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Sally
Jan 9, 2007





Hello and welcome to the Let's Play (and discuss) the Killzone Quadrilogy thread, wherein nine-gear crow and myself needlessly complicate a series of shooty-man games.



Specifically, we will be playing through the PS2's Killzone, the PSP's Killzone: Liberation, and the PS3's Killzone 2 & 3, in that order. To do this, we'll be using the PS3's Killzone Trilogy which includes an updated Killzone with improved graphics and bug fixes. For the PSP game, we will be playing through the free Act 5 DLC as well as the original campaign. For the multiplayer modes, we will be giving the barest of demonstrations, as we'd prefer to focus on the singleplayer camapigns.



With regards to the other games, crow and I won't be playing them for this LP. Neither of us (currently) have a equipment needed to do a Vita or PS4 LP, so there are no plans to go through either Killzone: Mercenary or Killzone: Shadow Fall.



: : :S P O I L E R · P O L I C Y : : :

I don't really care. The surface plot of the games is so shallow that spoilers are kind of moot anyways. The meat of the LP will be figuring out the subtext for each scene. So treat it like people treat Shakespeare: so many people know that the ending of Hamlet involves everyone dying that it's not really a spoiler anymore. The discussion and interpretation of performances are more important than the actual events. So if you find an interesting connection to a later game, don't be afraid to point it out. That said, unlike Shakespeare, most people haven't played Killzone, so don't be rude about spoilers. I also don't want pages to turn into redacted CIA documents, but hey, let's see how it goes.



There have been a couple of really good threads in Cinema Discusso over the years that utilized a running commentary style of reviewing--specifically, Kyle Hyde's American Psycho thread and Terry van Feleday's Transformers threads. In the spirit of those threads, I want to give a similar treatment to the Killzone franchise.

Let's Needlessly Complicate The Killzone Quadrilogy

On the surface, Killzone and its sequels appear to be nothing more than Sony and Guerrilla's benchmark mindless action-packed FPS series meant to serve as glorified tech demos. Certainly, they do a solid job at demonstrating the power of the PlayStation brand, complete with gun porn, Michael Bay-esque visual effects, and threadbare plots. There are countless allusions to real-world historical and political events--most notably, World War II and Nazism. Unfortunately, nothing substantial ever seems to come of any of this and the plot and characters wind up being simple, shallow, and forgettable. Oh, and did I mention the games suffer from a serious case of tokenism and that you could count the female characters across the trilogy on one hand?

Clear signs of a half-baked game, right? Open and shut case.

Only, I don't think it's as simple as that. It seems to me that Guerrilla Games is trying to say something with the Killzone series. Something intelligent. Something clever. Something subtle. See, I feel that the wrong people over-hype Killzone as the premier PlayStation FPS series for the wrong reasons, while the right people under-hype the games as mindless drivel for the wrong reasons. It's a simple formula, but like Spec Ops: The Line, I feel Killzone is trying to make a critical statement through it. (Though I think it's doing it a lot more subtly than Spec Ops, which is probably why the series doesn't get the attention I think it should.)

Like Terry van Feleday with Transformers, I can't summarize my appreciation for this franchise in a simple essay. There seems to be a lot of topics being touched on, such as:
  • criticism of war fiction in general
  • criticism of testosterone-laden machismo
  • recurring themes regarding the entropy of war and fears of homogeneity
  • deconstruction of modern and traditional action hero tropes
  • colour-theory
  • notions of good and evil
  • et cetera
It's hard to parse out exactly what Guerrilla's end-goal might be, but I want to take a stab at it. nine-gear crow and I might be pulling out sub-text from nothing, but I think there's enough of it there that the Killzone games start to look downright Shakespearean in comparison to other sci-fi military shooters.

That said--



--while we turn a critical lens to the games, we will also be recreating them as if they were literal works of Shakespeare. Now, before you ask "what the gently caress is a Shakespeare?", let me assure you that he was a very talented fellow. A poet, playwright, and actor, among other things, Shakespeare has long been considered one of the best of English literature's canon. It's too early to tell how well Killzone will react to being adapted to a Shakespearean style, but we'll be damned if we aren't going to try!

Blind Sally, nine-gear crow, please just Let's Play some Killzone, okay?

If you're here for a Killzone LP, you'll get a Killzone LP. With every update of critical analysis and Shakespearean dialogue, there will be a proper LP video where crow and I commentate over and discuss gameplay. We'll talk about weapons, characters, secrets, and all that good stuff. It's all part of the package.

And please take part in the discussion. I don't want to only stick to the broad themes mentioned earlier, and I will make a concerted effort to drag into the spotlight any meaning, intentional or unintentional, that I can find. However, any help from other posters would be great, as I want to encourage discussion. So if you feel something relevant has been missed, do bring it up!

So without much ado about nothing, I give you The Tragedy Of Rico Velasquez, The Moor Of Vekta:

































Sally fucked around with this message at 22:53 on Mar 6, 2015

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Sally
Jan 9, 2007





While recording with Gildiss, the subject of Luger's disproportionately large head is brought up. nine-gear crow is persuaded to bring Photoshop into the equation:




Never stop making gifs of Killzone physics, crow:


(the club remix -- warning, rapidly flashing lights )

Miscellany bad physics shots from crow:




The Halo-Killer:



trizophenie has triggered an LP convergence event:


crow points out Killzone's best selling feature:

Sally fucked around with this message at 03:36 on Mar 2, 2015

Sally
Jan 9, 2007



First update. No gameplay.

Before you start booing, hear me out. Killzone opens up with, what I consider to be, one of the best PS2 cinematics period. It looks fantastic. For the time, it was mind blowing and, well, I think it holds up today. There's no gameplay here, but there's a lot going on visually and sub-textually. I feel it'd be a waste and a disservice to spend a fleeting glimpse at this opening before diving into gameplay. For one, the cinematic introduces a character so key to the Killzone universe that his presence ripples throughout all of the games, including those for the PS4 and Vita, long after his eventual death.

But don't take my word for it. Watch Brian Cox do his thing:



Prologue

Enter [Visari as] Prologue

My people. Helghan's sons and daughters, lo.
For many years a broken nation we
Have been. O'erpress'd, and conquer'd, shunt by those
We sought to flee. Ten years ago, I ask'd
For time, and that boon was grant'd by thee.
O thou, the strength in my arm, holder of
My dreams. Our forefathers embark'd upon
The greatest journey evermore in all
Of humankind's antiquity. A journey
For independence. Freedom, Helghan was.
At first, it weaken'd body, mind, and soul--
But stay! Our strength, it grew! Throughout the time
Thou givest me, I have rebuilt our nation,
I have rebuilt our strength, I have rebuilt
Our pride! Our foes at home have been re-train'd
To see anew our cause. So henceforward,
we stand united once again. Henceforward,
Our foes who seek to break our will shall hear
Our voice. And Henceforward, we act as one.
And we shall be ignored no more! Attend!
My heroes of the Helghast dream, now is our time!

Exeunt



A rousing speech from a charismatic man. Though I'm sure if you know anything about history, it might seem familiar. This is Scolar Visari, the Autarch of the planet Helghan and the Helghast people. If you didn't know, the title "autarch" comes from the word "autarchy" which has its roots in Greek and is defined as an "absolute sovereignty". That would thus make Visari an "absolute sovereign". But really, let's not mince words, the man is a dictator. The language in his speech is radical, inflammatory, and extremely nationalistic. The game hasn't even begun and Guerrilla has made sure we know who our foe is. Visari's rally here is the embodiment of fascism with Visari playing the role of quintessential despot.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. I have a lot more to say on Visari himself. This opening cinematic is here to identify who our enemy for the game is going to be and to associate them with historical "villains". Thus, before we even start shooting at the Helghast, they are stigmatized and we're already primed to start gunning them down. This clever association is poisoning the well, if we want to talk about fallacies. See, if you listen to Visari's speech without the visuals, he is clearly describing the Helghast as the victims. They are an "oppressed" and "conquered" nation looking to fight back for their freedom. This certainly doesn't sound unreasonable. I mean, look at the American Revolution. The American Colonies violently rebelled against Britain due to what they called "British oppression". Visari is arguing for freedom, but thanks to the visuals--well, take a look:



We've immediately got a visual reference to Nazism. Compare the Helghast Triad to the Nazi Flag Swastika:



The colouring is identical and the images are very similar. (Note, that the Helghast triad is actually supposed to represent three things: 1. The Duty every Helghast has to dream of a free Helghan, 2. The Obedience that every Helghast must show if all are to survive, 3. The Loyalty every Helghast should have for their government; I believe they came from some merchandise, a Helghast pendant specifically--if anyone can confirm that, that'd be hot). And as mentioned earlier, Visari's speech itself is very reminiscent of rallies given by Adolf Hitler of Benito Mussolini.

nine-gear crow posted:

What's more, the Helghast insignia is a tripartite symbol. If we're continuing with the Visari Helgan is an amalgamation of all major dictatorships idea, it draws an interesting parallel to the iconography of the Workers Party of Korea, the ruling dictatorship of North Korea. It's symbol is meant to represent the cooperation and codependency of the worker, the farmer and the intellectual in the survival of the Korean state, or rather in the survival of the Kim family.

We're going to be seeing a lot more of Helgan iconography as we head into the Killzone 2 and 3, and the parallels to the Soviet and Korean "mythology of the state" is beyond unnerving at times.

Crabtree posted:

[T]here may be even further symbolism and similarities to in the three points of the Triad to the Nazi flag, as according to Sherree Owens Zalampas's Adolf Hitler: A Psychological Interpretation of His Views on Architecture, Art, and Music, three itself seems to be a very recurring theme in swastika's design.

Sherree Owens Zalampas, page 43 posted:

In Mein Kampf, Hitler discussed at length his selection of colors for the swastika flag. He decided to use black, white and red because they had “the most brilliant harmony in existence,” because he had been a soldier under these colors, and because their aesthetic effect they were most compatible with his feelings. He rejected all designs which were submitted to him in favor of his own design – a red background, a white disk and a black swastika in the middle. He stated that the red meant the social ideal of the movement, the white stressed the nationalistic idea, and the swastika represented the mission of the Aryan race.

Also I'm willing to bet Visari is more Mussolini than Hitler, even if Helgan is a more easily identifiable Germany. He may deliver a shared basic theatrics to his speech methods - like how it builds into a loud and frightful march after talking about the planet making them stronger (even though the game cheated by bring up orchestral scores instead of relying only on the strength of his delivery); but we have yet to see this Autarch manipulate fashionable lateness to build up tension in the crowd nor bald women fainting at the sight of his arrival.



This is a man who has the weight of a suffering nation on his shoulders. A man driven to extreme ends who truly believes in what he is doing. It's not hard to imagine Helghan as a rebuilt post-WWI Germany. In fact, looking deeper into the game's history further reinforces that comparison.



These images are here to further underscore the WWII references at play in this video. Visari pumping his hand in the air, for example, is again reminiscent of Mussolini doing the very same during his speeches:



This one here, though, is more interesting. The game opens with the Helghast triad and associates it immediately with the Nazi swastika. Yet here we see that in the founding days of Helghan it was used to denote a medical clinic:



This just deepens the swastika association. The swastika did not originate with National Socialism, but was taken from Asian cultures and religions. Now, I'm not an expert on this and I won't pretend to be, so if anyone has more information on, say, Indian religious usage of the swastika, I'd like to hear it. As far as I can tell, though, the swastika is a symbol that is used to denote wealth and prosperity. When the Nazi's co-opted it, it became stigmatized, particularly in the Western world, and is now associated with hate, violence, and anti-Semitism. Fitting, then, that the Helghast would co-opt a symbol that was used to denote health and medical aid, and twist it into something darker.

SpecialK800 posted:

You know there's more to the image of the triad on the hospital than it merely being a pre-space fascist symbol. Fascist parties in Europe before World War II and still today in places like Greece gained wide popularity by appealing to the poor/unemployed portions of the population. A lot of that popularity came through providing services which were traditionally governmental or which catered to wealthier classes of people. Recently in Greece the Fascist Golden Dawn party distributed food and other necessities to poor towns and villages, but only gave then to ethnic Greeks. The famous Beer Hall Putsch was one of many time the growing Nazi Party called meetings in restaurants and bars and paid for the visitors to eat and drink (This may seem less like charity, until you remember Post-WWI Germany saw rampant unemployment and hyperinflation). The use of the triad on the hospital may suggest it was run by the same group who helped Visari come to power as a way of gaining popular support.

To build off of that, I remembered that that's exactly what's going on in the game. Delving into the history a bit more, the Helghast triad was originally used in the very early days of the Helghast Administration:


Seen at the end of Killzone 2

It was three interlocking arms meant to symbolize justice, and freedom between the three major galactic nations: The Helghan Administration, the Interplanetary Strategic Alliance (ISA), and the United Colonial Nations (UCN). If none of that makes sense, don't worry it will. Later posts will include historical info dumps.

Jobbo_Fett posted:

Just as a note on the swastika, it was used by many other groups, organisations and militaries before Nazi Germany ever got around to using it. In most cases I've heard or read about, the swastika was used as a symbol of luck, rather than wealth or prosperity.

The best example of this is with the Finnish Air Force, who adopted the swastika (Actually called the Hakaristi in Finland) back in 1918 when Swedish count Eric von Rosen donated an aircraft (Their second since creation) to them. Count von Rosen painted the blue Hakaristi on the aircraft as his personal good luck charm, and the Finns adopted it as their own. The white background was added afterwards. After the war ended for Finland, the allies pressured Finland to change and remove all forms of the Hakaristi due to its close resemblance to the swastika.

Wikipedia provides a flag for the Finnish Air Force Staff with two swastikas on it and dates it 1958, although I can't confirm any long-term use.

Fun Fact: Eric von Rosen was a brother-in-law to Hermann Goring.
Latvia used a red swastika for their air force up until their dissolution when annexed by the Soviet Union



I also want to point out that the atmosphere of Helghan makes people's hair fall out. Now, it won't become clear until Killzone: Liberation, but not all Helghast are hairless. Most are, but baldness is more a problem of the lower and middle class. Many "upper crust" Helghast actually have full heads of hair. I figure that those that don't have hair are either suffering from standard male-pattern baldness, rose up through the ranks, or shave their head in solidarity with their people. Visari comes from a very wealthy family, so I figure he is either naturally bald, or he shaves his head to better identify with his people. This is never mentioned in the game and is pure speculation on my part. Though, it should be noted that as a kid Visari did indeed shave his head:



The rest of the video are intercut scenes of the Helghast's first invasion wave. Now, this could be seen as a broken nation fighting back against its oppressors, yet the imagery clearly presents the Helghast as villains. They're seen gunning down innocent civilians no less! Furthermore, if they were a "conquered" nation, it's clear that is no longer the case. The opening cinematic reveals a massive military invasion force and demonstrates the Helghast's power by de-clawing a three-star ISA general before he can even bring the Space Defense systems online:


This is the face of powerlessness.


And this image is here just because those two soldiers on the left look kinda like our protagonists, Templar and Rico. Heh. Probably just re-used models due to the limitations of the game's engine and the PS2.

But really, if you aren't convinced that the Helghast are the villains so far, the cinematic ends with Visari glaring menacingly into the camera to really drive that point home:



Visari is loving this.

(And with that, we're now ready to start shooting Helghast scum!)



As characters come and go in the LP, I will talk about them under this heading. I'll also discuss when there are major reveals and such, so don't worry if you think I'm being a bit skimpy on information here, as I'll revisit characters again and again throughout the LP.

This particular video introduced us to two major characters: the Helghast leader, Autarch Scolar Visari, and Three-Star ISA General Stuart Adams.


Voiced by: Brian Cox

To further prove that this game is a work of Shakespeare, I want to quickly point out that Visari's VA, Brian Cox, is a performer in the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Ahem.

To quickly review what we know about Visari: he is the epitome of dictator. Every major dictator from WWII is present here, and then some. I hope the Hitler and Mussolini connotations are obvious. He has the charisma of both men, shares similar symbols as Hitler, and even looks a bit like Mussolini. Furthermore, his speech mirrors those given by the Italian and German WWII leaders. Not to be left out, Joseph Stalin is also being referenced in Visari's name. Note, Stalin's real name is "Iosif Visarionovich Dzhugashilivi".

The game history suggests that Helghast was conquered and needed to be rebuilt. Much like Hitler after WWI, Visari swooped in as a charismatic leader and captured the minds of his people, rebuilding and revitalizing (and militarizing) them into a strong and proud people.

It should also be noted that Visari looks like Apocalypse Now-era Marlon Brando. Incidentally, Killzone's layout reminds me a bit of Heart Of Darkness, with Visari being the Colonel Kurtz awaiting you in the depths of Hell. Might seem like a bit of a stretch now, but I think it'll make more sense as the LP progresses.


Voiced by: Ronny Cox

Lovingly referred to as "General Anime" by nine-gear crow, I am shocked that any military would allow a Three-Star General to grow shoulder-length dye-streaked hair and a soul-patch. Adams is in charge of the planet Vekta's Space Defense Platform, a massive satellite armed with laser and missile weaponry, capable of devastating fleets. Poor Adams, just as he was about to cut the Helghast invasion fleet in half, had his whole system shut down. He is going to be a key player in the game and we'll be seeing a lot more of Adams, as one of the primary goals of Killzone is going to be trying to get the SD Platform back up and running.



Before posting this LP, I polled a couple of threads to get goon opinions on Killzone. Like I said before, I think these games are popular and despised for the wrong reasons.

When liked, it's usually because they look great and/or play great. The whole "gun porn" and love of Michael Bay-esque attention to visual and audio detail, etc., etc. Even those people who liked the games, though, don't remember much about the story or characters:

titties posted:

I really liked KZ1. I didn't play a lot of PS2 FPS games. The ones that stick out to me were the Star Wars: Battlefront games, Timesplitters: Future Perfect, Killzone, MoH: Frontline, and Black. Out of those, the Battlefront titles and Timesplitters are kind of in their own league. Black was super-boring poop. MoH was fun, but I remember it being kind of arcade-y and having a more demanding pace than I would have liked. But KZ nicely scratched an itch for me, being less arcade-y than Frontline or TS and far more interesting than Black. I remember being really impressed that they did so well in communicating the heft and recoil of the weapons.

kirbysuperstar posted:

I really like the Killzone series as a whole. They have a really cool art design, despite the lack of colours in the first two, and the weapons are really great looking (such as the Helghast AR with the massive barrel of ammo and secondary shotgun on it). They're very technically impressive games, and they play pretty well, though the first is really rough. Also the Helghast are really cool, even if they are totally ripped off from Jin-Roh

Jobbo_Fett posted:

Played Killzone 2 and 3, loved both of them. The gameplay was great for an FPS and the controls + the way you moved felt a lot more "real" compared to something like Call of Duty. Your character can't spin 180 degrees in a second and shoot people in the face, which in turn makes moving around and being more tactical with your approach much more rewarding. The class system is cool and, from what I remember, doesn't overlap much if at all which makes every character useful in fights.

I don't recall the story too much, but I personally really like the enemy character design (The Helghast). There's something about them that really appeals to my taste, maybe its those glowing red eyes they have.

Despite all it's criticism, I would still purchase the Killzone game on PS4 because I like the franchise.

Radec and Visari both have some good lines and Visari (Brian Cox) delivers a really good performance with his speeches. I don't remember being too fond of Rico on the other hand, something made me want to punch his face.

copy posted:

I don't remember much about the first two but I remember having a blast in the multiplayer for the third one. Specifically I remember the attack/defend maps being super fun and I remember the Helghast commander guy being so supportive and positive that I was always disappointed when I wasn't on the space-nazi team. Seriously the other team's narrator was such a cock. Nothing was ever good enough for him and he would complain even if your team won. Compared to the Helghast narrator where even if you lost the guy was all just "Vee vill try again for ze glory of Helghan!"

So I guess if nothing else they should get credit for taking a throwaway announcer character and using that as the foundation for the World's First Endearing Space-Nazi.

JordanKai posted:

I love all the Killzone games outside of the first one and I don't understand why the series catches so much flak as a whole.

Ularg posted:

I really do like a bit of the aesthetic, even if I remember Killzone 3 being sort of disappointing.

Scyron posted:

Ever since I played Killzone 2, I always have to find out how the controls are, like "weighted" a la killzone 2 before I can fully commit to buying the latest release.

Everything else is fine for me, a bit unique doing things slightly different than the average fps. I never finished KZ1 on ps2, it sucked.

EDIT: I do enjoy shooting space Nazis.

RagnarokAngel posted:

The Killzone games tend to look great and have potentially interesting universes which just don't pan out where it matters, the gameplay.

VolticSurge posted:

I thought the first one was meh,liked the second and third in spite of my hatred for most of the cast.

Otherwise, those that don't like it dislike it's blandness, hate its characters or story, or dislike the gameplay--or are just totally indifferent to it altogether:

Killrrhubarb posted:

They're a mediocre first person shooter with some interesting bits, but overall pretty bland. The story wasn't too inspired or interesting, either. There are definitely better FPS, but worse ones too.

JT Jag posted:

I have no thoughts regarding the Killzone series as I never played it.

Policenaut posted:

Killzone is a series that Guerrilla Games spent far too much time writing back story to justify their Space WW2 scenario as being a realistic one and too little time applying it in any meaningful way. If you spend a little time looking into Killzone's "canon", you'll find a plethora of history, dates, names, and such regarding humanity's expansion into the stars, the Helghan Corporation and their colonization and subsequent monopoly over Vekta, the straining relations and tensions between Helghan and Earth, and the ensuing conflict (that happens before any of the games) where Earth forcibly deports an entire planet to a death ball where they become radical Post-WW1 Space Germany with Gas Mask Nazis. There's a ton of interesting stuff going on, but you never see it in any of the games.

The games are visual showcases with bog standard gameplay that ultimately serve as interactive hardware sizzle reels for whatever they're put out on. It angers me that Killzone has an interesting story, but every game is just "The Space Nazis are bad, go kill them" (except Mercenary which was "Space Nazis AND Space Americans are bad, go kill them for money"). Killzone 2 is probably the best one of the bunch, with Mercenary as runner up solely because it lets you kill ISA scum and it arguably has the best online play in the series.

SSNeoman posted:

Killzone is a series that desperately wants to be Modern Warfare, but fails because it's a forgettable FPS series. The third is notable for having enemies that like to spam grenades. And as previously noted, the games are basically hardware porn.

If you're thinking of buying these games, yourself a favor and pickup Resistance instead. Preferably the third one.

Zain posted:

I only played Killzone 2, but I will say that the main villain has some of the best lines and dialog in any video game in the shooter genre. The multiplayer was surprisingly entertaining, but the main game was bogged down with things like infinite spawning enemies until you move up 10 more feet.

neetengie posted:

I think the series would have been better if you played as the Helghans and if the first game was about taking back their homeland, but the way their culture/politics are written that would need a complete rewrite.

Lazyfire posted:

Like I said before/after the video we did a while back: I've never played any of the games, but my thoughts on them made it seem like a series built to emulate Halo to an extent, and were more an Also-Ran rather than a blockbuster franchise. The fact that it got three sequels makes it seem like people must have played it, but you guys were the 2nd and 3rd person I've ever heard say they've played the games after kalon Zombie.

That said, the Killzone 2 E3 reveal for the PS3 needs to be in the OP because holy poo poo most games today don't look that good and Sony tried to pass it off as PS3 footage.

Grump posted:

I never played Killzone 1. Killzone 2 was pretty forgettable, muddy, and shooting things didn't feel good. Killzone 3 was a solid game overall and more polished, but still muddy.

blackguy32 posted:

Killzone 1 sucks. Even if they did fix many of the technical things in it, it just wasn't a very good game at all. The levels feel empty and the combat is boring. I remember it being hyped up to be a Halo Killer and it was far from it.

Killzone 2 was good for its multiplayer, but the controls are pretty lovely. I think it says a lot that they fixed the controls for KZ 3 and Shadow Fall. I thought that KZ 2 had the best campaign though. It would be my favorite if the controls weren't so bad.

Killzone 3 was average to mediocre. However, it was fun to see Malcolm McDowell and Ray Winstone ham it up as Helghan villains. I thought it had a pretty cool final level as well.

Ultimately, I think the games are pretty drat average. The multiplayer is kind of good, but they have always been marred by dumb design decisions.

The one constant is that nearly everyone thought Killzone 1 sucked.

Regardless, no one once praised the game's writing or handling of subtext. I hope that by the end of this LP, crow and I will have changed that.

Those of you impatient for gameplay, no worries. crow and I have the next video recorded and ready to go, so the next update won't be long coming.

Sally fucked around with this message at 00:25 on Mar 7, 2015

HerpicleOmnicron5
May 31, 2013

How did this smug dummkopf ever make general?




Huh. I remember reading a little about Killzone's story, never really got much of the subtext. I look forward to further updates, this one alone was already quite mind-blowing in terms of depth of analysis. If you keep this up, this might become one of the best LPs out there. Hopefully you wont run out of material.

anilEhilated
Feb 17, 2014

But I say fuck the rain.



Grimey Drawer

While I do think you're reading way too much into a throwaway shooter, it reads really interesting. Definitely going to be keeping an eye on this one.

Jobbo_Fett
Mar 7, 2014

It would be a sad error in judgement to mistake me for a corpse.


Clapping Larry

I can't wait to see how you guys delve into the Killzone series. Definitely a favorite of mine, and excited to see how this develops.

Strong Mouse
Jun 11, 2012

You disrespect us. You drag corpses around. You steal, and you hurt feelings!

RRRRRRRAAAAARGH!

Prepare to die!


I've never played the Killzone series, but I've heard different people's opinions on it. Some love it, some not so much. I can't wait to see how this LP goes.

(Also, I am hearing a distinct lack of iambic pentameter from you two. This is Shakespeare, man. You've got to really get into it!)

I tried writing my post in pentameter, then gave up after a few minutes...

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

low vis




Strong Mouse posted:


(Also, I am hearing a distinct lack of iambic pentameter from you two. This is Shakespeare, man. You've got to really get into it!)

Loveth this poo poo, Scolar Visari does.




Bang.

murphyslaw
Feb 16, 2007
It never fails


I'm looking forward to see you read Heart of Darkness into this. I played 2 and 3 and only dimly remember what goes on in either of them, so it'll be interesting to see what I (apparently) missed.

Inriri
Apr 25, 2014


I like to believe that part of the dev team are actively trying to stop the writers from making the actual games interesting. My proof is that they still haven't made a game that's entirely through the eyes of the Helghast.

Also, as someone who loves Killzone and owns a PS4 and Shadow Fall I'd love to contribute once I figure out how to record

Jobbo_Fett
Mar 7, 2014

It would be a sad error in judgement to mistake me for a corpse.


Clapping Larry

Inriri posted:

I like to believe that part of the dev team are actively trying to stop the writers from making the actual games interesting. My proof is that they still haven't made a game that's entirely through the eyes of the Helghast.

I always felt like they didn't want to go with the "You play as the genocidal murderers who started an inter-stellar war" angle as it might hurt sales.

It's like how you don't see first person World War 2 shooting games with you, the player, as the Germans.

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

low vis




We're definitely looking at bringing in co-commentators for different levels. All we've got recorded is level 1 right now.

I'll let Blind Sally make the call on it though, so PM him first you're interested.

Wamdoodle
May 15, 2007

Yes, it is what it looks like!



Grimey Drawer

Inriri posted:

I like to believe that part of the dev team are actively trying to stop the writers from making the actual games interesting. My proof is that they still haven't made a game that's entirely through the eyes of the Helghast.

Also, as someone who loves Killzone and owns a PS4 and Shadow Fall I'd love to contribute once I figure out how to record

The closest they've come is in Killzone: Mercenary. Spoiler for that game Your character does work for the ISA first then halfway through, works for the Helghast at the behest of your PMC leader because you know, mercenary.

Too bad their isn't a proper TV out or a good way to record from a Vita or I'd find the time to help you with this. I'd like to see how you'd analyze the story from it

Wamdoodle fucked around with this message at 22:40 on Apr 29, 2014

Sally
Jan 9, 2007



Strong Mouse posted:

(Also, I am hearing a distinct lack of iambic pentameter from you two. This is Shakespeare, man. You've got to really get into it!)

Huh, yeah--

code:
[b]Prologue[/b]

[i]Enter [Visari as] Prologue[/i]

/  /  u    /    u   /    u    u  /  u
My people. Sons and daughters of Helghan.
u   / u  /      /  u    /    u / u
For many years, we have been a broken
/ u     /      /   /        /  u      u  /     u
Nation. Shunt, o'erpress'd, conquer'd by those we
/      u  u /     /   /     /u   u /
Sought to escape. Ten years ago, I ask'd
u   /     u   /    /    u   /   u   u  /
For time, and that boon was grant'd by thee.
/     u   /        u  u  /    u   /  u   u
Thou, the strength in my arm, the holder of
u  /       /   /   u u     u /      u  u
My dreams. Our forefathers embark'd on the
/   u    / uu   u  u   /  u    u
Greatest exodus in the hist'ry of
/   u  /     u  / uu   u   /   u
All mankind. An exodus for freedom.
/  u    u /    u    /   u    u  /      u
Helghan became that freedom. At first, it
/  u     u   /   u  /     u  u    /   u
Weaken'd us, but in fact, we were growing
/    u    u  u   /    u    u    / u   u
Stronger. In the time thou hast given me,
u /    u /     u   / u     u /    u /
I have rebuilt our nation, I have rebuilt
u   /         u   u /    u /     u   /
Our strength, and I have rebuilt our pride!
u   /u u    u  /    u    /    u  /
Our enemies at home have been re-train'd.
u  u    / u   u    /   / u      u /
We have given them new insights into
u   /      /    /  u     u  /     u/ u
Our cause. Henceforward, we stand united
/    /     /    /  u     /     /  u   u  u /
Once more. Henceforward, those driven to divide
u  u    /    u   /      /    /  u     u  u
Us will hear our voice. Henceforward, we shall
/   u  /    u   u  u     /  u /     u  /
Act as one, and we shall be ignored no more!
u /  u    u  u   /  u     /      /   u  u   /
Defenders of the Helghast dream, now is our time!

[i]Exeunt[/i]
I was so concerned about making sure the pentameter fit that I messed up and forgot to check my iambs. It looks like this is predominantly trochaic pentameter rather than blank verse proper.

I'll have to fix that.

Sally fucked around with this message at 05:52 on May 2, 2014

Jobbo_Fett
Mar 7, 2014

It would be a sad error in judgement to mistake me for a corpse.


Clapping Larry

Just as a note on the swastika, it was used by many other groups, organisations and militaries before Nazi Germany ever got around to using it. In most cases I've heard or read about, the swastika was used as a symbol of luck, rather than wealth or prosperity.

The best example of this is with the Finnish Air Force, who adopted the swastika (Actually called the Hakaristi in Finland) back in 1918 when Swedish count Eric von Rosen donated an aircraft (Their second since creation) to them. Count von Rosen painted the blue Hakaristi on the aircraft as his personal good luck charm, and the Finns adopted it as their own. The white background was added afterwards. After the war ended for Finland, the allies pressured Finland to change and remove all forms of the Hakaristi due to its close resemblance to the swastika.

Wikipedia provides a flag for the Finnish Air Force Staff with two swastikas on it and dates it 1958, although I can't confirm any long-term use.

Fun Fact: Eric von Rosen was a brother-in-law to Hermann Goring.
Latvia used a red swastika for their air force up until their dissolution when annexed by the Soviet Union

Roman Reigns
Aug 23, 2007



Huh, never made the Helghan symbol = Early medical sign connection before.

Also never realized so many people thought Killzone 1 sucked At the very least its a solid sci-fi shooter with some ambitious gameplay elements.

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

low vis




What's more, the Helghast insignia is a tripartite symbol. If we're continuing with the Visari Helgan is an amalgamation of all major dictatorships idea, it draws an interesting parallel to the iconography of the Workers Party of Korea, the ruling dictatorship of North Korea. It's symbol is meant to represent the cooperation and codependency of the worker, the farmer and the intellectual in the survival of the Korean state, or rather in the survival of the Kim family.

We're going to be seeing a lot more of Helgan iconography as we head into the Killzone 2 and 3, and the parallels to the Soviet and Korean "mythology of the state" is beyond unnerving at times.

Jobbo_Fett
Mar 7, 2014

It would be a sad error in judgement to mistake me for a corpse.


Clapping Larry

nine-gear crow posted:

We're going to be seeing a lot more of Helgan iconography as we head into the Killzone 2 and 3, and the parallels to the Soviet and Korean "mythology of the state" is beyond unnerving at times.

I seriously need to replay Killzone 2 and 3 to see for myself, cause that's awesome. drat you Nine-Gear Crow and Blind Sally, a man has only oh so much free time!

marshmallow creep
Dec 10, 2008

I've been sitting here for 5 mins trying to think of a joke to make but I just realised the animators of Mass Effect already did it for me



Never played these games, because I always thought the Helghast were more interesting than the grunts you're supposed to play and I wished I could be them instead. I guess you can in multiplayer, but I don't play games for competition.

Interesting stuff about their symbol.

VolticSurge
Jul 23, 2013

Just your friendly neighborhood photobomb raptor.





I never got into Liberation due to my dislike of the PSP,so that will be interesting. Oh,and loving the thread so far!

Scyron
Aug 27, 2005

I am sure a hacker knows all about rewarding and accomplished behavior. I mean, raping a chick with some mickeys is the same is getting laid right? Same result amirite guys? Nothing like work and not having to do it and get that sweet sweet payoff.


I sort of wish my quote could add that I do enjoy shooting space nazis.

KZ Merc is awesome and easily my favorite of the 5 games I have played in the series.
KZ3 is awesome fun if you have a move controller, and turn off hud elements and crosshairs. Just the player and a gun+iron sights/ADS. :immersion:

I'll try and watch this, as my first lp thing? I want to see how KZ1 ends. Seeing KZ liberation might be nice, since, while I own the game via the PSN hack, I have 0 desire to actually install it and play it.

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

low vis




Wamdoodle posted:

Too bad their isn't a proper TV out or a good way to record from a Vita or I'd find the time to help you with this. I'd like to see how you'd analyze the story from it

Yeah, what the hell Sony? I looked online and people are selling juryrigged Vitas with forced HDMI outputs and homebrew firmware suites and that's about the only way you can do footage capture on them until Vita TV comes stateside, if ever. And they cost more than both a Vita and a decent capture card combined.

That said, the offer is appreciated, and if anyone does want to kick in with Shadow Fall on the PS4, they're more than welcome to because after going through the original quadrilogy and seeing the "Oh, Christ! " note that KZ3 ended on, I'm definitely interested in seeing where things go from there.


By the way, we've got footage for 1, 2, and Liberation done, and I'm going to be laying down the footage for 3 this week, I'm hoping. 1 and 2 have Blind Sally behind the controller. Liberation has both of us playing in order to show off co-op and give a certain character we will be meeting later on a chance to make a final appearance in the franchise. And then I'll be behind the controller to finish things up for Killzone 3.

This is probably our most genuinely collaborative LP yet.

citybeatnik
Mar 1, 2013

You Are All
WEIRDOS





Welp, following this out of sheer novelty. Looking forward to what y'all come up with.

JamieTheD
Nov 4, 2011

LPer, Reviewer, Mad Welshman

(Yes, that's a self portrait)

Wait, wait... an intellectual LP? But, but... You're not allowed to do that, surely there's a rule against...

...Nah, just fuckin' with ya, this sounds like a really interesting idea, and, as a guy who ignored Killzone because a)I have nothing more than a PS2, and b) Because of the whole "Oh god, generic sci-fi shooter" thing, I will look forward to being proven wrong. Or not. Either way, there shall be entertainment!

Rainuwastaken
Oct 30, 2012

Another blue ribbon for Hecarim.


Keeping an eye on this one. I never played any of the Killzone games because the only things I ever heard were that they were failed "Halo Killers". Interesting to hear that there's more to it.

Crabtree
Oct 17, 2012


Dinosaur Gum

Will we going into the theoretical First Worlds War that likely transpired to make the start of Killzone a straight retelling of WW2 when it shows up in game or are people free to discuss the history leading up to the beginning?

As for the flag, there may be even further symbolism and similarities to in the three points of the Triad to the Nazi flag, as according to Sherree Owens Zalampas's Adolf Hitler: A Psychological Interpretation of His Views on Architecture, Art, and Music, three itself seems to be a very recurring theme in swastika's design.

Sherree Owens Zalampas, page 43 posted:

In Mein Kampf, Hitler discussed at length his selection of colors for the swastika flag. He decided to use black, white and red because they had “the most brilliant harmony in existence,” because he had been a soldier under these colors, and because their aesthetic effect they were most compatible with his feelings. He rejected all designs which were submitted to him in favor of his own design – a red background, a white disk and a black swastika in the middle. He stated that the red meant the social ideal of the movement, the white stressed the nationalistic idea, and the swastika represented the mission of the Aryan race.


Also I'm willing to bet Visari is more Mussolini than Hitler, even if Helgan is a more easily identifiable Germany. He may deliver a shared basic theatrics to his speech methods - like how it builds into a loud and frightful march after talking about the planet making them stronger (even though the game cheated by bring up orchestral scores instead of relying only on the strength of his delivery); but we have yet to see this Autarch manipulate fashionable lateness to build up tension in the crowd nor bald women fainting at the sight of his arrival.

manyleeks
Apr 22, 2010

Just another day at the office

Blind Sally posted:

The one constant is that nearly everyone thought Killzone 1 sucked.

Regardless, no one once praised the game's writing or handling of subtext. I hope that by the end of this LP, crow and I will have changed that.


This surprises me no end. Killzone the first was a game that I picked up on sale fairly late in the PS2's life, and was amazed I'd never heard of it. I got more play out of Killzone than almost any other game on the system. The setting was so intriguing, and the selection of weapons was actually pretty varied by the standards of the time - the difference between Helghan and Vektan weapons is really pronounced, both aesthetically and in how they handle. The attention to detail was very impressive and remains so to this day.

I have many fond memories of playing local multi with one of my roommates as an undergrad while procrastinating...

Killzones 2 and on came as a massive disappointment because they lost a lot of the feel of the first one. Killzone 2 felt like a throwback to the period when everyone was making existing IPs DARKER AND EDGIER, and 3 felt like it was trying way too hard to be CoD.

I've played a bit of Shadow Fall, and while it's not quite as offensive as 2 or 3, it still seems lacks the more interesting setting and feel of the first game.

Szurumbur
Feb 17, 2011


Killzone is one of the very few FPS I ever actually liked, but couldn't finish anyway, because I am terrible at those kind of games. But please turn on subtitles if at all possible.

supermikhail
Nov 17, 2012


"It's video games, Scully."
Video games?"
"He enlists the help of strangers to make his perfect video game. When he gets bored of an idea, he murders them and moves on to the next, learning nothing in the process."
"Hmm... interesting."


Blind Sally posted:

Prologue

Enter [Visari as] Prologue

My people. Sons and daughters of Helghan.
For many years, we have been a broken
Nation. Shunt, o'erpress'd, conquer'd by those we
Sought to escape. Ten years ago, I ask'd
For time, and that boon was grant'd by thee.
Thou, the strength in my arm, the holder of
My dreams. Our forefathers embark'd on the
Greatest exodus in the hist'ry of
All mankind. An exodus for freedom.
Helghan became that freedom. At first, it
Weaken'd us, but in fact, we were growing
Stronger. In the time thou hast given me,
I have rebuilt our nation, I have rebuilt
Our strength, and I have rebuilt our pride!
Our enemies at home have been re-train'd.
We have given them new insights into
Our cause. Henceforward, we stand united
Once more. Henceforward, those driven to divide
Us will hear our voice. Henceforward, we shall
Act as one, and we shall be ignored no more!
Defenders of the Helghast dream, now is our time!

I'll do you one better:

"Peopleus mius. Soni et daughteri Haelghani. Manios annos brokenum natium haevbeent. Shunnti, oppressti, conquerti ab thos qui escapium sought. Decem annos, timum askt, et thatum boonum est ex thee grantet. Thou, mium armum fortituda, miis dreamis holdius. Nostri forfatheri embarkt on greateum exodium de historiam humanum. Exodium pro libertam. Haelghan thatam libertam becomt..."

azren
Feb 13, 2011




Okay, I'll give this idea a try.
It seems to be an int'resting concept,
with plenty of promise. It should be fun
to see where you take this. Watching this thread.

I am exited to see where this goes,
with battles harsh, compounding human woes.

SpecialK800
Nov 17, 2012


You know there's more to the image of the triad on the hospital than it merely being a pre-space fascist symbol. Fascist parties in Europe before World War II and still today in places like Greece gained wide popularity by appealing to the poor/unemployed portions of the population. A lot of that popularity came through providing services which were traditionally governmental or which catered to wealthier classes of people. Recently in Greece the Fascist Golden Dawn party distributed food and other necessities to poor towns and villages, but only gave then to ethnic Greeks. The famous Beer Hall Putsch was one of many time the growing Nazi Party called meetings in restaurants and bars and paid for the visitors to eat and drink (This may seem less like charity, until you remember Post-WWI Germany saw rampant unemployment and hyperinflation). The use of the triad on the hospital may suggest it was run by the same group who helped Visari come to power as a way of gaining popular support.

FoolyCharged
Oct 11, 2012

Somebody call for an ant?



Blind Sally posted:

Now, this could be seen as a broken nation fighting back against its oppressors, yet the imagery clearly presents the Helghast as villains. They're seen gunning down innocent civilians no less!

Funnily enough, with all the post WWI fascist state set up, watching civilians get gunned down in space WWII wasn't that surprising or evil to me. By modern rules of engagement it's pretty awful, but world war II is kind of infamous for the fact that burning/bombing civilian factories into the ground was a common strategy employed by all parties.

Sally
Jan 9, 2007



Alright, I fixed it! Visari now speaks in blank verse. Here's my scansion to prove it:

code:
[b]Prologue[/b]

[i]Enter [Visari as] Prologue[/i]

u  /  u    /    u    /    u   /    u     /
My people. Helghan's sons and daughters, lo.
u   / u  /     u /  u   / u    /
For many years a broken nation we
u    /     u   /        u   /  u       /     u  /
Have been. O'erpress'd, and conquer'd, shunt by those 
u  /      u  /     /    /    u/   u /
We sought to flee. Ten years ago, I ask'd
u   /     u   /    /    u   /   u   u  /
For time, and that boon was grant'd by thee.
u /     u   /        u  u  /    /  u   /
O thou, the strength in my arm, holder of
u  /       u   /   u u     u /      u/
My dreams. Our forefathers embark'd upon
u   /   u    /   u   /u  /    u  /
The greatest journey evermore in all
u   / u  /      u / u  /   u /   u
Of  humankind's antiquity. A journey
u   / u /  u      /   u    /  u    /
For independence. Freedom, Helghan was.
u  /      u  /  u     / u   /     u   /
At first, it weaken'd body, mind, and soul--
u   /     u   /         u  /     u      /   u   /
But stay! Our strength, it grew! Throughout the time
u    /  u   u   u /    u /     u   / u
Thou givest me, I have rebuilt our nation,
u /    u /     u   /         u /    u /
I have rebuilt our strength, I have rebuilt
u   /      u   /    u  /    u    /    u  /
Our pride! Our foes at home have been re-train'd
u  /   u/   u   /      u  /    /  u
To see anew our cause. So henceforward,
u  /     u/ u   /    u/     /    /  u
we stand united once again. Henceforward,
u   /    u   /    u  /     u   /    u     /
Our foes who seek to break our will shall hear
u   /      u   /    /  u     u  /   u  /
Our voice. And Henceforward, we act as one.
u   /  u     /  u /     u  /     u /
And we shall be ignored no more! Attend!
u  / u    /  u   /  u     /      /   u  u   /
My heroes of the Helghast dream, now is our time!

[i]Exeunt[/i]
Of course, it's not perfect blank verse. Some lines are catalectic while others are hypercatelectic, and there are a few foot substitutions, but hey, they are necessary for the dramatic effect of Visari's speech. Shakespeare did it, so I did too.

Also, I've gone back and added in people's insights in the game to the post. I hope this breakdown of the Killzone games can truly become a collaborative thing. I added another image for the Helghast triad analysis, too. While trawling the internet for more KZ history, I found this:



I'd nearly forgotten about it, but the triad was used not only to denote a medical facility in Helghan's early years, but was also a symbol of the early Helghan Administration--which I will delve into.

The three interlocking arms were meant to symbolize peace, justice, and freedom between the three major galactic nations: The Helghan Administration, the Interplanetary Strategic Alliance (ISA), and the United Colonial Nations (UCN). If none of that makes sense, don't worry it will. Later posts will include historical info dumps.

Crabtree posted:

Will we going into the theoretical First Worlds War that likely transpired to make the start of Killzone a straight retelling of WW2 when it shows up in game or are people free to discuss the history leading up to the beginning?

I'm absolutely going to be bringing up the pre-game history from Guerrilla and in fact have all the images and quotes saved from the old Flash-timeline they had on their site around Killzone 2's release. Of course, if you've got a brilliant bit of analysis, I don't see much problem with bringing it up. The history barely appears at all in any of the games, so as far as I'm concerned, it's not really spoilers to talk about.

But yeah, in the next update proper I will begin going over the backstory for this series.

supermikhail posted:

I'll do you one better:

"Peopleus mius. Soni et daughteri Haelghani. Manios annos brokenum natium haevbeent. Shunnti, oppressti, conquerti ab thos qui escapium sought. Decem annos, timum askt, et thatum boonum est ex thee grantet. Thou, mium armum fortituda, miis dreamis holdius. Nostri forfatheri embarkt on greateum exodium de historiam humanum. Exodium pro libertam. Haelghan thatam libertam becomt..."

Sally fucked around with this message at 05:52 on May 2, 2014

Sally
Jan 9, 2007



Szurumbur posted:

But please turn on subtitles if at all possible.

Oh yeah. Way ahead of you. Subtitles are on, but unfortunately, it doesn't seem to affect the opening cinematic. Actual gameplay and in-game cinematics are subtitled.

Lateinshowing
Oct 10, 2012


Fun Shoe

Actually, between the first and second game, I remember there being a website that had a history dump explaining everything, history, the formation of the Helgans, Vekta, the UCN, and the importance of everything. Almost a shame for a lot of this stuff since it moves this game from what seems like an obvious WWII analogy, to something FAR more grey than you might think.

But then again, having played only the first two games, it feels like they didn't really do much with the shades of grey.

Sally
Jan 9, 2007



Yeah, unfortunately Guerrilla has since taken down that website (though it was up for a looooong time). Fortunately, I managed to find screen captures of all that history.

Lateinshowing
Oct 10, 2012


Fun Shoe

Great! As said, it explains a LOT about the history that is otherwise not said at all. And that history is kinda eyeopening. While the Helgans aren't in the right (going out of your way to kill civies does kinda put you really in the wrong), they aren't entirely unjustified.

Wamdoodle
May 15, 2007

Yes, it is what it looks like!



Grimey Drawer

Blind Sally posted:

Yeah, unfortunately Guerrilla has since taken down that website (though it was up for a looooong time). Fortunately, I managed to find screen captures of all that history.

I remember that website! I messed around with it after I finally picked up a PS3 and got Killzone 2. It seems there's a large amount of lore that really hasn't been touched upon in the games. Maybe saving it for future installments?

JamieTheD
Nov 4, 2011

LPer, Reviewer, Mad Welshman

(Yes, that's a self portrait)

Wamdoodle posted:

I remember that website! I messed around with it after I finally picked up a PS3 and got Killzone 2. It seems there's a large amount of lore that really hasn't been touched upon in the games. Maybe saving it for future installments?

Or they were pulling a Wipeout. It's surprising how many god-drat games have lore that's never, ever found in-game, but in their website, press materials, random snippets from the manual... Hell, I could probably recite Mighty No. 9's life story already, and the god-drat game isn't even done yet!

Keiji Inafune, I love your games and all, but please, enough teasing, I can't take it!

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Sally
Jan 9, 2007



Scyron posted:

I sort of wish my quote could add that I do enjoy shooting space nazis.

Added!

JamieTheD posted:

Or they were pulling a Wipeout. It's surprising how many god-drat games have lore that's never, ever found in-game, but in their website, press materials, random snippets from the manual... Hell, I could probably recite Mighty No. 9's life story already, and the god-drat game isn't even done yet!

Keiji Inafune, I love your games and all, but please, enough teasing, I can't take it!

There's a bit of a difference, though. When people discover Wip3out's lore, I think they're either pleasantly surprised by the depth or totally indifferent. When people discover Killzone's lore, a lot of the times they get really angry and pissed off at "what the games could have been" and wind up cursing Guerrilla's name or something like that...

In other news, if you haven't read JamieTheD's LP of the Wip3out series, you totally should! It's really solid and interesting.

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