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Topics - Radical_Dreamer

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History, Locations, and Artifacts / Magic in Mystic Society
« on: November 18, 2020, 11:00:38 pm »
Something I've thought about recently is how magic is stratified among the Mystics. They're said to have magic, and that's true, but not the whole story. Most of the Mystics you fight in the game don't use magic, and even the Mystics in the cathedral use costumes to disguise themselves.

So who does? We see magic wielded by the highest ranking individuals in Mystic society, including Ozzie, Flea, and Slash...and of course, Magus himself. I don't think this is a coincidence. Magus grew up in a society that was segregated between the upper caste magic users and lower caste non-magic users. I think, once he rose to power in Mystic society, he replicated that structure, assigning positions of power to those who had magic and lower ranking positions to those who didn't.

General Discussion / New Gamers Movie
« on: August 02, 2012, 06:24:43 pm »
Is anyone here a fan of the Gamers movies or of JourneyQuest? The guys who made those are running a Kickstarter for a new Gamers movie: They make really funny stuff, and post it for free online.

They're presently releasing the second season of JourneyQuest (funded via Kickstarter) on their YouTube channel, and it's really good. I love the bit with the orcs in episode 4, for those who are watching. Anyone else keeping up?

General Discussion / Chrono Trigger Design Feature
« on: June 26, 2012, 02:28:56 pm »
Today's Feature on Gamasutra is a look at the design of Chrono Trigger. More specifically, how the design allows exploration while still keeping the player on the narrative path. I found it pretty interesting.

Crimson Echoes Beta Testing / Radical Reporting
« on: February 17, 2009, 11:41:45 pm »
I'll post my notes in this thread. I'm presently playing the 2-16 Build.

  • There is consistently a black bar along bottom of screen. There's none on the top of the screen, just along the bottom. It's not terribly tall, but it is noticeable.  JP NOTE: I see this on CT orig too?
  • Unable to sleep in Crono's bed. Not sure if this is a bug, or a deliberate feature, but I thought it bore mentioning.
  • After losing to Dalton in Gato's space, Crono says prone until the screen is exited. I suspect this is a known issue, as is the beta tester in the Square. JP NOTE: yea it's a test area
  • In Magus' intro scene, he walks in place at times while ascending the mountain. JP NOTE: I think this is done on purpose (wind blowing him back?) I'll let Zeality comment
  • Dalton "pops" when he switches animations, moving a bit from his prior position.
  • Magus demands that "...the villagers and me use the healing square". Should be "...the villagers and I use the healing square".

General Discussion / Ten Things About Where You Live
« on: February 03, 2008, 10:54:14 pm »
The idea of this thread is that we post five things we like and five things we don't about the area (could be a city, could be a country, or anywhere in between) in which we live.

I live in western Washington State.

Five things I like:
1. It's beautiful. Trees, mountains, lakes. It's good to be surrounded by nature, even in the city.
2. The climate. It almost never gets hot, although this winter has been a bit harsh.
3. People up here seem to be a lot more laid back than in other places I've been.
4. Burgers not withstanding, there's a lot of good food up here.

Five things I don't like:
1. The people out here can't drive. Rain, shine, snow; whatever. They just can't do it.
2. The roads are laid out in an asinine fashion. Grids are your friend.
3. There really aren't any burger joints of the caliber you find in Southern California.
4. Sundown before six.
5. Unpredictable weather. When it's not constantly raining, it's randomly raining.

Site Updates / New Article
« on: February 03, 2007, 02:21:32 am »
Tonight, the Compendium has published a new article, Apostasy From Nature, which can be viewed here. The article is an analysis of Zeal as an allegory of the dangers of abandoning a naturalistic worldview in favor of theism.

You can discuss the article in the forums.

Articles / Apostasy From Nature
« on: February 03, 2007, 12:42:18 am »
        The traditional view of the kingdom of Zeal holds that it is analogous to Babylon, a Biblical nation rife with all manner of sin.  The people of Zeal were punished for turning their backs on the Entity, or symbolically, the Judeo-Christian God.  However, the story of Zeal lends itself to a very different allegory, one which I shall lay out the case for in this article.  The fall of the kingdom of Zeal can be viewed as a condemnation of the abandonment of a naturalistic world view in favor of a theistic world view.

   The symbolism is simple to comprehend.  Zeal is an allegorical nation; it does not necessarily represent any other nation, real or fictional.  The Entity is symbolic of nature, and not, as it is usually considered, a monotheistic God.  The analogue for the gods is Lavos.  Note that Lavos is not a symbol of any god in particular, but of theism in general.  From here, it is easy to see the moment of conversion.  Prior to Crono's arrival in Zeal, the Queen has supplanted the use of the Sun Stone and the elements with the use of Lavos' power, channeled through the Mammon Machine.

   This was an act of madness.  The kingdom of Zeal had been brought about by the toil and sacrifice of it's people, and yet they willingly submit it all to Lavos, for the false promise of eternal life.  The only person who actually gains from this exchange is the mad Queen.  As the prophet of the god Lavos, she gains even greater power and adoration.  To secure her power, and the people's faith in their newly found god, the Queen must act to halt dissent.  She banishes dissenters, including the three gurus who had previously guided the royalty of Zeal.  This act can be seen as a rejection of wisdom.  With her power consolidated, with wisdom of any sort no longer guiding her, the Queen begins to spread the cult of Lavos.

   The Mammon idol becomes a focal point of worship.  The people of Zeal bask in the emanations of the machine, emulating the social warmth and fulfillment that comes from being unconditionally accepted by like-minded churchgoers.  However, this warm glow is the life of the planet, the power of nature, being siphoned away, burned to generate the comforting false warmth of the Lavos cult.  This willful abandonment and destruction of nature is endemic to the theistic Zeal.  The Sun Stone, and the power of the elements, are sealed up, away from the kingdom itself.  It is forbidden for any one to seek them out.  Theism has supplanted naturalism, and it doesn't take long for this to lead to a brazen disregard for nature itself.  The Queen orders a woman to burn a seed with the power to save the environment.  Prior to his banishment, the Guru of Life instructs the woman to save the seed.  This is symbolic of the disregard to the physical world death based faiths engender.  By placing herself in opposition to the Guru of Life, the Queen makes clear that, while the Lavos cultists believe that Lavos is the way to eternal life, the religion is incompatible with actual, natural, real life.

   It is not just life that the religion wrongly claims for itself.  The banishment of the Gurus is also a rejection of that which they stand for.  The betrayal and suppression of the wise is reminiscent of the Catholic church's treatment of the astronomer Galileo. The cult supplants an actual understanding of life with a false promise of immortality.  Also, the cult removes the Guru of Reason, and along with him, any semblance of rationality.  This leads allows the insane actions of the people of Zeal, their acceptance of Lavos, their rejection of nature, and thus, life, and their faith that the construction of the Ocean Palace would result in their immortality.  The removal of the Guru of Time further feeds the delusions of eternity held by the Lavos cultists.  Dalton, in particular, seems strongly effected by this lack of perspective.  Without wisdom to guide her, the mad Queen subverts the technological achievements of the nation to evil ends.  The Blackbird becomes a warship, despite Zeal having no external enemies.  The Ocean Palace becomes the instrument of the destruction of the very kingdom that built it, and the people that prayed for it to bring them eternal life.  This parallels the real life Heaven's Gate cult, which committed mass suicide in 1997, believing that they would then transcend the physical realm via a comet.

   Without reason, without life, without time, and without nature, Queen Zeal and her fellow worshipers lose their humanity.  In their blind quest for power, they turn inward, separating themselves from everything that is not of their bizarre cult.  This xenophobia manifests itself in two main ways. The first of these is the enslavement of the Earthbound, and secondly, there is the trivialization of Crono and his party.  The cultists consider themselves specially blessed by Lavos, and now, disconnected from nature, and all the life that is a part of it, they view themselves as being superior to the beings of nature.  The Queen even rejects her own children.  This rejection is completely unnatural, it is only under the irrational influence of Lavos that the Queen is capable of this act.  This is reminiscent of the worship of the god Moloch by the extinct Punic cultures.  A child would be placed in the outstretched hands of a bronze statue of Moloch, and the statue heated.  The priests would then beat drums to mask the cries of the child, in order to prevent intervention in the sacrifice.

   This hubris leads to disaster.  The final effort of the people of Zeal to unify themselves with their god, and thus disconnect themselves from nature, is the construction of the Ocean Palace.  This final act of worship has the Mammon Machine brought as near to Lavos as possible.  Before it is reactivate, the Queen, acting on the behalf of her people, has one final chance to put a stop to her theistic madness.  She is confronted by her daughter and the three wise men.  Once again, the Queen choses religion over family, reason, time, life, wisdom, and nature.  She commands that the Mammon Machine be activated.  In so doing, she has sealed the fate of her kingdom.  The prayers of the cultists have awoken their god.  The reward for their faith and their devotion is the only just reward for those that have turned their backs on life.  The kingdom of Zeal is destroyed absolutely, and those that survive are left scattered and powerless, no better than the poor Earthbound ones they had cruelly mistreated and enslaved.  Ultimately, history itself condemns their beliefs, as Crono and his party are successful at slaying the god Lavos.  This final triumph of naturalism over theism secures prosperity and the preservation of life for the future of the world.  It is an important lesson.


Zeality, for his contributions to this article
Xathael, for originally researching and codifying the Biblical allegory in Chrono Trigger
Squaresoft, for producing and publishing the game.

Copyright 2007

General Discussion / For the Heroes fans
« on: December 06, 2006, 05:04:59 am »
Looks like our time bending friend Hiro is a fan of Chrono Trigger. Blog contains spoilers.

General Discussion / Darwin online
« on: October 18, 2006, 10:54:43 pm »
The complete works of Charles Darwin are now available for free online. This includes several editions of On The Origin of Species, one of the most important books ever written.

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