Episode 1: Winter is Coming

Game of Thrones

Season 1
A Song of Ice and Fire
A Game of Thrones

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The Kingsroad
By:
Ramin Djawadi

PART 1: The Snow Witch Project
We enter a snowy forest with three men. They are part of the Night’s Watch. They have sworn an oath on keeping the lands safe and if they ever run from their post then they are punished by death.

One of them comes across a group of dead men, women and children. He returns to tell his other Night Watchers, they follow him to the destination and all the dead people are gone. Turns out these dead people were called White Walkers, which are creatures that aren’t really talked about so far. They kill two of the Night Watchers.

We are then treated to the opening title sequence which is amazing. It shows each of the important areas that the show will talk about.

PART 2: Stark’s Ancestors

We are at the house of Stark, where the Stark family resides. One of their children Bran is practicing his archery, his brothers are helping him. The house of Stark is lead by Lord Eddard Stark. His wife Catelyn Stark and his sons Bran, Robb, and Rickon, his daughter Sansa, and his bastard son Jon Snow.

They are all having fun on what seems to be a normal day, when one of the Night Watchers has been captured. He tells Lord Stark about what he saw before he is executed for leaving his post.

We then cut to King’s Landing where the recent Hand of the King has died. Queen Cersei Lannister and her brother Jaime Lannister are talking. Cersei is worried that her husband the king Robert Baratheon will find out about their relationship.

Lord Stark’s wife receives a raven with a message. The message states that King Robert is riding to their home. Robert is looking to make Lord Stark his name Hand to the King.

The sons of Lord Stark are all getting shaved and their hair cut, all of them are shirtless, which intrigues me greatly.

As the royals arrive and party within their festivities, Cersei and Jaime’s brother a dwarf named Tyrion Lannister. He talks to Jon Snow about him being the bastard child. Jon Snow asks how he would know what being a bastard is like. Tyrion responds that every dwarf is a bastard in the eyes of their father. So far this is my favorite character.

PART 3: Dungeons & Dragons

Viserys and Daenerys Targaryen are brother and sister. Viserys is an asshole who lost his kingdom and is willing to prostitute his sister Daenerys to Khal Drogo, who is part of the Dothraki khalasar, a vicious group of warriors who love to fight, so he may obtain Khal’s army to retake the Iron Throne. Which Robert is the king of. Daenerys is not completely for this, but doesn’t really fight it. She seems a bit weird to me. She is going to be one of those characters that I either love or hate.

She receives dragon eggs as a wedding present as well as a white horse from Khal. He proceed to ride off with her to a cliff where they consummate the marriage, while she cries.

PART 4: Things You Can’t Do

Back at the House of Stark, Bran is climbing around the castle walls again when he hears a sound. He finds that Cersei Lannister and her brother Jaime Lannister are having sex. This could cause a lot of troubles for these two. Cersei is now extremely afraid since Bran saw them. Jaime asks how old Bran is, he responds that he’s 10. Jaime looks at Cersei and says "the things I do for love" and pushes Bran out the window.

END OF EPISODE
So where to even start with this? We have all these different stories going on at once, with all these different characters, who all have practically the same goals. It is quite interesting in terms of the writing and characters, even if their names aren’t exactly easy to remember (or spell). The next episode should be a fun one, seeing as how I want to know what happens to Bran and these dirty, dirty, Lannister twins.

Prologue: The Illusive Man

Bittersweet Romance
By: Benjamin Tibbetts

PART 1: An Illusion Perhaps?
We open the game with a conversation between a woman named Miranda and someone who is called the Illusive Man. They are talking about the Battle of the Citadel, the last mission I did where I let the Council die. The humans are leading the pack. I am a symbol to humanity and someone important for them.

We cut to the Normandy being attacked by an unknown ship, but not the geth. Joker tries everything he can, but we have no choice but to evacuate. I tell Liara to evacuate everyone and she does while I go save Joker. He believes he can still save the Normandy, but I know it is hopeless. I get him out and then I… die in space.

Needless to say that this threw me for a loop. I had this feeling though that they were going to simply find some way to clone me. No however I am dead and there ain’t no cloning to bring me back. I am dead dead dead dead dead.

PART 2: LazarusI now have the option to change the way my character looks if I want or change some other things around. I’m not sure why, since what is the point of building on a previous character if they would simply allow you to change things. I instead keep my character the way he is and I keep Vanguard as well. I awaken and the place I’m at is being attacked… what a surprise.

Miranda tells me to get a pistol and start shooting. I must say that the controls this time around are easier to get a hold of… mainly because they changed the controls from the first game. It seems a bit smoother in terms of gameplay as well.

For those readers of my last journal you will know that whenever I find a shotgun in a video game I always name her Helga. Well this game gives me my other favorite weapon… her name is Bertha, and she is a grenade launcher! I begin fighting my way through rogue mechs.

I meet up with a man named Jacob who tells me that I was part of the Lazarus project led by Miranda and a man named Dr. Wilson. They work for Cerberus, a group who look out for human interests. They do come off as a terrorist group though in the universe. The leader of Cerberus is the Illusive Man.

I also find some files showing that over 4 billion credits was spent in bringing me back to life. I’ve been “dead” for 2 years. This Illusive Man clearly has money and wants me on his side.

We find Wilson who wants us to abandon Miranda. On our way to an escape shuttle we bump into Miranda who kills Wilson. She says that he was a traitor and the one who truly set off the mechs to try and kill her. A traitor? Perhaps. I see it more as a man who wanted all the credit for himself in this project. What better way than to eliminate your partner?

We escape and I am to meet the Illusive Man… through hologram. He tells me of the Alliance’s missteps in solving problems and what they’ve been doing to humanity as well as the galaxy. He tells me that human colonies have been disappearing. He wants me to go to Freedom’s Progress to investigate a reaper attack.

PART 3: Half of a Love Story
As I arrive on Freedom’s Progress there is a lack of enemies or anybody really. However I have danced this dance once before so there is no way I am putting away my gun. I have been given a heavy pistol and a shotgun though, so I have been reunited with my Helga. Miranda and Jacob are my squad members.

As we progress (tee hee) we come across some mechs as well as drones. Feels like old times if you ask me. As I continue onward we come across some quarian who are led by an old friend of mine… Tali. She is stunned to see me and although she sees me with Cerberus, she trusts me enough to know it is for a good reason. She is looking for a quarian named Veetor. I decide to help her out with this in hopes of shedding some light on the disappearances here.

During our venture Tali tells me that her team ticked off some mechs trying to get to Veetor first. She finds a way to open a door for me, which in turn a lot of mechs come after me. My squad and I handle them efficiently. I have to say that commanding your squad in this game is a lot easier and a lot more fun than the previous game. We eliminate the mechs and find Veetor.

He states that the monsters were trying to get him and they got everyone else, but not him because he hid. I asked who the monsters were. Jacob and Miranda spot them as Collectors. They are looking for humans which is a bit strange I’m not gonna lie. Tali says that Veetor is ill and she needs to tend to him, Miranda wants to bring Veetor on board with us though. I leave Veetor in the capable hands of Tali and wave farewell to her… hopefully for now.

PART 3: Welcome to the Normandy - Again
I talk to the Illusive Man about Freedom’s Progress noting that it wasn’t reapers, but Collectors. He informs me that this is terrible… he doesn’t seem too surprised though. I tell him this and he responds by telling me that he needed the evidence and that is why he sent me. Fair enough since I got first hand information on this myself as well.

He wants me to help him stop the Collectors. He informs me that he has dossiers so I can form a team. I want to know what happened to my old team within the past 2 years I’ve been gone.

Liara is said to be working with the Shadow Broker… which if this is true then the Illusive Man wants nothing to do with her. He’s gonna put up with it if I find her though. Wrex was looking to reunite the krogan clans. Tali he is getting more information on. Garrus disappeared after I was pronounced dead so we have no idea where he is. Ashley still works for the Alliance and has even been promoted.

The Illusive Man tells me that I am to find a salarian scientist by the name of Mordin Solus. He is on Omega. I have been given a new ship called the Normandy SR2 with Joker as my old pilot. The Illusive Man dismisses me and I leave with Joker.

Joker tells me that the Alliance grounded him afterwards and hasn’t been looking too good in the public eye, especially with other humans who have been working with the Alliance. I have also been told that Captain Anderson is Councilor Anderson and holding that position well.

END OF CHAPTER
What a way to start a game. I’m gonna be honest if it wasn’t for the story in the first Mass Effect, I would have just passed on the rest of the series. I am glad I didn’t, because Mass Effect 2’s opening, it’s tutorial level, and it’s introduction of these new characters and plot, got me instantly hooked. I am eagerly awaiting the rest of this game. Onto the Captain’s Log.

Preface: To Boldly Return

Mass Effect is a good game, one that I do intend on returning to in the future. However there was a lot of hype put behind it and to be honest I just don’t see it. It is a good game, but nothing I would go absolutely crazy for. The writing was the most positive attribute of this game.

As I was writing my journals I kept hearing remarks of “keep going, Mass Effect 2 is amazing, it will be worth it to get to Mass Effect 2.” Alright, so here we are at Mass Effect 2. Let us continue onward, the journey to repel the reapers back into dark space.

Chapter 9: Race Against Time

The Final Countdown
By: Europe

PART 1: Virmire Aftermath
Usually I have a Captain’s Log prepared here, but my crew doesn’t have much to say about the death of Kaidan. The only one who does is Ashley and even then it’s not much. I realize that Captain Kirrahe is still alive and on the Normandy which I am happy for. He says that I have made great friends with the salarians. I have also noticed that the music has changed to this eerie somber tone… appropriate since we just lost a character.

I do talk to Liara though who feels sorry for Saren. Being corrupted by Sovereign and not even knowing it. She wonders how Saren fell into Sovereign’s trap. Was it to prevent the Reapers from returning or a lust for power and glory. I also wonder this. I decide to head back to the Citadel to gear up for my journey to Ilos. Luckily though when I go to access the galaxy map I am told that the Council is sending a fleet out. They also want me to return, I eagerly return announcing that I will be at the front of this fleet. However things are a bit different.

PART 2: C is for Loser
We return to the Citadel to speak with the Council. The Ambassador informs me that Saren is exposed, there is nowhere he can hide and nothing he can do in the galaxy without the Council catching him. I insist that I go to Ilos to capture him myself, the Ambassador however informs me that an entire fleet would start a war if seen through space. I ask that I go myself to be discreet. The turian council member doesn’t have faith in me because I used a nuclear bomb on Virmire… to be fair, he’s got a point there. I still insist that I go after Saren due to the dangers of the Conduit. The Ambassador doesn’t see it that way and thus grounds my ship. Ashley puts it quite eloquently in stating that the Ambassador has sold us out in favor of politics and good favor to the Council.

We head back to the Normandy and Commander Shepard is upset about this. I don’t blame him. This is utter bullshit from the Council and for the Ambassador to not let me go through with this… there is just no logical reason. Throughout this whole story I am told constantly of the stealth capabilities of the Normandy and yet no go from the Ambassador.

Liara comes to comfort me and ask what our next move is. She ensures me not to give up. She picks me up off the floor and we are about to kiss when Joker messages me informing me that Captain Anderson wants to speak with me at Flux’s nightclub. Back on the Citadel and to Flux we go.

PART 3: Operation Sneaky Bastard Sword
I go to Flux to talk with Captain Anderson. He informs me that what the Ambassador has done is wrong. He believes that he can bypass the security by either going to the tower and hacking the Ambassador’s computer. I let him decide in which case he decides to hack the Ambassador’s computer.

We get out of the docking bay and head to Ilos. On our way there Liara comes into my quarters. I am happy to see her. She tells me that we have to be completely honest with each other because we may not make it through this next mission. We then have sex and boom we are now a couple. Liara is my girlfriend and Wrex is my best friend. So I figure naturally I should take both of them with me to Ilos.

We land on Ilos and as we progress through Geth in multiple firefights and drive through this Prothean wasteland, Liara gives us some history of the Protheans, while Wrex sums it up in a roundabout fashion. As I am going through here looking for Saren or the Conduit I come across a program named Vigil.

PART 4: A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…
Vigil tells me a story of the Protheans, the Conduit, the Reapers, and the Citadel. The Reapers are the ones who built the Citadel and the Conduit is used as a backdoor into the Citadel. That way the Reapers can mount a sneak attack. The reason that nobody suspected this and how things on the Citadel could remain operational was because of the Keepers. They kept everything in order on the Citadel and in turn kind of worked with the Reapers. The Citadel was nothing but a mass relay for the Reapers to use. Once activated and given control to Sovereign the Reapers could launch their full scale attack.

Vigil tells me that I have to stop the Conduit or stop Saren from turning control of the Conduit over to Sovereign. If I do this then there may be a chance. With this in mind my squad and I head to the Conduit to enter the Citadel.

PART 5: Firefighters Are We
Back on the Citadel is the uneventful build up to the final climax. I’m serious, one huge firefight of nothing but Geth, some rocket turrets, and that’s about it really. I was hoping to get a chance to fight through the Citadel, go through C-Sec and the Wards, but sadly no. It’s just one linear path with little ingenuity or creativity to it. So yeah nothing too special there.

PART 6: Saren and The Council
We come to Saren. I begin talking to him and telling him that Sovereign has indoctrinated him. Saren tells me that Sovereign gave him implants to improve him. I call Saren crazy for this. Telling him that there is another way out of this. Saren starts to think for himself, but Sovereign still has control. Saren thanks me for helping him see a different side than Sovereign’s and shoots himself.

I am then given a choice of whether the fleet should save the Council or focus on taking down Sovereign. Pretty much meaning I have the choice on whether the Council lives or dies. I decide to let them die in turn of destroying Sovereign. I’m sorry, but these three have given me nothing but trouble and I’m happy to see them go.

After this decision, Sovereign revives Saren’s body and thus attacks us. This is the final boss battle and everything I learned up to this point has prepared me for this. This was an amazing boss battle I loved it from beginning to end. I also love how we cut to a cutscene with the fleet outside dealing with Sovereign and then back to the battle, it really gave it more of a science fiction movie feel to it. Needless to say that this boss battle was hard, but certainly a fun one. After this we come to the end.

PART 7: The End
Ambassador Udina has called us forth and tells us that most of the Citadel’s fleet has been wiped out due to this attack so the Alliance will have to help them rebuild. Therefore we need to build a new council with a human as chairman. Udina asks me who I think should be chairman and I choose Captain Anderson… because I’m not an idiot. I give a speech about taking down the Reapers and walk off then the credits.

END OF CHAPTER
So that was Mass Effect. Overall I have to say that it was a fun game. Sure it had its problems and even with all the assignments to flesh it out it was still a short game. The story is the driving force behind this game, from the character development, the choices in moving the story, everything about this story is amazing. To be honest it is probably the only reason I am hyped to play the sequel is because of the story. The gameplay is fine, but it gets repetitive, especially once you outfit yourself with amazing equipment and level yourself up accordingly. Seriously I had the Shotguns slot fully leveled up real quick and I just abused enemies with that Shotgun like nobody’s business.

With the closing of this chapter, we move onto Mass Effect 2.

Chapter 8: Virmire

Mass Effect Trilogy

Mass Effect

Ode To Joy
By: Michael Kamen

PART 1: Let’s Play Mass Effect
After an array of very short and somewhat boring missions we head back to the Citadel and gear up with some weapons, armor, and other destructive toys. Afterwards I head to the Sentry Omega Cluster in the Hoc system to the planet Virmire.

We land in the Mako and are ready to start exploring. The Council gave us previous information about a Salarian Special Tasks Group investigating the area, but they haven’t heard back from them. Our goal is to find them and find out what they know about Saren.

We find their camp and their leader Captain Kirrahe. I absolutely love this Salarian, we’ll get to that in a minute though. He is not happy to see that I am what the Council has sent. He asked for a fleet to come help them and all he gets is me. He does whine or complain though, he makes due with what he has. He tells me that Saren has possibly found a cure for the genophage and is looking to make more krogan for an army. This intrigues Wrex and he’s not so sure about taking down Saren now. I am asked to talk to Wrex.

I go and talk with Wrex telling him that the krogan that Saren would make would not be the kind Wrex wants. This isn’t the way to help his people, Saren’s intentions and way of possibly curing the genophage will not help Wrex’s people. Wrex believes me and decides to stay sided with me. Everybody is impressed that I calmed a krogan down, no biggie seeing as Wrex and I are shotgun brothers.

Captain Kirrahe tells us the mission and that is my squad and I will be the shadow team and we will infiltrate Saren’s base while the Salarian STG will distract Saren’s forces. My job is also to help slow down the geth as much as possible while the Normandy flies in a bomb. I have the choice to send someone to help Captain Kirrahe it can either be Kaidan or Ashley. Seeing how Kaidan is the most boring character in this series and Ashley has more uses, I send Kaidan out to help the Captain. I have a feeling Ashley will be better suited with the bomb… bad choice on my part, but we’ll get to that.

The reason I love Captain Kirrahe as a character is because before the mission he gives his men a speech. This is just beautiful.

“You all know the mission, and what is at stake.
I have come to trust each of you with my life — but I have also heard murmurs of discontent. I share your concerns.
We are trained for espionage; we would be legends, but the records are sealed. Glory in battle is not our way.
Think of our heroes; the Silent Step, who defeated a nation with a single shot. Or the Ever Alert, who kept armies at bay with hidden facts.
These giants do not seem to give us solace here, but they are not all that we are.
Before the network, there was the fleet. Before diplomacy, there were soldiers!
Our influence stopped the rachni, but before that we held the line!
Our influence stopped the krogan, but before that, we held the line!
Our influence will stop Saren; in the battle today, we will hold the line!”

That is just awesome and it made him one of my favorite characters in this story.

PART 2: A Krogan & Quarian Love Story - Act II
I should note first that my brother was watching me play this mission and he has noted that the range I have on my shotgun is unbelievable and is wrong in so many ways. With Wrex and Tali by my side though we are unstoppable. Sure Tali might get hurt, but she has Wrex to hide behind while I heal her. We are a force to be reckoned with. Whenever I play with other squad members I’m a threat, but here I’m nothing but the healer for the most part.

We take out so many geth and krogan in very little time. It takes us at the very least 3 minutes to eliminate a group of enemies. Our fastest time I think was about 5 seconds to wipe everything out in one group. That’s pretty scary.

Just like Feros I barely do any work while they’re just taking stuff out left and right. This seems a bit unfair to me, but I’m not complaining. The scariest part was that we all weren’t using our shotguns. I can only imagine what would have happened if we were.

PART 2: The Ship of DoomWe get to Saren’s base and discover that making a krogan army wasn’t a big part of his plan. We find some salarians who are captured. They tell me that the ship Sovereign controls others minds. We find a beacon and it puts images into my head. Then we find out that the ship is alive, but there is more to it. Saren’s ship Sovereign is actually a reaper.

The reaper tells us that they use indoctrination to control others and that the Protheans named them the reapers. The Protheans didn’t create the Citadel, the reapers did. It also has some crap philosophy that it hides behind and it annoys me. I want this thing dead. They were using other species as puppets. They decide when something exists and for how long it exists. After this we head out and are ready to activate the bomb. Kaidan messages us and tells us he needs help. We head to out to go rescue him.

PART 3: Two Face on a Two Headed Nickel
On our way to help Kaidan we get a message from Ashley saying that the geth are swarming in and that she has started the timer on the bomb. Why Ashley has to keep touching buttons I’ll never know. I decide to go back and help Ashley in which surprise attack by Saren.

We fight Saren for a little bit and then we start to talk to him. He says that the reapers will give him a purpose in the new world. Saren is under that cliched villain trope of I have to destroy the world to save it, it does come off more threatening here since he’s not crazy he’s just under indoctrination of Sovereign and his mind is fighting against it while also being persuaded by it. It makes me feel sorry for Saren and I really want to help him out now. I wonder how Saren and the Sovereign even came into contact with one another.

Saren runs off, we get Ashley into the Normandy and flee leaving Kaidan to die.

PART 4: R.I.P. Kaidan
I saved Ashley over Kaidan. Ashley tells me that I should have chosen her to stay behind, I tell her it was my decision not hers, she disagrees with me and still whines with it should have been her. Why is it the two humans on my squad I find to be boring and a pain in the ass while all the aliens are interesting characters?

Liara melds minds again and finds out that the Mu Relay is in Ilos. She had a feeling that it might be there, but if she was wrong we would have wasted precious time. She is completely sure this time. So our next trip will be to Ilos.

END OF CHAPTER
The story missions are certainly more fun that the assignments. The assignments I feel are just hastly thrown together side quests that offer no real challenge or reward. This wouldn’t bother me too much if there weren’t so many assignments. The ones on the Citadel are interesting and add depth sure, but when I go to other planets for assignments it just seems like a waste of time. All in all though this mission was a lot of fun from beginning to end.