A war’s brewing, you say? The country’s on fire? I ain’t your guy, then

Fire Emblem Gaiden (1992)

It’s all going nuts again. Geopolitically, I mean. Of course, even that sentence doesn’t date this piece too badly – a headline like “Tensions mount in Middle East” could be on any online news outlet since the mid 90s and still be relevant. For today’s purposes, let’s just say that the Taliban are at it again. I wonder if they’ll still be at it in 20 years time? Or will there even be a 20 years time, because it gives you a right frightenener down the jacksy when those boys are at it, America and Russia are responding (the UK tries to pop up but deliberately gets ignored) and then suddenly fingers begin hovering over the big red button.

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In an alternate timeline, I’d be Prince Burkey

Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & The Blade of Light (1990)

I know you never believe me when I come out with things like this, but I am actually descended from nobility. That’s right: I have blue blood, and you may well be wondering, if that’s the case Burkey, then why is it that you’re tight with money? Why were you on the dole? Why do you never exercise any kind of power, and why are you not inbred?

Well, perhaps some people would contest that last one. But I have a perfectly good answer to every one of these rebuttals, and unfortunately it’s that old devil at work again: organized religion.

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World War 3, be all you can be

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Advance Wars (2002)

I’ve never been sure if this was a myth or even if it was particularly common, but I’ve been led to believe that if you were caught being a naughty boy in 1960s or 1970s Ireland, the exasperated judge would often give you the choice of doing a six-month stint in jail or a year in the army.

We aren’t exactly what you’d call a belligerent country – if Ireland had been involved in the Gulf War we would’ve sent snowploughs – so a spell in the army always sounded like a bit of a holiday camp to me. But then again, isn’t that what they always accuse the prisons of being? You start to see now why we need a death penalty for all offences, except software piracy.

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I’m the master of strategy, until someone uses en passant

fire emblem logo

Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade (2004)

It mightn’t much fit my macho image, but I can tell you without any hesitation or modesty that I’m one heckuva chess player. OK, I haven’t played against a human, an AI opponent or even against myself in the last ten years or so. But that doesn’t mean I can’t still kick some ebony or ivory behind if war broke out and the main fighting weaponry turned out to be chess pieces.

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