Friday, June 28, 2013

Psychedelic Camera Effect Attack!

The super robot Mach Baron was, to my knowledge, one of the earliest live-action attempts at a giant robot series.

Thus it is, by its very nature, among the very trippiest robots of all time.


1. Apparently, Mach Baron must do that kaleidoscopey sort of arm-spinning thing to launch his fists and use certain other abilities such as the chest missiles.

2. Apparently, Mach Baron must spin his head to set up the numerous different weapons mounted in his mouth.

3. Apparently, Mach Baron must do the kaleidoscopy arm-spinning followed by head-spinning to use his eye beams.

His feet being where the car docks is barely worth mentioning; it's pretty par for the course.

Also, my sister would like you to note the bizarre chairs in the scientist's control room. Says she, "They are gloriously tacky."

-Signing off.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

[insert title lauding Pacific Rim here]

[insert comment talking about how deeply I'm anticipating this movie here]

[insert comment coming up with increasingly hyperbolic way to describe this movie as awesome here]

...In all seriousness, I was feeling a little concern that Pacific Rim is going to be one of those movies where, if you've watched the trailers, you've basically seen a summary of the movie.

Then I remembered that my standard procedure for spotting a Pacific Rim trailer is "set YouTube to higher quality than normal and watch approximately seventeen times in a row," and I realized that's not necessarily a problem.

-Signing off.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Om Nom Nom

I happened to be listening to the ending theme of a series about a "hero" character who shed bodies while watching this clip about a centipede shedding its exoskeleton.

(NOTE: The following video has images of a large centipede stalking a lizard and then chewing on a baby rat until it dies. Fair warning.)

I've heard this narrator on a few other clips around.

He's... basically the worst. (Although if he didn't write his own material, there's at least one other person to blame.)

-Signing off.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Presented Without Comment (Well, No, That's A Lie)

The funniest thing about this?

All the furious fanboys who mistook it for an actual Evangelion trailer.

The second funniest thing is the giant horse/Eva thing.

-Signing off.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Invid's Guide to the Star Wars Universe: Alien Species (#90)

Today marks nine hundred alien species from Star Wars profiled, unfortunately counting way too many that shouldn't.

891. Rakririans. Rakririans are basically centipede people. Their culture is such that the galaxy at large is too unsophisticated for their refined tastes, and they try to avoid leaving their planet.

Nice people.

They have a third biological sex in addition to the regular ones, "facilitator drone." That's... interesting.

On the plus side, they do look somewhat interesting.

Rating: 3/5. Looking kind of interesting makes up for being obnoxious jerks, I guess.

892. Ramoans. The Ramoans are very similar to Gamorreans. Apparently, their homeworld was wrecked by the Yuuzhan Vong somehow or another, and six years later they were still being relocated by relief efforts.

What's odd and sad about the Ramoans is that in an early preview for the book they appeared in, they actually were Gamorreans-they were changed from Gamorreans late in production.

Why is this sad? Because one of the Ramoan characters was a Jedi.

Green pig dude Jedi, guys.

Rating: 3/5. They're not Gamorreans, but they still brought us a green pig dude Jedi.

893. Ranats, or Con Queecon (in their own language). The Ranats are saber-toothed rat people.

When there are saber-toothed rat people in a fictional universe, what other rat people or other forms of Jawa substitute could you possibly need?

Rating: 5/5. Saber-toothed rat people, guys.

894. Ranth. The Ranth live on the planet Caaraz, which is tidally locked with its star even though it has two moons (this shouldn't be possible, by the way) on its perpetually dark side, which is heated only by its moons (?) and Caaraz's geological activity (...they got a bit right? Amazing!). The Ranth thus have great night vision and hearing and considerable resistance to cold, and also are great athletes because that's the only way they could get enough food in their harsh environment.

City-dwelling Ranth want to become more civilized, and nomadic Ranth don't. The city Ranth apparently express anger "flamboyantly" but nonviolently, while nomadic Ranth express anger through violence; the city Ranth apparently are "introspective" and "tend towards apathy" while nomadic Ranth are passionate and driven.

Rating: 1/5. I didn't come into this wanting to hate this entry, but after all the stupid and obvious, I kind of had to.

895. Rat People. They resemble rats and live on Coruscant.

Rating: 1/5. Go away, Rat People, the Ranat meet that description too and you are clearly inferior for not being saber-toothed rat people. (Have I mentioned enough how great it is that the Ranat are saber-toothed rat people? I'm not sure I have.)

896. Rattataki. The Rattataki may or may not be descended from a lost human expedition from the Old Republic. They're all bald and have marble-white skin, which isn't a bad look. They also tend to have some sort of black markings on their faces that are probably tattoos.

They apparently are "very inventive" and "always finding new ways to kill each other," and their population was frequently decimated by infighting between them and other races in the region of space from which they hail.

Rating: 3/5 because of the look and the amusement factor of the previous sentence.

897. Reigats. Reigats are basically huge, muscular humans.

They're apparently loners, and the species only fails to go extinct because they have unusually strong yearly breeding drives. (Is that anything like going into heat? If so, I do not want to be around Reigats at the yearly point in time, because I'm living with a cat who is currently in heat [long story-don't ask] and she is really annoying right now, and is trying to... get a response, shall we say, out of her neutered female roommate that she seems to think is a tomcat because said roommate really big.)

They also have bad tempers which are sometimes known as "Reigat Rage!"

The article doesn't specify, likely because they forgot, but clearly it is required that "Reigat Rage!" always be written in italics if possible and with an exclamation point.

Rating: 3/5. Because Reigat Rage!

898. Reks. Reks apparently have whip-like bodies, skin like "lukewarm rubber" (a fascinatingly specific description), and brightly colored eyes.

So they're cartoon characters?

Rating: 2/5, because I don't know if I'll ever get tired of that sort of gag.

899. Rellarins. Rellarins are huge, with hands twice as thick as a Wookiee's (though note that Wookiees can trounce guys much bigger than themselves, and Han Solo once punched a Phlog in the face). "Despite" this, they are known for being gentle and wise, and despite their primitive culture a number of members of the galactic society at large take their tribal leaders, un'Yala, as advisors.

They also look awesome and terrifying.

Rating: 4/5. They're genuinely great.

900. Reussi. Near-humans from Reuss VIII.

Rating: 1/5. Yet another case of "terrible landmark entry." Sigh.

-Signing off.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Sleep Well Tonight

NOTE: I have a new computer. Eventually maybe, this may simplify blogging, although at the moment I don't necessarily feel like blogging five times a week.

ADDITIONAL NOTE: I hate Windows 8. (Why did Microsoft get rid of the Windows 95 theme? I liked that theme. Sure, it was 18 years or so old, but I've been using it that long because it's a good theme.) Also, I just had to turn off Sticky Keys, one of the most obnoxious things about recent versions of Windows.

So have a video of a rather large snake opening a door.

And apparently also flipping a light switch.

-Signing off.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Invid's Guide to the Star Wars Universe: Alien Species (#89)

(I decided to exclude the entry "Quill-heads" because 1) it may well have been a nickname applied by Greedo to something he didn't recognize, and 2) excluding it lets me cover something significantly more interesting than a nearly empty entry.)

881. Quesoth. The Quesoth apparently are insectoids with an odd caste-based society. There are three cities, the White City, the Red City, and the Black City, and they have alternating rulership between the respective queens born in those cities, bred somehow by local members of a caste called Circlings. The Circlings are apparently highly intelligent and serve as advisors to the queens, and whenever their queen dies, another city's Circlings will breed a new one while the then-current group of Circlings go into hibernation; the rest of Quesoth society travels between the three cities instead.

The main plot involving them was someone's attempt to interfere with the cycle.

Rating: 3/5. They feel more like an exotic, odd fantasy race than a science fiction/space opera race, but they're still interesting.

882. Quints. The Quints have the unfortunate problem of making me think of something very different, that being the bizarre and hilarious five-faced race of villains from Transformers, properly known as Quintessons but often colloquially called Quints, especially in fan circles.

Enough of that. These Quints are apparently known for their speed and agility (a lot of speed and agility? not very much speed and agility? perfectly average speed and agility?) and apparently are tall, covered in "delicate" fur (whatever that means), and have small heads and triangular eyes.

Rating: 1/5. I'm judging them unfairly. (Whoops, that's another Transformers Quint reference!)

883. Quockrans. The Quockrans are xenophobic slug creatures that, when faced with the potential loss of their isolationism, built an entire society of droids to hide behind so that they wouldn't be found.

That is awesome.

Incidentally, the Quockrans are actually based on unused concept art for Jabba the Hutt, and are thus ugly as... ugly... things. I'm not even going to discuss it, because I don't trust myself to keep well-behaved.

Rating: 4/5. The concept of an alien race hiding their existence with robots is kind of awesome, and I'm not sure I've seen it anywhere else. I kinda want to, now.

884. Quor'sav(s). Quor'sav are huge ostrich-y bird people, many towering at over ten feet tall, though some smaller individuals were closer to eight feet tall. We can actually see the legs of one briefly in A New Hope wandering in front of the camera, or something.

Their wings are vestigial, even though they're drawn by some artists as arms, and can barely do anything, though at least one carried a specially designed blaster that fit under his wing and was fired by his wing's motions. Despite their huge size and considerable strength, they are extremely delicate, particularly to environmental hazards like pollution (Lando Calrissian explicitly compares them to canaries in the part of the Lando Calrissian Adventures where one appears).

They are noted as disliking mammals and having strong protective instincts related to their parenting instincts, which they often extend to things that are by no stretch of the imagination related to them in any way.

Rating: 3/5. It's rather true to life to have a huge creature that's fragile, really. (Why do you think horses are so hard to raise and take care of? They're big, powerful, and remarkably fragile.)

885. Quorks. Quorks are creatures that have bear-shaped bodies, rather gorilla-like hands and feet, heads which look rather peculiarly humanlike with big, shaggy white lion manes, and horns. They're bigger than Ewoks and are probably physically stronger, and as that comparison suggests, they're among the many, many hostile races that the Ewoks must coexist with on Endor.

Their main shtick is that they wanted the Ewoks' more advanced technology, such as hang gliders, and also hate the Ewoks a lot.

Rating: 2/5. They're among the smallest beings that the Ewoks must deal with, but they have a modestly interesting look to them.

886. Quohog. The Quohog, also known as Wavedancers, are amphibious humanoids, who can only be properly amphibious in fresh water; in salt water they need protection to filter out the mineral content. Which is an amazingly science-accurate sort of thing to have in a world like this-the vast majority of fish are restricted to only salt or fresh water, and basically all modern amphibians are freshwater animals.

Anyway, apparently their spoken language only sounds right underwater and their voices are weak out of water, so they communicate on land through sign language. That's... a little backwards, probably, but interesting nonetheless.

Rating: 3/5. A reasonably interesting group of amphibious people.

887. Radnorans. All we know about the Radnorans is that they're short, intimidating humanoids who had to evacuate their planet after a bioweapon manufacturing accident.

Rating: 1/5.

888. Ragoons. Ragoons apparently are environmentalist elves of some sort, and they wanted to preserve their planet and protect it from outside interference, so when their population dwindled from some kind of illness, they asked the Old Republic to make their homeworld a protectorate so that it would be preserved.

No word what happened to them after the Old Republic was replaced by the Empire, who liked to run roughshod over everybody, sometimes just for the sake of it.

Rating: 2/5, essentially for the fridge horror effect.

889. Rakaans. Rakaans are awesome-looking giant monster spider-ish alien things.

As if that's not enough, they also have a bizarre life cycle wherein they may shift between one of four sexes-male, female, "andro," and neuter-at various times through their lifespans of about 160 years. "Andro" Rakaans apparently are designed to help nurture eggs while neuters are non-reproductive guards. On average, Rakaans apparently change between the sexes relatively randomly about three times (including the first time their sex changes-as children they have no sexes). They also spend an average of thirty years-but may spend as few as five or as many as sixty-as children. When they are in Transition between sexes, they are often violent and ravenous, presumably for the sake of feeding themselves as they go through huge metabolic changes (each sex has a different average size).

Rating: 4/5. The detail here is great, considering what a simple thing it is, and they're also wonderfully strange in both appearance and concept.

890. Rakata. The Rakata, also known as the Builders, were the creators and rulers of a group known as the Infinite Empire.

They were not very nice people.

Specifically, the Rakata were uplifted by the Kwa around 35,000 years before the movie era, and learned about the Force from them. They decided to embrace the dark side and built Force-based technology, and preceded humanity and many other old races into space. Apparently, their hyperdrives only can take them to worlds that have strong connections to the Force. (That's an interesting limitation.) The then-current Galactic power of the Celestials was in decline at the time, and their fall led to Rakata ascendancy, the Rakata defeating the other powers of the day, namely the Kwa and the Gree, and possibly also the Killiks and the Sharu (mentioned in the previously linked Lando Calrissian Adventures review, if you want to learn about them before I talk about them in the list here).

They would brutalize many other species, often doing such things as eating and otherwise defiling the remains of their enemies and slaughtering entire races, and could reshape worlds.

Among the other races they conquered were Wookiees, Noghri, Kumumgah, humans, Drall, and Duros; there were others.

The Rakata apparently at some point killed the majority of the Esh-kha race, a race so dangerous that a few thousand of them were a match for two space empires (the Old Republic and Sith Empire of about four thousand years before the movie era) and simultaneously imprisoned the remainder on a planet which they had also imprisoned something called the World Razer in. The World Razer is poorly defined, but was said to eat planets and stars, so obviously the Rakata knew their stuff, even if they did put a bunch of xenocidal maniacs on the same planet who had the knowledge and means to wake the thing up (those xenocidal maniacs being the Esh-kha, of course-though before they'd met the Rakata, the Esh-kha had apparently been peaceful).

They would also do crazy and sometimes hilarious things like build monuments on various worlds to their victories, such as crystal sculptures on some planet (which would later be named for the word for "crystal" in the language of the Muuns in reference to the sculptures) and an interactive holographic device somewhere on the planet Hoth.

At their empire's height, they controlled five hundred worlds; not a lot by the standards of the Star Wars galaxy, but big for the time and weighty because of their technology. Other races would manage to maintain civilizations by using other forms of hyperdrive and avoiding the Infinite Empire's worlds.

Their contact with the race known as the Sith would create a dark side legacy that reached across thousands of years. They taught the race whose name became a by-word for the dark side about the dark side.

Then, the unexpected happened: Ten thousand years after the beginning of their rise in the galaxy, the Rakata were affected by a plague that stripped them of their Force powers as a race. There would be handfuls of survivors over the many thousands of years since, but by a thousand years before the movie era, they were almost certainly completely extinct.

Not so extinct was all the technology they'd left behind, the majority of which, thanks to its unique Force-powered nature, would still be functional and powerful over twenty thousand years after the Infinite Empire fell.

Basically, the Rakata are awesome evil dead guys, and continuity porn incarnate.

Rating: 5/5. 'Nuff said. Well, no, not quite 'nuff said, they look interesting and unique as well.

-Signing off.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

And Apparently They're Singing In Polish

One of the more disturbing things I've seen in a while:

That donkey thing disturbs me.

(What, you thought I was talking about the grotesque alien creatures? Don't be silly.)

-Signing off.

Monday, June 10, 2013

UNREAL FACE (that is quite real)

Sometimes I almost think special effects in entertainment have gone too far.

Case in point: This real live animal looks less real than many not-real-at-all animals I've seen.

It's also a bit terrifying, because it looks like a relatively normal fish, and then oh hey I HAVE WING LIPS.

I was actually a little surprised it wasn't trying to envelop things with its wacky face.

Of course, it's a perfectly normal little fish otherwise...

-Signing off.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Star Driver Fights: Short But Sweet

I've been watching (and now re-watching) the anime Star Driver (free on Hulu). I haven't really been able to gather my thoughts on it properly for the sake of doing a proper blog post on it, but I'll probably get around to it. (Most common buzzword in its fandom: Fabulous. Or rather, Faaaabulous.)

I will say that I think it's pretty good, and that it's almost worth watching just because of the crazy-nice animation and weird environments in its fights.

It's also interesting to watch the fights because the protagonist is kind of unusual.

He's unusual because he's a seemingly carefree and rather ditzy dude, but under that exterior, he's actually quite smart, because he avoids revealing anything about his own fighting skills that he doesn't need to.

Of course, that makes a lot of his fights look like he's pulling things out of nowhere, but in the context of this show, it works.

-Signing off.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Invid's Guide to the Star Wars Universe: Alien Species (#88)

(I've excluded the Qonet, because they were begat by the Ahra Naffi and begat the Qella, and frankly that's an annoying waste of an entry.)

871. Pyn'gani. The Pyn'gani are described as "near-humans" who are distinguished from humans by their "brown skin." Um... Offensive. (And inaccurate-the skin tone of the pictured Pyn'gani appears Caucasian.)

They're weirdly obsessed with cold or something, living on one or more cold planets, and are supposedly the inventors of the carbonite freezing process used to put Han Solo in that slab.

Rating: 1/5. They're kinda terrible.

872. Qadel. The Qadel were a race of slavers exterminated by Xim the Despot, according to the Hutt play Evocar. I really would just like to point out, however, this exchange from the play:

Shool (apparently the prosecutor): "First and foremost, Xim, Son of Xer, you are charged with causing the extermination and extinction of nine sentient species."
Xim: "Nine? I know I spaced more than that."
Shool: "Among them the Qadel, the Ermi, the Veeza, and the Zoa'mon…"
Xim: "Slavers all. I did the galaxy a favor."

So Xim's reaction to being accused of genocide of nine species is "What? Which ones did you leave out?"

Rating: 1/5. Xim, however, is awesome.

873. Qella. The Qella were descended from the Qonet who were descended from the Ahra Naffi (as mentioned at the top of this article). When they learned that their moon was going to crash into their planet, causing a devastating cataclysm, they made a really big spaceship that was at least slightly organic, encoded it with all the genetic information of every species on their planet, and launched it just in time to escape the impact.

Then the ship became a legendary mystery ship and wandered around for over a hundred years, before returning to their homeworld to fix its climate change and rebuild its ecosystem, presumably intending to eventually repopulate the planet with a new population.


What this doesn't make clear is that all this had nothing to do with the story it took place during. It was a random side distraction, albeit an interesting one.

Rating: 3/5. Of course, we know next to nothing about the actual Qella.

874. Qieg. Sapient. Insectoids. From Lan Barell.

Rating: 1/5.

875. Qiraash. Qiraash are near-humans who aren't normally able to interbreed with humans, presumably because of their huge, bulbous crania, though apparently with some genetic tweaking it would be possible. (Who knows how we know this?)

The only known Qiraash was a probable Force-sensitive who went into hiding on Tatooine, and can be momentarily seen in the background of the Mos Eisley cantina.

Rating: 2/5. Very slightly interesting.

876. Qom Jha and Qom Qae. Qom Jha and Qom Qae are relatively small flying beings that can apparently coordinate to lift small spacecraft, among other things. The only biological difference between the groups is that Qom Qae are usually smaller and live in the open and are adapted to bright light, while the Qom Jha are nocturnal/cave dwelling beings.

They aren't given names at birth, and must earn their names through deeds.

Rating: 3/5. They're reasonably interesting.

877. Qonto. Apparently, at least some Qonto are known for extreme perception.

Rating: 1/5.

878. Quadrant Seven. The Quadrant Seven (yes, that's the name of their species, and also their planet) apparently had, up until the Clone Wars, not seen war on their world for 573 years. They're peaceful and don't like technology and do like nature.

Apparently, they have large numbers of antennae that grow like human hair. This is kind of hilarious.

Rating: 2/5. The stereotypical silliness of nature harmony/hate technology is generally dumb, but I like the silliness of their name and I also like their antennae-hair conceptually.

879. Quarren. The Quarren are inhabitants of Dac, also known as Mon Calamari, homeworld of the Mon Calamari (surprise!), along with several other species, notably the completely ridiculous yet awesome Amphi-Hydrus. They are, like most of Dac's inhabitants, amphibious, and they also have tentacles on their faces. In specific circumstances (mating), Quarren can change the color of their skin, but usually they're fixed on a single color, most often orange.

Quarren don't like the Mon Calamari because outsiders treat the Mon Calamari as if they're the owners of the planet, but are forced to get along most of the time because the Mon Calamari are the planet's primary economic power. This leads to much tension between the species, and the Quarren have fought wars with the Mon Cal at virtually ever opportunity.

Rating: 3/5. These guys helped lead to the Mon Calamari being one of the most interesting groups in the Star Wars galaxy.

880. Quermians. The Quermians are not-mammalian-looking mammals with really long necks and four arms. The Arkanians created them from another similar but smaller species through genetic engineering, and left them to develop on a terraformed planet free of predation.

It's believed by many that they have some degree of telepathy, but the Quermians themselves claim they're just really good at reading body language. A number of Quermian Jedi have run around the galaxy.

Rating: 3/5. Frankly, I find them more ridiculous than some of the more extreme species, like brains in jars, rock monsters that grow into moons, and crystal demon lords that used to rule the galaxy, just because their necks are so doggoned long that they probably shouldn't work. Ah, well.

-Signing off.

Monday, June 3, 2013

"What Are You Gloating For?" "...Moon?"

Often, I find verbal tics and oddball exclamations of a certain stripe, such as repeatedly using a word for no reason as if one has a single-minded cousin to Tourette's, really annoying.

And other times, with no particular rhyme or reason, I find it hilarious.


My sister remarks that him saying "moon" is funny, but that she also finds his voice in general really annoying.

(It's also funny that the forms of his heads are based on the phases of the moon, and there is thus one with no head.)

-Signing off.