you feel immersed in the experience and it only goes to show just how special this little game about marbles really is.

Marble Madness is literally Madness, its a fantastic little game which uses realistic physics, has a surprisingly immerserive soundtrack, the game is challenging but still really fun to play I only wish there was a few more levels and maybe some more options such as changing the colour of your marble and being able to play with more than 2 players on multiplayer mode.

Marbles have never been so much fun 8.9/10

Thank you for reading my review of Marble Madness for the NES

By Padawan

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What are pokemon?

I love pokemon and I think the concept of the games is genius having  players capture and trade monsters with other players all over the world, but have you ever tried to figure out just what the hell pokemon actually are because I am pretty sure they are not the creatures everyone foresees them to be.

image

I don’t recall this ever being explained in the countless animes that are still being made to this day and I’m sure fans have wrote many different theories of what pokemon are on the internet. Personally I dont have any theories of my own but have some ideas about what pokemon could possibly be.

1. Packets of data

Before pokemon hit the TV screens there was another anime which was just as popular until pokemon became the greatest thing ever and that show was called digimon.  Digimon which is short for digital monsters are packets of data which take the form of monsters which are used for both battling and to help people in general life. The size of a digimon has the same logic as a computer file size for example a small digimon would be a certain amount of mega bites, a larger digimon would be certain amount of giga bites etc. The reason I bring up this theory is because have you noticed that when the pokemon are sent out to battle or are returned to their balls they kinda get sucked in one pixel at a time and this could be because the pokemon are actually data packets and lets not forget that when they go to the pokemon center they are healed while they are inside their balls as if they are getting charged up like an electrical device.

2. Pokemon are a science experiment gone wrong

The best way I can explain this is by saying imagine that a scientist created a machine which could clone living creatures but they didnt want to test the machine on a human so they tested it on a mouse, during the cloning procedure something went wrong with the machiene and an electrical current was sent through the machine and because of this the end result was a mouse combined with electricity (Pikachu). This one is a little stretched but it could be something like this which could explain  why pokemon are the way they are, that scientist could have then gone on to combine other animals with other elements creating the other pokemon.

3. Pokemon is based in another dimension

The idea of various animals being crossed with the different elements may seem like some kids imagination or an LSD trip to our generation, but wouldnt the idea of pokemon make so much more sense if the show was based in completely different dimenson to one we live in, for all we know pokemon might be based in another dimension and we just don’t know it. The reason this would make sense is because we don’t know what other dimension are like for all we know there could be an entire dimenion that consists of elephants living how we do today.

I don’t know if what pokemon actually are has ever been explained but if it hasnt and your still trying to figure it out all I have to say is this, its a Japanese anime what do you expect

This blog was written by Dan (Padawan)