The gunfight with the looters went badly for the posse. Garrett and Holly were both almost used as hostages at times - once by a fifteen-year-old kid. In the end they high-tailed it with Graves their prisoner. Holly's horse had run off, and in tracking it down they met up with a handful of Confederate soldiers who were lookin' to take it.
Turns out that the rebs had been the crew of the boat before it had been run aground, and it wasn't long before the idea was pitched that they should work together to take down their enemies.
Under cover of night, Garrett snuck aboard the boat to start slitting the throats of the sentries - starting with the damn' kid. Holly set panic amongst those that rushed to the defence, and Cal led the soldiers in gunning them down. A few prisoners were taken, and one of the soldiers accompanied the posse back to Confederate port Shannonsburg, where they were rewarded for their efforts and offered the chance to ride down in the CSA recovery boat, which would take them all the way to the Free and Holy City of Lost Angels.
Pennington-Smythe acquired horses for the posse and then led them up into the hills overlooking Shan Fan. He'd just tossed the amulet away in a hurry as he'd fled from Thin Noodles Ma's boys. He hadn't realised before that the small tunnel had been screaming the whole time.
The posse descended into the darkness, following the tunnel down into a cavern charmingly decorated with the gory remains of an uncountable number of Ma's rascals.
They had no time to investigate before a mound of earth took on roughly humanoid shape to attack them with great club-like limbs. Bullets, blades and voodoo hoodoo had no effect, and it was only upon getting close that Garrett noticed a garnet between the thing's eye. When shattered, it fell inanimate once more.
Searching the chamber was stomach-churning, but the glint of the amulet's gold revealed a lone, large chinaman sneaking from the area. When confronted he attacked with fists wreathed in barbed wire, but was brought down before too much havoc ensued.
They returned to Dillinger in triumph, and were welcomed into the Explorer's Society with smiles and signet rings. As well as the horrifying truth of the Reckoning (or at least as much as the Society knew) they were told of the secret messages that were left in the Tombstone Epitaph's classified section.
It was one of these adverts that sent them down south. En route - ridin' their new horses - they came across a ship that had run aground, with men carrying the cargo from within. The suspicious behaviour of their leader - a Mr Graves - led the posse to believe that they were in fact looters. Holly summoned her loa to terrify Graves' minions so much that two of them had heart attacks - the last lunging into a grueling melee with Garrett - while Cal lassoed Graves himself and began dragging hima round behind his horse.
That's when a dozen other dudes came running out from within the ship.
So, in a productive weekend I finally got around to watching Deadwood and the first season of Hell on Wheels. Now I really want to play Deadlands. Well, at any given moment there's about a .138 chance that I want to play it anyway, but those shows put it way up.
It's a shame that Deadwood never got its fourth season, and now I see why Al Swerengen, omitted from the original Deadlands rules, got fulled statted up in the Reloaded version...
Comparing the two series may seem unfair, given the eight years or so separating their production, but they've already started to blur together in my mind it seems only right. Odd how both of them revolve around the courting of a widowed woman for reasons of romance or profit by both the protagonist and antagonist. And each has a British actor playing the central character (much funnier in Hell on Wheels as Colm Meaney is playing an American surrounded by the Irish).
So far, I have to say that I prefer Hell on Wheels. As much as Deadwood may be centred around the struggle for control of prospecting rights and gold mines, work on this is shown for maybe five minutes in total across three seasons. At least in HoW the audience gets to see these people actually working on the railroad (all the live-long day). The plot is much more direct, as well; when things happen, they tend to be connected or relevant to later events, whereas Deadwood does seem to have the producers rolling on a random table every now and then to determine what happens, often with no consequences (or just for a cheap laff). They could perhaps do with slightly more varied cuss-words, as well; I was heartily sick of hearing 'cocksuckah' by the end.
Not to say that Deadwood was a bad series, of course! Brilliantly acted stuff, it was.
So, the new Transformers video game (available now!) did away with the unique three player co-op campaign set-up of its predecessor, in the name of setting up a little more variety. Given that this aspect was one of the best parts of War For Cybertron, this seemed like a bad idea when I first heard of it.
Now that I've played the game, I realise how much freedom that gave the programmers. Before,each level was very similar; the player and his/her two buds would bumble around Cybertronian mazes and shoot good/evil bots with big guns, every now and then fighting a bigger boss. Now there are stealth levels, acrobatic climbing levels, Attack-of-the-fifty-foot-Combiner levels, space battle levels and levels where YOU GET TO BE GRIMLOCK AND HE CHANGES INTO A T-REX AND SMASHES STUFF. There's even a final duel between Optimus Prime and Megatron at the climax, which is what was sorely missing from the first game.
There's a bigger variety of weapons as well, and the introduction of weapon shops that give out those upgrades that all those other video games seem to go in for these days. I haven't tried the multiplayer outside an hour or so of playing the demo yet, but I'm hoping that will have similarly improved over WFC.
The reason for robots that transform into dinosaurs is given in this game. Shockwave - that cheery little logic-con up as my picture there - recovers from his Bay-decreed personality-murder in Dark of the Moon (puttup) and actually does SCIENCE THINGS! In fact, there are plentyof cool characters moments for all the principal participants, but as with WFC this game does lean too heavily on the animated movie. Yes, I agree that it is the most awesome thing that humanity has brought into existence, but that's no reason to keep ripping off lines from it. It does get old after a few minutes.
That annoyance is made up for by the fact that 'The Touch' is the closing song. Awww yeah.
I think I was unfairly prejudiced toward future hopes for the Transformers franchise, given how awful the live action films have been, and the dreadful Transformers Armada and Transformers Animated cartoons left me especially ill-disposed toward last year's Transformers Prime. The fact that it was CG-animation rather than traditional made me keep away.
Now, after a weekend spent watching hours of it on Cartoon Network, I've decided that Prime is great. Maybe it has something to do with switching on at the start of Megatron and Optimus Prime's climactic duel, perhaps it was the relatively mature storylines (for a kids' show about giant robots, at least. But it did feature characters dealing with death and illegal drag races, as well as a zombie apocalypse and much dismemberment). The compulsory child companions weren't annoying! The animation was pretty smooth. There were scenes that put across the awe that a human should feel when witnessing huge mechs in battle right above them (something Michael Bay never managed). Frank Welker! Starscream (spoiler) betrayed everyone!
Mainly though, Bumblebee sounded like R2-D2 and looked like Atomic Robo. Awesome.
Here, besides the box art showing how the creators intended it to be, is the first stage of my putting together and painting a SodaPop bunny mecha.
I made a few changes. The crouched pose looks too passive, not to mention the fact that it doesn't quite line up with how the pilot is seated. Also, what's up with her not sporting bunny ears herself, y'know? Easily rectified by removing the ears that the sculptor had though to install on the mech's hips (huh?) and reapplying them behind the goggles.
Finally, and most noticeably, the cheerful and massive bunny mascot is now standing up there on the mech's outstretched hand, in a traditional "I choose you!" pose.
Painting this thing is gonna be a bitch. You may wonder why I glued the pilot in there, as surely that's going to make it harder to paint. Since the method of assembly to get her on there is to force her onto the saddle until she snaps in, I didn't fancy having to redo scraped paintjobs, frankly.