AP2 Update: May 2024 (Also Gurren Lagann and Hades 2 Reviews)

Chapter 26, Draft 4: COMPLETE

Ah, much better! NOW I can write the vague spoiler-free poem that describes the chapter:

Twisting a failure into success;

brings you not joy, but horror, distress;

Is there no savior? Is there no clue?

Abandonment at last came for you.

Again, I was a bit unsure about how this would turn out. In this draft I’m putting in both a new setting and new character that I was saving for book four. But then I realized that I could have a cool ‘mirror’ effect going on with a similar chapter in the FIRST book. You’ll see what I mean when it’s done.

So, this draft is getting longer, but all of the new bits ARE fitting in and making sense. And I don’t have a problem with being longer as long as the story is good throughout.

Adjustments also had to be made to the classic segments of the chapter, but they were only minor. I replaced one character with a different one for a major action scene, and again, it somehow worked out great.

Now on to the reviews, which I guess I’m doing now every month. 😅

I don’t think I spoil much this time. And this first anime is at least ten years old.

Gurren Lagann:

My Amazon Prime trial might be over, but I still have Crunchyroll! Kim, thank you for the Christmas subscription present! 😉

This anime has been around a while, and it’s made by GAINAX of Nadia: the Secret of Blue Water and Neon Genesis Evengelion fame.

In fact, Gurren Lagann seems like a mix of those two shows: you have a Nadia-like ‘princess’ with an otherworldly past riding in a battleship manned by a crew of characters that have the barest of backstories. Then, on the Evengelion side of things, you have giant mecha robots powered by ‘fighting spirit’ that battle an alien enemy that wants to kill everyone for some reason.

I was surprised to see that this melding of formulas actually WORKED. I had JUST been thinking that the slower-paced, lore-driven story of Nadia would have been greatly improved by having the young characters pilot mecha and fight for themselves. Likewise, the endless mecha battles of Evengelion really needed some more explanation behind them.

An Gurren Lagann delivers! The formulas merge, as pilot and mecha become one! And sometimes as MULTIPLE pilots and MULTIPLE mechas!

You just have to turn your brain off a bit sometimes: There is a LOT of fanservice. And this show escalates to absurd levels. Also… the technobabble gets WAY out of control at the end. And there’s a rap song. 😄

The series is pretty short though: just 27 episodes I think? So you won’t be losing too much time if you decide it’s terrible. 😅


Hades 2: My birthday is on May 9th. I’m 46 this year, and my friend Matt called me over to his house on the 6th. His kids made some cute birthday cards for me, and we had dinner together.

During the meal Matt was looking at his phone and noticed that Hades 2 had a surprise release as ‘early access’ that day. We started talking about the first game, and by the time I had gotten home I noticed that Matt had gifted the game to me on Steam.

I’m very grateful. Although Matt sure is lucky that a game I wanted just so HAPPENED to launch during my birthday dinner. Like what was he going to get me otherwise? 😑

Ha,ha, ANYway let’s get to the game. In case you didn’t know, Hades is a ‘rogue-like’ based on Greek mythology. In the first game you play as Zagreus, son of Hades. You’re trying to escape the Underworld and reach the FORBIDDEN surface. If you die, you start back at the House of Hades, completely revived. Then you upgrade your abilities and weapons with materials that you collected while playing and try to escape again.

In Hades 2 the goal is swapped around. You play as Melinoë, daughter of Hades. It seems that the titan of time, Chronos, has revived. He has taken over the House of Hades, cast open the gates of the underworld, and now marches upon Olympus with an undead army. This time, your goal is to reach the Underworld where Chronos is, and you BEGIN at the surface.

And yet you aren’t just retreading the previous game’s path in reverse. The mission to defeat Chronos requires a bit of a detour, so there are new areas to explore. Even ‘reused’ areas have a completely different look to them with new enemies.

It’s a great game already, but as I said before it’s ‘early access.’ That means the ending isn’t complete, levels are missing, and you don’t have the full armory of weapons. Even some characters don’t have all their artwork finished. I’ll use a non-spoilery example:

Artemis here has her portrait finished for the dialog scenes, but if you look at the background you’ll see that the bowls and greenery are just a sloppy sketch.

Other characters will appear with all the quality of concept art on a napkin, while some will just pop up as a generic ‘cloaked figure’ graphic.

I don’t mind it, though; I enjoy seeing the development process. Just as YOU are surely enjoying my vague blog posts about the drafts and development of Abandoment Party 2!

See you next time! 😆











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