Author Archives: Endalia

Supporting Others In Tough Times

Small businesses and freelancers are hit hard by the lockdowns around the globe. Artists who rely on events to sell their merchandise for example. Or authors who have their events cancelled which are usually a major boost for sales. But webshops with non-essential items or products who’s production has been halted might go bust.

I see more and more campaigns to support local businesses which is always good. Keep being there if possible. If your favourite shop doesn’t have what you need, consider buying a gift card so you can buy it later. This way the store will have money to pay the overhead until this ends.

Support the efforts who lost their jobs and try to breakout in the creative industry right now. Buy from Etsy stores (don’t click the ads because then they’ll earn even less money), buy digital products, donate to patreons or ko-fis.

I’m not saying you have to give the last of your money to someone else. But if you have a little spare and want to buy something, think twice and spend it wisely. There are many people who could really use your business.

If you don’t have money spare, you can still boost their products on your blog or social media. I’ve made a list with artists and one for authors to help others discover their work. I honestly hope it helps, even if it’s just a little.

Support your favourite artist
Support your favourite author
19 Asian sff books to be released in 2020

Share your favourite small business, artist, author, freelancer in the comments below! Self promotion is allowed :)

Carole & Tuesday

I’ll just keep going with the Netflix recommendations since I really wanted to do a series just for those. So here’s my second recommendation which is perfect for the situation we’re in: Carole & Tuesday.

It’s only two seasons long and I doubt there will be a third season, although I’d welcome it. The end of the second series feels like the perfect conclusion though. It’s a nice binge for a weekend of laziness.

Part-timer Carole meets rich girl Tuesday, and each realizes they’ve found the musical partner they need. Together, they just might make it.

The two girls meet on Mars which is recently colonized. Tuesday’s mother is running for president and her politics are familiar looking at the current state of the world. Carole is an orphan who fled Earth. She has her own set of problems, and the two couldn’t be more different. The one thing they have in common is their passion for music.

The world-building is amazing. They never explicitly say something about how it’s different from Earth (it’s their daily life so they wouldn’t, right?), but you’ll see things they take for granted that we can only imagine (for now). It’s an interesting take on the future, not just our society, but the possible colonization of Mars.

I love how these two unknown girls try to make it with their pure music in a world that’s so reliant on AI and technology. The anime is filled with great music (see the playlist below) but the songs hold more meaning if you know the story. Especially the epic conclusion ‘Mother’.

It’s absolutely a feel-good anime with some drama aspects to deepen the story, but the most important element of the show is the friendship of the two girls. No matter what they’re going through, they’ll always have each other, an army of two.

Hades: A Rogue-like I Actually Enjoy

Hades is the newest game by Supergiant Games, known for their previous games, Bastion and Transistor. I loved Bastion, but I’ve never played Transistor despite owning a copy, somewhere, probably.

Hades reminds me a lot of Bastion, at least in the combat mechanics. The game itself is a rogue-like game where your character tries to escape the Underworld and his father, Hades. Dying is part of the game and you’ll die plenty of times.

But where I’d give up with other games, Hades keeps me going. Each run gives (nearly) enough currency to upgrade at least something after you die. You have a choice of different weapons and I’d suggest unlocking them early and try each weapon for their play styles. One might fit yours more than the others.

Bring offerings for the Gods. Becoming friends with the gods will help you out in the long run as they’ll be more forgiving and rewarding. But anger them, and you’ll feel their wrath. Usually by a ton of enemies spawning on your head.

The combat in this game is very dynamic. Dodging is a must and you must time it well if you want to stay alive. Learn to block and take advantage of your environment since it also works on your enemies. Expect a lot of kiting, running, dodging, timing your attacks and skills well.

Each room has a few waves of enemies or a couple of (mini) bosses. Some don’t have enemies, but have a merchant, offer healing, or a buff. Make smart choices but be prepared for the boss room. If you skipped the hard rooms and missed out on skills, you will lose that battle.

I don’t really have much to say about the art style and music, right? It’s perfect and both fit the theme of the game so well. The dark contrasts with edgy portraits. The epic music as you beat up your hundredth demon. It’s immersive and interesting. The writing is great, again, and I wish I could read back some of the dialogue. The sass of some characters is just perfect.

The game is still in early access, but it already feels like a full game. Granted, I’ve probably not played enough to notice anything missing. But it’s definitely one I’ll keep coming back to with all the updates and the full release later.

The King’s Avatar

I’ve been wanting to write about this series ever since I finished it last year. The King’s Avatar is a Chinese web series that was added Netflix last year. Since I’m watching a lot of Asian shows, Netflix recommended it to me and the premise was interesting.

When an elite gamer is forced out of his professional team, he becomes a manager of an internet cafe and reinvents himself to return to online glory.

With the current lack of sports, watching a fictional show about esports might fill a small part of that hole. You’ll see in-game footage of the battles and practices, and I’ve to say, I’m seriously impressed with the CGI. Even if none of it is real, it still looks like a game that could’ve been released last year.

This is the avatar from the main character Ye Qui

It’s a typical Chinese show aimed at a younger audience with its silly characters, humor, and character archetypes. If you’ve watched any anime, you’ll probably recognize them.

What I liked the most about this series is the character of Ye Qui, our lead. He’s incredibly good at the game, but you’ll never hear him say that. And he still struggles with his own demons.

It’s not the usual prodigy trope where the lead figures out their hidden abilities and take on the world. He already is good after paying his dues so there is no need to focus on him and his abilities. He has other goals and through those, helps others discover their talents.

The pacing of the show is pretty good too. They include a lot of in-game footage to mimic the training sessions and battles. None of this is played in real-time though. With the way it’s set up, the movement of the characters’ faces and the perfectly choreographed attacks, it’s just not possible. There are also a few mistakes that if it was real-time wouldn’t happen. And that’s okay. After all, it’s still a fiction series and a story needs to be told. Then again. Choreographing these in-game scenes is a feat on its own and they’ve done it well.

I think it’s an interesting show to check out if you’re a gamer and interested in esports. There’s a lot of drama, but you’ll be entertained until the last minute. The show is 40 episodes long, almost an hour each, so it’s perfect for binging. Bonus points for finding references to other games.

Keeping Yourself Entertained

The anxiety of what’s going on outside weighs on you more than you’d think. Writers stop writing, readers stop reading, but do gamers ever stop gaming? I don’t know.

While I was challenged with my own difficulties, and couldn’t read or write, I couldn’t imagine what it would be like for someone truly ill. When your head feels foggy and you don’t want to or can’t do what you normally do, it’s time to do something different.

My first advice would be to spend more time on self-care. I already wrote about writing as relief and keeping a gratitude journal to keep that silver lining in sight. But self-care can be so much more than that. Start working out, pick up a new hobby, learn how to cook a healthy meal. I like taking long, hot baths to relax my muscles and ease my aches. Afterward, I feel better, physically and mentally.

Self-care often isn’t productive or doesn’t feel productive, but as long as you feel better, it’s still worth investing that time. See what works for you, what makes you feel better. Knowing how to relax is a valuable skill.

Sometimes engaging in the arts can be another form of relief. Drawing (either with pen or digitally), DIY, crafts, gardening, or other ventures that challenge the hands and not the mind. Expressing inner turmoil with paint or pencil can be cathartic.

Doing something new might give you renewed energy or drain it even more. You’ll quickly find out if it’s for you or not. Don’t feel bad about giving up on your new hobby if you’re not feeling it. Maybe now is not the right time, maybe that’s never. But at least you know now and you can move on to something different. Don’t be afraid to try something new and think outside of the box!

Guild Wars 2: The Return of SAB

Years ago, Super Adventure Box (SAB) started as the April Fool’s joke. The 8-bit inspired 3D platformer world is a game within a game. The move mechanics are still the same, but the attacks, skills, and items are all different. Even the story is completely unrelated to the usual Tyrian drama. It was supposed to be a one time thing (which didn’t make sense because they only had three levels while the end boss was still far away. The festival has become so popular people are requesting its return. It has been a while since the festival was there, and now it’s back!

And I hate it.

I don’t care about SAB at all. The art style is cute for sure, and I definitely tried to beat a few levels when it first came out. But I suck at it. I suck at it so much it’s more frustrating than the Halloween jumping puzzle. I know that I won’t get past the second level of the first world. I’m not even going to try. It’s not worth the aggravation I’ll experience.

Still, I’m glad it has returned for the people who’ll enjoy it. It’s nice to see they’re adding new achievements and rewards for the fans. Maybe I’ll buy another skin someday. So far I have the blue 8-bit scepter and staff. I wanted them for my mesmer and I still like them very much. The minis are cute too. Especially the breakdancing, sunglasses-wearing spider.

There’s more than enough I still have to do, like finishing the last saga episodes and unlocking more masteries. I just unlocked enough mastery points for the next level of the raven mastery line, so I just have to get enough experience. Maybe I’ll get some nice drops and finally get enough gold to buy a griffon. I still have to unlock that one and the skyscale.

Working Out

One thing that has been on my goal list, is working on my health. No, not as a resolution, but really doing it. My goal is to be able to do 10 km on the elliptical. Not that I have to do it every time, but like a challenge. When I set the goal, I knew it would be a longterm goal.

My last session has 3,4 km in 30 minutes, which is pretty good for me. My health has never been great and for some reason I never managed to get fitter when I was still doing badminton twice a week. I even fainted once just after the warmup. I figured out a few months ago that I’ve POTS symptoms. My blood doesn’t transport the oxygen fast enough to the parts that need it. That causes me to faint in certain circumstances, and one of the things that’s really hard for POTS-patients, is exercise.

And that’s even without my EDS. Loose joints are terrible if you want to do any kind of exercise. Heck, it’s even dangerous. I could throw my hip out doing squats. So doing any kind of exercise is a challenge. I have to asses my body first before I can do anything. I really want to do more Just Dance, but my legs are so unstable, and my shoulder muscle is still pretty stiff that I didn’t want to risk it. There’s a body weight workout that’s perfect, but there’s still my neck and headache to consider. More stiff muscles wouldn’t be good.

So I did a round on the elliptical today. And it was a good one. By lowering the resistance and slowly working my muscles, I was able to reach the 30 minutes. I made sure not to push my limits or I would’ve seen stars and near fainted. Doing it like this might help me to one day get the stamina to do 10 km. I’ll get there, slowly.

Being A Terrible Person

Last night, I played a game of Cards Against Humanity with Delly, our partners, and her friends. She found a free online tool to play the game, and what’s better to do now than being horrible human beings together?

During this time of isolation, I noticed that I started liking people in general even less than I normally do. People in my neighbourhood were hanging out with friends and family, having BBQs, and even having a birthday party outside!

Yes, I was pissed. I hate people, not even caring about other people’s well being, obstructing the street and sidewalks with their party, mingling people who otherwise would never see each other. That’s how people get infected. When I heard the police was being very generous with handing out fines, I was happy. But people still continued despite the fines.

Stay home! For your sake, for my sake, for your elderly neighbour’s sake.

So playing Cards Against Humanity and just saying a general ‘fuck you’ to humans was nice. I’m a terrible person when I play. I won one round, Delly the other, but we were tied and I had to pick the winning answer: hers. Well, we know we’re both terrible and maybe that’s why we like each other.

Cards Against Humanity

Cards Against Humanity is a card gamewhere you have to fill in the blanks. The czar will read out a black card with blanks, all the other players have to fill these in with answers on their cards. Some black cards require one answer, others multiple. The answers range from silly to explicit and it’s how you match these with the black where the real fun starts.

Note: This game is definitely not for people who don’t have (dark) humour. The game is inviting you to be the most terrible person you can be. The worse the better. So if you’re easily offended, don’t play this game, because you will hate all the other players.

My strategy

The white answer cards are definitely part luck. Some cards are what I call wild cards, like “Batman!”. They’ll work in most situations. Other cards are oddly specific and are only funny in a certain context.

But it’s not just about picking the funniest answer. You have to pick the one the czar will think is funniest. The Batman-card would work for my husband’s sister, but not my brother-in-law’s wife. She’s not a nerd and can’t appreciate it (honestly, it’s good she didn’t play with us at all). But political jokes work very well on my father-in-law. And my brothers-in-law and my husband will take anything poo-pee-R-rated joke. The darker, the better.

This worked well yesterday too. I quickly figured out that anything sorcery/wizard/paranormal related would work on Delly. One of her friends wouldn’t pick the sex-related cards. My husband is still my husband, and we really know each other well enough. Figuring out what everyone likes or doesn’t like helps with winning the game. And then it’s just a matter of luck in getting the right cards.

Headache Of The Decade

Like always, I have my health issues to keep me company when I feel the most relaxed. When I’m in bed, for example. Yesterday morning, I felt a vertebrae in my neck shift. It might have been the thing that caused the major headache almost a month ago. That would mean it’s now either right or very wrong. I’d like to think it’s right since I can still watch Community and look at the screen, but I can’t do too much. My head won’t let me.

Just after it happened, I felt the blood rush to my head, slowly getting back to the places it couldn’t reach easily before. It’s a weird sensation, feeling your blood flow. It’s an even weirder sensation to hear your neck crack, feel something shifting, and not dying? I don’t know. I’ve experienced so many weird bodily things over the year, so why not add one more.

I really hope my headache will finally improve now, and I’ve to work on the stability of my neck so it doesn’t happen again. I’m used to headaches, but this one was different from my regular headaches. Not being able to do words is terrible, especially for a writer and blogger. With yesterday’s nudge, I’m back in active recovery mode (besides the mauling from Shiro earlier that week). So I don’t know how my writing will go and I still have to finish editing a short story before Friday.

Despite having drafts lined up for this week, I have no idea if/when they’ll be written. Maybe I’m going with something entirely different. I don’t know yet. Maybe tonight’s sleep will give me more enlightenment.

New Switch Games

Every so often Nintendo will release a ‘direct’, showing off the new games and sharing information about games released at a later date. The Switch is slowly becoming my favourite console/handheld. Especially when I see the line up of new games.

My console/handheld history

My Nintendo experience started with Nintendo Entertainment System, the NES. Yes, we go waaaay back. Then I bought a secondhand Gameboy. The games were tough and I couldn’t finish them without cheating. With the first Playstation, that ended. There were a few games I finished, but I still spend a long time trying to master the games.

Then came the PS2 and PS3. Still much the same. I bought a lot of games but didn’t finish many. I’m just not that good of a gamer, and some games can’t really be finished.

I also owned a Wii with various exercise games like Wii Fit and Just Dance. Exercise has always been a problem for me and this console definitely help me move more. But more on that later.

The DSi Lite was my handheld of choice, the one I took with me on vacations, usually with one game I’d play the whole vacation. I probably finished more games on the DS than any other console. I really loved the games on it, but also the device itself. The feedback on the buttons of the 3DS is too much and my thumb especially starts hurting after only playing 15 minutes.

I love my Switch

And then came the Switch. We bought the Switch a few years ago with Bayonetta 2 and Mario Odyssey. I finished Bayonetta and really wanted to play 2. My husband loves Mario games so that one was for him. I didn’t play on it much before until I had Stardew Valley and played a few days every evening.

I’ll be honest. The Switch replaced the 3DS and the DS more than it replaced any of the consoles. I use it in handheld mode mostly since Stardew Valley and Pokemon Sword are excellent for handheld play.

The Switch lite would’ve been excellent, but it would’ve been nearly impossible to play Just Dance on it, so I’m glad we have the docked version. My husband also prefers to play on the TV. So it’s nice to have options.

New games

When they announced the port of the Collection of Mana, a game series I loved when I was little, I knew I wanted to play it again. My husband gave it to me. The game I was most interested in was Trails of Mana, the one they’re also making a remake of. I don’t know yet if I want to play that one. The quality of the remake is much better than I expected, but I still enjoy playing the original. So would it add value if you just play it for the story? I don’t know.

Last November Pokemon Sword came out. We were in Japan at the time so I didn’t preorder it, but it was one of the first things I did when we got back. I was waiting for a good Pokemon again. I played Pokemon Sun/Moon for awhile (until my hands started hurting seriously) but I didn’t seem to enjoy it as much. I don’t really know why because the game is gorgeous, the Pokemon cute and I love the idea of the challenges instead of ordinary gyms.

Pokemon Sword was everything I wanted and more. It didn’t bother me that I couldn’t catch all 800+ Pokemon. To be honest, the idea alone is overwhelming. This is the first time in a long while that I beat the champion in years. I’m currently trying to complete as much of the pokedex as possible.

Early last month, I bought Octopath Traveler with a 50% discount. I already played the demo before and knew I’d one day play the whole game. I guess that’s now. It seemed like the perfect game to enjoy during self-isolation. That said, I’ve only just recruited my second character and still haven’t killed the boss. It’s been awhile since I played a JRPG and have to get used again to grinding and learning the mechanics of bosses. No kill comes easy. I’ll get there though.

And with more discounts come more games. I really like that the Nintendo eShop has regular sales now and triple A games also get discounted. I remember when things were different. So I picked up Just Dance 2019 for 15 bucks, including one month of Just Dance Unlimited. I played the first two or three games on the Wii and enjoyed it a lot. Dancing is one of the few things I’d still do even if my body wouldn’t work with me. Plus, no one is going to see my dance except my husband and Shiro.

So with all these games and even more awesome games to come, I think the Switch is going to be my new favourite handheld and console. Two in one, how convenient.

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Guild Wars 2 Fiction

Miira Lightbringer:
Fried Moa Steak
Quiet Before the Storm

Young Miira:
Tail Tugging Part 1
A Promise Made Part 2
Night Falls Part 3
Grawling Preparations Part 4
Badazar Incarnated Part 5
Graduation Part 6 - Final

Savyrius Belain:
We Meet Again...

Naella Ysangwan:
Dogs and Ogres

Play with me!

Do you want to game with me?
You can add me on Steam, Origin, Raptr, X-Fire or League of Legends. All use the same nickname: Endalia.

Or, if you want to give me some extra love and want to play League of Legends and you don't have an account, you can sign up here and give me some love <3
Diablo 3 Battle Tag: Endalia#1709
Guild Wars 2 Identifier: Endalia.8109