Hello, Giant Bomb. I'm here to save you!


These four sentences are the culmination of 300 hours of class work, countless hours of studying, 72 hours of on-the-job training, one state practical examination, and one national aptitude exam.

I can finally, officially, come to your house and SAVE YOUR ASS. The levels of pumped I am know no bounds.


I'm Awful at Monster Hunter: Episode 2

Hello, Giant Bomb!
Welcome to Episode 2 of I'm Awful at Monster Hunter. Today we'll be taking on the "The Poison Siege" quest, which revolves around hunting both a regular Gypceros as well as it's larger, more plum cousin, the Purple Gypceros. You'll notice at one point I spend an extra minute or so chopping at the corpse of one, this is because the Gypceros as a fancy trick - it plays dead. Realistically, I should have just checked my Quest Info to see if it was slayed, but I wasn't thinking. I also forgot to carve him the second and third time, but after killing the regular Gypceros, I managed to carve all of that one, and make it back to the original time to score my remaining carves.
As always, any and all suggestions, comments, or requests are both welcome and encouraged.


I'm Awful at Monster Hunter: Episode 1

Hello, Giant Bomb!
Welcome to Episode 1 of I'm Awful at Monster Hunter. Today we'll be doing the "Its name is Mgea Kut-ku!?" event quest. The notable features of this quest are that you must do it without any armor, you must fight two Kut-ku, and the Kut-ku are tiny. I mean, REALLY tiny. Like, unbelievably, I-could-keep-him-as-a-pet-in-the-closet-and-not-tell-Mom tiny.
Again, all comments and suggestions are very welcome.


I'm Awful at Monster Hunter: The video series!

Hello, Giant Bomb!
I'm here with an idea! Everyone likes original content on their favorite sites, but no one likes Monster Hunter! What gives?
So, from now until when I cannot any longer, I am going to make daily Monster Hunter videos. A note of warning: I'm only 40 hours into Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, but I have 240 on Tri, so we'll see if we can't carry over some skills from Tri into it's handheld and superior brother.
But Mmmslash, how will this work, I hear you cry! That's easy, Giant Bomb! I'm going to start by posting a video, and from there, it's all entirely up to the community. As long as I am able to access it in the game (in a reasonable amount of time), I will cover it. Want me to fight the Tigrex naked? Okay, I'll try! Want me to do a Bowgun/Bow tutorial? I hate you, but okay! Want the videos with commentary, or with music and annotations? If you want commentary, do you want live commentary that might be a bit awkward, or do you want an commentary track that is added on after the hunt? The choice is your's Giant Bomb, just let me know.
And now, video!

Start the Conversation

Dwarf Fortress AAR - Day "Two"

Hello, and Welcome to Day 2 of our After-Action Report of Dwarf Fortress, on the Giant Bomb settlement of Abbeyvoices,

Say hello to you burgeoning metal industry, Giant Bomb!
1. These are Stonecrafts, being made by our stonecrafter. He makes various trinkets, things from dolls, to scepters, to bracelets, and he makes them entirely out of stone. I decided to make them out of stone for a few reasons. For one, stone is abundant as all hell. Almost every time we dig one tile, we get a piece of stone. There is ostensibly unlimited stone for us, and none of our Dorfs have to travel outside of the fort in order to gather it.
This also means when (see: If, since we have a MAJOR problem I will talk about in a moment) the Elves come to trade, I can trade my crafts with them, without them forcing me to limit my woodcutting. So long as they never see anything wooden created by me, they'll leave me be. The issue with them making demands is sometimes they'll give me something ridiculous like "Only cut down 11 trees this year.", which is crazy talk. I need wood for beds and barrels and bins! If I accept, and break it, they'll come try to kill us in our sleep. If I decline, then they'll come try to kill us in our sleep anyway.
Fucking elves, man. 
2. This is armor being prepared for our newly formed 5 man militia. What you see here are 5 iron Breastplates, and 5 Iron leggings. I need to create a full set of iron armor for each of them along with a sword and shield, and this requires a lot of iron, which requires a lot of smelting, which requires a lot of trees and coal. This is going to be slow production, and I don't think there is any real way I can expedite it. Hopefully my war dogs and future traps will be able to defend us properly for the next year. If not, our dwarves will be murdered by Goblins or Dragons or Kobolds or something.
Dwarf Fortress, it ain't pretty and it ain't easy.
3. These are our actual workshops needed to make our metal industry possible. In order of usage, as well as appearance, from left to right we have:
  • A Wood Burner, this turns logs into charcoal, which is a prerequisite for:
  • A Smelter. This serves a dual function. It can use one charcoal, along with one iron-bareing ore in order to make an iron bar. Alternatively, I can use one charcoal from the wood smelter along with one piece of actual coal I have mined in order to make three pieces of refined coal. Refined coal works exactly the same as charcoal, but it gives me an additional two fuel regents for every one tree. So, instead of using one entire tree every time I need an iron bar, I get three for every tree. This is important, since it can take years for trees to grow back, and they're a finite supply.
  • A metalsmith's forge. This is where my armorer and weaponsmith Dwarves come to turn those iron bars into glorious proof of our superior metalsmithing abilities. The Elves have their nature, Humans have their cities, but the Dwarves are second to none in the art of making weaponry out of metal. Some day, they are going to make some invaders very, very unhappy.
4. This is just the stockpile for anything smelted, and blocks. So all of my charcoal, refined coal, iron bars, and blocks of stone go here. Blocks of stone will be used in the future to make the Pump Stack a mentioned before, which is looking to be significantly more complex than I anticipate. I'm going to have to construct an actual tower, building the walls, floors, channels, and access stairs myself, probably out of stone. This is dangerous since invaders will be able to break these things, and turn off all water access to my Fort during a siege. I may have to try to get creative, we'll see. Perhaps I will dig a trench around the entire thing, on ever floor. That should protect it from everything that isn't a Goblin riding a giant flying bat of death.

The key bit of information here are the words you see at the bottom. "Dumed Sebirvabok has begun a mysterious construction!". 
Basically, what has happened here is my armorer / weaponsmith was sitting in his bedroom, enjoying the decadence that Dorfs in the settlement of Abbeyvoices enjoy, when suddenly he had an idea. He jumped up, and ran around the fort, gathering iron and thread and all kinds of things. I was excited, it's rare that I actually have the materials on hand, and I only brought the thread on a whim on my embark, so this was all very lucky. And here is what we got:

Huh. Wow. So, my armorer just made the nicest iron shoe in the entire world. Across the entire realm, between Dwarves, Elves, Humans, Goblins, everyone and everywhere, there is no iron shoe that can compete. 
That is about as disappointing as things can get. Not only is it completely useless, it's only one shoe. It's not as if he made a set I could give one of our nobles or something, he just made a single, useless shoe.
The bigger issue is I cannot trade this shoe, despite it being worth a small fortune. Dumed here would have a nervous breakdown, and probably break something / kill or hurt someone / kill or hurt himself, if I did. So.. there's that.
But, that is the least of our worries, because THIS had me absolutely stumped:

What you see here is the front door of our Fort, with an overlay showing if we have trade access. I built the tunnel / Front door / Trade Depot the same as I always do, so this is disconcerting, I have absolutely no idea why this is happening. The best I can do is widen this tunnel and see if it helps. If not, I can also try deconstructing the Trade Depot and moving it outside, which I am loathe to do. That means I have to leave any future caravans to fend for themselves out there, and any deaths near our Fortress are ALWAYS pinned on us.
So, say some Humans come to trade with us, and a Dragon shows up. I lock down my Fort to protect my Dwarves, which leaves the Human caravan locked outside. They are incinerated almost immediately.
Then, two seasons later, our Dorfs wake up to the entire Imperial Legion or whatever banner Humans rally under, outside our front door, tell us they are going to murder every last Dorf for the death of their friends and family.
Dragons, man. Dragons.
And that concludes our Dwarf Fortress AAR for today!

Dwarf Fortress AAR - Day One

Howdy folks, Welcome to Day One of my Dwarf Fortress After Action Report. You can think of this as a a textual Let's Play, with screenshots and stories of things that are happening to my various Dwarven Fortresses over the next month. This is my sort of swan song to Giant Bomb, so I hope it's as good for you as it is for me.
As a forewarning, Dwarf Fortress is a game you cannot win. Much like life, no matter how long it is, the life expectancy eventually reaches zero, and it probably won't even be your fault. I am by no means the best Dwarf Fortress player around, and I'm probably going to make a lot of mistakes. Here's hoping it's entertaining.
So let us begin!

It is the year 1052, and the settlement of Abbeyvoices has been founded under the Kuletokol banner.

We arrive partially up the side of a mountain, on a plateau. Only 7 of us have survived the journey, along with two cats, two war dogs, and some equipment and rations. Morale is very high, and things get set under way immediately. We have our expedition leader, two miners, a carpenter/mechanic, a farmer, and a simple peasant. Things start as normal, some basic scouting, some mining, and things carry on as normal. As the third season in these mountains approaches, we are greeted by immigrants and a trade liaison from our Mountainhomes. After some discussion of future goods prices the caravan leaves, our work on establishing our new home continues.
An uneventful year passes, and this is where we find ourselves.

1. This is the outward entrance to our fort, and presuming that nothing weird/unforeseen happens (but it will, of course, because this is Dwarf Fortress), all friends and foe will be arriving and departing by this entrance. It is carved into a wall made of chert and some sort of mineral. The purple symbols you see there are corpses of lizards and goats and those sorts of things, that wandered too close to the Fortress, and our cats and dogs dispatched with haste.
2. This preposterously large hatch pattern is actually a refuse pile, which is just a colossal garbage dump. Corpses are what primarily go in here.
3. This long tunnel you see actually extends a good deal to the North, where we dug into the underside of a pond, hoping to drain it out and use the muddy soil for glorious farming. This didn't quite work out, and the project was scrapped after the pond turned out to be significantly smaller than anticipated. Fortunately, we came across large veins of gold and coal, and even some iron-bearing ore. With any luck, we will be filthy rich and fabulously armored by the end of our third year, if Goblins don't do awful, depraved things to our corpses first.
4. These are a set of stairs that descend into the inner workings of our Fort, and will be our last line of defense for our workers and civilians, should something come knocking.
5. This hollowed out area is where our Trade Depot will stand, once we actually have something worth trading.

1. This is our much more elaborate and functional series of underground farms. We dug into the side of a much larger underground lake, after placing a floodgate attached to a nearby lever. Using this, we were able to control the flooding provided by this absolutely astoundingly large body of water, and harness the forces of nature to grow crops. Underground. Like a real Dorf.
2. This is the bedroom and office of our esteemed Expedition Leader/Trade Broker. His name is Ushirr Eribstigaz, and we will undoubtedly one day become a colossal pain in the ass, making demands and trade mandates and overall being a huge prick. Three cheers for Dwarven Nobility, folks.
3. This large, cavernous room will one day soon be the heart and soul of this Fort. Inside is a wood furnace, for creating charcoal, a smelter, for using that charcoal and iron-bearing ore to make iron bars, and a metalsmith, for making fantastic iron armor to protect our military from the inevitable hordes seeking or wonderful golden trinkets. We unfortunately don't have any magma present for the foreseeable future, so we'll be using wood or coal in order to smelt our bars. In Dwarf Fortress, you seldom get what you want, but in return receive an abundance of the unexpected, both good and bad. 
4. This is our workshop area. Here our trade dwarves use their masonry, woodworking, mechanics, crafting and booze brewing abilities to make our Fortress runs wonderfully. Let's hear it for the Dwarven Epsilon class, huh?

1. This is our Dwarven Dining Hall, where idle dwarves come to hang out and have parties. It is made entirely out of Peat with a small section of Chert, which means we will never be able to engrave it with fantastic images of our greatest successes and failures. We will, of course, have to move to a new one in a future in order to do so, but for the time being it's more than satisfactory.
2. These are our Dwarven Dormitories, with each dwarf receiving their own bedroom, an elaborate luxury in their eyes. Each bedroom is equipped with a hand-carved bed and a handcrafted stone door. A few of the doors are actually made of wood, before we came to our senses and realized were are Dwarves, not some kind of Elves.

And here is the reason to get excited about Fortress Abbeyvoices. Located 6 z-levels below (You can think of this as 6 stories) our home, is a river. It's actually more of a brook, but it will function for us just about the same.
1. This is a tunnel that leads from seven sets of staircases. It's only one unit wide because it will only even be used in order to set up our machinery, and from then on will be closed forever, to prevent future enemies crawling up the bowels of our fortress.
2. This is our mighty brook, the future source of all our water needs, and if I have any say in it, will also be our primarily line of defense. Who needs an army when you can lock your invaders in a tunnel and drown them?
3. This is a waterwheel, in theory this will provide power to a series of screw pumps (You can think of these as an Archimedes' Screw) which will bring water from this lower elevation up toward the modern era. Wish me luck, because I have never endeavored to create a pump stack before, and this could likely result in some serious flooding and/or Dwarven death, should something go awry.
And that ends our updates for today. If anyone has any questions or corrections or comments or suggestions about the future of our, the Giant Bomb community's, proud Fortress, I can't wait to hear them.

Dwarf Fortress relevant!

As some of the folks I am more friendly with on Giant Bomb know, somewhere in the span of the next month I will be gone from the cyber-realm, and cast into a grueling life schedule, in the frigid Northern Maine area. This means no internet, no video games, and no Giant Bomb especially.
My heart grieves, but I am not a man without purpose!
So, over the next however-long-I-am-here, I am going to introduce you folks to some intermediate level play of Dwarf Fortress! I figure if I am going to go out, I am going to go out with a bang and a puff of smoke.
You can expect detailed recounts, screenshots, enthusiasm, depression, and the cutest goddamn tileset you've ever seen. You'll probably see a half dozen Dwarven Fortresses crumble, whether from general mismanagement on my part, being swallowed by a volcano, or any other manner of FUN in the world of Dwarf Fortress.
I'm by no means an expert of Dwarf Fortress, like many people I still find myself struggling with the military system, but I think outside of that, we can all have a pretty good time. In order to generate some hype, I will leave you with a screenshot and some accompanying explanation of what is happening, and you can expect a full, new Fortress to be started and reported on later this evening.

This is my current fortress, which is in desperate need of some FUN, or otherwise abandonment. More on that in a bit. Let's cover these helpful depictions first!
1: This is the front gate of my Dwarven Fortress. You can see I built walls extending outwards from the side of the mountain, and placed a door that can be locked in case of siege from enemies. This necessitates that I place my Trade Depot outside of the Fortress, which is risky, but preferable to being molested for the first couple years of your Fortress. The bits of the wall that are red are because a cougar descended the mountain earlier, and my Ranger Dwarf decided it was time to play Robin Hood. So... those are walls coated in Mountain Lion blood.
Welcome to Dwarf Fortress.
2: This is my underground farm, this is basically the backbone of my entire civilization. If not for this mushroom farm, my entire population of 60 dwarfs would probably begin to starve to death and kill each other after they lost their minds. This and my brewery are the two most important areas of the entire fort. Dwarfs need only food and booze to survive, although they appreciate a good many other things, they're unnecessary in the strictest sense of survival. Nearby you'll see a red X with a blue number 7 behind it, allow me to explain that, because it's neat.
That Red X is a floodgate, operated by an offscreen lever. That blue 7 is a tile of water, with 7 tiles of water in it. Anything over 4 will drawn a dwarf. You can imagine a 7 tile of water as a 5ft x 5ft x 5ft area of water. There are no underground lakes or streams in my area, this is actually an aquifer. What that is is a level of soil that has some fort of groundwater, that is an unlimited supply of trickling water.
Anyway, when you pull that level, the water spills out and begins to fill the room. Since Aquifers have no real water pressure under normal circumstances, I was able to use this to slowly flood the room just enough so I could then close the floodgate, and leave only enough water to quickly evaporate and leave behind muddy soil - perfect for growing Plump Helmet mushrooms. Farm Get!
3. This is my Dwarven Dormitory. If each of your dwarfs have their own bedroom, they're as happy as anything. In theory, I could just make rooms 2 wide and long tall, but that looks like prison cells. I prefer this fallopian tube style style, since it is both space efficient and attractive. You'll notice some of the rooms are without doors, this is simply because my Mason Dwarf  decided he wanted to make the most amazing piece of stoneworking known to man, except he didn't have the necessary ingredients. He eventually went mad with need to make this thing, and tried to kill one of my other dwarfs, when my Hammerer (think of this as the capital punishment dwarf) decided enough was enough, and smacked him in the head with a large mallet.
I am still without a mason, since I never got around to assigning another.
4. This is the pride and joy of this Fortress, and one of the neater things I have ever made in Dwarf Fortress. Basically, if you remember what I said about Aquifers, that is what is happening towards the top of the image, with all of those blue 7's. This is water that is slowly trickling out, and filling this long corridor. Water will always try to be equal across all tiles, so eventually it all becomes those blue 7 water tiles, and becomes highly pressurized. That's where that floodgate comes into play. When I pull a level, both the front door and the door to the inner sanctum of my Fort lock, and that first room begins to flood rapidly. Any invaders inside are either drown, or in case of larger enemies, barely have their heads above water. Then I pull another level that opens a trapdoor in the middle (You can see it if you look closely between the two yellow dwarfs in the middle) and all of that water rushes to get to the series of colossal chambers I dug out below. Anything stuck in that large water room at that time is pulled down with the generated current, and either is already dead or lies down there, with broken bones and crushed organs, among other decayed corpses of past enemies.
Then I just pull those two levers again, seal the bottom hatch (which would otherwise allow Miasma, which is basically fumes from rotting meat and the ilk, from coming up), and close that floodgate again, and the trap slowly re-primes itself. The doors are unlocked again automatically when I seal that floodgate.
Basically, it is really fucking cool, and I am way proud of it. The only real issue with it is that since it is only an Aquifer, it can take upwards of a real life hour for it to re-prime itself fully, and that could mean having to seal my fortress off for a long, extended time. I wish I had had a river nearby, which would have made this amazingly fast and easy, but in Dwarf Fortress, you rarely get what you would like. It's pretty common knowledge that in Dwarf Fortress, you always lose, eventually.
5. This is just a stockroom. All of those barrels you see are full of food or booze, or seeds. There's not much else to it.
I hope some people enjoy this series of swan song's, and I'll update you folks more this evening.

My name is Endog.... Mmmslash.

Life of a Gay Gamer

Hello, Giantbomb. My name is Mmmslash, and I am a gay gamer.
Being a gamer is pretty tough. Being a gay male is pretty tough. Being 19 years old is pretty tough. Being a 19 year old, gay male gamer is mindblowingly tough.
It's tough because we're so much like everyone around us, while being so disconcertingly different. My gamer friends will all have girlfriends, my gay friends will all be at the theatre, or at the local coffee shop, discussing the latest indie album they adore.
It's tough because I've always known who I am, without knowing why. While you were playing Super Mario Bros. 3, I was playing the same game. I wasn't fantasizing about Mario Mustache Rides, I was stomping koopas, and fucking up goombas with their shells. I was playing Goldeneye and using the same kind of cardboard to stop screen-lookers that you guys did. But I'm different, inherently, and even worse, secretly.
For someone like me, life is a lonely place. It's extraordinarily difficult to find someone like myself, sometimes seemingly impossible. My fellow male gamers are almost exclusively heterosexual or, at best, driven to bi-curiosity through social ineptitude and loneliness. These are not men that people like I should date. They're self-loathing and perpetually unhappy, and incapable of giving a halfway decent blowjob. Most gay males I meet won't even know what this whole video game hooplah is all about, and if they do, you can bet your bottom dollar that it won't be half as important to them, as it is to me.
I don't mean to sound like a whiny twit, I just mean to say that there are inherent differences in our lives, even though we're all bonded by the same passion (That is to say video games, not man-on-man fondling).
Games have come a long way towards including the gay community. Bioware has let me bone male elves (Although not Alistair, which was soul-crushingly disappointing), Rockstar has prominently featured a gay male character (Both as a supporting character in the main story, as well as a more prominent figure in BoGT), and The Escapist (Most known for being the home of Zero Punctuation's Yahtzee) even dedicated their website to users like me, with the help of gaygamer.com, for a period of time. In terms of acceptance, the gaming industry is paralleled by few mediums.
The real issue is the users.
I'm not some easily offended, limp-wristed whiny bitch. I like to chainsaw Locusts in half just as much as the next guy. A dirt joke will put me into side-stitching laughter, and I enjoy a cold beer on a warm day like any man would. But the majority of gamers are pretty intolerable, a majority of the time. Just because that guy was crouched behind a crate with a P90 does not make him a 'faggot', and even when someone is crab-walking in Gears of War, they're STILL not a 'faggot'. Don't get me wrong, it's not so much that they're using the word, that bothers me, but that they're using it as an insult. It's the same as when someone regards something they find stupid or unfair, or something they dislike in general, as 'Gay'. No. No, care-package glitching is NOT 'gay'. I'm gay, and I am not a cheating fucker.
I'm not trying to say my fellow gamers are bigots, or anything of that nature. What I'm trying to say is that a lot of them are inconsiderate, and don't take others into account. It isn't alright to call someone stingy a 'Jew', and it's not okay for them to call something they dislike 'gay'.
I just want to defuse the MCOM, guys, same as you. But I want to do it as myself, not as Generic Straight Teen 197. I promise, if you can just be a little more considerate of what you say, and how you treat people, my revives will be just as effective as the next guy's.