The Let's Play Archive

Dominions 3

by Lilli et al.

Part 168: Hinnom - Special Edition

Special Edition
Director's Commentary

We open with our hero, young and enthusiastic. A cynic might say naive. Untouched by the sorrow that this post will bring.   He does not know that his true love will die without setting foot in paradise falls.  He hears only the tag line adventure is out there.  He does not realize the film is Werner Herzog reading Madeline.

An inquisitive face greets each new post prefaced by this majestic banner.  What new present has builds character left for our readers?

Turn 64

A cavalcade of posters rushes to see what it is.  The parallel to the rush of mechanical giants and cyclops is no coincidence.  Already you can see the depth of my imagery.  Like a young David Foster Wallace, my posts require work on the part of the reader but what rich cream filling lies at the heart of this Twinkie for the goon willing to make the effort of walking to the corner store with me!

Each morning King Hippomnomnomnom awakes to crowds of adoring fans. He savors their praise as he savors the feel of the amulet of the fish in his hand and the blood slaves in his gold-farming sweat shops.

Once, man feared the gorilla.  Our first monster movie featured man himself.  But shortly thereafter the image of the great ape rose up in our subconscious.  Capturing virtue and holding her atop a giant penis as it swatted away our futile attempts to overcome the knee-knocking terror inspired by Amanda in 9th grade English.  Today we have conquered our fear. We have grown as a nation.  Matured   And we have constructed a legion of 50 foot tall stabbing robots armed with fire and death behind which we hide.  No longer a terror, the ape now is a mere slip of a girl.  Amusing but nothing more.

At formal gatherings we espouse a doctrine of self-betterment. A sort of renaissance program of development.  We spout gilded words that crowds applaud but when we go home at night we know.  It is not the promise of a better tomorrow that drives us.  It is the hatred of the other side. With every fiber if our being we strive to better ourselves that we might enact their more absolute destruction.  That we might destroy faster, more efficiently and always, always without mercy.  The cult of the superego may be ascendant but we know that it is a farce.  It is the Id that drives us.  Now and always.

Look at these fools celebrating. They are dressed for our amusement in the attire of a Bobbie of England.  Look how they dance.  Dance for us fools, dance!   But as we laugh at their dancing we see something darker.   For they may be buffoons with no business being professional actors but are they not starring in the greatest movie this century will ever see?  Have they not known the joy of firing two guns into the air at the same time whilst shouting "Aaaaaahhhhhh?"  Who among us knows such joy?  Who has had such a thing to celebrate?   King Hippomnomnomnom alone knows the triumphant joy of picking Thuella up on the rebound after she was so shabbily abused by irony.or.death. The buddy cop imagery only adds meaning to the scene. Who among us will be sacrificed for victory?

The forest of rakes. A Hinnomese myth based on the suffering of side show Bob.  An allegory for the war with Lanka.  Everywhere King Hippomnomnomnom turns, another rake.  Each step confronted by the vibrato of rake handle meeting face. But each rake handle breaking in turn upon his stone face.  King Hippomnomnomnom may be embarrassed.   Tears of frustration and shame may run down his cheeks. But one day he will be surrounded by an empty field of broken rakes.  On that day he will have his revenge!

Look at her.  She is beautiful, no?   The object of your affection since turn 9.   She is coy, but a smile creeps onto her face.  You see invitation.  You raise a hand. Still timid after all this time.  In your mind you see her riches spread before you.  Shouting to the heavens "plunder me!" Alas!  She is guarded.  Your heart plunges as your soul is ripped from its body. Never before have you felt such agony.  And never again. In the desperate jungle that is high school you have been eviscerated and will spend your last few moments bleeding out under a banana leaf.

PS1 is the most avant-garde of state-sanctioned American museums. It once displayed these frames of Jean Claude Van Damm dancing over and over again using a team of aboriginal dwarfs carrying beach volleyballs in place of pixels.  The dwarfs cost taxpayers $3.4 million dollars to house for the six week exhibit.  The exhibit was widely panned but a very few understood the statement being made. A man must not always kick ass and train for kicking ass and have moving pictures of him kicking ass. He must, on occasion, let the muse of dance wash over him.  Then, back to kicking ass.

You wake up in the morning humming to yourself.  It is a good day indeed! Then, out of nowhere, immortal heroes respawn after being torn apart at the hands of maenads.  They reach out and rip the soul from your body.  The last sane member of the A Team.  To die such an ignominious death.  How Murdock will howl with laughter.  And there, watching.  Always watching.  Posters. Reading as much for the game as for the way their heart skips a beat at your death.  They care nothing for you.  The use of young urbanites enmeshed in the counterculture of drugs and rap music evokes a further layer of disconnect. What is success for these men?  In the end this "daaaammmmnn" may be the moment they remember most fondly.  Watching a car wreck unfold before they themselves get behind the existential wheel that is the car of storming what you thought was an empty fortress.

Look at this man.  He thinks the camera is there for him.  But it is not. It is here for :Zero Emissions:.  Please. Forgive me a technical aside here.  One of the methods I have been most successful with, as a director, is, forgive my repetition, method acting. The poor sod in front of the camera does not know that he jabbers away for nothing. He thinks he is the star of what we hope will be the seminal coming of age dramedy of the decade. A sort of breakfast club for the new millennia. And so he chatters on, oblivious to the fact that it has all been an elaborate ruse with one aim only: to capture the authentic surprise on his face as :Zero Emissions: (played here admirably by Barack Obama, thanks buddy you were great in this. No.  No fuck you. No it's not name dropping. He's one of my favorite actors to work with.  Just because you're stuck ten years out of film school working the director's commentary for somebody else and haven't so much as sniffed a diaper commercial.  Get the fuck out of here. Tell the fucking studio to get me a fucking professional.) where were we? Ah yes.  The elaborate ruse whose some goal is to capture the authentic surprise as :Zero Emissions: slams his head into the glass case.  To truly capture the method of the crumple.  A sizable check to his family is a drop in the bucket beside the authenticity of my art.

Hah!  Look at that fat man. I don't know why, this just kills me every time.  See the arc of the boy as he flies through the air.  Foreshadowing the death of the immortals in T'ien Ch'i as :Zero Emissions: flies toward them through the air.

Kenny. Fucking. Powers. Again we revisit the struggle between superego and Id.  This man is Id.  With a mere glance at the forces of Lanka he has made his judgment.  Fight or flee? Either way he knows: he can already tell he does not like what he sees.

Watch his eyes as his hand falls. At the end of this dismissive wave. It took eighty six hours of filming before we captured this.  But it was perfect. Just the right ratio of bored,  arrogant and dismissive to convey King Hippomnomnomnom's reaction to this new summon.

The mixture of incredulity and amusement.  The opulent surroundings. The almost over-the-top cigarette.  I suppose there is little else TheDemon could have done with his death gems, but this new summon does not threaten King Hippomnomnomnom.  Some day I hope to catalog the depravity brought on by the poverty of Lanka's last days.  I have heard rumor it rivals the worst hovels in Calcutta but what truth behind the rumor I can not tell. I know no man who has made it out alive that will speak of it.

I let Mr. Powers own words reflect this moment in my work. "Sure, I've been called a xenophobe, but the truth is, I'm not. I honestly just feel that Hinnom is the best country and the other countries aren't as good. That used to be called patriotism."  Is this work mere propaganda?  Dare you ask me that? You on whose face I saw tears during the screening?

Look at the dude. Though his rug has been stolen and his drink spilled, he abides. He continues on, knowing that in bowling there is a simple majesty that will not be denied. To live simply and in the moment, that is his only goal. He nods his head.  Mark it zero How are u.  Mark it zero indeed, dude.

I... I do not like to speak of this.  It brings me pain to think of the many camera crews that were sacrificed filming this thing.  Art is beautiful, but it is never without cost. And, often,  it is brutal and demanding.  The time I spent on this scene will haunt me always and I will say no more than that while those brave crews now rest in peace I will be haunted by my experience.  Always.

One must be careful about breaking the fourth wall. The viewer must be willing to suspend disbelief and such a break makes it difficult. It reminds the mongoloid that he is not immersed.  By dazzling with a pretty young actress I deftly redirect the suspension of suspended disbelief.  The synapses fire in reaction to her smile as she looks directly at our viewer. "Me?" he thinks.  No, not you, ignoramus!  King Hippomnomnomnom.  But the moment has passed and the viewer thinks of no more than the tingle when a pretty girl smiled at them.

The physical comedy belies the import of the message. Ha-ha! A pug!  Look how cute it is as it barrels toward its goal, knocking over lesser giants on its way to reclaim Nardago from TheDemon.

A nod to the seminal work The Wizard.  A man playing the earliest of games.  Like his father, the Grigori he does not know the game is rigged.  There is no end. No victory.  Only the seduction of the Avvite figure.   Represented here by blocks endlessly falling.  Like his fathers, Savnok is doomed to play.  Doomed, dare I say, to fail.   But his inevitable failure, like the inevitable binding of the Grigori, is not without its moments of triumph.  The cry of the first Rephaite babe.  The long piece eliminating four rows at once. Forging The Sword of Aurgelmer.  When playing, each small victory merits thus the fist pump of happiness.  The poor be-mulleted fool knows. Deep inside he knows that the only way to win is to turn the game off.  But still his face spasms with pleasure and his fist pumps with joy.

Deep in the innermost ring, the mages of T'ien Ch'i frolic in the gardens of their fortress.  They sing as the city around them writhes in chaos.  Their eyes are closed to the horror around them as they sing "Song of the grass mud horse, I am a grass mud horse, fuck your mother in her..." you get the idea. Then, out of nowhere, they are bulldozed by a lawn mower in the magic phase and :Zero Emissions: waltzes in unopposed. KAPOW. The lawn mower is a metaphor for the earth elemental, you see.

Good god man, rewind. Go back. Did you think that message about Vician Forest might have been connected to something? Maybe Mr. Powers, whose home, as everyone knows, has long been located a short drive from the shore where he boogey boards daily, in Vician Forest!  These are the kinds of connections even the most ignorant of viewers will make!   No. No I'm ok. I am not angry at you. It is only a small thing. My genius can not function without a coffee.  No. No you brought me some sort of mud-water with bovine ejaculate in it.  A man drinks his coffee black. No. Close your mouth. You look like a cod fish. Now. I will teach you about my art. First you must consider the message. Only the message. At what part of our story are we?  Yes, we are after the training montage. Good, perhaps there is hope for you yet.  Then, what could the hat on this boy symbolize? No?  Your blank stare and slack jaw indicates you do not know. The symbolism of the hat is too much for you. Very well. Look at the boy's face. Good.  See how his snide smile says "bye whore" in a way no words could match. Good. Pause for a moment to reflect on my little comment.  A tiny thing I have inserted recognizing the inherent sexism in our culture.  For art is a story about culture is it not?  Here Thuella, a queen and yet the curl of the boy's fingers scream the word whore.  You are ignorant.  You see only the screaming. You do not realize we are all screaming.  Each of us is bound by the chains of our experience. Each of us, a thousand times a day screams whore and cocksucker and motherfucker and look at you! Stop crying. This is an example only. Hush now and listen.  We scream these words without thinking.  We spew this invective. The vituperative nature of our conversation providing a cover for our feelings of rejection. Of abandonment.  Why mother! Why did you leave me? I was only a child!  Each of us, we scream this to the heavens forever. Silently raging inside while our mouths form these words.  My work considers this. It embraces it and shows us the absurdity of our position.  Are not we all worthless and deserving of abandonment?  Who are you to judge a queen?  But this is just a little thing.  My own small commentary on the casual misogyny of our community.  I know that this work will be broadly viewed and so there is, of course the more obvious message here.  That of "adieu" bid by Thuella as she trapezes onto TheDemon's forces in Vician Forest.  Yes, I see you understood that.  Think now on the other things I have said and after we will discuss the meaning of the child's hat.

I knew Wilmer when he was starting out on That 70s Show.  He came to me asking for a part in a movie I was working on.  That part was perfect for him. It would have made him a big star. But I ran him out of the movies. And let me tell you why. Wilmer Valderrama ruined one of CAA's most valuable proteges. For thirteen years we had her under contract, singing lessons, dancing lessons, acting lessons, it all came together in the Parent Trap. I spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to get her to Mean Girls.  I made her a big star. And let me be even more frank, just to show you that I'm not a hard-hearted man, that it's not all dollars and cents. She was beautiful! She was young, she was innocent. She was the greatest actress I'd ever seen, and I've seen 'em all over the world. And then Wilmer Valderrama comes along with his olive oil voice and guinea charm and she runs off. She threw it all away just to make me look ridiculous. And a man in my position can't afford to be made to look ridiculous.  Now look at him. He came to me begging.  Saying he needed this. That I was the only one left who could help him.  That desperation is why I took him back.  That's why he's here. When I saw him I knew. Nobody else could express the love I needed to show.  Ah, you think it's so easy. Smiling, nodding. No!  Stop.  Think.  Is the love for the Queen or for what she carries? Ask yourself that or do not. Either way you will learn something about your self.

He stares.  Unable to comprehend such remarkable vision. He has worn glasses since the first grade. Huge affairs of thick glass and black plastic.  Only his friendship with Julian and Ricky keeping him sane.  There have been cracks.  No man keeps so many kitties in a shed with such care without showing his vulnerability.   But now, now he knows.  He must  save.  By scrimping and stealing extra shopping carts he hopes to have enough to empower himself in Air. Only a few empowerments and he won't need his glasses.  Until then, he stares.

Perhaps you did not realize that the hand possesses 27 bones?  It is the complex interaction of those bones with the ligaments that bind them and the flesh spread between them as it impacts the anterior of the skull with its thin covering of skin that creates the satisfying "thwack" that accompanies this gesture.  Perhaps if King Hippomnomnomnom spent more time researching and less time rewriting eldritch rituals to use ranch dressing, he would know this. Or that a Queen of Elemental Air who teleports into a province will arrive there before attacks of this nature resolve.  No.  Gasp not.  It is not blasphemy. I state only facts. I do not judge. It is not our place to judge the king.

The Sword of Aurgelmer is famed for its defensive abilities. Rumors of entire armies floating through battle like butterflies; unharmed by the flurry of blows rained down upon them by their opponent.  But the sword has a dark secret.  No wielder has survived the curse.  Each battle it sees has been the last for its bearer.  Though his comrades sting like bees as they float, the sword's bearer has never yet seen the dawn of another morning.

We receive notice of a storm long before it reaches us.  Girded against the lightning with Copper Plate, we head into its heart. We strive to look directly into the heart of the storm.  After early chasers were blinded by the brilliance of the lightning, we began to wear sunglasses.  The ferocity of this storm demands at least four pairs.  Our scout sees it first.  At the center of the storm.  A huge orgy of lightning made flesh demonic.  The ball writhing together like serpents in rut.

It is a Thursday.  Thursday is bowling night.   A late rush assignment at work keeps Austin for an extra half an hour.  As he rushes out, he forgets his shoes.  It is only when he is halfway to the alley that he realizes his mistake. As he whips the Sprite across traffic to reverse course a semi-comes barreling toward him.  Its horn is loud, blaring a reminder of his mortality.  He pulls over.  His heart is beating a thousand times a second. He had been blessed with incredible reflexes and stunning good looks, and it was only his incredible driving skill and the warning glint of his teeth in the oncoming truck's headlights that saved him. For five minutes he sat. Then, slowly, he pulled out and drove home. Bowling didn't matter. Only Vanessa. In the fraction of a second before instinct took over, Austin realized he had been neglecting her and had been filled with regret. He swore to himself he would never again let work or his bowling league get in the way of their relationship. He smiled as he drove home. She wouldn't be expecting him for four hours yet. He would take her out to Restaurant Gordon Ramsay.  A bottle of fine wine, perfectly complemented by screams of "you donkey" floating in from the kitchen, and then, who knew what might happen later, at home.  Austin pulled into his drive and got out of the car with a bounce in his step. At the sound of Jackie DeShannon's smooth voice, his ears perked.  How had she known he would be coming home so early?   Austin smiled as he walked up the steps and opened the door. "Vanessa! I'm hoooo... Good God!" his eyes surveyed the scene.  Hundreds of ozelotl littered the room.  A huge Nebuchadnezzar of champagne was turned on its side.  On the couch, Vanessa reclined with a Zmey.  After getting over his initial shock, Austin broke into a grin.  He shed his coat and with a skip, hop and a little leap joined Vanessa on the couch.   You see?  You see the whole scene? How I have captured all of it in this one moment?  That is the meaning of my art. To take such an experience and refine it until it is a polished gem, reflecting the whole in the glitter of a single facet.

I have spent literally four thousand hours poring over the satellite reconnaissance photographs and I can finally say i am certain.   Here, you see the buildup of devils.   Look, it is not obvious at first.  It took me five weeks to understand myself what I was seeing.  The slightly discolored foliage. The subtle burn marks on buildings.   The huge bonfires of human sacrifice at which the gates of Hell open up.  It all adds up to a tremendous concentration of devils on the Pan-Mictlan border.  Is it mere show or are these two powers lining up for a tremendous fight?  The military buildup cannot be mere coincidence.  Additionally, diplomatic chatter increased 47% prior to the appearance of these devils and then fell to pre-turn 23 levels of activity immediately after.

Ah, now we come to it. My moment of masterpiece.  Draw it in like an addict tapping a vein.  Then, depress the plunger and ride the dragon that is my mastery of this medium.  First you take in the mien of this man. His glasses.  His hair.  He is a humble man.  Like King Hippomnomnomnom when Schneeble first joined this little game. But, ah wait, you see there is the but, but also like Schneeble!   I see the comprehension beginning to dawn.  Yes, you see here it is both Hinnom and Sauromatia that this image suggests.  Which is it? That is not for me to say.  What does my intent matter in this thing?  Not at all!  It is alive and has its own intent.  It shows the friendship of two great peoples.  And remarks on their drift apart.  Wondering, this humble man, can I find it in my heart to betray the friend that helps me remember my dingus password?  Can he? Will he?   It is not for my art to say. Only to ask the question.  What does the meaning of this word friend have for me?  For Sauromatia? For Hinnom?   What does it take to keep that meaning?   And if friendship is abandoned, can they find another?  Good.  You understand. Now, see how nimble I am.   For also I show the host of storm demons, the masses of ozelotl, the horde of devils and then what?  The militia and lizard warriors.  It is a little joke that I slip in.  You did not notice?  No. Of course you would not.  Perhaps then you did not also notice the implicit question "what friend would mock me thus?" Is it mere badinage or something more hurtful?

Look at him. The ideal of manhood. He has achieved all that anyone could ask in life.  And now he serves the highest of causes, in direct command of the King himself.  His suit is perfect and he is flanked by the pinnacle of canine elegance.  The suggestion that he is himself a lapdog is subversive. I do not know which of my critics has said this thing, but many are jealous of my success. No, after the complexity of my prior scene this is all simplicity itself.  A man at the top, a professional, ready and willing to serve.  Waiting only for his monarchy's summons.  But more than a man, a weapon also.  No ordinary weapon this, but the most deadly of weapons.  One with, please you will forgive another little joke, a license to kill. 

Gemgen Counter

Again and again I try to teach you.  Look! It is not our aim to tell the whole story always. Often we evoke. We call forth the feelings of the story in only a single image.  "For Sale, Baby Shoes, Never Worn." that is our aim.  Surely you know the story of this wolf pack and its alpha?  The tale of woe and misfortune, reversed by a single night of brilliance?  A single site, the card table, redeeming a lifetime of poor choices? Nothing?  No recognition?  Surely, the swirling symbols of mathematics must suggest to you that the power of numbers will triumph?  That there is nothing that can stand against the cold, hard scientific fact of over a hundred blood stones?  No?  Bah. Get me a coffee.

Blood stones: 115
Cost: 543E, 864 slaves
Gems Generated: 1,462