Supanova Gold Coast Cosplay 2017

Supanova Gold Coast 2017 took place last weekend, featuring guests from film and comic worlds, skilled writers and artists, and cosplayers.

Characters from all across different media gathered together, and this post is a list of the standout characters that I was excited to see cosplayed.

For example, haven written about Naoto Shirogane from Persona 4, it was a fun surprise to actually see a Naoto cosplayer. And more on that point, having started to play Persona 5, a Futaba Sakura cosplayer appeared on Saturday. Another shock, and a great surprise.

All photos from the weekend are available on The Wallflyer Facebook page.

How to Catch Celesteela in Pokemon Moon

Celesteela is only available in Pokemon Moon version. If you have Pokemon Sun, you must trade for this Ultra Beast

This post plainly describes one method of catching the Ultra Beast known as Celesteela in Pokemon Moon Version.

What you need to catch Celesteela: Beast Balls from Aether Paradise, and healing items like Hyper Potions.

The main item you will need is a Beast Ball.

To obtain Beast Balls, you will need to follow a the sequence of events that form the Ultra Beast side quest. Note that you will also need to progress this sidequest, and capture the initial Ultra Beasts to reach a point where Celesteela will become available:

  1. Complete the main story, including a battle against the Elite Four and Champion.
  2. Go to the north coast of Akala Island, and enter the hotel on Route 8, which will trigger the Ultra Beast Sidequest.
  3. Fly or ride the Ferry (the ferry is a far slower travel method around Alola) to the Aether Paradise. Beast Balls are given as a gift in the basement laboratories.

While you can catch Ultra Beasts in ordinary manufactured PokeBalls, the Beast Ball has a far higher catch rate, which will make capturing all the strange and enigmatic Ultra Beasts easier, especially if you are aiming to catch one with a specific nature.

Healing items for your Pokemon team are also essential. I recommend Full Restores. Hyper Potions will do if you are low on PokeDollars. A way to raise some money for items is to send your Pokemon into the caves in the PokePelago to find rare treasure. You can also battle the elite four repeatedly.

With items accounted for, you will need to prepare your team.

Pokemon that will help you catch Celesteela: A Pokemon with high attack power and False Swipe, and a Pokemon that knows a status changing move like Sleep Powder or Thunder Wave.

Bringing Pokemon who can content with a steel type is essential. Steel type are all about physical defensive. A Pokemon with false swipe and a high attack power speeds everything along – Scyther or Scizor are good choices. Using False Swipe will always leave a Pokemon with 1 HP remaining.

A Pokemon who can inflict status conditions helps stop Celesteela from demolishing your team. Sleep and paralysis strategies will both help you. Alolan Raichu using Thunderwave, or a grass type using sleep powder or spore traps Celesteela, reducing its chances to attack.

As an added strategy, I added a Pokemon with focus energy and baton pass to my team. A ghost and flying type Pokemon first introduced in Pokemon Diamond and Pearl called Drifblim for example. One of these Pokemon arrived on my PokePellago’s Isle Abeens. Drifblim used focus energy and baton pass to send the boost to Scyther, which helped to add an extra attack bonus when using False Swipe.

A note on Pokemon natures and Synchronise

You can use a Pokemon with the ability Synchronise to influence the nature of wild Pokemon. An Abra with a modest nature and Synchronise will increase the chance of finding wild Pokemon with a modest nature by 50 per cent. Be aware that if your Pokemon with synchronise is at a low level, escaping from wild battles might be harder. If your Pokemon with synchronise is fainted, however, it’s ability will still work. You can also equip the Pokemon with a Smoke Ball item to ensure an escape from battle if you don’t want to leave a Pokemon fainted.

Where to find Celesteela: Malie Gardens, or Haina Desert on Ula’Ula Island.

The Ultra Beast lurks around Ula’Ula island – The largest of the four Alolan Islands. It can be found either in the Haina Desert, or in Malie Garden. Two Celesteela are available to capture.

I decided to search for Celesteela in Malie Gardens, since they were close to the Malie City Pokemon Centre, just in case anything went wrong.

Celesteela can be found in any patch of grass in the gardens, and appears on level 65.

My team had Scyther (lv67) and Drifblim (lv56) in the battle. My Abra with Synchronise was a far lower level, and I switched out Abra quickly. I used a Victreebel I had transferred from Pokemon Red version to put Celesteela to sleep with Sleep Powder.

After about five to seven turns, Scyther weakened Celesteela, lowering its HP. I then caught the Ultra Beast in a beast ball.

You can find more games related content here, and you can follow me, Joe, on twitter @thewallflyer.

A review of A New World: Music from Final Fantasy – seven leading pieces from the Brisbane performance.

The New World Players perform music arranged from the 30 year history of Final Fantasy. These eleven musicians, and one conductor in Arnie Roth, toured through Australia before their international tour continues overseas. This post is a short review of the Brisbane performance, and a list of some of the Final Fantasy pieces the ensemble performed.

Their sound allowed the audience a chance to hear the music of Final Fantasy in a new way, which I guess is where the title “New Worlds” stems from.

Alternatively, several of these pieces were new, and performed for the first time in Australia, or performed for the first time worldwide.

Some of the leading pieces, those I thought defined the event, that the ensemble performed that night were:

1. Two Final Fantasy traditions – The Victory Fanfare and the Chocobo Medley

An exacting string section, precise percussion, and energetic brass and woodwind performers worked together flawlessly alongside a solo guitarist (and ukulele expert!) to strike up a brilliant version of these well know themes. The victory fanfare marks the end of each battle in the Final Fantasy games. Hearing it live gives an insight into the technical work behind even the simple or smaller musical scores. Chocobo’s, for example, are brought to life with a simple but playful melody, which the Ukulele expert played with chill precision, and a bit of swagger.

2. The Gold Saucer piano arrangement

Benyamin Nuss’ solo piano performance invigorated and expounded the sounds and themes of Final Fantasy. In particular, Nuss premiered a piano arrangement of the Gold Saucer theme from Final Fantasy Seven, and it was a fun surprise. Nuss other performance from Final Fantasy Seven stunned the audience.

3.The Those Who Fight piano arrangement

This and high energy battle theme performed close to the end of the second act turned the piano keys from fiery to incandescent. Nuss’ high-speed performance earned lengthy applause from the audience.

5. Temple of Chaos theme

Audience members can find a closer glimpse into the technical construction of each piece. Delving into history, an arrangement of the Chaos Shrine from the first Final Fantasy game displayed the technical brilliance of the New World Players, and the attention to detail that series composer Nobuo Uematsu, and Tsuyoshi Sekito.

6. Ivalice Landscapes

An arrangement of separate pieces from Final Fantasy Twelve marked the end of the first act. It wove a journey through the vast and complex world of Ivalice, from the Estersands, through the Salika wood, to the booming waves of the Phon Coast, into the gloom of the Feywood, and away through the mists of Nabudis. This was definitely an exotic and moving piece.

7. Safe Haven (Camp Theme)

From the first game, all the way to the most recent game in the series, the performance include a piece from Final Fantasy Fifteen, which is impressive, considering the game was released only recently in November, 2016. A relaxed arrangement of Tetsuya Shibata’s music, which contrasted with the more active and emotional sounds in the performance such as To Zanarkand, and the popular One Winged Angel.

Overall, the sound quality was polished, capturing the atmosphere of adventure, whimsy, and magic embodied in the music of Final Fantasy. For more information on the Final Fantasy New Worlds tour, the ensemble website has more information.

Five reasons why Maurice is a good father in Beauty and the Beast (2017)

One performance in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (2017) I most enjoyed was Kevin Kline as Maurice. I thought he captured several good parenting skills in his portrayal of the inventive father of avid-reader, and protagonist Belle. This post is a list of how well Maurice models good parenting.

Spoiler warning – this post contains plot spoilers specific to the 2017 Beauty and the Beast film.

The Positive Parenting Program (The Triple P, an Australian initiative) presents good resources for families. They teach techniques to raise happier kids. They encourage parents to feel confident they are doing the right thing. They instruct parents how to take care of themselves as well.

One blog post from Matt Sanders of the Triple P program describes the five things that fathers and father figures should know.

Here’s how Maurice stacks up next to those ideas:

#1 Talk to your kids – Maurice and Belle share some of the most powerful conversations in the film.

This is a foregone conclusion. Maurice respects Belle, and speaks to her as an equal. On to the next one.

#2 Play with your kids – Building intricate things is one of Maurice’s skills, and he created a finely crafted baby rattle for Belle to play with.

It’s easy to picture Belle and Maurice playing with various micro mechanical projects together. Belle was able to design and implement a donkey-powered washing machine early in the film with her technical knowledge, after all.

#3 Set a good example – Of all the people in the community, Maurice is the only one to stand up to Gaston. This turns out to be costly, since Gaston is a neanderthal with a mind for wily strategy.

Maurice aims to be upstanding in all he does, regardless of who is watching. Except for maybe one lapse in judgement. He tries to strike Gaston with an open hand. In his defence, Gaston had verbally assaulted his daughter, attempted to murder him, and was casually gas lighting him in front of the town. Extreme conditions, for sure.

#4 Keep your vaccinations up to date – While vaccination would not enter mainstream medicine until the late 18th Century, Maurice protects himself and Bell from disease. This is a key plot point in the film.

Belle and Maurice move from Paris to the country to escape a plague. Belle’s mother died from infection. Maurice was doing everything he could.

#5 Get screened for depression – Despite Maurice being a model citizen, Gaston disparages his mental state, and a dour coachman hauls him off to the asylum.

His mental health remains sound, despite these assaults. He speaks in an even, conversational way to the coachman from the Asylum after he escapes the asylum’s padded and barred carriage. It is one sign that Maurice endures pain and grief, but resists violence and despair. His positive mental state persists.

At the end of the film, Maurice has moved from clockwork and metal crafts to painting. He appears calm, perhaps taking time to recover from his ordeal, and celebrate his daughters wedding by capturing the moment with water colours on canvas. But this is why care for and checking on mental health must take priority – like Maurice, a person with depression can appear find on the surface, but in reality, need more help. let’s hope he finds what he needs.

The original blog post with information for fathers and father figures can be found on the Triple P Blog, and you can read more about the Triple P initiative on their website.

This post was written by Joe at The Wallflyer. You can find more posts here at The Wallflyer, and you can follow me on Twitter for more updates.

Here’s a list of all the books and writing references in Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Last Week, Disney’s live action Beauty and the Beast arrived in cinemas. While most of the world saw the movie release on March 17, Australia was one week behind with a March 23 release date. Regardless, the movie celebrates reading and books through avid-reader, and protagonist Belle. This post is a comprehensive list of the books and writing referenced in the new, live action film.

Romeo and Juliet – William Shakespeare – 1623 folio

In the inital opening song, Belle tells a surprised gentleman about a book she just finished reading. The red and gold volume she carries is about “two lovers in fair Verona”. This may be a small anachronism, however,  Belle is living at some point in the early 1700’s, and as a result, history may be on the side of the producers. A folio version of the Shakespeare play was available from around 1623 onward.

A Crystal Forest – William Sharp – 1913

While definitely an anachronism, the poem Belle selects to describe the ice and snow cloaking Beast’s garden could is definitely evocative and descriptive. William Sharp published a book of poems in 1913 that contained A Crystal Forest. Belle does not complete the poem, but The last line of the poem from where Belle leaves the reading ties up the sense of winter cold:

Each branch, each twig, each blade of
grass.

Seems clad miraculously with glass :

Above the ice-bound streamlet bends
Each frozen fern with crystal ends

Vulgate Cycle – Prose Lancelot – 1210 – 1230

Belle and the Beast share a connection over reading and stories. The Beast slowly warms to the idea of connection with another person, after long-term isolation from the world at the hands of the enchantment. As part of this process of reconnecting, he finds the story of Lancelot and Guinevere. This version is likely a collection of stories from a legendary text called the Vulgate Cycle. This cycle consists of five volumes telling the story of King Arthur and Camelot. Lancelot and Guinevere’s romance takes place in one of these volumes. The Prose Lancelot collects several of the five together. Beast most likely reads from the collect edition Prose Lancelot.

Another interesting point – The Vulgate Cycle contains the stories of Merlin, King Arthur, and the sword Excalibur. These stories form the basis of another Disney film The Sword in the Stone.

Sleeping Beauty – 1697

This one is not explicitly stated. While no confirmation that Sleeping Beauty features as Belle’s favourite book, there are some hints that Belle is describing Sleeping Beauty when she sings “here’s where she meets prince charming…”. Reddit user comatoseduck identified some evidence for this theory:

Far off places: … a different kingdom.
Daring Sword Fights: Prince Phillip fights Maleficent (who had turned into a dragon) with a sword.
Magic Spells: Maleficent, Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather all do magic in the movie.
A Prince in Disguise: When Aurora meets Phillip, she doesn’t know he’s a prince.

Four resources where useful for gathering this information:

  1. The Genius.com article on Romeo and Juliet.
  2. The TimelessMyths.com article on The Vulgate Cycle.
  3. The Internet Archive copy of Poems, by William Sharp.
  4. The Fan Theories sub-Reddit page.

This post was written by Joe at The Wallflyer. You can find more posts here at The Wallflyer, and you can follow me on Twitter for more updates.

The first Handmaid’s Tale trailer quotes The Book of Matthew

The first trailer for Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale contains one verse from the book of Matthew, and this post is a short summary of the trailer, and an interpretation of the scene in which the verse appears. You can watch the trailer on the Hulu Youtube Channel.

The trailer for Hulu’s series – based on the book by Margaret Atwood – depicts a slow attack on women’s rights, culminating in hypocrisy, captivity, and violence:

  1. A regime run by white men takes control.
  2. Women, regardless of their racial backgrounds, are no longer permitted to hold jobs or property.
  3. Indoctrination centres coerce and control the captive women.
  4. They become handmaids to powerful, white men, bearing their children. Or they work in toxic conditions as slaves, presumably without medical support

It is an abhorrent future, but one that is based on facts. Chief Culture Writer, and editorial board member of The Guardian, Charlotte Higgins (2016) discussed this question with Margaret Atwood:

Higgins: Are we in Gilead – the America of The Handmaid’s Tale?
Atwood: “Close, yes. For sure.”
And everything in it [The Handmaid’s Tale], she says, was based on things that had actually happened.

One final scene at the end of the trailer ends with a verse and violence.

A woman reads a Bible verse like as slogan – it is Matthew 5:5. Offred then reads a counter argument from later in the same section – Matthew 5:10.

This particular section in The Book of Matthew is named The Beatitudes. These statements can be interpreted as support for those persecuted by an unethical authority. This  fits the scene show in the trailer.

I interpret this scene, of why the verse was included, as a biting message about hypocrisy. The woman holding the grey rod wears a placid mask. Her words are calmly placated to the point of being patronising.

Offred shows the hypocritical act of reading a Bible verse like a slogan by quoting the rest of the Bible verse in more detail. Offred is punished, and the trailer cuts to black. I was left with a strong sense of Offred’s ongoing defiance in the face of overwhelming odds.

And you can read the full interview with Margaret Atwood on The Guardian website.

The Handmaid’s Tale arrives on Hulu on April 26.

Netflix’s Iron Fist scheduled only limited time for martial arts choreography

In an interview with the Telegraph journalist Tristram Fane Saunders, Iron Fist actor Finn Jones described the limited time that the Netflix and Marvel Studios production team set aside to practice the martial arts choreography required:

[H]e [Finn Jones] only had three weeks to train before filming. “Unfortunately, with the filming schedule, I wasn’t given as much time as I would have liked to continue the training.” Shooting for 12 or 14 hours a day took its toll. “I was learning those fight scenes just 15 minutes before we shot them, because that was the schedule… It would be 2am, 3am, I’d just done a long day of work, and usually the stunt department would come up and say ‘Hey, right, we’ve got this huge 30 person fight and you’ve got to learn it right now.’ So I was learning it on the spot, within 15-20 minutes, and then shooting it. That was the reality for six months.”

This sort of tight schedule does not leave room for the show, ostensibly about the best martial artist in the Marvel Universe, to even attempt to match the standard of martial arts scenes set by some of the best martial arts films created and screened in the past decade. Namely, The Raid and its sequel The Raid 2. These are two intense films.

Comparing the martial arts scene planning in Iron Fist to the successful Raid films directed by Gareth Evans shows a road not taken by Netflix and Marvel Studios.

It is likely that casting actors with diverse backgrounds, and training in martial arts and combat practices, would have contributed to a better film experience overall. At the very least, it would have addressed the historical problems of race and bias associated with Iron Fist. In an interview with Fred Topel at Crave Oline (2014) Evans described the process of creating a martial arts fight scene:

Note: Silat is a style of Indonesian martial arts.

I think a lot of times it comes down to what the fighter’s background is. For Iko and Cecep [Arif Rahman] when they fight, obviously we use more pure Silat. Even then, different styles of Silat inside that fight. When it comes to Iko fighting in the prison riot against 15-20 people, those guys all come from different martial arts backgrounds. Once we figure out what their background is, we try to design their fighting skill to be relevant to what they study.

Had Marvel Studios and Netflix invested time and planning into casting actors experienced in martial artist, they could have produced scenes closer to the current standard of martial arts film – examples like The Raid and it’s sequel. Considering the high standard of direction and scene construction in other Marvel Studios work, this comes as a surprise.

You can read the complete interview with Gareth Evans at Crave Online

The Telegraph interview with Jones, despite the inflammatory title, offers a fair summary of the facts surrounding Marvel Studio’s and Netflix’s Iron Fist.