Tag Archives: Lightning Returns

Science Fiction and Religion – The Apocalypse

Is there just an apocalypse waiting?

From Avengers #3 by Jonathan Hickman.

I love Hickman’s Avengers. I’ve written about that fact before, and especially one of the things I love about his Marvel work – and his other comics – is how he works with both science and mythology. In Avengers, especially, he works on larger, over-arching mythology for the whole Marvel Universe. Its origins… and its ending.

That ending was last summer’s big crossover event, Secret Wars. I reviewed that recently. But it was a lot of time and comics leading into it, not just one crossover and everything is over. The apocalypse did not happen suddenly, although it may have felt that way if you were reading other titles… or just reading about the whole thing in the press about it.

No, in reading the whole thing, the buildup and then the collapse, I got to thinking of two things. One is the obvious, I suppose: other apocalyptic literature. Religious especially, the sort that seeps out into shows like Supernatural or Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We were reading a lot of the book of Daniel recently at church, and it’s also just chock full of apocalyptic dreams and visions. So the end of the world: symbolism, signs, and things that are either super literal or completely metaphorical…

The second thing I was thinking of, however, was the Final Fantasy XIII series, wherein the world ends between Final Fantasy XIII-2 and Lightning Returns. In particular, at the end of XIII-2, time itself ends, and the power of death along with it… but as Mr. Fantastic might say, everything dies, and ever so slowly that world does too.

Taken all together, you get what I considered as the alternate title to this blog post: how to end the universe.

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Best of 2014

Again, this year David and I are going to be looking at our Best of 2014 post. These are what each of us considers the best from this last year. I am doing mine today and David will be posting his tomorrow. Just as last year not everything necessarily was released in 2014, but it is when we experienced these items. This year we are looking at movie, tv show, book, comic, music, video game, and board game. Continue reading

A to Z Reaction and All The Things in April!

Last week we finished up the April A to Z blogging challenge, with 26 Character Studies! We hope you enjoyed them; we certainly had a good time writing them. Welcome to all our new followers from the challenge, and thank you to everyone who stopped by and were reading and commenting!

survivor-atoz [2014]

Of course, what this also means is we have a whole month of things that have been happening that we have left pretty much untouched. We did a post for International TableTop Day, but otherwise it was the challenge. 

And then we went on a weekend trip to Seattle, to visit our friends and occasional guest bloggers @Odorunara and @Briantific. They each did a great guest post – Leah on Hannibal, which we now have to watch (sounds pretty good!), and Brian on ESO, in which he has gotten much further than we have and has taught us much of what we know about the game. Thank you again to them, and make sure you read their posts!

So we have a ton we want to talk about and want to catch up on and share with you and we didn’t really know where to start. So, here’s some thoughts on things that have been going on we want to talk about, or will be soon!

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Specialization in Role Playing Games

This is a post idea I’ve had for a long time. My initial thought is this: lately I feel like there has been an increasing move towards specialization in characters in role playing games (RPGs). Meaning that before you often had characters who needed to be able to handle a multitude of situations, need to be able to heal and do damage and take a hit – all in one character, or all in each character.

However, that has been decreasing of late. Instead, we see the rise of roles like Tanking, Healer, and DPS. You see it in party-based online situations especially, and with the rise of MMORPGs, there’s a lot of this going on online and in big-name games people are putting a lot of time into. However, a further place you see this happening was in Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition, which was built to in many ways play like an MMO.

So I will look a bit at both of those – MMOs and D&D 4th Edition – but what really has me thinking about this is that I now have an even better case study. the Final Fantasy games. In Final Fantasy XIII, they hit the most specialized that they ever have; however, in breaking away from that in Lightning Returns, they are moving back to a place where you have far more control over customizing your character. So have we hit the far extent of the trend? Are we moving back away from specialization? That’s the question I will close with!

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Religion in Science Fiction

Screenshot from Lightning Returns

Screenshot from Lightning Returns

David and I started playing Lightning Returns the other day and the story has major religious overtones. I knew you had 13 days until the end of the world, what I did not know is that Lightning has become the savior of souls trying to save as many people before time runs out and God remakes the world. Part of the reason you are saving the souls is because what good is the world without souls, which is an idea you could see a religion being built around. You are working for God trying to save the world, how much more connection do you need to religion? This is not the first time that religion has come up in Science Fiction. It is used in a variety of ways in various science fiction stories. One thing that I found interesting is religion in science fiction is presented in two different ways.

One is the simplest because there is a deity that people believe in and sometimes even get to see. The other option is a bit more nebulous because it is more about self improvement or self control. The different ways these religions are manifested can be an interesting. Continue reading