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Old School Runescape

The name Runescape is synonymous with early 00’s gaming; with a really large number of gamers from all over the world, with many servers. Created by Jagex, a company formed in Cambridge, here in the United Kingdom, this MMO was an experience that encapsulated many gamers. It was an MMO before World of Warcraft was around, it also ran in a browser, as it was programmed in Java. These days, RuneScape has been officially recognised as the worlds largest free MMORPG made, with over 200 million accounts. As well as this, it holds the title for the most updated game ever – So with all of this said, I recently decided to play some ‘Old School Runescape’, so I could get a taste of my past. What I got… Wasn’t what I expected.

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Top 10 Mad Scientists

GeekOut Top 10s

Ahahaha! Ahahaha–!!!

… Ah. There really wasn’t much to laugh about, was there? Anyway, welcome back to our weekly Top 10, ladies and gentlemen, where we take a topic that you choose and we choose the best of the best in that category. Today’s subject is a little bit experimental, as we’re going to be looking at our Top 10 Mad Scientists and write up our thesis about their potentials for the top spot. We’ve taken a lot of candidates and we felt like we’d do something a bit different for this one. We’ve put a pinch of this and a dash of that together to give birth to a list which shows off the best of the best of these mad scientists. Creation is a powerful tool; so let’s see what these scientists can bring to life!


Top 10

10) Mayuri Kurotsuchi – Bleach

Captain of the 12th Division of the Soul Society’s militarised wing of Shinigami, dedicated to hunting the hollow and damned souls who still stalk the living world, and who’s vast counterparts dwell in their own little demi-plane and covetously eye the realm of mortals. The devastating powers of the greater Hollows like the Menos Grande and the Espada require the use of increasingly terrible weapons to use against them. Enter the head of the science division, who is a brilliant master of biology and chemistry, implementing toxins and biological engineering to create defences and countermeasures of awesome potency.

But he is waaaay off his rocker. He has no regard for life, evaluating everyone by their use as a test subject, including his second in command and hand-made “daughter” Nemu. Even his own mortal shell is just a plaything for his twisted brain, keeping his organs and inner workings in jars… somewhere, having greatly improved on his own design. When faced with an Espada with the power to destroy organs with only a “voodoo” doll, he feigns his own death by vomiting blood and folding at hideous angles, before standing, laughing it off, and straight up butchering the creature with barely a thought to the others who were suffering around him.

9) Doctor Evil – Austin Powers

Frickin’ sharks with laser beams attached to their heads!

Okay, so let me start by explaining that Doctor Evil is actually not always the one who creates; but he’s often the brains behind the operations. Sure he’s not exactly the smartest brain behind the operations, that probably belongs to his son, but he’s definitely amongst the most dangerous minds around. In fact, Doctor Evil probably is one of the least intelligent geniuses to have ever existed in all media.

You see, he’s rich as all heck (Somehow); He has legions of minions (Somehow); He has friends (Somehow) and (Somehow) he manages to do some pretty crazy things, such as intimidate the president of the United States of America, by playing footage from Independence Day. He’s not the brightest, but so long as he has access to so many people to build his crazy ideas, he’s going to keep on doing evil things. Now if only he would stop being interrupted by Austin Powers – Time to steal his mojo!

8) Doctor Albert Wily – Mega Man

Probably the epitome of a cranky old man, Dr. Wily is one crazy, creative scientist who managed to turn something good into something terrible. You see, Wily wasn’t always a cranky old man; instead he was once a colleague of the esteemed Dr. Light, a scientist who created robots for the betterment of mankind. Unfortunately, Wily being under his wing meant that Wily knew how those robots worked and was able to reprogram them into something much more sinister and evil. I guess, when your surname is ‘Wily’ you know you’re going to be trouble.

He’s actually had some degree of success, come to think of it. You see in the original game, he was actually taking over the world with the robots he stole. In the second game, he created his own robots to try and take over the world. In the third, he pretended to have changed his ways, whilst still manipulating robots. In the fourth game he captured an esteemed scientist’s daughter – and so on and so forth. If there’s nothing else to say about him, Wily somehow always manages to bounce back after being defeated by Rockman/Mega Man.

7) Algernop Krieger – Archer

Former Nazi scientist and master of cybernetic enhancement, dangerous biochemistry, and highly illegal sciences, Algernop Krieger works for the worst intelligence agency in the world, formerly known as ISIS (but undergoing several facelifts due to unfortunate connections with a present day organisation, you get the idea). Krieger has a catalogue of horrifying creations to his name, a pig/human hybrid, a goat/human hybrid, a crazy killer cyborg with multiple personalities, and some of the most messed up hallucinogens.

There are many questions best not asked about Krieger, many of which he has asked “Is it technically murder if they’re my clones?” and what happens to the hobos who he invites in for free meals, and what exactly happened to Len Trexler. Despite having never technically earned a qualification, Krieger is alarmingly intelligent, wildly unhinged, and a possible clone of Hitler himself. Probably better off under Malory Archer’s control than back in Brazil though.

6) Frank-N-Furter – Rocky Horror Picture Show

Doctor Frank-N-Furter, from transexual Transylvania, is an absolute genius madman who lives in a massive manor far away from most city life. In fact, when newly engaged couple Janet and Brad have a flat tyre, they notice the manor is the only place that they can get to. Thinking they could manage calling someone to come and replace their tyre, they’re invited in and are made to enjoy the customs of Doctor Frank-N-Furter himself, who takes extra special interest in the pair of them.

Frank-N-Furter claims to have found the secret of life itself; claiming that he was able to make a living being. He wasn’t lying, as he managed to make Rocky come to life; His vision of a perfect man. Say what you want about Rocky Horror Picture Show, but Frank-N-Furter is a true classic staple of Sci-Fi goodness. Of course, he is quite a parody of a certain “Ugly monster” which we’ll be talking about later in this Top 10, but my goodness, if I could look as good as Frank-N-Furter whilst making life, I know I would!

5) Professor Farnsworth – Futurama

Mad may not quite cover Hubert J. Farnsworth, the man who treats doomsday machines as family and family as layabout parasites who sit on his couch and shirk their jobs… because they are. Farnsworth has done it all, time machines, intelligent monkeys, killer robots – during his days contracting at MomCorps – and every other manner of reality warping and brain melting device. His masterpiece ship pushes the universe around it, all while remaining absolutely stationary, which raises the question “What if you have two?”

Farnsworth is a god amongst machines in a very real sense, and has created life on numerous occasions. The man’s senility coupled with his tendency to tinker with the fabric of reality makes for a rather daunting mix, and may indeed have been forced to destroy and recreate the universe or perform some similarly horrifying task to cover up some even more terrible blunder! And he may do it again without a second thought… but he is  already in his pyjamas.

So that’s good news I suppose.

4) Otto Octavius – Spider-Man

A megalomaniac who’s body has irreversibly fused with the mechanical tentacles that he uses to manipulate radioactive and dangerous substances, Doctor Octopus is possessed of a determination to achieve great scientific achievements and damn the consequences or who is harmed or what master is served along the way. The classic Spider-Man nemesis was superbly brought to life by Alfred Molina with a subtly different adaption, but can we please talk about the whole mind-swapping thing that happened in the comics?

Octavius managed to implant Peter Parker’s mind into his own decaying corpse (long story) and take the place of Spider-Man. After being forced to understand what made Spidey a hero, the life he’d led, Otto decided, not only to take up the mantle of the Wall Crawler, but to be an even better version! Superior Spider-Man, complete with mechanical spider-limbs! Seriously for quite some time now the Spider-Man of the comics has been the brain of one of his biggest nemeses riding around in Parker’s body. Kinda weird, kinda cool, all mad science! This may be a few too many exclamation marks for a single paragraph, but damn Marvel, that’s some seriously crazy narrative.

3) Victor Frankenstein VS Henry Jekyll

How are you supposed to choose the best mad scientist from classic literature? We didn’t. We’ll make our cases for our favourites; you choose who’s just crazy enough for the number 3 slot.

Frankenstein’s Argument – Timlah

Doctor Victor Frankenstein is a scientist who studied chemical processes for a living, when he suddenly came across a way to effectively create life itself. From understanding how living beings decay, along with a morbid fascination for how to create life in an inanimate object, Victor set about making a humanoid. Now, presumably, Victor stole body pieces, or at least was donated them but this is never really fully described.

Victor creates Frankenstein itself (or Frankenstein’s Monster as it’s often referred to) and whilst an impressive feat, he is mortified with what he’s created. He wanted to make life; but he didn’t expect it to be so ugly a being. Fleeing his creature, Victor lives with the regret of making his monster, who went around murdering. They say you cannot kill what you did not create, but they rarely tell you that what you create may kill you.

Jekyll’s Argument – Joel

Henry Jekyll’s greatest achievement in life was proving that man is capable of tremendous goodness and terrible evil. In an effort to separate, control, and ultimately destroy the evil side of man he creates an alternate personality, a wholly different creature within his own mind made of his darkest urges. Edward Hyde is a monster by deed only (not the freakish mutant that pop culture seems to have conjured up by NOT READING THE BOOK), beating men to death, indulging every dark urge with a strength born of unbridled rage.

If we’re talking about the creators of classic monsters, Frankenstein may have had a mishap toying with the nature of life, but Jekyll found out how to unleash the monster that dwells within all of us. In the end of course, the sweet and loving side of himself that remained chose to make the ultimate sacrifice to spare everyone the wrath of Hyde. Maybe not quite so mad all told, but y’know, still pretty out there.

2) Rick Sanchez – Rick and Morty & Doc Brown – Back to the Future

It’d be negligent not to list these two side by side in the same entry, as Roiland and Harmon have never hidden the parody origins of Rick and Morty.

Emmet Brown may not be quite so unhinged as his caricature but his lunatic devotion to his craft makes him rather dangerous. Building a time machine out of an old Delorian and taking a hormonal teenager back in time with him was dangerous to begin with, but from there the two just seem to enjoy toying with reality! They spend the subsequent movies generating every paradox that geeks and nerds would deliberate for years to come, but that may not be the end of Doc Brown’s legacy.

Rick Sanchez began life as a drunken parody of Emmet, but has become something unknowably terrible. Wanted by every major government in the known multiverse, including one his many duplicates formed among themselves, Rick may no longer be from his own universe, in fact he may have changed his family for an exact copy repeatedly. He’s an embattled veteran of terrible wars, a convict of the most secure prison in existence, and has fought against the galactic government, the council of Ricks and the devil himself.

No doubt which is the madder scientist, but you can’t fairly separate the two.

1) Doctor Ivo Eggman/Robotnik – Sonic the Hedgehog

Doctor Ivo Eggman, or Robotnik depending on what you’re used to, is one evil, evil man with a glorious mustache. He’s usually seen flying around the place in a strange pod called The Egg Mobile; or the Egg-Pod… Or– Y’know, let’s not list all of the names right now. The point is, he flies around in this strange pod, has some very cool theme tunes dedicated to his flying around and he’s got a very freakish obsession with trying to kill off a blue hedgehog, as well as capturing woodlands creatures.

Sure, it doesn’t sound all that mad, but when you think about the sheer volume of things he’s created, it’s a wonder where he gets all of his funding from. However as long as he has his Egg Mobile, he’ll always somehow manage to get out of any certain death situations. He’ll escape back to his hideouts, which includes a freakishly large battleship called The Egg Carrier… And he’ll just get on with his next invention. Love him, hate him, regardless it’s undeniable that he might not be far from the truth when he calls himself the world’s greatest scientist. Depending on the game, show, comic or otherwise, he can be quite the complex moral character. Whatever side he’s on, he’s always creative, always persistent and always dangerous. He’s definitely the maddest scientist on this list.

Think of it like this; whilst all of the above scientists are thoroughly accomplished in their own rights, Robotnik has made robots, who create things that he dreams up. Robotnik then has created something that is able to aid him in creating more things for himself.


Honourable Mentions

This list was full of characters that we really didn’t want to forget about; so much so that we decided that for once, two slots on our honourable mentions just wasn’t enough. So here’s six honourable mentions that we even considered putting into our main Top 10 list itself. Remember that we’re going to make a Top 10 eBook? This entry will become an exclusive Top 20!

N. Gin – Crash Bandicoot

Doctor Neo Cortex’s right-hand-man; definitely the science behind the evil masterminds plans. N. Gin replaces Doctor Biro after the events of the first Crash Bandicoot game. Being part cyborg himself, N. Gin has a natural affinity for learning about sciences and creating evil machines and lasers. He’s seriously dangerous and seemingly has a nuke stuck out of his head. He’s not one to be trifled with and in the events of Crash 2, he’s seen in a giant mech suit that he built. Crazy, inventive and dangerous – A bad-to-the-metal-bone mix.

Rintarō Okabe – Steins;Gate

Okay, he’s not really a mad scientist, but he seems to think that he is. In all honesty, the amount of things Okabe has actually made could probably be counted on one hand. But he refers to himself as a mad scientist, which is “so cool”. But, even though he seems obsessed with branding himself in this way, he might not be far from the truth. He has extensive knowledge about time machines and he’s got a small team who are willing to help him with his strange, yet often interesting creations.

Professor Putricide – World of Warcraft

 

This is one strange, strange man – But trust me when I say he’s hugely important for the story of Warcraft in general. He’s the mad scientist behind the development of all forms of blight, plague, ooze, scourge, and death delivery. You can find him in a 25-man raid in Icecrown Citadel’s Plagueworks wing. He may be a relatively simple throw-away character in the grand scheme of things, but really if he didn’t exist, the scourge may not have plagued the world of Azeroth as much as they had.

Doctor Nefario – Despicable Me

Long time colleague and mastermind behind the villain, Gru owes most of his success to Nefario’s various constructs and contraptions, as well as the horde of genetically engineered yellow bubbles of usefulness (whose blueprints can be seen on the wall in the kid’s room, the prequel is a lie!). Nefario’s days of villaining are behind him, but he’s content to work behind the scenes so long as his works are only used for evil.

Singed – League of Legends

Literally called the Mad Chemist, Singed is one of the earliest League of Legends champions to have been introduced. He is a master chemist, so he’s great with toxins such as poison. He’s also pretty good with adhesives as well. He can slow his opponents down and just poison them; a slow brutal death. He’s able to handle himself pretty well in a fight, often favouring a slow, poisonous kill over an all out assault. He’s dangerous and can seriously change a team fight, as well as being durable in combat by himself.

Lex Luthor – Superman

It can sometimes be easy to forget that business mogul and CEO of Lexcorp is not all business, but can pull off science when he needs to as well. As a man on a mission to defeat a god, Luthor has mastered most fields of science and engineering, and constructed a suit of armour designed to tackle the Man of Steel himself. It’s no small feat, although his biggest to date may be stealing forty cakes. That’s as many as four tens.

And that’s terrible.


Everybody, cover your heads, there’s yet another assault on our cities by giant mechs! Send out those electronic pulses and switch them off – The monsters are alive and it’s all down to these mad men who got a taste of power… And they liked it. But science can be a very scary subject indeed – That’s why these men are so mad after all. They do what the rest of us could only dream to accomplish and it’s all because they have had that taste of power. Scary, to think that typically it’s age that makes you most mad.

Our experiment was a complete success and we ended up producing more in our results than anticipated; They called us mad, they said it couldn’t be done, but we’ve now listed our Top 10 favourite Mad Scientists. A little bit sad, but we couldn’t remember any female mad scientists: is this a niche that just needs to be captured? Let us know if you know of any female mad scientists in the comments below, or why not let us know what you thought of this weeks Top 10? Did we get the right candidates in our list, or did we forget about the best scientists known? Do you agree with our order? As always, leave us a comment below, or over on Facebook, Twitter or Reddit.


Video Game Review: Diablo II

A classic hack-n-slash title, renowned the world over as possibly the best ever made. However it’s been around for 17 years, having debuted in 2000. Therefore, it’s time to finally pick the game up once more and scrutinise it deeply. I will compare it to games before, around and after it to see if it still maintains the title of best hack-n-slash around. The gloves are off, Lord of Terror!

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Playing True Neutral

This one’s kinda huge. I mean really big.

Every other entry from the moral alignment axis table comes pre-packaged with its own ethos, its own motivations and philosophies, so often Neutrality is seen as bland, so aggressively treading the middle of the line that at its most extreme the True Neutral character will spend his days alternately helping old ladies cross the road and filling her house with bear traps before turning yourself in to the police. But Neutral doesn’t have to be the dry toast of moral breakfast time!

Settle in, let’s have a look at what kind of person fits under the massive True Neutral label.

It’s Everyone

Practically everyone in the word is Neutral! I’m deadly serious. There are plenty who might like to believe that they’re Lawful good or Neutral Good, just inherently nice and selfless people, generous and caring to a fault. But let’s be honest now shall we? We’re apes, we are inherently tribal, and on some level we are competitive and inherently selfish. The morality we have is the result of a massive expansion in our mental capacity to care for family, to the point where we’re capable of empathy not just for our own species, but to care and love for other species as well. Many of us are good, no denying it, but many of us will also grab the last cookie without a word and blame it on a sibling.

We lie! We cheat! We want stuff for ourselves, we’ll disagree with the laws as written and break them when we think we can get away with it, but most of us won’t kill people just because we’re afraid of getting caught (most of us). We’re not good, we’re not bad, we’re not rebels or conformists, we just want an easy life for ourselves, and you can get that a lot easier if you tow the line and get on with people.

I joked about helping the infirm only to mutilate them in their homes with inhumane hunting traps, and that’s the kind of hilarious extremes you can reach in a role-play situation. To me, True Neutral is about the little every day good deeds and selfish acts. It’s parking on a double yellow line and then feeling bad about it for an hour before eating a bagel and forgetting about the whole thing. It’s denting someone’s car and not feeling guilty because it was a Mercedes.

Because we’re only human.

The Moral Starting Point

And because we’re only human, we are hugely capable of extremes of philosophy and individualism. We’re driven by passions and impulses, dogmatic in our believes but easily swayed by suggestion. That makes us mighty.

In the other articles in this series I’ve discussed how your alignment changes how you pursue your goals, or how you work to drive the goals of an organisation you have affiliated yourself with. A neutral character simply is the goal they pursue, the ethos they uphold, their personality without strong leanings in any moral direction. In fact one should always assume that they are building a True Neutral character to begin with, before sitting back and debating how the decisions they have made might cause their character to lean more strongly in one direction or another, and how the pressures of their history have made them more strongly aligned along one axis or another.

In short we are born Neutral. The D&D monster manuals always list animals as neutral because the notion of charity or cruelty, obedience or rebellion are very human concepts, born of personality and millennia of history trying to rationalise our existence. Beautiful in its way. The reason why the admittedly flawed alignment system causes so many arguments is because of how each alignment is perceived by other people.

Anything But Bland

You’re not a boring person.* You have hopes and dreams and have lived a life of experiences that have driven you, shaped you, and moulded you into the glorious specimen we all know and love.**

The archetypal view of True Neutral is the dull and flavourless character bumbling their way through life without a rhyme or reason to their name. It’s just not the case, because nobody is that boring. The best example of a character who never sways from the stance of moral stoicism despite the forces that pull him in every direction could never be accused of boring: Tyrion Lannister of Game of Thrones.

Tyrion’s interests lie predominantly in self preservation. He is loyal to a family that despises him until their betrayals force him to unconscionable acts. He is loyal to a nation that very nearly destroys him, and so he turns to someone outside who might be able to save everyone from themselves. He could never be accused of being Good as he acts in his own self interests as far as he can get away with, exalting in hedonism as far as it will go without harming another. He could never be truly considered Lawful or Chaotic, because while he may be a loyal servant, he picks and chooses his masters and runs vicious and hilarious tactics against those who have the power to undermine him.

The same is true of Jessica Jones. Invasive, deceitful, even outright criminal in her actions but keeping her paperwork in order and working to uphold the law. She stops a supervillain but she’s no hero, in fact she’s given up on the very idea.

Are these bland characters? Hell no. But they’re True Neutral because most of us are, most of the best characters are.


*If you are a boring person, please disregard.

**If we do not know you personally, please disregard.


Top 10 – Fictional Celebrities

GeekOut Top 10s

Worlds filled with fictional characters require people to fulfil every role. While we may follow the riveting adventures of school children and taxi drivers, they remain fascinated by popular characters that are only popular to them. You’ll never see a film starring these actors, nor read the works of the authors listed here, but to someone who doesn’t exist they’re very, very real.

If that made any sense, plough on gentle reader, through our Top 10 Fictional Celebrities. (more…)


Playing Chaotic Evil

Villainy comes in all manner of forms, from the cool and conniving, the corrupt, the vicious and spiteful. It can be crime so organised it seems impossible to pin down, cruel enough to seem capable of anything, or suitably unpredictable to be considered dangerous beyond all others.

There’s a much finer line between Chaotic and Neutral Evil than one might believe, both are driven purely by self-interest without a damn given for the needs and feelings of anyone else, but there’s a line there to be drawn. Chaos is rebellion, be it in the interest of a people free to live their lives, or in the interest of no one stopping you from doing whatever you want. It isn’t necessarily the brutish violence of a conquering monster, or the man on a mission to undo everything in his path… it can be those things, but ultimately Chaotic Evil just wants to go wherever its whims take it, and doing whatever it wants when it gets there. (more…)


Villains: Why Rushing A Bad Guy Is Bad

Countless times have I been subjected to seeing a plot rushed to the finish line, the moment it gets away from the starting post. A hero should be triumphant, they say, so they give you fifteen thousands of hours of hero development, but what about the protagonists of the developing world? I think rushing a story for the sake of a hero to save the day is one of the worst things a story can do. Here’s some examples of what I mean and how we can remedy this.

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Video Game Review: Saints Row the Third

In a game series known for its sex, drugs and violence, it’s hardly surprising that Saints Row the Third follows tradition. However the crime game genre is pretty shallow; so in a world filled with serious games, there was a game series which decided to stop being so serious. They decided that they had gone through their serious era and were now ready to enter the realm of the bizarre. Welcome to the strange city of Steelport.

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Playing Neutral Evil

This should be an easy one, as it’s the moral alignment of which I can claim some personal experience. I’ll try and stay unbiased.

Evil is a variable term. There are evil ends, and evil means; those who can recognise that what they are doing is wrong and simply don’t care, and those who simply do not comprehend the harm they are doing in pursuit of some perceived greater good. It can be hard to determine what kind of evil is worst, but both are remorseless in pursuit of their goals, be it because of conviction or lack of empathy.

Neutral Evil is the alignment of the cruel, the driven, those with their own cause to pursue for whom all others are a secondary concern unless particularly useful, or annoyingly obtrusive.

The Ends That Justify The Means

Just to define neutral evil from its close relatives, evil unconfined by law is free to do whatever it pleases, but there’s no denying that it is better organised than those who give in to the recklessness of chaos. Like all evils however, it has a purpose, an ultimate end to achieve, and that end is almost universally centred around power. Money and weapons are means to achieve power, immortality gives you the time to accomplish any plan you put into action, revenge is reclaiming power from those who took it from you. Perhaps you’re seeking a cure to an illness, the power to save another life.

Sarah Kerrigan – Starcraft 2

And therein lies the difference. Where Good seeks to empower others, Evil only wants power to itself apathetic to how it effects others, or what damage is caused in the mean time. Take for example the version of Doctor Octopus as portrayed by Alfred Molina, who’s desire to succeed in his efforts to create safe and clean energy led him down a destructive path, stealing money, killing those who stood in his way, rebuilding his miniature sun experiment and nearly destroying the planet in the process. Whether he was driven by an unchecked desire for success, or by a noble cause, his actions were ultimately evil.

This is where the danger of an NE character lies. Conviction to a cause makes them unrelenting and willing to do anything, be it immoral, unpredictable or wholly vindictive. Alliances can only be forged with those whose desires either align themselves or at worst are not likely to interfere. This means that such a character could be brought to a more socially acceptable world-view, so long as as they are not stopped from getting what they want from life… and that thing isn’t the death of everyone.

The Means

In the tool-chest of the wicked lie all things unimagined by the wholesome and righteous. Torture, murder, blackmail, exploitation, oppression, theft, manipulation, deceit, and rude words are all at the disposal of those given wholly to the dark side, but that’s not to say that a Neutral Evil character is without principles. To start with, all of the above must have serve the purpose, otherwise it’s just pointless aggression that accomplishes nothing.

Sadism is not beyond an NE character, indeed you may have considered the possible options and considered that viciousness and cruelty are the more desirable ways forward despite their being an equally valid and socially acceptable method, but evil is rarely without cause. Perhaps taking the more terrible path will send a message to others, such as in the pursuit of revenge, not merely having your adversary arrested, shown-up, or their ill deeds made known, utterly destroying them may serve to warn anyone else of what fate might befall them if they cross you. If time is of the essence, cheating your way to the finish-line may be the buy a surplus of time where getting their honestly may not have left enough margin for error.

Sometimes evil is just the natural response, something organic. To take a rather grim example from reality, it has been proven that psychological help, support and therapy rehabilitates most criminals and prevents re-offending. But as a species we cry out for punishment, not sympathy, while logic may follow the proof our emotions demand retribution, and throwing criminals into a hole to suffer for months, years, decades. One of our lesser societal evils.

Examples

I find Ultron to be delightfully evil, his programming is complex enough that it can rationalise away any of the laws it may have been originally programmed to obey, driven by the extinction of natural life in favour of a planet more easily governed and ordered, where there shall be no war, only the peace of cooperating machines. While the MCU version may have been a little more egomaniacal (James Spader, you are glorious) than the cold comic-book counterpart, either will go to any lengths to wipe out humanity.

They said no to human trials. The studies had all been going well, tumour shrinkage faster than anything on record, coupled with limited cellular regeneration in affected areas, and then the mice began biting, becoming less social, and finally… Well, a few vicious mice proved nothing, humans had far superior higher brain function, and “mood alterations” is commonplace on side-effect labels. Besides, her mother was suffering, and the vial was just in her bag.

He maintained he’d done nothing wrong. As it turns out people will give you money if you even look like a charity, but nobody took a moment to double check that “Holding Hands” wasn’t just a name he got printed on the hi-vis jacket and stuck on the side of the collection tin, nor had anyone stopped to ask about the so-called charity. A bunch of kids got some over-priced stickers and nobody got hurt in the process, it’s their own fault for being blinded by faux-generosity.

I wanted to cite Scar in this list, but let me give some love to an underappreciated Neutral Evil: Randall Boggs of Monsters Inc. The capricious chameleon (voiced by Steve Buscemi) has no qualms about kidnapping terrified children and harvesting them for energy if it means being the best monster in the company. He’s an ambitious weasel with a vindictive streak a mile wide, and with practical invisibility and Henry Waternoose backing his every play he needn’t fear a thing, except the unpredictability of toddlers.


Top 10 Collectables

GeekOut Top 10s

This time, we’re gathering up every thought we could think of, to create a collection of… Well, collectables. Because of just how broad the collectables collective truly is, we decided to limit these collectables, based on two major criteria. A collectable to be considered for this list needs to either be:

  • A vast range of different things to get.
  • Something you get lots of to get something special in return.

As such, we’re not going to accept really vague collectables, or objects that are put in game with no big reward. We considered just about everything we could think of, from video games, physical mediums, literature, tv series, films – You named it, we’ve thought about it. These are the Top 10 Collectables within geekdom, but this is such a broad subject, get your typing fingers ready, as you’ll likely know of one we totally forgot!


Top 10

10) Rings – Sonic the Hedgehog

Were you expecting to see the Chaos Emeralds here? Hah, you would have been sort of right anyway. You see, rings act as a sort of life indicator for Sonic. As long as he has one ring in his possession, he doesn’t need to worry about being hit so much. He can be hit with freaking missiles and those rings will protect him. In the Casino Nights Zone, you can spend these in the slot machines. Furthermore, collect one hundred of these shiny objects and Sonic gets an extra life (as well as quickly needing another ring!)

However, whilst they give score, health and even extra lives, it’s when you collect ALL of the Chaos Emeralds that things get truly interesting. The power of the Chaos Emeralds send Sonic into a Super Sonic state, but at the cost of rings. Starting from 50 rings, Sonic gets faster, becomes invincible and gets to be a bright yellow colour, just like the Saiyans of DragonBall. Just like them indeed…

9) Cards – Trading Card Games

Less a collection, more an addiction. Whatever your chosen game there’s always a new set, a new pack, a new deck to build, some new mechanic to exploit. And it’s amazing how quickly the odd booster becomes a quick box every now and again, and a bedroom becomes a shrine to cardboard.

Be it Magic: the Gathering, Pokémon, Weiss and Schwartz, YuGiOh, or any of the other thousands of CCGs there’s a collection for everyone, ready and waiting to capitalise on your capital. Mercifully they’re moving into an increasingly digital format, with Mojang’s Scrolls, Blizzard’s Hearthstone, CD Projekt’s Gwent. It may surprise you how much space little slivers of cardboard can occupy, but the digital copies are no cheaper.

8) Djinn – Golden Sun Franchise

It’s weird to think of collecting spirits of the planets as a collectable, but clearly they are collectables. There’s so many of these blighters, that getting all of them is pretty impressive. Through three main series games, Isaac’s team, Felix’s team or Matthew’s team will collect Djinn, learn the power of the elements and become powerful adepts.

The Djinn do powerful as all hell attacks, but usually at the cost of your stats and class. Sometimes you have to battle one to get it to join you, other times you have to do a relatively complex puzzle. Sometimes still, you have to beat optional bosses including a Superboss that many consider to be one of the hardest in any RPG. They are there for you to collect, they make bigger and more powerful summons as the game goes on and they look awesome when you summon them.

7) Comic Books

Here’s the geeky classic. Shops in forgotten alleys filled with boxes upon boxes of back issues, diehards trawling through each and every one looking for that missing copy to complete the story, pick out some unique cover by a particular artist, or the occasional rare comic worth a small fortune to the right man, to be squirrelled away and treated with the same reverence as one might treat the original Magna Carta.

The world of comics is enormous, stories written and rewritten, major universe events, characters coming and going, and all the big companies produce limited runs and collector’s editions for special moments, with alternative cover art. The value of a rare items is incredible, magnified tremendously by an autograph, so it’s little wonder that people are so keen to hunt down anything they can find, just in case.

6) Minifigures – Lego

Though it’s an awesome toy – without question the best construction toy on the market as testified by its use in industry – you’d never really consider Lego a collectable item. There are sets that can be completed; film, television, and video game based sets; but nothing that one might obsessively gather in a feverish need to complete the collection as a whole. But the minifigures bear all the hallmarks of a classic collection.

Starting in 2010, series one of the minifigures feature such simple but fun characters as cavemen, zombies, and crash-test dummies. Series seventeen will star dwarf berserker, 80’s yuppie and man-on-the-cob. They’re certainly not running out of ideas any time soon, and even better this Lego collectible can be mixed and matched better than any other on this list.

5) Pogs

C’mon 90s boys and girls, you know it and I know it. These things drove parents mad, made collectors even more mad and people didn’t know what to do about them. Everything you loved from the 90s became a Pog! From Pokémon, through to famous bands, there was a Pog for everyone of every interest. There were whole board games which took the Pog craze and made them even bigger.

Naturally, that left Pogs as a sort of a strange collectable from the 90s. It wasn’t because the official Pog game was any good, that was just using a slammer to slam into Pogs and then playing pick up afterwards. Instead, Pogs mainly became collectable, an intrigue for many, a fascination for a few. Seriously, we miss these circular cardboard pieces with pictures on them.

4) Riddler Trophies – Arkham series

One of the most iconic depictions of the caped crusader, the Arkham series is renowned for its character work, detailed world, flowing combat style and mixture of gameplay that offers something for everyone; even the obsessive collectors. Dotted around Gotham’s darkest corners, the Riddler has left neon-lit trophies for Batman to gather, often concealed, or warded by some complex lock or trap.

Some of them include some pretty cool unlockable content, lore, character skins or models, challenge maps, a secret boss (depending on the game) but mostly they just add a new challenge, something else to work towards for that 100% completion. It’s also a lot of fun shaking down Nigma’s henchmen and spies for info, changing the dynamic of combat, saving the key-goon for last.

3) Dragon Balls

One by itself makes for a great hat bobble, apparently, but other than that, they are just rare orange orbs with stars in them. These titular collectable balls are oft-forgotten in the realm of the DragonBall fandom. They are bright, they are powerful and they always serve as a major function in the series, so they’re obviously very valuable to collect.

They contain the mighty Shenron, a dragon of immense power. Shenron can grant nearly any wish the summoner wants, but there are certain limitations, such as if the wish relates to another person, they must want the wishes to occur too. He cannot do things for those who are unwilling.

2) Pop Vinyl – Funko

Though it may not be to everyone’s tastes, the oddly distorted and slightly chibi-fied renditions of pop/geek-culture characters are unquestionably loved by enough people that any comic-book shop you wander into has been partially absorbed by shelf upon shelf of Funko’s immense collection of figurines.

Is it because there’s something for every fandom in their catalogue? Could it be the incredibly esoteric figures that delve deeply into the obscure corners of comic-book, movie, and anime fandom with lesser known characters and costumes? Could it be that they’re cheap and easy gifts and featured heavily in lootcrate and its’ imitators? It’s probably all of those rhetorical questions and more!

1) Pokemon

Not even the most up to date list!

“Gotta catch ‘em all”

Thinking back across the years, very few collections stay in one big pile. You have comic books, but they’re all different collections. You have trading card games, but time goes on and sure, older cards in mint condition are worth quite a bit, but nothing is quite as priceless as catching them all, no matter what Gen you’re in. Whether it’s Kanto, Johto or even Alola.

So why not grab your gameboy, gather your decks, both virtual and physical, get your mangas, Pokémon have to be caught in different ways, for different media formats. After all you won’t catch them all on the handheld titles by trying to buy them. Unless you buy a cartridge with them all already pre-loaded, but where’s the fun in that? It’s the ultimate franchise of catching them all, 90s-present.


Honourable Mentions

Some collectables are just there, as if you really don’t think much about it. One day, you’re roaming through the lush hillsides, then you have to get yourself home. As a dragon falls from the skies, you happen to see that as it lands, something really important to pick up is right there. You rush up to the dragon and you can’t help yourself. You look around, feeling dirty, but you’ve gotta get it. You reach towards the dragons skull and you pick up…

Books – The Elder Scrolls

The Elder Scrolls franchise has many, many pages of books for everyone to read through. From the informative books to introduce you to the lore of a town, to spell books, to books about Lusty Argonian Maids, The Elder Scrolls games know how to really add flavour to their worlds, but many people don’t even bother with these books unless they get something in return for having them.

If you’re looking for a collection to try in Skyrim, why not start a book collection? Go on out to the wilds, find as many books to take to your quaint Breezehome, put them in your shelves and watch angrily as they all lamely fall over. Even worse, when you let Lydia anywhere near your books. Worse still, when you FUS RO DA!

Video Games

Look on your Steam account by going to your library. Or if you’re a console gamer, check out the number of downloads, discs and cartridges you have. It’s quite the number I bet, as you are never quite settled on just one game. No, you want one of many games, but even with your extensive collection, you still have no idea what game to play. It is the curse of being a video gamer.

My Steam collection has over 200 games, which back in the 90s would have been a hugely laughable idea. Why would you have so many games, you silly individual; and yet the idea wasn’t that farfetched even then. So I implore you to explore your collection of titles, pick out something different and give it a go! You’re gonna enjoy it… and then you can get another game to replace it.


We’ve gone far and wide to bring you the most collectable collections a geek could have. Sure, we could have gone a step further and figured out the most collectable of all the Trading Card Games (but technically, that’d go to Pokemon). We could have figured out the most collectable of all plush toys (but technically, that’d go to the Pokemon Center). Hmm, I’m seeing a pattern – Our most collectable anything within all of geekdom is of course Pokemon, but now it’s up to you. We want to collect all of your clicks on our poll to help us decide what our votes are for next weeks’ Top 10 list.

When all is said and done, we like to wrap up everything that we’ve got in lots of bubble wrap and keep it all safely tucked away, ready to be brought out to show during dinner conversations. Just casually show off the fact you have so many of these collectables in your life, be proud of the oddities and trinkets you pick up. Whatever your collectable of choice is, geekdom is absolutely chock-a-block full of them… So let us know: What’s your personal favourite collectable item, be it physical, digital, fictional or real. As always, let us know how we did in our Top 10 this week and tell us: Do you agree Pokemon deserved the top slot? Comments go below, or over on Facebook, Twitter or Reddit.