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!
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 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!
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
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.
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
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.
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
Eld Druids Lobster Ravioli
Death Knight Filet Mignon
Grizzly Hills Blueberry Shortcake
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)
Wildstorm has released a new Starcraft comic book Wallpaper that displays a zerg hydralisk in the background, and three members of the mercenary group: The War Pigs. This wallpaper was drawn by Wildstorm artist Shawn Moll.
Short notice announcement. Folks living on or near Nottingham, Graham McNeill (Starcraft: I, Mengsk) is making a public appearance at the Games Workshop Nottingham on Saturday, August 1st, 2009 between 1:00PM to 3:00PM.
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.
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