I've Been Looking For You

courier

Here’s another 100% original idea for the blog, DO NOT STEAL, called a reader mailbag. Nope, don’t even bother googling it, it’s a completely unique segment I ripped off. Basically, I find replying to these easier than writing columns, so we’ll be running these every so often, depending on how many e-mails I get. Send all your questions to me at kristakahashi@gmail.com or just send me a PM through the website.

Anyways, here’s this week’s questions:

Alcoholic_Tubes asks:

Khajiit are supposed to be expert thieves, which implies they have some biological advantage over people and Elves. But have you ever seen those claws that pick up the prizes at the arcade? Those things are awful at picking shit up. Conversely, if I reached into the box with my hand I’d have all the toys.

First of all, fuck those claw things. Lost way too many quarters on that as a kid. But as for pickpockets, most pinch wallets with their thumbs and forefingers, they don’t use the whole hand, so I think in this case the claws provide an advantage. Like chopsticks, basically. So while Khajiit would be terrible at video games and scratch up your controllers (make sure to give them the off brand one), they’d be just fine at pickpocketing.

Also, don’t forget not every noble has a pocket. If we’re talking about purse strings, seems to me having a set of claws will make those things easier to cut. And Khajiit are naturally dexterous. Ever hear of a thief with cat-like reflexes? Now imagine if he was an actual cat.

Endormir asks:

Can certain polygamous marriages be canon? Given their personalities, I’d like to think it’d be possible to marry both and Tikrid and Amalee and maintain a stable household.

You’re talking to the guy who spent two days googling how to romance Morrigan and Leliana at the same time, ultimately deciding not to speak to either of them for 1/4 of the game in order to preserve our ill-fated love (plural). Thing is, Bioware squashed that possibility regardless because it doesn’t make sense for the Warden to be with both Team Purple and Red in Inquisition. Luckily for you, the characters in this mod aren’t likely to return for any future game. So while I personally don’t think it would work, my philosophy is your game, your canon. Threesome away.

PetCorgi87 asks:

Where does the name Hope Lies come from?

Oddly enough, you’re the second person to ask me that in the last week. The name I got from Pelzknaeul‘s email. That being said, I’ve always loved the last name Lies (pronounced Lees). There was a politician a couple years ago with that last name who was involved in some scandal, and at the time all I could think was, how in Oblivion did they not know she was dirty? It says so right in her fucking name! It’s like electing John Fuckyouintheass. Sure, you might like his ideas on tax reform, but don’t be surprised if at some point he plugs you in the butt.

Michelle B. asks:

The Witcher 3 specs are out, and my 3-year old machine can barely run it. Should this make me angry or excited?

A little bit of both? I can only speak in general terms here, but I’d say on the one hand, we want technological advances to happen quickly. It’s a good thing that my i5-2500k can barely run the newer games. I want to see a holodeck in my lifetime damnit, so the last thing we want is stagnation.

At the same time, if you’re poor like me you want your purchases to last. That’s why advances in efficiency are just as important (think Anti-Aliasing vs. Higher Resolutions) as advances in quality. And I’m sure the Witcher 3 will still look great on the minimum settings, but then again, in college my RA called me Mr. Magoo.

DreadPirateCharles asks:

I downloaded a mod to get with the Dibellan priestess in Markarth. Just thought it made sense.

Agh! Get it out my head! No really, I don’t want to know these things. True story, while googling for screenshots, I once saw a picture of Zora naked and I nearly scooped out my own eyeballs. Muh children and all that.

Now I understand that for Jolene it makes a lot more sense to have a sex scene given her, erm, personality type. And shit, we’re all adults. Artistically I should have zero problem making HBO style porn, but I’d still feel weird about emailing voice actors and asking them to make moaning sounds. Not gonna happen. Mods for the mod will have to do.

Advertisements

A Letter…Not Sure Who From

courier

Here’s another 100% original idea for the blog, DO NOT STEAL, called a reader mailbag. Nope, don’t even bother googling it, it’s a completely unique segment I ripped off. Basically, I find replying to these easier than writing columns, so we’ll be running these every so often, depending on how many e-mails I get. Send all your questions to me at kristakahashi@gmail.com or just send me a PM through the website.

Anyways, here’s this week’s questions:

Alcoholic_Tubes asks:

Khajiit are supposed to be expert thieves, which implies they have some biological advantage over people and Elves. But have you ever seen those claws that pick up the prizes at the arcade? Those things are awful at picking shit up. Conversely, if I reached into the box with my hand I’d have all the toys.

First of all, fuck those claw things. Lost way too many quarters on that as a kid. But as for pickpockets, most pinch wallets with their thumbs and forefingers, they don’t use the whole hand, so I think in this case the claws provide an advantage. Like chopsticks, basically. So while Khajiit would be terrible at video games and scratch up your controllers (make sure to give them the off brand one), they’d be just fine at pickpocketing.

Also, don’t forget not every noble has a pocket. If we’re talking about purse strings, seems to me having a set of claws will make those things easier to cut. And Khajiit are naturally dexterous. Ever hear of a thief with cat-like reflexes? Now imagine if he was an actual cat.

Endormir asks:

Can certain polygamous marriages be canon? Given their personalities, I’d like to think it’d be possible to marry both and Tikrid and Amalee and maintain a stable household.

You’re talking to the guy who spent two days googling how to romance Morrigan and Leliana at the same time, ultimately deciding not to speak to either of them for 1/4 of the game in order to preserve our ill-fated love (plural). Thing is, Bioware squashed that possibility regardless because it doesn’t make sense for the Warden to be with both Team Purple and Red in Inquisition. Luckily for you, the characters in this mod aren’t likely to return for any future game. So while I personally don’t think it would work, my philosophy is your game, your canon. Threesome away.

PetCorgi87 asks:

Where does the name Hope Lies come from?

Oddly enough, you’re the second person to ask me that in the last week. The name I got from Pelzknaeul‘s email. That being said, I’ve always loved the last name Lies (pronounced Lees). There was a politician a couple years ago with that last name who was involved in some scandal, and at the time all I could think was, how in Oblivion did they not know she was dirty? It says so right in her fucking name! It’s like electing John Fuckyouintheass. Sure, you might like his ideas on tax reform, but don’t be surprised if at some point he plugs you in the butt.

Michelle B. asks:

The Witcher 3 specs are out, and my 3-year old machine can barely run it. Should this make me angry or excited?

A little bit of both? I can only speak in general terms here, but I’d say on the one hand, we want technological advances to happen quickly. It’s a good thing that my i5-2500k can barely run the newer games. I want to see a holodeck in my lifetime damnit, so the last thing we want is stagnation.

At the same time, if you’re poor like me you want your purchases to last. That’s why advances in efficiency are just as important (think Anti-Aliasing vs. Higher Resolutions) as advances in quality. And I’m sure the Witcher 3 will still look great on the minimum settings, but then again, in college my RA called me Mr. Magoo.

DreadPirateCharles asks:

I downloaded a mod to get with the Dibellan priestess in Markarth. Just thought it made sense.

Agh! Get it out my head! No really, I don’t want to know these things. True story, while googling for screenshots, I once saw a picture of Zora naked and I nearly scooped out my own eyeballs. Muh children and all that.

Now I understand that for Jolene it makes a lot more sense to have a sex scene given her, erm, personality type. And shit, we’re all adults. Artistically I should have zero problem making HBO style porn, but I’d still feel weird about emailing voice actors and asking them to make moaning sounds. Not gonna happen. Mods for the mod will have to do.

Character Profile – Iris the Elder

I was probably about seven or eight years old when my uncle told me my mother ran track.  It was an oddly seminal moment for a child.  You see, mom is not swift.  She’s a tiny little Japanese woman and that comes with a certain spunk, but I wouldn’t characterize her as a runner.  Yet, there was a time in her life that she was actually considered fast.  A time before I was born.  For any child, the first time you realize space and time exist independent of you is a mind blowing experience.  Mom wasn’t just the mom I knew.   My teacher wasn’t just the wrinkled old crone all the kids insisted she was.  In fact, every adult I ever met had been in my shoes, dreamed my stupid kid dreams, and had lived an entirely separate existence from the one I used to define them.

In video games, characters are often viewed through a similar lens.  The myopia of the present.  Old women are always old women.  Sweet old ladies.  Miserable old hags.  They always act their age.  Old.  Rarely do we ever get to find out who they were, and how that shapes who they are.

Ostensibly, Iris is the same.  She begins with a monologue about death, how in the twilight of her life, she can see the sky fading to black.  Yet just as the nickname Iris the Elder was never meant to imply old age, so does Iris’ appearance belie what she’s really about.  The concerns about her mortality are revealed to be her children’s.  Iris herself just wants to relax, have a drink, and enjoy a hot bath.  In her old age, her courier legs have finally slowed down.  Yet at heart, Iris remains the same person she always was.  Brave.  Kind.  Swift.

I sometimes get asked about the Windhelm courier story.  When I wrote it, I knew the narrative was good, but it was Lila Paws’ acting that truly brought it to life.  She does more than hit every note.  She takes you there, to that cold, wintry night, and as she sets the scene you can feel the chill frisk your bones.

To this day, that story is one of my favorites, because it isn’t a traditional warrior story, and yet it fits the theme of TESV so perfectly.  It’s a winter story, a Skyrim story, but more importantly, it’s a Nord story.  It’s about courage, duty, and sacrifice, from the most unlikeliest of sources.

After all, Iris may be old, and she may be feeble, but those aren’t the traits that define her.