Guards! Guards!: Analysing Vimesy (pt 1)

Sam Vimes stands in the middle of a foggy street. Looking at the viewer, he points a small dragon at them in a manner akin to a shotgun.

While Sam Vimes later rises to second most important person in Ankh-Morpork, the strength seen here will not be apparent until Guards! Guards! is over.

You don’t need me to tell you Terry Pratchett is a good author: the man’s books not only sell like hotcakes, but he’s near-universally critically acclaimed. And there was the whole knighthood thing, which I’m sure gave him no small amount of glee.

But you might want to know that I am a big fan of the Discworld series, in this case big meaning “my baby toe makes the Great Wall of China look like a half-eaten pea”. And, while I liked the previous books enough to keep reading, it was Guards! that finally hooked me on them. And in Guards! itself, it was a certain Samuel Vimes that intrigued me most.

But what’s so great about Sam Vimes? Or, rather, what’s interesting about him? Guards! Guards! has a lot of themes, such as whether man is truly good, bad, or something more nuanced – how does he relate to them?

While ultimately I don’t think Vimes’s development is the best shown in this novel, he’s one of Discworld‘s more nuanced and complex characters, and a lot of themes he embodies can also be seen in Granny Weatherwax, of the Witches subseries. He is likely more closer to his “real” self in later books, but it’s worth beginning from the start in almost all things. So, let’s… begin. Continue reading

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Goodbye, Chantry: Dragon Age II Film Scene Analysis

Video recorded by “Carlos Torres”, screenshots taken from video.

Video games aren’t films, it’s true. They have their own little techniques, and I would welcome anyone who wishes to examine them. But many have called some video games “cinematic” — and it just so happens most of BioWare works, particularly those post-Mass Effect, are one of those lot. Some even tote cinematic…ism as a goal. BioWare have cinematic designers, and they are well-renowned for their cutscenes.

But, if they were films, how successful would they be? Let’s look at the finale-beginning scene of Dragon Age II. I’ll be glossing over segments that change depending on choice, as well as some stretches of the scene.

I’ll admit, this is a curiosity on my part, and I may not analyse to the full possible extent — getting screenshots for this is almost work enough on its own. If you disagree with anything I’ve said, or notice something else, you’re welcome to comment in the, uh, comments. Free, independent thinking! In general, it’s probably good. Well, unless you’re in Oceania or Par Vollen. Continue reading

Dorian: Dragon Age Tarot Card Analysis

Promo shot of Dorian. Note the white clothes and snake on his back/shoulder. There may be a quiz.

Promo shot of Dorian. Note the white clothes and snake on his back/shoulder. There may be a quiz.

BioWare RPG Dragon Age: Inquisition uses tarot cards to symbolise, among other things, each party member. These change depending on choices, story progress, etc., and are full of symbolism up the wahoo.

But what does the symbolism mean? Or, in this case, as we turn out attention to flamboyant mage Dorian Pavus, “What the fuck is up with that snake?” These are questions we hope to answer in… oh, look, the title’s up there already, guess this intro was needless. Continue reading