Tag Archive: g

G – Gyms

GA high level of nostalgia means that this year my chosen theme for the 2016 A to Z challenge is Pokemon. Whether you yourself have a similar level of sentimentality or you’ve never really gotten into it, I hope that you enjoy this month of posts as I indulge my nostalgia.

“Hiya! I can tell you have what it takes to become a POKéMON champ! I’m no trainer, but I can tell you how to win! Let me take you to the top!”

Famous words of the Gym Guy (seriously, that was his name for four generations)(now we know him as Clyde) who stands a the front of each Gym and gives you a small pep talk on how to defeat the trainers inside, all the way up to the Gym Leader.

In the Pokemon world Gyms are kind of like the real world, in that they are places where you go to train. Unlike in the real world, it’s your Pokemon that are training, and you battle your way through junior trainers, gaining experience, and navigating interesting (or sometimes frustrating) floor puzzles to get to the Gym Leader.

Nimbasa_Gym_BWEach Gym will have a theme, and that theme is usually one of the Pokemon types. In the original games it was Rock, Water, Electric, Grass, Poison, Psychic, Fire, and Ground. In the latest games, X & Y, it’s Bug, Rock, Fighting, Grass, Electric, Fairy, Psychic, Ice. So as well as being the appropriate level for the Gym, players will often choose Pokemon so that they can type advantage against the trainers inside, since they will almost always have Pokemon relating to the Gym type.

The junior trainers are a way of getting in some good experience and money before the Leader. They usually have Pokemon along the same theme as the Leader, are usually huge fans of the Leaders (Leaders are kind of famous and have an amount of celebrity status in the Pokemon world) but tend to only have two or three Pokemon, so they are very nice speed bumps along the way. Quite often they are palced at strategic points in the Gyms so that you have to go past them and battle them, they are unavoidable,  You can also think of them as some kind of gauntlet to run.

The gyms themselves usually buy into the theme of the Leader as well, and will often include floor navigation puzzles, where you have to work out a route through warp tiles, how to slid across the ice, or even this example from Nimbasa Gym from Black/White, which is the electric gym, where you have to take various roller coasters to navigate across the gym. (Spoilers, the picture tells you the route)


And after all that, you then have to fight the Gym Leader themselves. These are the people that run the Gym and really test you to see if you’ve got what it takes to be a Pokemon master and go for the Elite Four (more on them later in the month). They’ll be higher level than the junior trainers, and they tend to be intelligent, using items in battle, switching Pokemon and all 2986629-kanto+league+badgesthe tactics that you would be using to test (or annoy) you. Basically you need to have appropriately levelled Pokemon, your own bunch of items, and if you can type advantage it, all the better. Once you defeat the Gym Leader they will give you their Gym Badge, and in each game you need all eight of the badges to go and take on the Elite Four. They also tend to give you a TM of a move that they liked to use in the battle you just had, so you can teach it to your own Pokemon.

As well as being a step forward on the road to being a Pokemon master, the badges also have side benefits. Outside Pokemon (Pokemon that are not originally from your Save file, so mainly traded Pokemon) will only obey you if you have the appropriate badge for their level (so the first badge gets you up to level 20 Pokemon, and the last badge earns you all levels). They dictate which HM moves a trainer can use outside of battle, what items the Pokemart will stock (this one is in later generations) and in the first couple of generations the badges applied a slight stat boost to the appropriate type Pokemon moves, despite never being mentioned as a thing that happened in the game. That was only up until generation 3 though, so it doesn’t happen in the latest games.

So yeah, Gyms are a pretty important part of the Pokemon world, and there’s a new eight every time we get a new League. I can’t wait to see what they are in Sun/Moon.


GardevoirPokemon of the Day

G is for Gardevoir

Gardevoir is a Fairy/Psychic Pokemon, although prior to generation 6 and the introduction of Fairy type, it was a pure psychic type. It is a bipedal Pokemon, yes it does have legs under that gown, and closely resembles a humanoid figure wearing a white gown, with green hair. It has tremendous psychic powers, and because of this, does not feel the pull of gravity, often floating along instead. It is the final form of Ralts, along with Gallade, as it is a split evolution tree, and it can Mega evolve as well.

Gardevoire is an absolute favourite of mine and has pretty much always had a place in my team since it came in in generation 3. As you might be sensing, I quite like elegant, graceful Pokemon, regardless of what form that actually might take. I mean, it’s not an iron clad rule, but in general terms. I also really like psychic Pokemon, and Gardevoir has a mega evolution, and I pretty much just love them, so as soon as I can get my hands on a Ralts I evolve it up and it’s taken pride of place in my team for at least the last two games.


G – Genres

Toothless Letter GYesterday we looked at Fantasy as a whole. Today I am going to talk about genres of fantasy.

Wait! I hear you cry. Isn’t fantasy a genre?

Why yes, yes it is, but there are a whole bunch of sub genres of fantasy, and that is what I am going to talk about today.

Because there are quite a lot of them, each one is getting a quick run down.

Alternate History A retelling of historic events where magic or other fantasy elements are involved. Often starts from a point in history that is familiar and established and then diverts events away from historical events.

Comic Fantasy Take fantasy, add humour, and this is what you get. This can either be a work in it’s own right, or a humorous/sarcastic re-telling of a classic fantasy tale.

subgenresContemporary Fantasy Also know as modern day fantasy, these stories are set in the real world, in the current time or recent history. Usually it is revealed that magic and magical creature secretly exist either in this world or leaking over from alternative world. Look at the Harry Potter or Neverwhere books for excellent examples of this.

Dark Fantasy Fantasy but with elements of horror. Or more likely, a horror story with elements of fantasy, such as setting or monsters you would expect from a fantasy book. Gothic elements feature heavily in these types of books.

Erotic Fantasy Similar to the previous, this is a blending of two genres where an erotice novel takes place in a fantasy setting. It can also be a conventional fantasy novel, but possesses far more graphic content and detail of that area than other books.

Fairytale Fantasy Fairytales come as their own sub genre due to the motifs that are borrowed from folklore. This can mean using a motif in an original plot, retellings of classical fairy tales, or fleshed out tales with characterisation, setting and plot from the original tale fleshed out to make a novel. Morals are often found, as are what we would consider cliches, because this is where they originated from.

Heroic Fantasy These stories focus on a hero or heroine and their conquests, exploits and adventures. There’s often a good versus evil conflict running strong through the middle of these books, as well as a large supporting cast and a huge imaginary land that they run rampant battle through.

High Fantasy High or Epic fantasy refers to a story that depicts an epic struggle between good and evil in a fantasy world (either independent or parallel) with a long and vivid histories, again with large casts of people. This is quite often what people immediately think of when the word fantasy is spoken, with Lord of the Rings the classic and dominating example.

Historical Fantasy Very similar to the Alternate History sub genre, these stories are set in a specific historical period but have elements of fantasy added to the world (magic, mythical creatures or characters). The difference between the two is in Historical Fantasy, the magic often retreats and the timeline is unaltered. If the timeline changes, then it is classed as Alternate History.

Juvenile Fantasy The works that are written for younger audiences, although considering a fair proportion of fantasy work ends up in the Young Adult section of bookstores, this can often be paired with other sub genres as well. Quite often a lot of coming of age stories are written in this sub genre, as the audience can better relate to the character and plot.

genresLow Fantasy Refers to stories that don’t emphasise the magic or supernatural elements of the story, although they are present. It could focus more on character or plot rather than setting, but magic takes a back seat. This is the opposite to the sweeping vistas and heroism of High Fantasy, and is often set in a more realistic setting, either historical or modern.

Magical Realism Presents fantastical and mundane elements side-by-side, magic is part of the system of the world. It has consequences and rules to it’s use, and indeed the rules form the main part of this sub genre, and the consequences often power the plot.

Mythic Fiction Refers to tales that are rooted in fables or mythology. Related to Fairytale Fantasy, these stories will draws from the tropes, themes and symbolism or myths and folklore. This can be pantheon based characterisations, or famous journey retellings in fantasy settings.

Paranormal Fantasy Include elements of the occult, ghosts, vampires, werewolves, and other such creatures from modern folklore. Often takes place in an urban setting, so can be coupled with Urban Fantasy.

Romantic Fantasy Kind of obvious, this type of fantasy deals heavily with romance and love plots. Whilst the setting may be fantasy, as can the characters, the plot is going to be heavily influenced by the main relationship between protagonists.

Steampunk Fantasy Incorporating fantasy and steam powered technology, these books tend to be influenced by the industrial period of the victorian era, incorporating the values and ethics of the time, but including fantastical inventions and forward thinking characters.

Sword and Sorcery The bread and butter of the fantasy genre, these novels include sword play, magic, and medieval brand adventure. You never have to look far to find elements of this sub genre in most fantasy novels, although by no means all.

Urban Fantasy The important feature of this sub genre is place: an urban setting. Mostly set in contemporary times, or slightly futuristic, the fantasy elements are present in a sprawling urban city.

And there you have it, my list of sub genres of fantasy. Of course this list isn’t exhaustive, I am sure that there are some that I have missed. Feel free to point them out. How are other people’s A to Z challenges going?

G – Dragon Games

Yes, this is where Dungeons and Dragons is going to come into it, as part of the games sections! I’ll showcase some of the dragon themed games, or games that include dragons in this post, hopefully it will be shorter than my other posts since this is more of a go out and try these yourself adventure.

DD-HandbookDungeons and Dragons: One of the more famous example of gamer and geek culture. Players (usually 6) and their Dungeon Master (DM) sit around a table with character sheets in front of them and undertake challenges in a fantasy world and roll dice to see if their character can accomplish these things. Pretty simple. Well, I think it is, but then I’m glossing over pretty much everything. In this world, you have a group of adventurers who go around killing big bad monsters and saving the day, and as the title suggests, some of these monsters are dragons. Not all, and very occasionally the dragons are nice to the adventuring party, or at least don’t kill them on sight, but sometimes they do just attack and gather treasure. There are of course other monsters, since only killing dragons gets very boring (and makes me upset) but dragon are some of the big bads in these worlds. It is of course, up to the DM, since he creates to monsters that the player have to fight. But Dragons are popular enough in this game to merit their own book. Two in fact, one for Chromatic Dragons, and one for Metallic Dragons. Unsurprisingly, I own both.



Dragons in Video Games: Dragons of course appear in quite a few videos games. Good examples include: Dragon Age (there is a dragon on the cover of both games, a lovely one in red); Skyrim, the most recent Elder Scrolls Games, as well as older Elder Scrolls games; Spyro, that lovely little purple dragon who I remember very fondly in bad graphic; World of Warcraft (yes, the MMO) contains a whole council of dragons, most of whom are on the side of good, but the black dragon have a bad reputation, and deservedly so; I have been reliably informed that Monster Hunter contains some really badass and hard to beat dragon as well, referred to as the Fatalis; And Bahamut in the Final Fantasy series has made several appearances throughout the game, usually in order to prove you have the right to summon him, by defeating him.

There are of course, lots of other game which include dragons, both as a main character, a companion, or as monsters, but there’s a selection of the most famous ones, if you have not played any of them (I myself have only played some, but I like it when the dragons are the good guys and I don’t have to kill them).



289754Dragons in Card and Board Games: I’ve already mentioned one dragon board game, which takes in place in the dragonology series and I find incredibly fun. Dungeons and Dragons also has a couple of board games out, of which dragons do feature (not exclusively though, I think Liches are a more frequent big bad boss at the end, but I don’t own all of them.) Talisman, a fairly popular board game which has more than one edition, has a dragon expansion. Dragonquest is a game that originally came out in the 1980’s, but has gotten a redesign by Fantasy Flight Games with a more modern look and feel, but the same original gameplay (I might have to look into buying this one, I did not know it had been remade). As for card games, there’s Seven Dragons, which plays like dominos in which you have to match the dragon’s colours to gain dominion over territories. Three-Dragon Ante is again a Dungeons and Dragon product, but plays really well and is very enjoyable to while away a couple of hours. Magic the Gathering also has its shares of dragons as monsters and planeswalkers (I did indeed build a dragon deck, and regret nothing). But of course, there are many more games out there, including one I kickstartered, which I await eagerly.

C'est La Vee

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