Ian Fleming's "Casino Royale" wrote:Bond looked away from Mathis. He studied his bandaged hands.
‘When I was being beaten up,’ he said, ‘I suddenly liked the idea of being alive. Before Le Chiffre began, he used a phrase which stuck in my mind . . . “playing Red Indians”. He said that’s what I had been doing. Well, I suddenly thought he might be right.
‘You see,’ he said, still looking down at his bandages, ‘when one’s young, it seems very easy to distinguish between right and wrong, but as one gets older it becomes more difficult. At school it’s easy to pick out one’s own villains and heroes and one grows up wanting to be a hero and kill the villains.’
He looked obstinately at Mathis.
‘Well, in the last few years I’ve killed two villains. The first was in New York—a Japanese cipher expert cracking our codes on the thirty-sixth floor of the RCA building in the Rockefeller centre, where the Japs had their consulate. I took a room on the fortieth floor of the next-door skyscraper and I could look across the street into his room and see him working. Then I got a colleague from our organization in New York and a couple of Remington thirty-thirty’s with telescopic sights and silencers. We smuggled them up to my room and sat for days waiting for our chance. He shot at the man a second before me. His job was only to blast a hole through the windows so that I could shoot the Jap through it. They have tough windows at the Rockefeller centre to keep the noise out. It worked very well. As I expected, his bullet got deflected by the glass and went God knows where. But I shot immediately after him, through the hole he had made. I got the Jap in the mouth as he turned to gape at the broken window.’
Bond smoked for a minute.
‘It was a pretty sound job. Nice and clean too. Three hundred yards away. No personal contact. The next time in Stockholm wasn’t so pretty. I had to kill a Norwegian who was doubling against us for the Germans. He’d managed to get two of our men captured—probably bumped off for all I know. For various reasons it had to be an absolutely silent job. I chose the bedroom of his flat and a knife. And, well, he just didn’t die very quickly.
‘For those two jobs I was awarded a Double O number in the Service. Felt pretty clever and got a reputation for being good and tough. A double O number in our Service means you’ve had to kill a chap in cold blood in the course of some job.
‘Now,’ he looked up again at Mathis, ‘that’s all very fine. The hero kills two villains, but when the hero Le Chiffre starts to kill the villain Bond and the villain Bond knows he isn’t a villain at all, you see the other side of the medal. The villains and heroes get all mixed up.
‘Of course,’ he added, as Mathis started to expostulate, ‘patriotism comes along and makes it seem fairly all right, but this country-right-or-wrong business is getting a little out-of-date. Today we are fighting Communism. Okay. If I’d been alive fifty years ago, the brand of Conservatism we have today would have been damn near called Communism and we should have been told to go and fight that. History is moving pretty quickly these days and the heroes and villains keep on changing parts.’
Mathis stared at him aghast. Then he tapped his head and put a calming hand on Bond’s arm.
‘You mean to say that this precious Le Chiffre who did his best to turn you into a eunuch doesn’t qualify as a villain?’ he asked. ‘Anyone would think from the rot you talk that he had been battering your head instead of your . . .’ He gestured down the bed. ‘You wait till M tells you to get after another Le Chiffre. I bet you’ll go after him all right. And what about smersh? I can tell you I don’t like the idea of these chaps running around France killing anyone they feel has been a traitor to their precious political system. You’re a bloody anarchist.’
He threw his arms in the air and let them fall helplessly to his sides.
‘All right,’ he said. ‘Take our friend Le Chiffre. It’s simple enough to say he was an evil man, at least it’s simple enough for me because he did evil things to me. If he was here now, I wouldn’t hesitate to kill him, but out of personal revenge and not, I’m afraid, for some high moral reason or for the sake of my country.’
He looked up at Mathis to see how bored he was getting with these introspective refinements of what, to Mathis, was a simple question of duty.
Mathis smiled back at him.
‘Continue, my dear friend. It is interesting for me to see this new Bond. Englishmen are so odd. They are like a nest of Chinese boxes. It takes a very long time to get to the centre of them. When one gets there the result is unrewarding, but the process is instructive and entertaining. Continue. Develop your arguments. There may be something I can use to my own chief the next time I want to get out of an unpleasant job.’ He grinned maliciously.
Bond ignored him.
‘Now in order to tell the difference between good and evil, we have manufactured two images representing the extremes—representing the deepest black and the purest white—and we call them God and the Devil. But in doing so we have cheated a bit. God is a clear image, you can see every hair on His beard. But the Devil. What does he look like?’ Bond looked triumphantly at Mathis.
Mathis laughed ironically.
‘It’s all very fine,’ said Bond, ‘but I’ve been thinking about these things and I’m wondering whose side I ought to be on. I’m getting very sorry for the Devil and his disciples such as the good Le Chiffre. The Devil has a rotten time and I always like to be on the side of the underdog. We don’t give the poor chap a chance. There’s a Good Book about goodness and how to be good and so forth, but there’s no Evil Book about evil and how to be bad. The Devil has no prophets to write his Ten Commandments and no team of authors to write his biography. His case has gone completely by default. We know nothing about him but a lot of fairy stories from our parents and schoolmasters. He has no book from which we can learn the nature of evil in all its forms, with parables about evil people, proverbs about evil people, folk-lore about evil people. All we have is the living example of the people who are least good, or our own intuition.
‘So,’ continued Bond, warming to his argument, ‘Le Chiffre was serving a wonderful purpose, a really vital purpose, perhaps the best and highest purpose of all. By his evil existence, which foolishly I have helped to destroy, he was creating a norm of badness by which, and by which alone, an opposite norm of goodness could exist. We were privileged, in our short knowledge of him, to see and estimate his wickedness and we emerge from the acquaintanceship better and more virtuous men.’
‘Bravo,’ said Mathis. ‘I’m proud of you. You ought to be tortured every day. I really must remember to do something evil this evening. I must start at once. I have a few marks in my favour—only small ones, alas,’ he added ruefully—‘but I shall work fast now that I have seen the light. What a splendid time I’m going to have. Now, let’s see, where shall I start, murder, arson, rape? But no, these are peccadilloes. I must really consult the good Marquis de Sade. I am a child, an absolute child in these matters.’
His face fell.
‘Ah, but our conscience, my dear Bond. What shall we do with him while we are committing some juicy sin? That is a problem. He is a crafty person this conscience and very old, as old as the first family of apes which gave birth to him. We must give that problem really careful thought or we shall spoil our enjoyment. Of course, we should murder him first, but he is a tough bird. It will be difficult, but if we succeed, we could be worse even than Le Chiffre.
‘For you, dear James, it is easy. You can start off by resigning. That was a brilliant thought of yours, a splendid start to your new career. And so simple. Everyone has the revolver of resignation in his pocket. All you’ve got to do is pull the trigger and you will have made a big hole in your country and your conscience at the same time. A murder and a suicide with one bullet! Splendid! What a difficult and glorious profession. As for me, I must start embracing the new cause at once.’
He looked at his watch.
‘Good. I’ve started already. I’m half an hour late for a meeting with the chief of police.’
He rose to his feet laughing.
‘That was most enjoyable, my dear James. You really ought to go on the halls. Now about that little problem of yours, this business of not knowing good men from bad men and villains from heroes, and so forth. It is, of course, a difficult problem in the abstract. The secret lies in personal experience, whether you’re a Chinaman or an Englishman.’
He paused at the door.
‘You admit that Le Chiffre did you personal evil and that you would kill him if he appeared in front of you now?
‘Well, when you get back to London you will find there are other Le Chiffres seeking to destroy you and your friends and your country. M will tell you about them. And now that you have seen a really evil man, you will know how evil they can be and you will go after them to destroy them in order to protect yourself and the people you love. You won’t wait to argue about it. You know what they look like now and what they can do to people. You may be a bit more choosy about the jobs you take on. You may want to be certain that the target really is black, but there are plenty of really black targets around. There’s still plenty for you to do. And you’ll do it. And when you fall in love and have a mistress or a wife and children to look after, it will seem all the easier.’
Mathis opened the door and stopped on the threshold.
‘Surround yourself with human beings, my dear James. They are easier to fight for than principles.’
He laughed. ‘But don’t let me down and become human yourself. We would lose such a wonderful machine.’
With a wave of the hand he shut the door.
‘Hey,’ shouted Bond.
But the footsteps went quickly off down the passage.
Heh, concert wasn't a pop concert! But, yes, everything is better with pop star characters. Really, football has been taking up much more of my time... there's just too many games to watch and I hate missing any in case there's a good one!Raxivace wrote:What I'm getting out of this is that you would have played more Dark Souls instead if one of the NPC's of the game was one of these pop stars you're into.
Let's be honest, Dark Souls would be a better game with a pop star character.
Yeah that's why even though my post was fairly negative ("Review" seems too generous a word to describe what I write here), I tried to temper it with references to the game's age and how much FPS games have changed since 1997 anyways. In a way I'm just completely the wrong audience for this game in 2019.Eva Yojimbo wrote: I'm guessing Goldeneye probably hasn't aged well and I wouldn't even enjoy it as much as something like the modern Wolfenstein, but back in the day it was a blast.
Raxivace wrote:Anyways since nobody is actually going to read or care about the post above this one, I'll also mention that Kojima's new game Death Stranding is out now and its fucking weird.
Ryukishi07 is probably the most notable of this bunch from what I can tell, as his first big hit Higurashi no Naku Koro ni has a character that's just straight up Ciel with a different name (Lord Lyndon might appreciate this since he's seen the anime adaptation of Higurashi), and Umineko no Naku Koro ni lifts more than a few plot points from Tsukihime as well (Though is otherwise an entirely different type of beast).
I'm guessing it hasn't aged well either, which is why I think I'll stick to my fond memories rather than proving myself (and you) right by replaying it! One thing I forgot to mention though is that there are actually more objectives on harder levels, so some of those "empty" places you went to might've served a purpose on the harder difficulties. EG, in the opening Dam level you have to go underground in those sniper towers near the end to disable a computer (or something like that).Raxivace wrote:Yeah that's why even though my post was fairly negative ("Review" seems too generous a word to describe what I write here), I tried to temper it with references to the game's age and how much FPS games have changed since 1997 anyways. In a way I'm just completely the wrong audience for this game in 2019.Eva Yojimbo wrote: I'm guessing Goldeneye probably hasn't aged well and I wouldn't even enjoy it as much as something like the modern Wolfenstein, but back in the day it was a blast.
I suspect most of these early 3D games from the N64/PS1 era probably haven't aged super gracefully, though perhaps I shouldn't fault GoldenEye too harshly if most of its bretheren from the time don't hold up much better.
That being said yeah the babysitting was still a bit much. Since I played on babby mode I didn't have too much trouble with the control room defense part (It was escaping immediately after that tended to give me trouble), though the jungle level annoyed me too.
EDIT: The other thing to mention is that I didn't touch multiplayer at all, and a lot of the positive memories I've read from people online about GoldenEye seem to be more about playing the multiplayer with their friends and that's fair enough.
Like Lord_Lyndon I also read everything you write. I'm definitely looking forward to Death Stranding even though I refuse to pay $50+ for game so it might be a while before I get it. I loved Girlfriend Reviews review of it:Raxivace wrote:Anyways since nobody is actually going to read or care about the post above this one, I'll also mention that Kojima's new game Death Stranding is out now and its fucking weird. I can't really think of another game to compare it to. It has a lot of individual elements that remind me of other games, but there's always some qualifier that I'd have to add on. Like the world of the game sort of reminds of Shadow of the Colossus, except its not quite like that. There's a huge aspect on traversing the world like in Zelda: Breath of the Wild, except its different for reasons that are hard to pin down. You have to worry about a crying baby like in Yoshi's Island, except it doesn't really get kidnapped or anything and also it can sense monsters from some kind of parallel universe. There's a lot of planning how to move around dangerous enemies sort of like classic Resident Evil games, except the environment is much more open and at least in the point I'm at now, your character is much less offensive. Etc.
There's just no other game I can quite pin down as a singular comparison.
The story seems to be about a mailman in post-apocalyptic America (I think there's a Kevin Costner movie kind of like that too), though its bizarrely fun so far.
I feel like I've built up Ninja Gaiden too much. I should stress that the reason NG1 is memorable is because it's laughably difficult at times, and much of that is due to near-broken mechanics and truly sinister level design (like managing pin-point platforming while fending off multiple enemies from multiple angles). Thankfully, they fixed the most broken thing (the inability to climb walls) in NG2, which is a much better game overall but much easier. NG3 ramped the difficulty back up but maintained the better mechanics of NG2. I might also mention this is the first series I can remember playing that had any kind of storyline. I'm sure some games had them before that, but they were the first I remember playing.Raxivace wrote:I'll try and get to Ninja Gaiden at some point (And I probably should make a 2020 games thread too eventually). But yeah the few issues I had with SMB3 are pretty minor all things considered.
I think part of what's hard about Death Stranding is that this is the first time in a very long time where we've gotten Kojima's convoluted storytelling with a completely new setting (Even Snatcher situates itself as being in the same setting as Metal Gear, though that game also pretty liberally lifts plot elements from Blade Runner and Terminator. Policenauts might be the exception here but I haven't gotten far in that as I've had trouble emulating it well). The MGS games of course are convoluted, but the basic concepts of the world/characters build on each other from game to game and always give you an anchor of some kind going into them. Death Stranding isn't just Metal Gear with the names changed, which is fun and exciting but makes it harder than I think people were expecting.
Kojima's storytelling style as also been kind of different since MGS: Peace Walker, and even though that came out a decade ago I think some people still are expecting MGS1/2/3 style games again (MGS4 is kind of an inbetween the old style and his newer style, I think, even if it leans heavier toward the older games). I love those games and I can't blame them, but he's changed since those days.
Instead of going to bed, go beat Dark Souls.
Interesting comparison. I've been looking forward to playing both CotM and RotN. Always liked Metroidvanias anyway, and a refinement of that whole "genre" sounds right up my alley even if it isn't as fresh/new as something like DS.Raxivace wrote:Oh yeah I forgot to mention this, but one last thing about Death Stranding is that it makes for an interesting contrast with the other 2019 game by a displaced former Konami developer that finally came out- Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night.
RotN really is just the Metroidvania style that Koji Igarashi has more or less always done, but the characters and setting are marginally different. Other than lacking stock references to "Dracula" and "The Belmont family" and such, it might as well just be a new Castlevania game.
I really liked RotN a lot but its just a refined/tweaked version of what's come before. Death Stranding, despite arguably being Frankensteined together from individual aspects of many disparate games, does feel fresh and new.
Because of that though I think RotN might actually age more gracefully than DS, as I'm sure the gameplay style of DS will get refined over time if Kojima does a sequel, or another game in the same "genre". It'll be interesting to compare both RotN and DS again in like 2030.
I'm enjoying reading it.Raxivace wrote:Man I'm almost approaching Jimbo levels of text about this mailman simulator.
Looking online, it seems the first Ninja Gaiden came out in 1988. It might be one of the first platformers with an actual story, though you had RPG's and such before then with story.Eva Yojimbo wrote:I might also mention this is the first series I can remember playing that had any kind of storyline. I'm sure some games had them before that, but they were the first I remember playing.
Basically, starting with Peace Walker Kojima moved from exploring a single large area a la Shadow Moses Island or the Big Shell into more individual mission structure, where the main story is composed of like 40-50 smaller little missions* (MGS4 is sort of a middle ground since it has five separate "Acts" with five decently sized areas you go through. I guess MGS2 was kind of pointing toward that direction too though come to think of it, with the Tanker and Plant chapters. MGS3 also has the "Virtuous Mission" before you get into Operation Snake Eater proper, though that ends up with you running through the first five screens of the game twice in a row).Yeah, I'm also really interested to see what Kojima can do outside the "confines" of MGS. I'll also have to keep in mind the storytelling changes as I play the later MGS games.
Just to be clear CotM is in the style of "classic" Castlevania gameplay (Specifically a riff on Castlevania 3: Dracula's Curse), while RotN is the one that's the Metroidvania. Both are worth playing though.Interesting comparison. I've been looking forward to playing both CotM and RotN. Always liked Metroidvanias anyway, and a refinement of that whole "genre" sounds right up my alley even if it isn't as fresh/new as something like DS.
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