Monthly Archives: April 2014

Writing for The Extremis Review

As I wrote in the introduction to my post Thor: Movie vs. Myth was the topic given to me by The Extremis Review to see if my writing is good enough for them.
What can I say?

As of today I am officially in the roster for The Extremis Review. 🙂

On a monthly basis I will be providing a short post to a given topic, though I am also able to make suggestions as to what I would like to write about. My first post is due at the end of May, so you will have to continue reading my work here for now, until a post of mine will be published there.
Before you start wondering: Yes, I decided to use both my usual nickname (PoiSonPaiNter) and my Jesterdeer (my avatar that looks like a donkey with a jester-hat, yet calling it Jesterdonkey sounds stupid), even though everyone else uses a name that at least sounds like it could be a real one; but I already mentioned why I prefer the nickname.
I’m curious which topics I will be able to cover and what their readers will think of my contributions. Though probably the hardest thing for me will be the word count as my posts are supposed to be around 500 words and as you might have noticed I am rarely able to keep things short, even though I did have a few goes at it recently.
Anyway, I’m looking forward to this new challenge and am now off to rest a bit before Walpurgis Night tomorrow. 🙂
PoiSonPaiNter

The Weekend Guess #8

Regardless of the apparent lack of posts this week, again, I present to you the eighth instalment of: The Weekend Guess.
What is the Weekend Guess?
Three riddles formulated by me that are puns and wordplays on the answer itself I put on here for my readers to answer.
Why am I doing this?
For no apparent reason, just because I consider the idea to be funny.
What are the questions about?
Everything I can think of I guess, but mostly song titles and bands that you have to figure out.
What is your part in this?
You can try to figure out my riddles and see if you can manage to get behind them and understand what I am describing.
What is in it for you?
So far: Nothing, but the knowledge that you managed to unlock one of my silly riddles.
Let’s start with the eighth set of questions
With all three I am looking for both band name and song. (Hints: The topic of the songs all have to do with Fairy Tales and legends and all bands are German bands and the titles are German too.)

#1

A long haired beauty caged in a high tower by the final resort.
#2

The catcher of large rodents sung about to the extreme.
#3

The dance of the dead telling about an reflective owl-trickster

Leave your guesses in the comments below and I can see if my questions are too easy or to hard to figure out. I will give the correct answer with the next instalment.
Have fun figuring them out! 🙂
Solution for last weeks Weekend Guess:

#1 Amon Amarth – Twilight of the Thundergod

#2  Sabaton – Swedish Pagans

#3 Blind Guardian – Valhalla

This time no one really tried guessing them, so I can’t congratulate anyone.
PoiSonPaiNter

The Weekend Guess #7

Even though I was unable to formulate a proper post this week you will still get the seventh instalment of: The Weekend Guess.
What is the Weekend Guess?
Three riddles formulated by me that are puns and wordplays on the answer itself I put on here for my readers to answer.
Why am I doing this?
For no apparent reason, just because I consider the idea to be funny.
What are the questions about?
Everything I can think of I guess, but mostly song titles and bands that you have to figure out.
What is your part in this?
You can try to figure out my riddles and see if you can manage to get behind them and understand what I am describing.
What is in it for you?
So far: Nothing, but the knowledge that you managed to unlock one of my silly riddles.
Let’s start with the seventh set of questions
With all three I am looking for both band name and song. (Hint: The topic of the songs all have to do with a post from last week.)

#1

The end of a Norse deity sung about by the Sindarin Mount Doom.
#2

A knights metal shoe describing heathen warriors from Scandinavia.
#3

The eyeless protector being denied the ascent to the hall of the slain.

Leave your guesses in the comments below and I can see if my questions are too easy or to hard to figure out. I will give the correct answer with the next instalment.
Have fun figuring them out! 🙂
Solution for last weeks Weekend Guess:

#1 Van Canto – If I Die in Battle

#2 Blind Guardian – Time Stands Still (At the Iron Hills)

#3 Grave Digger – Rebellion

This time no one really tried guessing them, so I can’t congratulate anyone.
PoiSonPaiNter

The Weekend Guess #6

After I spent most of my weekend in Berlin I present to you the sixth instalment of: The Weekend Guess.
What is the Weekend Guess?
Three riddles formulated by me that are puns and wordplays on the answer itself I put on here for my readers to answer.
Why am I doing this?
For no apparent reason, just because I consider the idea to be funny.
What are the questions about?
Everything I can think of I guess, but mostly song titles and bands that you have to figure out.
What is your part in this?
You can try to figure out my riddles and see if you can manage to get behind them and understand what I am describing.
What is in it for you?
So far: Nothing, but the knowledge that you managed to unlock one of my silly riddles.
Let’s start with the sixth set of questions
With all three I am looking for both band name and song. (Hint: This time each are German bands, though their names and songs are English)

#1

Hero Metal A Cappella contemplating fatal defeat in a fight.
#2

An eyeless protector describing a stagnation of time at a fictional range of mountains.
#3

Someone who buries the dead marching against the laws in the Scottish Highlands.

Leave your guesses in the comments below and I can see if my questions are too easy or to hard to figure out. I will give the correct answer with the next instalment.
Have fun figuring them out! 🙂
Solution for last weeks Weekend Guess:

#1 Schandmaul – Walpurgisnacht

#2 Rammstein – Mutter

#3 Die Ärzte – Männer sind Schweine

This time no one really tried guessing them, so I can’t congratulate anyone.
PoiSonPaiNter

Re-Wri-Day: In Concert

As I have just released my review of the Schandmaul concert I attended last week, I contemplated about the reviews I had published before. As already the name of the category it was put in bugged me I set off to use this in the Re-Wri-Day.
What is the Re-Wri-Day?
Inspired by EdMooneyPhotography’s Re-Work-Wednesday and based on the fact that my writing style for this Blog has changed over the past two years I kind of created my own version of this.
But why the strange name and what does it mean?
I’m awful when it comes to puns and I couldn’t help myself but to turn re-write and Friday into one strange word: Re-Wri-Day. Sorry…
But in conclusion: These posts are supposed to be always published on a Friday, but not necessarily on every Friday, just the Fridays when I feel like editing an old post beforehand.
And what am I doing with this?
I am taking my old posts from the beginnings of writing this Blog or just former posts and read them again to see what things I can change or add. They wont necessarily be actually re-written, but some changes will be made.
In the Re-Wri-Day post I’ll also give you a couple of thoughts on why I had chosen the topic and stuff you might be interested in.
So, let’s have a look at the posts in the Category: In Concert
First of all I changed the category from simply „Concert“ to „In Concert“ and modified the post titles accordingly.
I also added additional headlines between different paragraphs in the posts.
In the summarized review for 2012 I made them simply the band name and place of the concert, whereas with the ones for Letzte Instanz and Avantasia I tried to use their song titles as puns (E.g. Journey to the Tempodrom as pun from Avantasia’s „Journey to Acadia„) or just tried to make any kind of remotely funny line, like in the ones for the Paganfest.
It feels like adding sub-headlines helps me to better place some of the information and nicely splits up the masses of words in a post.
I am pretty sure that the next big thing will be my festival reviews, as they are even larger and more confusing than those for the concerts – and I don’t like the category name either.
PoiSonPaiNter

Thor: Movie vs. Myth

The topic of this post is an assignment I got from The Extremis Reviews to see if my work is good enough for me to become a guest author for their page. I’m curious how that will work out, but as usual I do not put too much hope into it.
Regardless of me getting „the job“ or not, I already had thought about writing about Norse Mythology a bit more than the few mentions I had so far. Therefore I also see this as possibility for me to start my work on it properly.
As I mentioned in my review for Thor: The Dark World was I sceptical about the Thor-film in regards to its adaptations of the myths. I already knew a few things about the myths when I first heard about the film/the characters and the more I learned about both the myths and the Marvel-version, the more I was reluctant to actually try it. The way they portray characters and their relationships with each other seemed so wrong to me that I had a hard time grasping my head around it.
So with this post I want to show you some of the major differences between the adaptations of the myths in Marvels Cinematic Universe’s „Thor“ (and its follow-up films) and Norse Mythology itself. Please do keep in mind that I am not an expert on this matter and most of this is recited by memory, so if you see any mistakes you are more than welcome to inform me about them.
What confused me the most when I started watching the first Thor film were the

Family relationships;

especially Loki being Thor’s brother.
Deep down in the back of my mind something practically ranted at me: „He is not the brother. He wasn’t the brother. Was he?“ until I took my Laptop and looked it up.
Needles to say my nagging mind was indeed correct: According to Norse Mythology Loki is NOT the brother of Thor, but instead the blood brother (meaning no blood relationship whatsoever) of Odin, as Loki otherwise would not have been allowed to stay in Asgard due to being a giant. Though he does share some rather funny adventures with the God of Thunder (including for example cross-dressing, but covering that would stray too far away from the topic).
Another strange change are Thor and Sif, which in the original are married, while in the Marvel universe they are but friends. They fight alongside each other with Sif having a crush on him and Thor simply ignoring it and swooning over the „mortal“ Jane Foster. In the comics I believe Sif even becomes a Valkyrie, which would make any proper relationship quite impossible (in the myths they are the ones picking up the fallen warriors that are granted access to Valhalla, their „heaven“).
Not mentioned at all in the films, so far, are other family members of Thor and Loki.
As far as I know Thor has at least two brother’s (Baldr and Hodur) that play a major role on the way to Ragnarök (the Twilight of the Gods, the end of everything that is known). From a bit of research I know that Baldr has an appearance in the comics, but I believe the films will shelve Ragnarök for quite some time to cover other stories before that.
On Loki’s side there are the other pieces missing that are to bring about the end: The monster babies. 🙂
Jörmungandr (a gigantic serpent, large enough to circle the world entirely – and Thor’s arch enemy), Fenrir (an enormous wolf and the one said to kill Odin) and Hel(a – half young and beautiful woman, half rotten corpse and mistress of Helheim/Niflheim, the realm of the deceased that were not allowed to enter Valhalla, whose inhabitants she will lead into the fight against the Aesir at her fathers‘ side) the children of Loki and the giantess Angrboda that are very badly treated in the myths and do not appear in the films or stories of Marvel. Though Hel(a) is mentioned and shown in some of the cartoon versions and even called Loki’s daughter, though no mentioning of her mother or her brothers at all (there also are a wolf called Fenrir and a serpent, but it is not clear if they are in any way related to Loki and/or Marvels versions of them).
And let’s not forget his other two children with his Aesir-wife Sigyn (who is actually depicted in some of the comics and cartoons) that are used for his punishment shortly before Ragnarök (and I better not get into details about this right now, as it is quite nasty).

Origins:

As we already are talking about Loki’s children: Did you know that the eight-legged horse Odin is riding into battle (you can see it when he arrives in Jotunheim to rescue Thor and the others in the first film) is supposed to be Loki’s offspring? And did you also know that he is the mother?
Regardless if you answered these questions with yes or no, it is indeed the case that there is a story in the Norse Mythology about how the wall of Asgard was build and how Loki was forced to trick the horse of the builder into running off so that the builder (who was a giant in disguise) could not finish his work in time. As he had disguised himself as a white mare the God of Mischief returned several months after the ordeal with a foal, Sleipnir, that he then gave to Odin. Speaking of disguises: You think Loki’s illusions are fun? In the real stories he occasionally turns himself into all kind of things including a fish and several different women. 😉
If you think Sleipnir’s heritage is strange then let me tell you what is „wrong“ about Loki’s: In the myths Loki is not just depicted as the God of Mischief, but also as the God of Fire, due to him being a Fire Giant (Loki or Locke even means something like flame if I’m not mistaken) and yes, Marvel turned this around and made him a Frost Giant. Though they turned around something way more hilarious as well.
You remember the king of the Frost Giants, Laufey, who is said to be Loki’s father? Well, in the myths „Laufey“ is the name of Loki’s mother…
Though not a person the origin of Thor’s hammer Mjolnir differs in the stories as well. In Marvel it is said that the hammer was forged in a dying dwarf star from one of the strongest metals in the universe – incidentally the same as Captain America‘s shield, explaining the blast they emit when they collide in The Avengers. The only thing that coincides with the myths, however, is the word „dwarf“.
Mjolnir was forged by a dwarf – or dwarve, as the fantasy version is referred to – that got himself into a bet with Loki when the god had badmouthed the dwarves abilities to forge proper weaponry. While the dwarve worked on the hammer another one was trying to keep the flames steady. As he, however, was distracted by a fly (*cough*Loki*cough*) he failed at his task and the handle of the hammer ended up being rather short. Due to this Loki saw himself the victor, but the Aesir still preferred the dwarves work over the work Loki had presented them.  As the dwarve could not get Loki’s head as he had demanded (cutting off the head without doing the same with the neck proofed difficulty) he instead stitched up the lips of the lying god. Though none of this is portrayed in the Marvel universe, which is rather unfortunate.
What is however portrayed in Marvel and not in the myths are the Warriors Three. I don’t remember something like them existing in the stories as the most frequent companion Thor had on his adventures was Loki.

Appearance

It is normal to change the appearance of characters to fit a different audience, but some decision might be true to the Marvel version, but are still quite different from the Norse one.
So even though Jamie Alexander is a beautiful woman it is indeed unfortunate that she is not depicted with Norse-Sif’s golden hair that resulted from one of Loki’s many mischiefs (and is made of real gold). Other changed hair colours include Thor (red) and Loki (occasionally blond) themselves.
The strangest change however is Heimdal and a former fellow student of mine even declared that she stopped watching the first film as soon as she saw him. It is highly unlikely that someone of Idris Elbas skin-colour would have found his way into Norse Mythology; as Loki’s arch enemy nonetheless. (This is in no way meant offensive and I think Elba does a pretty good job as Asgards gate keeper. It just doesn’t really fit with what the myths tell us.)
But as she so nicely put it: At least Odin has only one eye.

The Nine realms

As I wrote in the review: I do like how they described Yggdrasil, the World Tree, and its connection to the other realms. A nice scientific explanation.
In the myths it is an actual tree that connects the different realms with his roots, trunk and branches. Deep down underneath the World Tree lie the dark realms, like Helheim. Where the trunk stands Midgard stretches on and high above the branches lies Asgard, home of the Aesir. The other realms lie somewhere as well, but I can’t really remember where exactly, sorry.
The difference in this is simply put: No science, actual tree and rainbow.
As you might have noticed I referred to the (main, as there are others too) inhabitants of Asgard as Aesir instead of Asgardians as Marvel calls them. The latter sounds more like simply referring to the alien-species that lives in Asgard than for what it is used to describe in the myths (alien super-human vs. actual god) and it just feels better to use it when talking about them.

Characters Reasoning

In the myths it is quite understandable why Loki turns against the Aesir (you only have to look at how they treat him and his children). In Marvel he is depicted more as a jealous, greedy prat than actually having reason to  behave the way he does.
This however is not really a difference like the others, but I felt like it was worth mentioning.
The few things above are probably only barely scratching the surface of all the differences between Marvel’s version and the original, but I hope I could give you at least a small overview of them. I am also sorry that I didn’t get into too much detail with some of them, as that would have been too Off Topic.
Anyway, I am off to Berlin again for a long weekend and a Van Canto concert and am already curious what kind of replies will await me on my return.
PoiSonPaiNter

In Concert 2014: Schandmaul – Berlin

Contrary to how I usually handle the reviews for concerts and festivals I’m giving this to you shortly after it has happened instead of after a huge delay (and yes, I do still owe you stuff from last year…).

Live The Last Dance…

Anyway, this years concerts started off with one of the bands that turned me into a Metalhead in the first place: Schandmaul. When Icewolf had sent me „Der Letzte Tanz“ (The Last Dance) and „Herren der Winde“ (Lords of the Winds) back in 2004, I believe, I started on a journey that has yet to end.
Their fascinating, funny and wonderful songs have stuck with me throughout the years; particularly „Leb“ (Live) that even made me reconsider the way I was going about my life and others that I just enjoy listening to. Many of their songs tell stories of finding/losing love, taking revenge or simply enjoying life, but also about legends (e.g. songs about Siegfried) and myths. All this is carried by different flutes or bagpipes, a violin or whatever other (medieval) instrument they choose to play the rhythm.
Even though this band is one of the first metal bands I ever listened to, it was only the second time I was able to see them on stage. The first time was only a short concert at the Wacken Open Air while standing in the rain and mud of the festival grounds (Read more: Wacken 2012).

A filled Chamber

Fortunately the concert was indoors in the Columbiahalle (or C-Halle – Columbiahall in English) in Berlin, so the only rain we – Mücke and I, as we gave him the ticket for his birthday – had to suffer through was on our way there. As we arrived in Berlin the rain had ceased and we had ample time for me to change into proper boots after driving and for us to file into the crowd waiting for the hall to open while having conversations about superheroes and joking with other people.

I really like this sign, unfortunately we don't have many of those in Germany

I really like this kind of sign, unfortunately we don’t have many of those in Germany


Finally inside we had a look at the merchandise stand before checking in our outdoor clothes (jacket and coat), as it was way to warm to keep them. After getting refreshments we stood at the side to see if we could see and hear well from there.
The hall, however, is shaped quite oddly:
There is a rectangular area in front of the stage with the speakers turning to the crowd.
There is also a rank like balcony, you’re not allowed to enter, surrounding that area. This not just reduces the room for the volume (as the speaker barely reach below the balcony), but also gives you pillars standing in your way while watching.
When the support act Die Kammer (The Chamber, not to be confused with Chamber) started their show we soon noticed that the acoustic where we stood wasn’t the best and we made our way into the area unaffected by the balcony. Though while the sound was better there, we now were amongst several strange people and had little to no space to move at all.
Die Kammer had just started playing when Mücke noticed the familiarity of their songs and one of their musicians. As an ASP fan a recognized their former member and decided to see them after the concert at their merchandise stand.
The music itself wasn’t too bad, though it was more country/folk than medieval/folk. It was nice to listen to and to see their different instruments interact (they had a tuba!) with the two singers. When the band members were introduced Mücke had already suspected the drummer to be another (as we now know) former ASP-member and was proven right when they said the name. We also learned that their violinist is the composer of the theme music of Löwenzahn (Dandelion), one of the most well known educational children shows here in Germany.

A sick bard and borrowed staff

After an awfully long intermission Schandmaul then finally entered the stage with a song I wouldn’t have suspected to become their opener („In deinem Namen“ – On your behalf, about the crusades if I’m not mistaken).
Only afterwards did we learn that the break was due to the singer not being healthy enough to sing (he had completely lost his voice during the afternoon) and the medicine he was given not kicking in fast enough. It is impressive what he managed to do even with his sick-voice and also a bit reckless.
His voice is the one thing that earns his money and he forces himself onto the stage. Of course he does it for the fans who are eagerly waiting for the concert, who have driven several kilometres (about 150 in our case) and just want to see the band perform. Still, there are several reasons why you would forgive a singer/a band for cancelling a show and being sick is one of them.
Aside from his illness a strange thing occurred during and after the first song. Usually the band has two women at their side, a flutist and a violinist. This evening, however, the violinist was a man, whom I soon recognized as one of the members of Fiddler’s Green, which I had seen live at Wacken 2010.
When the intro song was over Thomas (the singer) addressed the audience and pointed in the direction of the borrowed musician:

As some of you may have noticed: This is not Anna*.
*(their actual violinist)

This earned laughter from the crowd and he then proceeded to explain that she had given birth to a child earlier this year and was still at home with it (Just as I remotely remembered and told Mücke when I noticed the green fiddler) and he was filling in for her.

The Escape

The concert then proceeded with many great songs, some of which were picked out of an old chest. According to Thomas they had put a lot of old stuff into it when one of their mother’s had visited their studio and ordered them to clean up.
While he rummaged through the chest he – amongst other things – took out a folding chair that he tried to open with one hand. After a bit of struggle he actually managed to do it and sat down to properly read the paper he had just fished out of the chest. It was quite strange and pretty cool to hear „Der Kurier“ (The courier) being read instead of sung – and interesting to see that I kind of seemed to realize what song it was only from the lyrics while the people around us wondered what he was doing.
We could enjoy a good mixture of their older and newer songs, including „Leb“ and „Das Tuch“ (The Scarf – see this travelogue for more information on this one) until it got to crammed to even remotely clap your hands, let alone move at all. Signalling Mücke we then made our way towards the end of the hall (underneath the balcony) while one of my favourites from the newest album played („Kaspar„, about the tale of the Brandner Kaspar, a guy that strikes a deal with the drunken Death to continue living some more years).
Back there the acoustic wasn’t as bad as it had been at the side and it was definitely more pleasant to be out of the heat and bodies pressing against yours from every side imaginable…
Even the atmosphere was better as I had thought, as here the people actually were able to dance along with the music and enjoy it more profoundly.
Anyway, as we had stood through nearly the whole concert only a few songs remained, so we decided to already get the stuff we checked in earlier.
We nevertheless still managed to hear my other new favourite „Der Teufel“ (The Devil), where one of the assistants took up the parts originally sung by the singers of Russkaja and Fiddler’s Green, and „Walpurgisnacht“ (Walpurgis Night). Though I had hoped that they would play another faster song in the encore, but they kept it rather quiet with „Euch zum Geleit“ (For your company – a funeral song) and another song I can’t remember.
When they had said their good bye and said to return for autographs in a moment Mücke and I went outside to take a breather, have a smoke – in his case – and just sit down in the cool April air for a moment.

Autographs on the ticket, yay :)

Autographs on the ticket, yay 🙂


As you can see I managed to get four of six autographs from the musicians (Thomas and Anna being the exceptions, due to their absence). Mücke instead got the autographs from the former ASP members.
I also worked up my courage to ask one of them – drummer Stefan – if it would be all right with them if I tried writing down the stories they tell with their songs.
As I mentioned in the beginning do their songs tell different tales, which fascinates me and I would really like to try writing down the parts they left out and as I now have a „go ahead, try it“ from one of the band members, I feel a bit more encouraged to do so. 🙂
Regardless of the far too little space within the hall and the nearly unnoticeable sickness of the singer it was a really nice concert that I wouldn’t mind repeating one day – with less weird people surrounding me though.
And who knows, maybe I actually will try writing down some of the song-tales. 🙂
PoiSonPaiNter
P.S. For some official photos and statements you can read/watch the tour diary here: Schandmaul-Tourtagebuch (German)

The Weekend Guess #5

New month, new guesses. I present to you the fourth instalment of: The Weekend Guess.
What is the Weekend Guess?
Three riddles formulated by me that are puns and wordplays on the answer itself I put on here for my readers to answer.
Why am I doing this?
For no apparent reason, just because I consider the idea to be funny.
What are the questions about?
Everything I can think of I guess, but mostly song titles and bands that you have to figure out.
What is your part in this?
You can try to figure out my riddles and see if you can manage to get behind them and understand what I am describing.
What is in it for you?
So far: Nothing, but the knowledge that you managed to unlock one of my silly riddles.
Let’s start with the fifth set of questions
With all three I am looking for both band name and song. (Hint: This time each are German bands and songs, some of them are merely translations, but I don’t want to make it too hard for you.)

#1

People with malicious tongues dancing with the witches in the last night of April.
#2

Driving against a stone in search for a female ancestor.
#3

Medics declaring males to be farm animals.

Leave your guesses in the comments below and I can see if my questions are too easy or to hard to figure out. I will give the correct answer with the next instalment.
Have fun figuring them out! 🙂
Solution for last weeks Weekend Guess:

#1 Europe – Final Countdown

#2 Linkin Park – In the End

#3 Deep Purple – Smoke on the Water

This time no one really tried guessing them, so I can’t congratulate anyone.
PoiSonPaiNter

Re-Wri-Day: Taking the Bus

As I just ranted about another change regarding the city buses I’m taking every day, I thought I might as well feature the original rant in this weeks Re-Wri-Day as well.
What is the Re-Wri-Day?
Inspired by EdMooneyPhotography’s Re-Work-Wednesday and based on the fact that my writing style for this Blog has changed over the past two years I kind of created my own version of this.
But why the strange name and what does it mean?
I’m awful when it comes to puns and I couldn’t help myself but to turn re-write and Friday into one strange word: Re-Wri-Day. Sorry…
But in conclusion: These posts are supposed to be always published on a Friday, but not necessarily on every Friday, just the Fridays when I feel like editing an old post beforehand.
And what am I doing with this?
I am taking my old posts from the beginnings of writing this Blog or just former posts and read them again to see what things I can change or add. They wont necessarily be actually re-written, but some changes will be made.
In the Re-Wri-Day post I’ll also give you a couple of thoughts on why I had chosen the topic and stuff you might be interested in.
So, let’s have a look at the first post regarding buses: On the Road: Taking the Bus
Right at the beginning of the Blog I had thought up the On the Road category as I was still driving between my place of study and my place of work on a regular basis. This however changed when the actual studying (attending lessons and such) part ended.
What now became my means of transport were the city buses and I had a couple of things to tell about them.
The post is pretty much a rant on what is good and what is bad about taking the bus, so with the re-write I tried to form a better structure for the post and even give it some headlines. I also re-phrased a couple of sentences that sounded quite awful. There even was one where I asked myself „What did the author want to tell us with this?„, which is kind of a remnant of my A-level days were we had to analyse and interpret a lot of stuff…
So basically I was unsatisfied with what I wrote in the original post and as I had new complaints on top of that I thought it fitting to ad the Re-Wri-Day this week as well.
And now I am off to see Schandmaul in Berlin. 🙂
PoiSonPaiNter

2048: Doctor Who Edition

Some days ago a link was spread across social networks that advertised a game called „2048: Doctor Who Edition“ published on usvsth3m.com. The link was usually accompanied by a taunt „I reached the X*th Doctor! Can you beat me?“ (*X being the number of a Doctor).
I believe I do not need to repeat myself about what Doctor Who is, let me just tell you this: My natural curiosity of course got the better of me and I tried it myself.

What is the games‘ goal and how is it played?

The game gives you a four times four grid and two starting tiles with usually the lowest possible pattern.
The goal of this game – and its original versions, to which you can find links below the Doctor Who Edition – is to combine the tiles with similar patterns using your arrow keys to get up to the highest possible pattern.
In the DW case you combine the tiles with the pictures of each Doctor to reach the Eleventh, while in the normal 2048 you combine numbers to reach the eponymous number (don’t worry you follow the binary numbers starting with 2 and don’t go up from 1 to 2048).
But only the direct predecessor allows you to create a higher tile (Two First Doctors create a Second Doctor tile, two Second Doctors create a Third Doctor and so forth).

Are there any strategies involved?

As it is a kind of logic game there are of course many possible strategies.
I tried several things myself, like randomly moving the tiles around to make them fit, keeping everything on the left side or keeping everything on the right side.
But the one I used after repeatedly playing it for a couple of times was to try to keep the bottom line(s) more or less static and only work with shifting the tiles from left to right, after I established a line. Every time it could not be avoided to make  an up and down movement or a space was empty I would try to regain the static line again.
In these lines I would secure the higher Doctors and have the lines above them to create similar ones to upgrade the ones in the static line, while also filling spaces with lower tiles.

What was my own progress?

When I first saw the link to the game the poster claimed that he had only managed to get to the Eighth Doctor, so I took it upon myself to reach the Ninth. Surprisingly as I played without a proper strategy I did indeed manage to get up to Ten in the first try. (Using the strategy mentioned above my first try on 2048 got me to 1024)
Though as soon as I started thinking about the movement of the tiles as soon did I not manage to reclaim that small victory. After some more playing getting to the first Nine became more and more easy (I had the Seventh or even Eighth in a couple of moves) , up to the point where the second one would follow suit and create the first Ten.
Getting the second ten however was not an easy feat and it took me several more tries and probably a lot of luck to get it when the tiles even lay so perfectly that I could not just make the second Ten, but also combine them one final time:

Prove that a beat the game! =)

Prove that I beat the game! =)


Unfortunately you can’t continue to play after you made the final combination. I would have liked to try how far I would have managed to go with that game.

What did I learn from playing this game?

For one: This game is highly addictive. If you don’t reach your goal, you will try it time and time again until you’ve done it.
For another: Without creating some kind of strategy for yourself you will be hopelessly lost quite soon as the tiles pop up randomly and don’t give you that much of a chance to arrange them properly. (Mine is only an example, use whatever you think suits you best!)
At long last: I like that I managed to put up that strategy for myself. Moments like these give me hope that I am not too bad/stupid for my chosen profession as I still manage to make logical conclusions – just as I did with the buses on Thursday.

What are my other thoughts on the game?

I really liked how the pictures used for the Doctors were black and white until the Fifth and then turned into colour starting with the Sixth and his ridiculous coat. It kind of reminds you that the show has had it’s 50th anniversary last year. Though it was a bit unfortunate that they only took random out-of-character pictures for Eight, Ten and Eleven.
At some point you will even stop thinking about them as characters or people and more as numbers that you need to combine, at least that’s how it was for me.
It’s a fun and also strangely relaxing game, where you don’t really have to think that much after you’ve established your strategy.

If this gave you inspiration to try the game yourself or you have already tried it:

How well did you cope with the game? (Which Doctor did you reach?)
What was your strategy?
I’m curious about your replies. 🙂
PoiSonPaiNter
© For the game and the pictures used within it belong to their respective owners.