Keith R.A. DeCandido and Aaron Rosenberg at LunaCon 2010

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Blizzard Products News, Starcraft News, Starcraft: Ghost News, World of Warcraft News

The Con-hopper Keith R.A. Decandido barely got back from Emerald City Con in Seattle, and now he’s heading to Lunacon 2010 — New York’s Oldest Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention — this coming weekend, and then to I-Con the following week.

Lunacon 2010 will be held at:

Hilton Rye Town Hotel (Map)
699 Westchester Avenue
Rye Brook, NY 10573
(914) 939-6300

Keith R.A. DeCandido wrote Starcraft: Ghost Nova, Starcraft: Ghost Academy and World of Warcraft: Cycle of Hatred.

Aaron Rosenberg is also attending the Lunacon to direct some panels. Aaron wrote Starcraft: Queen of Blades, World of Warcraft: Tides of Darkness and co-wrote World of Warcraft: Beyond the Dark Portal. Bring these with you and catch them for a quick photo and signing.

While none will have any Blizzard novel signings or panels there, if you are going to Lunacon, you might wish to say hi, and get your novels signed.

These are their Schedules:

Will Write For Dice
Saturday, March 20 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Room: Westchester D6

So you wrote a game or module for an existing game… What’s the next step?  Can you just send it straight to your favorite game publisher?  Should you camp on Steve Jackson’s doorstep?  What are realistic steps for getting started writing for the gaming industry?  Should you borrow money from you friends and strike out on your own?  (Is this one time the self-pub press actually works?)

Kevin DiVico [M], Charles Gannon, Mike McPhail, Aaron Rosenberg

Reading
Saturday, March 20 11:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Room: Elija Budd

Autographing
Saturday, March 20 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Room: Westchester Assembly


Aaron Rosenberg

Bite Me
Saturday, March 20 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Room: Grand North

Blood Ties. True Blood. Being Human. Vampire Diaries. Vampires have always been a major (if rather dark and alluring) presence in our printed media, but lately they’ve sunk their fangs deep into our airwaves as well. What do they bring to this form of entertainment and what does the television offer them? Will the rest of their supernatural cohorts be far behind?

Joshua Bilmes, Ginjer Buchanan, Tanya Huff [M], Kim Kindya, Aaron Rosenberg, Lisa Sullivan

Short Fiction and Its 9 Lives
Saturday, March 20 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Room: Odelle

Though some have been predicting its demise for years, why hasn’t short fiction died yet? Are we really entering into a new golden age for short fiction?

James Chambers, Neil Clarke [M], Keith DeCandido, Marvin Kaye, Ian Randal Strock

System vs. Setting
March 20 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Room: Birch

Nearly all RPGs share some similiarities: they have a set of rules that govern play, and most have a setting or world where play takes place. Some people love systems for their rule systems, and other are drawn in to the romance of a particular setting. Which is it for you: the math or the poetry, that makes or breaks a game?

Kathryn Baker, Steve Brinich [M], Heidi Hooper, Hal Johnson, Mike McPhail, Aaron Rosenberg

Comic Book Crossovers
Saturday, March 20 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Room: Birch

Everyone knows that adapting books for the big screen takes some skill. But not everyone realizes that adapting books for comics is just as demanding. But it’s not just books that make the cross, either. TV shows and movies are being adapted and expanded as comic book series as well. Panelists discuss both the process of these adaptations and why they’re worth doing.

Keith DeCandido [M], Glenn Hauman, C.J. Henderson, Hal Johnson

SUNDAY

To Write, Or To Have A Life? Can You Do Both?
Sunday, March 21 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Room: Odelle

The life of a writer is hard, yet rewarding, like a body-building genie.  How to balance multiple projects and get them all done, without killing yourself. Being able to get them all done and still have an active social life…well, that may take more than one panel to explain.

Ty Drago,Laura Anne Gilman, Bob Greenberger, C.J. Henderson, Aaron Rosenberg [M]

Knowing Your Place: The Role of a Tie-In Writer
Sunday, March 21 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Room: Odelle

You may be the writer, but you’re not the license holder, and that means you have to set your ego—and sometimes your narrative—aside. Is it possible to write tie-ins and still maintain creative control, even a little? Are media tie-ins and fanfiction just two sides of the same coin?

Keith DeCandido, Bob Greenberger [M], Glenn Hauman, Aaron Rosenberg

Whither Wander You?
Sunday, March 21 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Room: Birch

The physical journey can mirror and drive the spiritual journey of the characters, while providing an interesting and amusing source of external conflict.  When done poorly, it can devolve into tedium, and wreak havoc on the pacing of the novel.  How do you keep one from sliding into the other?  What are some of the best travel scenes we’ve written and read?  Which have been done poorly?  How do you write a compelling travel scene without losing the reader to what seems like a hundred pages of endless trudging through snowy wastelands?

Alma Alexander [M], Peter V. Brett, Sam Butler,  Keith DeCandido, Josepha Sherman

Starcraft: Ghost Academy Vol. 1 Review

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Blizzard Product Reviews, Blizzard Products News, BlizzPlanet Articles, StarCraft 2 News, Starcraft News, Starcraft: Ghost News

I acquired a copy of Starcraft: Ghost Academy from Barnes & Noble to review this product. For a soft cover, I really like the texture and feeling of the material. Volume One contains 192 pages full of action and it’s divided into a prologue and five chapters.

Starcraft: Ghost Academy Vol. 1The manga starts out strangely from the point of view of yourself as the one receiving a letter from Emperor Arcturus Mengsk. In this letter you are required to volunteerly submit your son/daughter to the Psi-Ops Division of the Terran Dominion (Ghost Program) and how proud you should be for making this step for the defense of the Dominion from alien threats.

The prologue is a follow up to the events of the Starcraft: Frontline manga concerning Colin Phash and Corbin Phash. Corbin has started to feed the media with accussations against the Ghost Program, requesting people to rise against the taking of their children for underground experimentation.

Kevin Bick (Director of the Ghost Program) appears on the UNN to respond the accussations and displays video of what happened at Maltair IV, blaming ex-Dominion Senator Corbin Phash for refusing to volunteerly bring his son to the Ghost Program for proper training of his abilities. If he had done as requested, the events of Maltair IV wouldn’t have happened in the first place – said the director.

We do know from Starcraft: Frontline that it was the Dominion command who authorized the wrangler Randall to use lobotomized zerg units as psi-hounds to track down the telepath boy: Colin Phash. Thus, the Dominion is simply covering up their lies with false info to the UNN, making it look like the boy is a threat to himself and everyone around him without proper training — blaming the kid for attracting zerg to planet Maltair IV.

CHAPTER ONE: It’s all over now, Team Blue

We learn that the entire UED squadron was not decimated by Kerrigan’s zerg in Starcraft: Brood War. In this volume, we see the Team Blue led by Gabriel Tosh and composed of Nova, Kath, and Lio. They are here on a mission to inflitrate a planet-hopper ship overtaken by UED Pirates — you heard it, UED Pirates. Their goal is to rescue a senator and three aides on board.

Nova doesn’t look like a team player who likes to follow orders. She takes off ahead of the team and doesn’t even listen to Gabriel Tosh’s instructions. Her cockiness puts her in harm’s way jeopardizing the mission once she figures out the UED pirates are wearing psi-screens.

I found difficult sometimes to differenciate one marine from another, as they lack any serial number, marks or logos. For example, I found it helpful in Starcraft: Frontline Vol. 4: Fear the Reaper to identify who was who among the Reaper squad. Not much of an issue, really, due to the nature of this specific mission.

Things in this first chapter are not what you think, but we get to see how the Ghost trainees get to learn, hone and improve their skills the hard way. I could see a bit of a Star Trek influence here, and it’s no surprise with the large track record of Star Trek novels written by Keith R.A. DeCandido.

There’s a curious shadow in the complex’s hallways that resembles a child, and Nova did see the shadow, but dismissed it as something she thought she saw. Considering Nova is PI 10 and the child Colin Phash is PI 7.5, it makes you wonder how the kid got to fool Nova. In the Starcraft: Frontline series you learn that Senator Corbin Phash taught his son how to project his thoughts with false leads (repeating something in his mind to be picked up by telepaths, while doing something else), and the kid has a special gift described as “Quiet Voice” — which sorta cloaks his presence from the Zerg with the power of his mind, even when he is at plain sight. And another ability described as Astral Projection or relocation of his mind. (Paul Benjamin & Dave Shramek read X-Men, alright). Colin probably used this ability to evesdrop on Nova, while remaining out of sight from her own telepathic abilities.

CHAPTER TWO: Taking Care of Business

This chapter introduces Director Kevin Bick and Superintendent Angelini Sarco who talk about the insertion of Aal Cistler into team blue. We get to see Preceptor Soohoo teaching Terran history through the eye of the Terran Dominion, or like a yawning Kath Toom describes: propaganda. The story of how the Confederates fell in Tarsonis with the Zerg and how Kerrigan joined the Zerg was taught wrong. Therefore, the ghost trainees are instructed with the same lies the Dominion feeds the media and the people.

As the story progresses, you kinda start feeling back at college with all the drama, name-calling and angry students stepping on your patience. The interactions between students feel natural. Conflicts arise, while others try to keep things under control — like Gabriel Tosh, leader of Team Blue.

We get to see Lio Travski in action hacking into computers to bypass the Ghost Program’s security sensors in order to buy and consume Hab.

CHAPTER THREE: Seven times fall down, eight times get up

In this chapter, we see another training scenario in the shape of a maze full of booby traps, and robots. Each member of Team Blue is tested to the limit, and their mistakes and pros are measured by percent. The next class is with Sergeant Hartley who trains them in the way of martial arts. All students must wear a psi-screen and must rely on their instincts and physical prowess.

I was pleased to see Keith DeCandido bring up some scenes from the Starcraft: Ghost Nova novel such as Nova’s experience at the Gutter serving Fagin as a slave for six months.

The martial art trainer is a butcher and the training of ghosts in this class look like the harshest boot camp you have ever experienced. A bonus martial match between Gabriel Tosh and Aal takes place. Later, the team vents on Nova for not been a team player.

Nova finds a young telepath girl at some kind of library. Nova reads into her mind to learn her story, and it turns out this girl is the one Wrangler Randall captured in Starcraft: Frontline while searching for Colin Phash. It’s really nice to see continuity treats throughout the manga.

At the mess hall, there’s an informative and amusing interaction between Aal, Kath and Gabriel Tosh which help you flesh out their background, and their personality. There’s another training test to assemble a C-10 rifle within a minute and a half or less. It seems Nova listened to what Gabriel Tosh told her about her lack of a team work, and we see her caring more about her teammates, by teaching them.

CHAPTER FOUR: All I have to do is dream

This chapter shows how much Nova has accomplished earning the companionship of her teammates. Here we also get another flashback from Starcraft: Ghost Nova. The scene where Nova and Morgan Calabas are aboard the yacht en route to the Tyrador IX resort and the moment she finds her parents dead, Her experience at the Gutter for six months as a slave of Fagin, and her rescue by Wrangler Malcolm Kelerchian.

If you read this novel (pocket book), it will be nice for you to see a brief summary and these characters as images. Gabriel Tosh and Nova get closer as friends at the end of this chapter.

CHAPTER FIVE: Redemption

There are some twists at the end, and the entire story has brief hints of Colin Phash been able to eavesdrop his way around the Ghost Program undetected, unless the Ghost Program is using him as their way to eavesdrop on the trainees? I guess we will confirm or discard that in the upcoming volume 2.

While some readers new to Starcraft will feel a bit lost on what’s going on, they don’t necessarily need to have read Starcraft: Ghost Nova, as this manga briefly summarizes some of the most important scenes that shaped Nova’s life.

For a intro, volume one did a good job at showing us how the ghosts are trained, while at the same time exploring each character’s personality and past. Some characters are more caring and friendly than others. The exceptions of course are Aal, and Lio. Aal because he only cares about himself, and Lio because of his addiction to Hab and his continuous efforts to prevent his friends and the preceptors from discovering his addiction.

If you are a lore nerd like myself, collecting all Starcraft novels and manga — you will no doubt appreciate all the continuity nods and mentions.

Did you read Starcraft: Ghost Nova? Then you will love reading Starcraft: Ghost Academy as it’s written by the same author: Keith R.A. DeCandido — who participated in the shaping of the main character and its world. Awesome job, Keith! Fernando Heinz Furukawa is the artist of this manga. The artwork is very enjoyable and consistent. Rich facial expressions really help to transmit each character’s emotions throughout the plot. I am not into manga, but I truly dig Furukawa’s style.

Overall, a good read, as expected from the writing-calibre of Keith R.A. DeCandido. The Starcraft: Ghost Academy will only span up to three volumes, but after reading this first issue, I really wish Blizzard and Tokyopop published them as an ongoing series every three-or-four months without a defined end.

The Starcraft comic book by Wildstorm is heading to the Graphic Novel format, so I would welcome an ongoing manga series based on Nova and the Ghost Academy with the same author and artist.

Check out the preview scans and the recent teaser trailer. You can order Starcraft: Ghost Academy Vol. 1 here. The story continues in the second part, Starcraft: Ghost Academy Vol. 2 which hits bookstores on August 3, 2010.

Slang

You will see some slang used often throughout the manga:

Teek: Telekinetic
Teep: Telepath
PI: Psi-Index (a PI 10 is a powerful telepath/telekinetic)
Chaneed: short for “What do you need?”

Characters

E.B. James – UNN Reporter

Director Kevin Bick: He is in charge of the Terran Dominion’s Ghost Program. Director Bick talked to the UNN to deny all accussations from ex-senator Corbin Phash and to convince the populace that Phash’s notion of the Ghost Program’s experiments on children is outdated info as that’s how the Confederates’s Ghost Program worked like, not the Terran Dominion’s. That’s of course a lie.

Preceptor Soohoo: History instructor at the Ghost Program

Superintendent Angelini Sarco – He monitors each of the Ghost trainees through Sparky — the computer that probes each area of the building as a surveillance system.

Jenni – assistant serving Director Kevin Bick

Dr. Gauthier – the Ghost Program doctor overlooking Colin Phash’s brainwashing process and he’s running experiments on Colin.

Colin Phash – ex-Dominion Senator Corbin Phash’s son. Colin is a telepath Psi-Index 7.5 with the innovative and unique ability to create a Quiet Voice mental cloaking field around himself to stay out of plain sight, and can cast an astral projection of himself.

Aldeo Cistler – He is the Terran Dominion’s Finance Minister and a valued member of the Emperor’s Inner Circle. He sent his son Aal Cistler to the Ghost Program to make a man out of him because throughout all his young years he has been an embarrassment to his family.

Kam – Hab supplier inside the Ghost Program. He provides the illegal narcotic to Lio Travski at blind spots where Lio can fool Sparky’s probe detection.

Aunt Yuku – Uncle Desi’s wife and aunt to Lio Travski.

Uncle Desi – Uncle to Lio Travski. Desi is a computer tech at the Kal-Bryant Mining Conglomerate in Pridewater.

Sergeant Hartley: Rude trainer who teaches martial arts to all ghost trainees and forces them to do fifty push ups on one fist.

Preceptor Appelbaum – Overlooks Delta’s training.

Delta Emblock – a very young telepath girl at the Ghost Program. She was born in New Sydney. Her mother died of a lung infection acquired at the factory she worked at. Delta had to work at age seven after her mom died and never learned to read. Wrangler Randall captured her and dispatched her to the Ghost Academy.

Preceptor Lagdamen – a trainer at the Ghost Program who oversees the training of Team Blue.

Preceptor Ryke – he teaches PI 7 and higher index telepaths how to supress thoughts. A P10 can’t control to read memories on people with strong thoughts or memory imprints.

Dr. Neall – She attended Lio’s health at the infirmary when he had a overdose of Turk, and found out traces of Hab in his bloodstream.

Team Blue

Gabriel Tosh – He grew up in the streets of Haji. He is been in the Ghost Program for at least two years and the leader of Team Blue. Gabriel Tosh plays an important role in the Starcraft II single player campaign. He is who gives you the mission titled MINING YOUR OWN BUSINESS at Redstone III [alias the lava planet].

Lio Travski – He can hack into machines using telepathy. Lio can create blind spots where Sparky — the preceptor’s sensor probe can not spy on him or detect that he is sending email to his family. Biometric sensors and cameras can’t pick him up, and he can easily infiltrate and hack into Sparky’s mainframe. He is addicted to Hab — an illegal narcotic.

Kath Toom – She gets bored in history class, yawns often. The pessimistic and complaint girl of team blue. She is the daughter of one of the executive vice-presidents of the Kal-Bryant Mining Conglomerates on Pridewater.

Aal Cistler – Age 25. He is a PI 4.5 — which catalogs him as not a telepath. An opportunistic playboy. An Intelligent and superb martial artist. He got black belts in three different disciplines. He is the son of Aldeo Cistler (the Terran Dominion’s financial minister). His father used his influences to place Aal into the Ghost Program even not being a telepath merely to make a man out of him. Aal has lived a playboy life, surrounded by luxury, lazyiness and bedding many women.

Nova Terra: November Anabelle Terra was the daughter of an industrial robotic manufacturing executive. One of the Old Families of Tarsonis. Her abilities manifested in full at the sight of her parents’ assassination. She lashed out at her would-be executioners and the telekinetic outburst destroyed the top of her family skycrapper and its anti-nuke dome, along with three hundred civilians. After six months in the Gutter, she was rescued by Wrangler Malcolm Kelerchian and brought into the Ghost Academy to hone her PI 10 abilities.

Team Red

Dylanna – She was the highest rank (68%) in the planet-hopper scenario simulation until Nova broke the record with a 70%. Nova’s team died in the simulation, while Dylanna’s lived. Yet Nova was rewarded with a higher score. This makes Dylanna angry at Nova, and a nemesis.
Winlaleah

Locations Mentioned

Lio Travski mentions two locations while emailing his uncle Desi. Desi lives at Pridewater. Both formerly lived in Nidhogg.

Nidhogg – Unknown location where drug addicts consumed Hab [illegal narcotic]. Smoky air and plagued by bugs.

Canis – One of Ursa’s moons. The Hab dealer gets supplies from here to distribute off-world.

The Gutter – a criminal activity and drug traffic zone in Tarsonis where Nova spent six months as slave of its kingpin Fagin.

2009 Blizzard Holiday Card

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, StarCraft 2 News, Starcraft News, World of Warcraft News

I have never heard of a Game Studios so involved with its fansites and community as Blizzard Entertainment. They invite fansites to Blizzcon, to the Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals, fansite hands-on gameplay and Studio tours. The community managers send email and flash news, post twitter updates and keep in contact with fansites often year-round.

This Christmas, Blizzard sent all members of the Fansites Program a special 2009 Holiday Card. I was curious why they have sent mail to me, and when I opened the envelope, there it was. Got me excited. Below you can see me holding the holiday card that arrived to my physical mailbox. You can download the 1804×1167 version here to set as your desktop wallpaper or to print at Kinkos.

JINX 2010 New Year’s Eve Offer: 20% Discount Off

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, StarCraft 2 News, Starcraft News, World of Warcraft News

J!NX announced a limited special offer that allows you to get a 20% discount off your entire order. Simply type the promo code in caps: CHEERZ at checkout to enable the 20% discount. Go to the World of Warcraft or Starcraft II store to order your T-shirts for yourself or as a gift to friends & family.

Regardless of whatever winter holiday(s) you may or may not observe, we want to extend our warmest greetings from the J!NX Fortess and wish you and yours the best! As a little bonus, we’re also giving you a code for 20% off any orders for the rest of the year! Just use promo code “CHEERZ” during checkout.*

*As usual, not valid in combination with any offer. Expires 12/31/2009 at 11:59 PM EST.

-Jinx

New Warcraft and Starcraft Dioramas?

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, StarCraft 2 News, Starcraft News, Starcraft: Ghost News, World of Warcraft News

Sideshow Collectibles produced a limited edition of Tychus Findlay on 2007 when Blizzard announced Starcraft II was in development. The question ever since has been: Will Sideshow Collectible create more Starcraft dioramas? The short answer is yes, but not soon. Which character would you guarantee to pre-order if they made a diorama of?

  • Kerrigan

  • Zeratul
  • Nova
  • Jim Raynor
  • Selendis
  • Arcturus Mengsk
  • Valerian Mengsk
  • Gabriel Tosh

Will you make more pieces from Starcraft? My Tychus Findlay is starting to get lonely.

Sideshow Collectibles: Yes, we continue to look at Blizzard titles for product opportunities. At the moment, we

2009 Mod of the Year Awards: Phase One Voting Commences

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Starcraft News, Warcraft 3 News

The Mod Database (MOD | DB) website is taking nominees for their upcoming 2009 Mod of the Year Awards. Simply browse through any of the Starcraft or Warcraft III mods to identify those you have played and enjoyed the most. Then click the Vote For Mod button to submit your entry. The nomination period (or Phase 1) takes place from December 20, 2009 to January 5, 2010.

You can read the vote rules and prizes here.

PHASE ONE
From December 20th to January 5th every indie game and mod on the site has a voting booth activated in their profile. It is now up to you, to find your favorites, play them and vote for them – so we can narrow thousands of contenders down to the players choice top 100…

PHASE TWO
On January 6th the Top 100 mods and indie games you voted for in phase 1 will be announced and a second round of voting will commence until February 21st. Again, it is up to you, to vote for your top 3 in this list – so we can narrow the top 100 down to a handful of winners…

PHASE THREE
Early February after thousands of votes have been tallied, we shall be announcing the 2009 Players and Editors Choice winners. These indie games and mods will be showcased in an exclusive video presentation and editorial writeup. Download links will be given so you can play the years best.

Merry Christmas, Blizzard and Fans!!!

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Diablo 2 News, Diablo 3 News, StarCraft 2 News, Starcraft News, Starcraft: Ghost News, Warcraft 3 News, World of Warcraft News

It’s that time of the year when families get together in special times to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa. It’s meant to be a time of joy. I wish everyone happy holidays, especially all the people at Blizzard including those I have personally met or interacted with such as Chris Metzen, Mike Morhaime, Paul Sams, Frank Pearce, Ghostcrawler, Jeff Kaplan, Nethaera, Karune, Bashiok, Jay Wilson, J. Allen Brack, Wryxian, Changwoon Jung (who takes care of flight and hotel whenever I go to Blizzcon and to the Blizzard campus — thanks a bunch).

I gotta thank Chris Metzen for many things, he creates fantasy and sci-fi worlds that have entertained and enlightened me over the years not only through the games, but through books, manga and comic books. Chris Metzen got me invited to the fansites’ Starcraft II single player hands-on back on July 17th where I interviewed him. It was great when I was recording video of a Starcraft II panel at Blizzcon, and I heard this voice calling my name. When I turned my face to the side, it was Chris Metzen waving at me. That was absolutely awesome, and I felt a lot of joy within to have someone I am a fanboy of remember me and say hi. His work and his worlds inspire to wish to be better each day. You can learn things from certain stories, that you would not learn normally in real life for lack of living those experiences.

I emailed Chris Metzen a couple of weeks ago simply to apologize for that Sargeras article I wrote a few days ago. I had meant to write about it for a long time — ok, two years late — and used a photo by Gadgetress (OCRegister) of Chris Metzen from the 15th Anniversary of Warcraft celebration held at the Blizzard campus. The Sargeras article brought up the retcon, and possible reasons the creative team had to infuse a new direction to the story, while I was also exploring and parodying the reaction from fans when this retcon took place a couple of years ago.

To make a long story short, in the parody I used this photo of Chris Metzen that looked like those facepalm images, and I added a few parody words concerning the retcon. You know, at that moment it looked fun to use the photo in the context of the article, but I still felt uneasy within. I emailed him to apologize. It’s not my nature to cause stress to people or make them feel bad, or do bad things on purpose. I’m a nice guy, honest and overall a good guy. A bit funny sometimes, which contrast with my shy personality.

Chris Metzen was pretty cool about it, no hard feelings from him for using the photo in that context. However, I want to share that at the time that photo was taken, he had a speech about what all those 15 years at Blizzard creating all these worlds meant to him. It’s easy to say 15 years, but it’s a long time and a large chunk of your life dedicated to writing, inventing, jammin’ ideas within and with other fellow writers. It was a very emotional moment, that I can just grasp and imagine. It was a meaningful moment, that I am really sorry to have parodied.

While there’s a lot of trolls out there who might think otherwise, many people — including me — love the work Chris Metzen, Micky Neilson and the Creative Team have done over the years. We are very proud of you, Chris. Merry Christmas!

JINX T-Shirts - Free 2-Day Shipping Christmas Special

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, StarCraft 2 News, Starcraft News, World of Warcraft News

J!NX is letting WoW and Starcraft T-shirt fans know that it’s not yet too late to order in time for a Christmas gift with the Free 2-Day shipping offer. The talking Murloc plush toy is a must-have gift too.

Free 2-Day Shipping
Think it’s too late to get a gift in time? Not with FREE 2-Day shipping! Buy 3 or more tees, get free 2-Day shipping anywhere in the US! Not valid with any other offer or sale item. Expires 12/22 @ 1 PM EST.

Holiday Shipping Schedule
To receive your order by December 24th, use the shipping method schedule below:
Two-Day Service Dec 22 *
One-Day Service Dec 23 *
Gift Certificates Dec 24 *

*Order before 11 AM (EST), 10 AM (CST), 9 AM (MNT), 8 AM (PST)

Blizzard Holiday Dessert Contest 2009

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Diablo 2 News, Diablo 3 News, StarCraft 2 News, Starcraft News, World of Warcraft News

Blizzard has launched a new contest aimed at fans who have leveled up their real life cooking experience. Use your skills to create food shaped like anything from the main Blizzard franchises: popular characters, mobs, buildings, or objects.

What can be better than fresh-baked cookies or cakes? Cookies, cakes, and scrumptious desserts created with care to represent elements of the Warcraft, StarCraft, or Diablo universes, of course! We’re holding our Blizzard Holiday Dessert contest again and calling out all those talented bakers and pastry chefs to get out their flour, sugar, and rolling pins to create something amazing to tantalize the eye. Find out more on our contest page!

Prize

Ten amazing delicious delights will be chosen to win one set of the following books:

Arthas, Night of the Dragon, Beyond the Dark Portal, Tides of Darkness, Rise of the Horde, War of the Ancients Archive, and the Warcraft Archive

Blizzcon 2009: Christie Golden Book Signing Videos

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Blizzard Products News, BlizzCon, BlizzCon 2009, StarCraft 2 News, Starcraft News, Warcraft 3 News, World of Warcraft News

Pocket Books invited me to witness their Blizzcon 2009 book signing event on Saturday at 4pm where Jaime Costas and her husband raffled 40 copies of the World of Warcraft: Arthas Collector’s Edition.  I brought my video camera and captured most of the event.  There was a large amount of fans awaiting to win one of those, but also to get their own merchandise signed by Christie Golden.  I could see some World of Warcraft: Arthas (Normal Edition) and Starcraft: The Dark Templar trilogy brought by fans to be signed by the author. The place was crowded with fans that were excited to meet her.

If you recognize a friend in the two videos, let them know the link to this page.  It’s available to all attendees as a memento. I was glad to be there.  I realized I haven’t taken photos of myself with the authors in all the events I have been attending.  This time I had the chance to take a photo with all the publishers and book writers. I have been in contact with all of them quite often.  It feels like family already. Watch video # 1 below, and video # 2 here.

Blizzcon 2009: Amusing Blizzard-themed Restaurant Menu

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, BlizzCon, BlizzCon 2009, Diablo 2 News, Diablo 3 News, StarCraft 2 News, Starcraft News, World of Warcraft News

Flux (Diii.net) and I shared a room at the hotel.  When I entered the room, late night on Saturday after Blizzcon 2009 ended, he showed me a large paper.  He walked by a restaurant, and an employee asked him if he was at Blizzcon. When Flux said yes, he handed him the Restaurant menu.

Flux gave me the menu to scan it for our audience. He considered it quitely funny, and indeed it is.  The McCormick & Schmick’s Restaurant went through all the trouble to rename most of their menu and print it to catch attention from Blizzcon 2009 visitors.  The menu got tons of references from Diablo, World of Warcraft and Starcraft II.

You can find this restaurant at 321 West Katella Avenue. Suite 109. Anaheim, CA. 92802

DIABLO

Featured Species: This Halibut was captured with a spear off of Gulf of Westmarch by Deckard Cain on the “Stay a while and Listen”.

  • Kurast, Sea Scallops

  • Kurast, Bay Scallops
  • Dreadlands Rainbow Trout
  • Lachdanan’s Duck Confit Tacos with Serrano Cream
  • Pepin’s White Ale Steamed Manila Clams
  • 14 oz. New York Strip Steak (also known as Wirt’s Leg)
  • Lut Gholein, Ono
  • Tilapia Cashew Twin Seas, Khanduras
  • A Recipe taken from “The Horadrim Monastery Cook Book
  • Farham the Drunk’s Creation

    From the Kitchen of Tristram Village:

  • Dreadlands Trout (Almond Crusted with Chive Beurre Blanc)
  • Mahi-Mahi (Cajun Maple Marinated, Orange Beurre Blanc)
  • Dark Wanderer Sea Scallops
  • King Leoric Wild Swordfish

Check out other games’ references in the menu after the break.

WOW

  • Noob Entries and Sandwishes

  • Orcish Pancetta Wrapped Jumbo Prawns with Thai Barbeque Sauce
  • Korean Style Beef Short Ribs with Stormwind City Marinade
  • Nazjatar Raw Bar (Lots of Seafood options)
  • Dark Portal Steak and Stuffed Shrimp Combinations
  • Ner’zhul’s Creme Brulee
  • Darkspear, Lobster
  • Eld Druids Lobster Ravioli
  • Death Knight Filet Mignon
  • Grizzly Hills Blueberry Shortcake

STARCRAFT

  • Zerus Atlantic Salmon (*Zerus is the Zerg homeworld)

  • The Overmind’s Atlantic Salmon Zerus—stuffed with crab, bay shrimp, Brie Cheese, Chive Lemon Butter. A Favorite amongst the Zerg Swarm.
  • Gerard DuGalle Barramundi (Queensland, Australia)—served every Monday aboard the DSS Aleksander
  • The Federal Confederacy Atlantic Salmon
  • Chau Sara Tilapia Parmesan
  • Raynor’s Ling Cod Fish and Chips (Hand battered Ling Cod with Tartar Sauce and French Fries)

Starcraft: Frontline Vol. 3 Review

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Blizzard Product Reviews, Blizzard Products News, BlizzPlanet Articles, StarCraft 2 News, Starcraft News

Tokyopop provided us a copy of the StarCraft Frontline Vol. 3 to review.  It will be officially on a bookstore near you, or online on Tuesday, July 14th. This volume contains four stories: War-Torn, Do no Harm, Last Call and Twilight Archon.

I really dig and enjoy War-Torn by Paul Benjamin and Dave Shramek. Not only it has a very good and immersive dialogue going on, the artwork is one you will like right away.  Hector Sevilla should be brought often to spice up the series.

In War-Torn, for those who have been following the storyline of Corbin Phash’s telepath son, the story sets some cliffhangers that might or not be explored in the StarCraft II episodes.

A wrangler is sent by the Dominion to track the telepath boy.  He uses murderous means to find the boy at all costs. Those who aren’t acquainted with what a wrangler is, they were introduced in StarCraft: Ghost Nova by Keith R.A. DeCandido back on 2006.

A wrangler has a Psi-Index (PI) 3.5.  They aren’t telepaths, but are psi-sensitive. In short, they can sense when a telepath is nearby by the headache they get.  They are sent by the Dominion to track and hunt down telepaths, specially children, to be trained in the Ghost Program Academy.

The Dominion Senator is hiding in the Umojan Protectorate, and promises he will not rest until he recovers his boy and spread in the media the truth about the Ghost Program.  It seems Emperor Arcturus Mengsk has turned the Ghost Program into something more evil than it used to be with the Confederates.

I recommend all StarCraft fans to read StarCraft: Frontline Vol. 3.  It has some interesting stories there that makes you wonder exactly what Blizzard Entertainment is going to spotlight in the single player episodes.

Read more of this review after the break.

This wrangler has Zerglings at his disposition. They have been lobotomized to break their link with Kerrigan.  Yup, exactly what you are thinking.  This wrangler uses them as bloodhounds to search for the telepath boy. The Zerglings have a tech-collar to control them; and if they go nasty against his master, the collars have explosives for auto-destruction.

Basically they set Zerg loose upon these telepath boys to cause mass hysteria among the population. This way the people think the untrained telepaths are dangerous for civilization because they attract zerg like magnets.  The people then cooperate with the Dominion authorities and sell out volunteerly any info they may have about the kids.

Any zerg incursion must look like it has been a natural thing, and no traces that they have been deployed by the Dominion must come to the public nor the media networks.  A very dirty tactics there in the Dominion.  Makes you think the Confederates were saints in comparison.

The conclusion of War-Torn reveals what I reported recently.  The Tokyopop editor confirmed a few days ago that the telepath kid named Colin Phash will end up in the upcoming StarCraft Ghost Academy Vol. 1 by Keith R.A. DeCandido (on sale Jan 5, 2010).

The second story in StarCraft: Frontline Vol. 3 by Josh Elder left me in shock.  The Dominion scientists have secretly captured Protoss to conduct experiments for a whole year. They are known as Project Gestalt.  They created a prototype codenamed Gestalt Zero.

It is a … protoss-human hybrid created by the Dominion. He has a Ghost suit partially similar to the Ghost shown in the BlizzCon 2009 logo.  His face looks semi-human with a nose, and mouthless like a Protoss.  He is a Psi-Index 7.5 and has double the combat effectiveness of a normal Ghost.  It has Zealot psi-blades and equipped with guns.

The Dominion wants to mass-produce this prototype for their war against the Protoss and the Zerg.  You really want to read this story completely.

The next story is titled Last Call.  It is about a singer named Starry, who worked on Tarsonis city. Her left cheek is disfigured.  She was a survivor of the Zerg invasion on Tarsonis.  A Zerg Queen attacked her, and now she lives in shame for her scar, and the nightmares of that encounter have continued on and on, tormenting her.

She moved on and now works at a Sour Moon Bar in the Meteor Station. Without spoiling too much, we get to see two diplomats arranging a deal.  The Kel-Morian have found during their digging a Xel’Naga artifact.  The Dominion wishes to buy it from them.  We get to see the tension between both factions, and the thin threshold holding them from diplomatic catastrophe.

If anything, this story will show us the next evolution of the Zerg.  Let’s leave it at this: the Terran Dominion’s scanners can’t detect parasites anymore.  Kerrigan may have unwilling eyes and ears on high spheres of the Dominion Command. Trust no one.

The last story is titled Twilight Archon.  We get to see the final moments of the invasion of Aiur. A female Protoss Templar sacrifices and invokes a mother of a Psi Storm that decimated many Zerg before losing consciousness.  She awakes, and is welcomed back by a Dark Templar. He informs her she’s been out unconscious since her brave display in Aiur.

The Aiur Protoss are now in Shakuras, as guests of the Dark Templar.  She can’t bear the silence, and the emptiness. He informs her, a Hydra cut her appendages. She is no longer in the Khala, and can’t hear her brothers’ psi-union anymore.

She fears her students won’t trust her anymore. She is now unwillingly a dark templar in a way without her appendages.  Without going too deep into the story, you will see the origin of the first Twilight Archon, and how they were able to merge this way.  I really liked the artwork on this story.

It would be hard to compare or decide on which is best from all four stories.  Actually, Hector Sevilla rocks, but I liked pencils and inks by Noel Rodriguez.

To be sincere, I have never collected manga, nor like the style.  However, I do enjoy the StarCraft: Frontline series.  I purchased volume 1 and 2 last month. All I got to say to Tokyopop is: “Please, keep them rolling.”  I would like this series to be ongoing beyond the three-years deal.

The stories are thrilling, and you will quickly grow addicted to this manga.  If at least Tokyopop could publish these monthly as an ongoing series. It is definitely a worth read.  It expands the Starcraft universe and your perception of it.  I would like to see some of this stories branch out into some of the Starcraft II single player missions.

StarCraft: Frontline Live Chat w/ Tokyopop Soon

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Blizzard Products News, StarCraft 2 News, Starcraft News

I got confirmation the StarCraft: Frontline live chat will happen soon.  We are attempting to setup a date/time (to be announced soon in the front page) that is Europe-friendly.  We want our European fans to attend the live chat and to get their questions answered by Tokyopop Starcraft: Frontline editor Hope Donovan and its writers.

In advance, I wish to tell our visitors that Tokyopop doesn

Laguna Art Museum VIP Benefit Dinner, BlizzCon Ticket and More

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, BlizzCon, BlizzCon 2009, Diablo 2 News, Diablo 3 News, StarCraft 2 News, Starcraft News, Starcraft: Ghost News, Warcraft 3 News, World of Warcraft News

World of Warcraft fans in the California area—and why not, international and national folks—will be delighted to hear of a special offer that might get you into Blizzcon if you missed out the ticket lottery.

From July 17 through 19, you will have the opportunity to enter a drawing to purchase tickets for the Laguna Art Museum

Blizzard at 2009 San Diego Comic Con

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, StarCraft 2 News, Starcraft News, World of Warcraft News

The San Diego Comic Con organizers have finally revealed the schedule for Blizzard Entertainment.  Awesome Thundergod and Loremaster Chris Metzen will be there along with Nick Carpenter, Wildstorm, Tokyopop, J!NX and Upper Deck.  All tickets are sold out, so good luck to those who already planned to go to this event before knowing Blizzard would be there.  If you are among the fans going to the San Diego Comic Con let us know here.

Blizzard Quote:
Thursday, July 23 11:30-12:30 World of Warcraft: Epic Loot

DeCandido, Rosenberg and Furman Signing Schedule for July 2009

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, StarCraft 2 News, Starcraft News, Starcraft: Ghost News, World of Warcraft News

SIMON FURMAN
Simon Furman confirmed appearing at the upcoming San Diego Comic Con to sign The Transformers books.  He will be more than welcome to say hi to StarCraft fans, and to sign copies of StarCraft # 1 and 2.  He will be there all three days from July 24-26.

He has a signing on Saturday, July 25th from 4-5pm and on Sunday, July 26th from 2-3pm at the Dorling Kindersley booth.

The San Diego Comic Con is sold out, so this bit of info is merely for those who already have admission tickets.

SAN DIEGO Convention Center (Map)
111 W. Harbor Dr.
San Diego, CA 92101

KEITH R.A. DECANDIDO

Fans of Keith R.A. DeCandido (StarCraft Ghost: Nova, StarCraft Ghost: Spectres, StarCraft Ghost: Academy) may find him at Shore Leave 31 in Maryland this upcoming July 11-13 whether to get stuff signed, say hi or talk with him.

Marriott’s Hunt Valley Inn {Map)
245 Shawan Rd., Hunt Valley, MD 21031
Telephone: 410-785-7000

Friday
7-8.30pm: “Charity Roast of Keith R.A. DeCandido,” with MC Robert Greenberger, roasters Kirsten Beyer, Kevin Dilmore, Michael Jan Friedman, Glenn Hauman, David Mack, Marco Palmieri, Dayton Ward, and special guest Peter David (Hunt)
10pm-12am: “Meet the Pros,” with all the author and editor guests signing whatever you throw in front of us, and I’ll have some of my own books and comics for sale as well (Hunt/Valley Foyer)

Saturday
11am-12pm: Boogie Knights concert, where we’ll be taking audience requests (made before the concert) and debuting several new songs including one I wrote and will sing (Valley)
1-2pm: “Ten Years Later, Farscape Continues,” with Greg Cox and David Mack (Salon E)
3-4pm: “Star Trek: Corps of Engineers: Wounds,” with Ilsa J. Bick and Terri Osborne (Salon A)
4-5.30pm: “Star Trek: Mere Anarchy,” with Mike W. Barr, Christopher L. Bennett, Kevin Dilmore, Dave Galanter, Dayton Ward, and Howard Weinstein, where we’ll each be reading from one of the chapters in the tale (Salon B)
5.30-6.30pm: “The Chronic Rift Live Podcast,” with John S. Drew, and two others TBA, as we do an episode of the Rift live from Shore Leave (Tack)

Sunday
10-11am: “Mirror Universe: Shards and Shadows,” with Margaret Clark, Peter David, Kevin Dilmore, Michael Jan Friedman, Jim Johnson, David Mack, Marco Palmieri, and Dayton Ward (Salon E)
11am-12pm: “Writing to Music: The Muse that Inspires,” with Greg Cox, Allyn Gibson, Jim Johnson, William Leisner, David Mack, and Scott Pearson (Hunt)
2-3pm: “An Hour with Keith R.A. DeCandido” (Salon A)

AARON ROSENBERG
Aaron Rosenberg is also assisting Short Leave 31 in Baltimore, Maryland.  Aaron wrote Starcraft: Queen of Blades, and a sequel to this book will be revealed in the future. He has also wrote World of Warcraft: Tides of Darkness and co-wrote World of Warcraft: Beyond the Dark Portal. He is well known by Trekkies.

Saturday:
Dr. Who: What Hath Rusty Wrought?
10am-11am
Hunt

The Young Gun Writers Ride the Range
11am-noon
Hunt

Writing for Novels vs. Anthologies
1pm-2pm
Derby

Old School vs. New School: Changes in Tie-in Writing
5pm-6pm
Salon A

Sunday:
Stargate
Noon-1pm
Salon A

Plus there

Graham McNeill @ Bristol, UK on July 18

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Blizzard Products News, StarCraft 2 News, Starcraft News

Graham McNeill will appear at the Games Workshop Cribbs Causeway in Bristol on Saturday the 18th of July. It may be a good chance to get your copy of StarCraft: I, Mengsk signed by the author.  He will be there from 1pm – 3pm.  You may contact the store on 0117 959 2520 for more details. Check out a google map here. Submit your photos to publish them on the front page. Let us know if you have planned to go in advance.

I met Graham McNeill in New York a month ago, and took some video of his signing during the Book Expo America. After the break, you can watch three videos of his signing there at the Javits Center. If you attended that signing, you might have shown up in the video.

Games Workshop – Cribbs Causeway
Location Avon
Town Cribbs Causeway – North Bristol

Street Address/Directions Unit 129
Upper Level
The Mall
Bristol
BS34 5UP

StarCraft: Frontline Vol. 3 On sale

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, StarCraft 2 News, Starcraft News

StarCraft: Frontline Vol. 3 by Tokyopop is now on sale at a bookstore near you and online.  The most interesting of the four stories no doubt is War-Torn, as well as its artwork and style, by Hector Sevilla—which is the best I have seen in a while.

War-Torn deals with the son of Dominion senator Corbin Phash who is a telepath. He is doing his utmost to hide his son from the Dominion to rid him from the Ghost Program’s rigurous training.  This child telepath will appear in the upcoming StarCraft Ghost: Academy. View the preview images of each chapter here.

Description

Revel in the brutal, menacing and sublime world of StarCraft in this collection of world-expanding adventures….

In “War-Torn, “Senator Corbin Phash used his power and influence to hide his young son Colin’s psionic abilities from the Dominion, but their secret has finally been exposed!

In “Do No Harm,” the sadistic “Butcher of Korhal,” Dr. Burgess, gets his bloody hands on Muadun, a recently captured protoss high templar and goes dissecting for clues on how to mass-produce horrifying protoss-terran soldiers…

In “Last Call,” a lounge singer on the backwater mining post of Meteor Station finds herself at the center of diplomatic intrigue…

And in “Twilight Archon,” the griving head instructor of a protoss templar school discovers what she’ll have to sacrifice just to be whole again.

StarCraft: The Dark Templar, Twilight On Sale Now

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, StarCraft 2 News, Starcraft News

The StarCraft: The Dark Templar, Twilight by Christie Golden is now on sale at a bookstore near you and online.  I read this book 3 weeks earlier. It is awesome.

After the seeming defeat of the dark archon Ulrezaj on the protoss homeworld of Aiur, Jake and Rosemary become separated as they flee through the newly repaired warp gate. Rosemary finds herself with the other refugee protoss on Shakuras, while Jake is catapulted elsewhere. But Jake does not have long to live: their enemies are regrouping, and Zamara’s essence must be separated from Jake’s mind before time runs out.

Jake knows he must survive long enough for Zamara to pass on her vital secret. But which faction—Valerian, zerg, or the recovered and increasingly powerful Ulrezaj—will find them first? His only hope rests with the powerful and legendary Zeratul, but as Jake is about to learn…even a dark templar can have a crisis of faith.

These are the key topics you will learn after reading this book: (Instead of straight spoiling, I reveal the plots to look forward to)

SPOILERS

1. We learn the present Hierarchy structure of the Protoss in Shakuras which consists of six members representing each of the Khala and Dark Templar tribes.  Their interaction and rivalries when taking decisions.

2. Zeratul, Hierarch Artanis and Executor Selendis take active roles in certain moments of the plot.

3. We learn what Zeratul has been doing all this time after he killed Matriarch Razsagal and where.

4. Zeratul tells what he saw in the uncharted world and what Duran did there.

5. Zamara finally reveals what dire secret she has sacrificed everything to deliver to the Protoss—the truth about the Protoss, Zerg and the Xel’Naga are finally revealed.  As consequence we learn exactly what the hybrid are and are not.

6. The culmination of what happened with the Xel’Naga temples in the book StarCraft: Shadows of the Xel’Naga, and StarCraft: The Dark Templar, book one: First Born comes to a half-conclusion—leaving a cliffhanger of where Zeratul is headed to off-panel.  Next time we see him will be in StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty with his Tidings of Doom and we will get the answer of what happened off-panel after the book.

7. Valerian Mengsk will do something we never saw coming at the end of the book, and rises many questions about his role in StarCraft II.

8. The origin and past of the once young dark templar Ulrezaj is revealed, and how he learned to become the most powerful Dark Archon in history.

9. The Khala protoss have preservers to conserve the memories of all the protoss that have ever lived.  The Dark Templar cut off their appendages to become individual and rejected the Khala. So … how do they substitute the preservers?  Find out in TWILIGHT.

10. Adun’s true history is revealed. The lies are shredded away.  Did Adun really die?  Did Tassadar?  Where has Adun been all along if he didn’t die? Will he return in StarCraft II? Find out in TWILIGHT.  It is a shocking revelation that is going to thrill all true StarCraft lore fans.

11. The fate of Ulrezaj comes to a conclusion … or has it?

You better get this book asap. It’s HOT.  Consider it a StarCraft II single player prologue.

CHAPTER 1

We must go, Rosemary.

Rosemary Dahl’s head whipped up at Zamara’s voice speaking in her brain. She didn’t think she’d ever get truly comfortable with such a method of communication, but after the last several minutes, when she and the protoss inside Jake’s mind had worked together to repair the damaged warp gate, she was getting used to it. She fired one last time at the zerg, swarming far too close for comfort, even though their target was elsewhere, and let her gaze linger for just a second on the glowing darkness that was lumbering toward them.

They’d come here because of Zamara, the…spirit, Rosemary guessed was the best word, of a dead protoss preserver who housed every memory every protoss had ever had. And among those memories was something so important that Zamara had been determined to find a way to continue on after death—to share those memories with one Jacob Jefferson Ramsey, archaeologist, who was now possibly going to die because of those memories. Zamara had brought them here to locate a fragment of an extremely pure and powerful crystal, thinking to save Jake’s life with it.

All well and good, but they hadn’t counted on a lot of things. They hadn’t counted on finding two separate and determined protoss factions practically at war with one another. They hadn’t counted on Valerian Mengsk, son of Emperor Arcturus Mengsk and Rosemary’s employer-turned-hunter, tracking them here. They hadn’t counted on confronting Rosemary’s former lover Ethan Stewart, seemingly raised from the dead and horrifically modified by someone he referred to as the “queen,” leading a pack of zerg. And for sure they hadn’t counted on discovering that one of the protoss factions—the Forged—was being controlled by a monstrosity called a dark archon.

An entity comprised of seven of the deadliest assassins in the history of the dark templar, his name was Ulrezaj. Dark archons were an abomination to the Aiur protoss, and Rosemary had her own deeply personal grudge against the thing out there. The misguided followers of the monstrous being had dredged up the very worst parts of her, the parts she had thought she’d shed long ago. They had captured her and smeared some kind of drug they called “Sundrop” on her skin, and she’d toppled immediately back into the dark pit of addiction. Her eyes narrowed even now as she recalled what the drug had done to her.

She tore her mind from the memory and focused on the pleasant image in front of her. Attacked on three sides, he was stumbling now, the oh-so-mighty Ulrezaj, and her heart leaped to see it. More than anything she could recall wanting—well, wanting with a clear head at any rate—she wanted to see Ulrezaj die, fall beneath the chittering living carpet of zerg, the powerful onslaught of Valerian Mengsk’s Dominion vessels, and the stubborn attack of what few protoss remained on Aiur.

I sympathize with your desire, but the gate will soon close.

Gotcha, Zamara.

Rosemary whirled and headed for the gate at top speed. Right before she plunged into its swirling, misty center, she called over her shoulder, “Jake, come on!”

Beside her ran the last few protoss to escape Aiur. Those who stayed behind would die. She knew it, and they knew it, and they were content with their choice. As for the gate, Rosemary wasn’t sure what to expect. The ground seemed solid beneath her running feet the entire way, but darkness descended almost instantly. Rosemary clutched her rifle and slowed, unsure if she was through yet or not. The consistency of the earth seemed to change, become less firm, more like sand than hard-packed earth. It was still dark, but there was some source of light, dispersed and faint, like starlight. She could just start to make out the shapes of the protoss around her and—

HALT!

The order that slammed into her brain was so intense that Rosemary gasped and stumbled, falling into one of the protoss who had also come to a stopbeside her. He caught her quickly and steadied her.

Information flooded her brain, a cacophony of mental shouting and explanations, and she bit back a gasp of pain. The protoss next to her squeezed her arm reassuringly. Good God, was this how it was all the time? Until this moment Rosemary hadn’t fully appreciated how much Zamara had shielded her—

”—from Aiur. There is one other who is still coming—“

—images of battle, of death, of Ulrezaj, of dead protoss lying in the chambers beneath the protoss homeland—

”—zerg and a dark archon—“

”—Sundrop, a despicable drug—“

“Zerg?”

Rosemary winced at the horror emanating from the protoss who surrounded the little band of refugees; she knew now that they were surrounded here, wherever “here” on Shakuras was.

“What were you thinking? Zerg? You’ll lead them here! Redirect, redirect and then shut it down!” Rosemary shoved her way through the press of protoss surrounding her; they were too tall and she couldn’t see these new protoss who were—

Clarity struck her like an armored fist as she suddenly made sense of the jumble of words and images with which her poor human, non-psionic brain was being bombarded. They were going to close the gate.

Which would leave Jake stranded on Aiur.

“No!” she shrieked. Rosemary lunged for the nearest protoss, seizing his arm. His head whipped around and he stared at her, and she got a hint of just how alien she must appear to these beings. Unlike the refugees who had just raced through the warp gate, these protoss were fit, healthy, and armed to the teeth—well, they would have been if they’d had any teeth. The templar she’d dared lay hands on freed himself easily and backhanded her, training his weapon on her as she fell hard on soft sand. The wind knocked out of her, she gasped inelegantly like a fish, staring up at a purple sky that was not quite day and not quite night, still instinctively and foolishly trying to form words when intellectually she knew that thoughts would do as well or better.

Bless them, the other protoss rallied. The one who’d caught her before—Vartanil, she thought his name was—now gently helped her to her feet, while the others shot streams of information to the guards of the warp gate.

“You must open the gates, if only briefly!” Vartanil was saying. “There is a terran male named Jacob Jefferson Ramsey still on Aiur. He houses within him one of the last preservers.”

The guard who’d struck Rosemary gazed coldly at Vartanil. “The hardships you have endured over the last four years must have damaged your mind, Vartanil.”

Rosemary wondered as breath finally came back to her how the guard had known Vartanil’s name. Oh yeah—that instant thought stuff. And even as that realization hit, she found that she knew the guards’ names as well. This bully, his skin dark gray and his face angular and dotted here and there with sharp, small hornlike protrusions, was Razturul. The other was Turavis.

“He’s right,” Rosemary said, “and it’s a hell of a long story. Zamara will tell you, but first you need to open this damned gate!”

She was astonished at how upset she was at the thought of Jake being stranded in Aiur. Or being taken by Valerian or Ethan or reduced to a little cloud of atoms by Ulrezaj. He didn’t deserve to wind up that way, not after all he’d been through. And whatever little mysteries Zamara had locked in her dead-butyet-still-living consciousness were obviously very important to the protoss.

Razturul’s eyes, glowing in the dim light of a twilight evening, narrowed as he regarded her. “It is true that you all tell the same story,” he acknowledged, obviously reluctantly.

“Yes, Razturul, but none of them can enter the Khala, so we cannot verify their claims in a place where there can be no deception,” said Turavis. His face was smoother than the bully’s, and his nerve cords, neatly pulled back and tied, hung down to his waist.

Razturul pointed at Vartanil. “This one claims that the protoss you have brought with you, terran, have been subjected to a drug called Sundrop.” His eyes widened slightly as, unbidden, Rosemary recollected the abject shame and self-loathing she’d endured while in the throes of that wretched drug. “Ah, you, too, claim to have been addicted.”

“No claim about it,” Rosemary muttered. She fought back her anger and fear. “Please,” she said, a word she did not often use. “My friend and the preserver he houses are in terrible danger. Just open the gate for a second.”

“It is too late,” Turavis said, compassion lacing his words. “But if it is any consolation, your friend has been redirected to another gate.”

Rosemary looked at him, uncomprehending.

“The warp gates are xel’naga technology, and they can be found on many worlds,” Turavis continued. “Any warp gate can open onto any other active gate. When we saw that there was a risk of invasion—by zerg, or the Dominion, or this dark archon—we redirected anyone who was already within the boundaries of the gate to another one. Jacob will have walked through the gate thinking to arrive on Shakuras, as you have, but instead will find himself in another place entirely.”

Rosemary gaped at him. “Oh, great. Can you tell which one?”

Razturul shook his head. “No. While it is not entirely random, there are still many possibilities. The redirection is designed so that if it is an enemy, they will not be sent anywhere that they could do harm to our people, but if it is one of our own, they will be able to survive.”

“Well, yeah, but in case you haven’t noticed, bud, I’m not a protoss. What about toxic atmospheres? What about predators? What about food? We humans can’t live on sunlight like you guys can.”

“You said he is with a preserver,” Razturul said, casting a slightly disapproving glance at Vartanil. “If this is true, then she will be able to program the gate to take them somewhere else, if where they are is inhospitable. Do not worry about him, Rosemary Dahl. I would think you should be more worried about yourself.”

“What—hey look, Pointy-face,” Rosemary snarled, drawing herself up to her full diminutive height. “Right about now my buddy is figuring out that he’s somewhere that’s not Shakuras, where he needs to be to get the preserver out of his head and save his damn life, and that he is someplace else all by himself with no clue about how to reach anybody who can help him. I think it highly appropriate that I worry about him, and oh, by the way, are you threatening me?”

Rosemary found herself surrounded by templar, both kinds, all with those weird energy blades pointed at her.

“It was not a threat; it was a warning,” Razturul said smoothly. “Come with us, Rosemary Dahl. We have no wish to hurt you, but you must be confined and interrogated.”

Her eyes widened slightly at the last word. She knew what that was code for where the Dominion was concerned, and she’d rather die right now, speared on a glowing blade of mental energy made physical, than be subjected to the impersonal and deliberate brain dismemberment that—

—images of a room, spartan but not devoid of comforts, and answering questions filled her mind.

“Oh,” she said, relaxing slightly. “That’s a bit better.”

She got a hint of something that might have been “barbaric.”

“My friends,” she said, gesturing to the protoss who had accompanied her. “What will happen to them?”

Turavis turned to regard the protoss who had escaped the carnage that was now the surface of Aiur. “They are brothers, to be welcomed home,” he said. “We will help them recover from the grip of this…Sundrop…and question them as well. Once they have shared their information, we would joyfully have them rejoin protoss society.”

She couldn’t help it. The thought, and what’s going to happen to me? was formed and was read.

“That remains to be seen,” said Turavis. “It will depend on what the executor decides.”

As Rosemary and the little group of refugees trudged through soft blue sand to a gleaming vessel that awaited them, Rosemary thought darkly that “executor” sounded a bit too much like “executioner” for her liking.

Copyright

StarCraft: Frontline Vol. 4 - Chris Metzen’s Jim Raynor Story

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Blizzard Products News, StarCraft 2 News, Starcraft News

TOKYOPOP layout artist and resident WoW expert Michael Paolilli talks about his excitement for the StarCraft II Beta and the book that will help keep you from going crazy while you wait: StarCraft: Frontline Vol. 3.

The new edition of StarCraft: Frontline Vol. 3 is coming out on July 14th just in time to appease all you StarCraft lovers while you wait for the Beta to start. You can see a preview of the new volume on our web site—just click here. The new volume features some of the new units exclusive to StarCraft 2, such as reapers and twilight archons. StarCraft: Frontline Vol.3 also has the next chapter in the story of young Colin Phash, which continues in StarCraft: Frontline Volume 4, and culminates in our new series StarCraft: Ghost Academy, which will be released January 2010.

On the game front, with the release of the new third installment of the StarCraft 2 Battle Report last week, we were able to see a glimpse of even more new units, abilities and a brand new 2v2 map. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you can see it here on the official StarCraft 2 web site. With the Beta for StarCraft 2 drawing ever closer, StarCraft fans all over the world (myself included) can barely wait for the invites to go out so we can log into the new battle net and play the game!

Also keep your eyes peeled for StarCraft: Frontline Vol.4 (hitting shelves September 9, 2009), which features an exclusive Jim Raynor back story written by Blizzard Entertainment’s Senior Vice President and head of Creative Development, Chris Metzen. That story leads directly into the new game StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty. The book will also feature stories about a reaper squad, dark templar and the ghost academy. Look below as well for is a sneak peek at part of the cover for StarCraft: Frontline Vol. 4.

So stay tuned for more information about the books and information about the game once the beta kicks off.

Until then, be sure to pick up the first 3 volumes of StarCraft: Frontline to satisfy those StarCraft cravings!

Michael Paolilli
Production Artist & Creative Consultant for Blizzard titles

StarCraft: The Dark Templar, Twilight Interview Update

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Blizzard Products News, BlizzPlanet Site News, StarCraft 2 News, Starcraft News

Last week, I traveled to Huntington, New York to meet Christie Golden at the Book Revue.  I have to thank Blizzard Entertainment and Simon & Schuster, Inc for approving this interview in such a short notice. I finished editing the video interview with Christie Golden and sent it to both companies to make sure all that is asked and said there is ok by them.  There’s some thrilling and teasing stuff revealed by Christie. The video interview lasts roughly 10 minutes.

StarCraft: The Dark Templar, Twilight is the last book in the trilogy, which sets the backstory leading to the single-player mode from StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty RTS game.  It lays bare the naked past of Dark Archon Ulrezaj and we get to see flashbacks of Tassadar through the Protoss Preserver’s memories. TWILIGHT will be on bookstores this upcoming June 30th.  I was given a copy of the book in advance at the Book Revue, and plan to write a review—which of course won’t be shown until then.  Expect the video interview pretty soon on our front page.

Concerning the Tokyopop live chat with five writers and the editor, it is still in process to be approved by Blizzard.  Be patient. This upcoming live chat will be about StarCraft: Frontline. In advance I wish to let fans know that you should ask about the stories within the manga, and to avoid asking these writers about the RTS game.  They do not represent Blizzard Entertainment and the StarCraft II Team. That said, you can explore with the writers each of the stories present in Volume 1 and 2.  And ask about the upcoming Volume 3 on sale July 1. I purchased the first two volumes, and I am excited with some of the stories, and wish to learn more either in upcoming volumes or in-game.

First copy of Twilight signed by Christie Golden

E3 2009: Blizzard accepts Guinness World Record Awards

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Developers, Blizzard Games News, Mike Morhaime, Paul Sams, StarCraft 2 News, Starcraft News, World of Warcraft News

Mike Morhaime (CEO) and Paul Sams (COO) accepted the Guinness World Records Gamer’s Edition award for World of Warcraft as the most popular MMORPG with 11.6 million subscribers; and for StarCraft, the best selling strategy game for PC with over 9.5 million copies sold worldwide.

Elsewhere in E3, Gaz and Matt had the opportunity to meet up with some of the people who have made massive, record-breaking contributions to videogaming, and who have featured in Gamer

Last Chance - Fansites BlizzCon Tickets Giveaways

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, BlizzCon, BlizzCon 2009, Diablo 2 News, Diablo 3 News, StarCraft 2 News, Starcraft News, Starcraft: Ghost News, Warcraft 3 News, World of Warcraft News

The Blizzcon Tickets are sold out.  However, you still have a chance at winning a Free ticket to attend Blizzcon via Fansites Giveways courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment.  Blizzard is very supportive to all the fansites under their flag. So take this very exciting opportunity.  Beneath are all the fansites whose giveaway is still active.  Participate in all of them to increase your chances at winning one. However, if you got two be honest and let them know. Good luck and see you at BlizzCon.

INCGAMERS NETWORK

OTHER FANSITES

Glynnis Talken: 2009 Cherry Festival - Beaumont CA

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, StarCraft 2 News, Starcraft News

Glynnis Talken (Sarah McKerrigan) will be at The 91st Annual Cherry Festival in the City of Beaumont, California this Friday, June 5th.  It is located between Stewart Park on 9th and Orange Streets Beaumont, CA 92223.  For event info call (951) 769-8524.  Bring your StarCraft stuff to be signed or her own medieval romance books and say hi.  Send us video or photos of your encounter.

She is going there mostly to support her husband (boo) Richard Campbell, vocalist/bass player of America who is playing at the event. However, she is welcoming fans and willing to sign books and stuff. The event starts from 5pm till midnight.

Parking details may be found at the event flyer (PDF)

Aaron Rosenberg coming to Border Books - Ramsey New Jersey

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Blizzard Products News, StarCraft 2 News, Starcraft News

Aaron Rosenberg (StarCraft: Queen of Blades writer) will be a guest-speaker at the Science Fiction Association of Bergen City on Saturday, June 13th at 7pm EST. His speech starts at 8pm, so you will have time to talk to him earlier.

Aaron will talk about his first steps as a professional writer, and his current projects.  If you live in the area, he is more than willing to talk to you, and sign your books. Send us video or photos of your meeting.—(Map)

Borders Books
Interstate Shopping Center
235 Route 17 South
Ramsey, NJ 07446

(201) 760-1967

StarCraft # 1 On Sale

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Blizzard Products News, StarCraft 2 News, Starcraft News

Wildstorm Comics and DC Comics officially launched StarCraft # 1 today at a newsstand near you. You can optionally subscribe to the year-round 12-issues delivery.

If you missed it we recently had a interview with the StarCraft # 1 editor Ben Abernathy, and exclusive preview scans of the inner pages of this comic book. Stay tuned for our upcoming interview with its writer Simon Furman (The Transformers).

From the bestselling Blizzard computer game comes the most explosive sci-fi action comic ever created! Join the WarPigs, a disbanded team of outlaws reunited by their former captain for one last job: the assassination of Jim Raynor!

Join creators Keith Giffen, Simon Furman and Federico Dallocchio for WildStorm’s explosive foray into the world of STARCRAFT with this new ongoing series!

Written by Keith Giffen and Simon Furman; Art and cover by Federico Dallocchio; Variant Cover by Shawn Moll and Doug Mahnke

Wildstorm – 32pg.- Color – $2.99 US
On Sale May 27, 2009