Thursday, June 19, 2014

Conan the Barbarian: First impressions

I played a barbarian once. Didn't go so hot. He was excellent at finding traps, in much the same way that a wooden pole is excellent at finding fire. Still, I played him resolutely right to the end. The end was a mind flayer. I bet it didn't find him very satisfying at all.

So it stands that I could take a lesson in barbarian...ishness... from the original barbarian, the iconic barbarian, the guy who is to "the Barbarian" as Merlin is to "the Wizard." The UR-barbarian, one might say, if one were disposed to describe things as Ur which are not Sumerian cities. I've already got a head start: I'm eating ribs and doing so with great vigor and all the mess that implies. MEAT GOOD. Why no pizza? Because ribs, don't ask stupid questions. Pizza tomorrow. MEAT ANSWER TO ALL QUESTION. I'm in the zone, let's get barbaric.


What do I know about Conan the Barbarian? WELL. Let me tell you!

• He uses 12-sided dice for his hit points

• He can fly into a rage some number of times per day

• He's got a full base attack bonus and also an uncanny ability to dodge

Hm. Am I on the right track here...?

• His name is Conan.

Theeere we go. I am a genius. You cannot argue with the depth and width of my knowledge. Let's go find out how exceptionally right I am. :D

Universal. Here we go.

Good starting quote.

DRUM. DRUM DRUM.

BETWEEN THE TIME WHEN THE OCEANS DRANK ATLANTIS does that even make sense

CONAN. DESTINED TO WEAR A CROWN

his chronicler. THE DAYS OF HIGH ADVENTURE I'm very stoked for this

this is perfect barbarian music.

let's make a sword.

there's not much to this theme, but I like it that way

there's something very old-movie about the strings

guys this is already extremely badass and literally nothing is happening

thought it was going into a stone for a moment there

MOUNTAINS.

more mountains. yes.

Fire and wind come from the sky

Crumb is the earth god, eh?

thought he was the bread god

there's something very Prometheus in this story

hi Conan. You're short.

there's an interesting idea there if you take it at face value OH HELLO SIRS

that the gods wanted to keep trust from mankind

this is all extremely awesome in a classically D&D sort of way. All of this reminds me of the best dreams

THAT BRASS MAN

the music would like to remind you that ADVENTURES AWAIT

Who are these behorsed gentlemen?

THE MUSIC IS WINNING

THIS IS WHAT ADVENTURES SHOULD SOUND LIKE FOLKS

his mom's gonna be a badass?

look at that hammer

I DON'T LIKE HIS BEARD, KILL HIM

is that really a practical way to get inside a hut?

I'm already SO COMPLETELY SOLD

armored dog?

armored dog.

well then

is the one with the hat in charge? no, the one with the helmet

well now I don't even know

Good day moustache. Are you the badguy?

BASASS MOM

Conan, mom's busy right now

oh wait who is THIS

this one looks important

and CALM. that's weird.

that's an awesome sword by the way

creepy stare, sir

everyone's just staring. Come on, do the thing

oh come on I wanted a fight

what the hell WHAT THE HELL NO

yes you still have five fingers kid who the hell cares

wait so

he did that just because he could? that's weird

THE BLOOD BECAME AS SNOW love it

ohhh child slaves not happy

I pick weird ways to articulate ideas

they're not even slaving they're just sort of parading. This is a terrible hobby, I want you to know that

the score is fantastic who did this it's not Mr. Williams

world's worst merry-go-round

heh there's a demon face on the end of the wheel

well now, you've trodden a circle into the earth wait WHERE THE HELL IS EVERYONE ELSE

oh well now you've done it that's a Terminator

what is the wheel even FOR?

like no seriously did the rest all die or did they just decide they hated him most of all?

GOOD DAY, I AM NO-COMB. I don't know how I got that name.

Sit there.

And now we're going to have a pit fight! :D

Grr to you too, buddy

well this is hardly fair, I didn't see Bitey pushing a wheel for so long he turned into a cyborg

OW oh got that would suck

"I'll earn enough to buy that hairbrush I always wanted!"

BOOM. Barbarianed.

Is he collecting magic items? He's got a lot of stuff now

what the hell are those weapons?

"Vader is also YOUR father. Deep secrets complete."

wait what? He's got no time for philosophy, he's a barbarian

wait they're using him like a bull?

yeah I don't think you've got this "sex" thing down, guy

then again, I could be wrong.

Good lord that man's made of muscle. No wonder he made such an effective Terminator.

Pizza.

TO CRUSH YOUR ENEMIES AND HEAR THEIR WOMEN CRY

I LOVE ALL OF THIS machismo or not that was just a great line

he's free? Confusion

No-comb never did earn enough money for that brush.

wait if he's free why are there dogs after hiom

oooh, interesting, it's like a place

very articulate Jemery thank you very much

I'm just gonna give up now

ooh it's a dungeon :D

this is such a D&D movie DEAD PERSON THERE

wow it really is a dungeon. This is so awesome

the music sells it all so well :D

 Aha, that helmet looks familiar

GREATSWORD +1 OBTAINED

+1 greatsword of being very dusty, apparently

+1 greatsword of chain-severing

wait did he skin the dogs

guys this is just awesome I want you all to know this

okay THAT bird noise? I hate that one.

hey lady

Is that a euphemism

awful friendly locals

is that supposed to be sexy because it's just not

FOOM look at my fire and the stiff way I crawl.

"well sure but you have to put some effort in first"

who is this chick

WHY DID IT HAVE TO BE SNAKES

her voice unnerves me

yeah he looks really put out by that price

maybe tell him post-sex? just thinking AND NOW WE'RE BLUE don't know why

WHAT THE HELL

NO SERIOUSLY WHAT THE OH SHIT

WORST ORGASM EVER

well that was unusual

as one night stands go, perhaps not his best

oh hey guy

you sound like a chronicler OH MAN WHAT A DICK

Subati? PARTY MEMBER OBTAINED

and now a religious discussion

one prays to the winds, one to a deaf god of bread

yeah that is a Crummy way to die

so what is the riddle of steel|?

NOW WE ARE PARTY MEMBERS

guess you don't all meet at an inn

these are great mountains

that's a great city

this whole thing I'm just running my hands together with total glee

LET'S WASTE NO TIME indee|ELEPHANT

hahaha

ALL OF THE PIGS

Conan and Subati's travel guide

the music sounds like the best D&D campaign ever

I POINT AT YOU "no"

ohey look a snake tower

ANOTHER snake cult? How many do you need?

"except all that stuff I just told you."

What's HAHAHA I AM EVIL

GUY JUST PUNCHED A CAMEL

look Conan, there's drunk and there's camel punching drunk THERE'S a man who sounds like a chromiclaer

"the eye of the serpent" QUEST OBTAINED. STEAL SHINY OBJECT. SELL FOR CAMELS. PUNCH CAMELS.

I may just be the worst. No comment.

Hey lady

Let us pose with swords, it is indeed much fun

well no you're a thief and he's a barbarian. THE barbarian

mind flayers? love a mind flayer

HAHAHAH "you go first" love it

party member obtained?

oh she's definitely a rogue

hat's not an answer

first theme I haven't felt clicked with the scene

oh maybe I'm wrong, they're doing a cult thing

I don't knopw how to spell that name

aw rats

don't split the party

These people really like snakes. And skulls.

I believe I have found the eye of the serpent

my inner 12-yeaqr old is having a lot of fun with this movie

SNAKE

oh hey moustache

she's sort of creepy skinny.

QUEST COMPLETED, okay the snake is not happy with you

what is this now

oh hey we found a symbol

so that's Thassadune

SNAKE

seriously deal with the snake issue

BIG SNAKE HOLY MOTHER OF BIG SNAKE

are you really helping at this point?

seriously ehat's she doing

what

SURPRISE GUYS

hehe way to work the disguise

no, but I'd like to live longer than you apparently

that was an awesome dungeon mission and we're still nowhere near done are we :D

film's not big on dialogue is it

nipples it likes

this wouldn't be half the movie it is without this robust score behind it

Right this can move on then.

hey look he's got a new dorky hat

and ANOTHER new dorkier hat

Someone get Fezzik, he knows how to fix this issue

coooonan

nope

Laaaady

nope

The Usurper. A villain?

AND THEN HE CAME BACK TO LIFE. MAGIC.

"stole a thingy and had fun?"

like this guy, he's fun

HAHAHAHAHA YESSSSSSS "I SALUTE YOU"

Demigod? Now that's interesting. Annd it's gonna be snakes.

yep that's how the best quests start. Murderhobos are the solution

oh so we're getting a new quest to find Sarah Connor?

which I mean really you've got the best hat I want that hat

Thulsa Doom? HIS MOUNTAIN OF POWER LOVE IT LOVE IT ALL

I'm so sold

he gives out jewels like the best houses on Halloween

I'm all about this. A sorcferer who summons demons? We're in.

MOUNTAIN OF POWER. CLASSIC. still love it

didn't catch her name

does she have a name?

and yet you still don'\t have a name.

obviously you';ve never met fire, it's great for warmth

that's just an awesome line

guy I hope you checked for fangs this time

well then. Guess he's checked out

Conan come on, you need a party

Ain't no party without a full party

again just immensely enjoying the score

THE CHILDREN OF DOOM. So cheesy. So awesome.

"He said no." HA. damn right chrionicler

pretty heavy armor for a barbarian

love the hat though

Stonehenge

garden of the dead. eerie.

that's a great hut.

"I'M A WIZARD" party member obtained, now we just need a cleric

SO this is the chronicler

...right so you two are just weird

battles, heroes, witches, women. all you need to hear about

RICHES. I'm dumb

flowers?

no but he punched one, same idea

what are the flowers ever for

looks like the place

OOOOOOOOH

oh hey look

evil clerics

OOOOOOOH OOOOOOOH yes yes shut up

well that guy comes on strong

I want to make a really inappropriate joek right now

NOT ANYMORE

almost feel bad for the guy, that was all he had

he doesn't pass well does he

zero ranks in Disguise

man don't hold up the line. People like you are the worst

that looks awesome

that is a MOUNTAIN OF POWER, folks

hey look, it's moustache

and not-moustache, I need a better name for him

wonder what the difference is between the white robes and the black robes

hey it came in handy for once :D

or did it that guard looks suspicos

is that the girl? Sarah Connor?

the music's so... elated

that's an awesome head thingy

DOOOOOOOOOOH

m

DOOOOOOOOHM

that's the guy

look they know they found him

 oh crap what's gonna happen

YUP THEY CAUGHT HIM WHJAT HAPPENS NOW

STRESS HAPPENS NOW

that was pretty sudden STOP HABING SNAKES IN YOUR HANDS

well that's just uncalled for

Doom is here for you

he';s polite

in the serpent's head, next to the other one

Rexor. That must be moustache

...is that VADER?

THAT'S VADER

Thorgrim. Badass name

the riddle of steel. yes, do

well nope. That was an unwise thing to do

I assume you mean where you tell people to do things, not where they jump off tall objects and die

he's not... entirely wrong

CONTEMPLATE THIS. ON THE TREE OF WOH SHIT THAT is not positive

oh well this all went to hell fast. This is why you don't split the party.

but guys THAT WAS VADER oh ick that's abird

Conan's got NO TIME FOR YOUR SHIT, bird

rescue?

of course rescue but who

Subati! oh come on Conan he's not that funny

wait oh okay good

was gonna say, don't jerk me around, movie

HEY, NAMELESS IS HERE TOO

"grarhh"

the spirit of the place? that's an intriguing idea

is she going to have to fight a demon?

"grunt"

so sayeth my knife

OH HERE WE GO IT IS ON NOW

Gozer, eh? Who's surprised

where do you think YOU'RE going

There is no Conan, only Zuul

there are actual spirit things there aren';t there?

there ARE LOOK AT THEM SHE'S WRESTLING GHOSTS

and this is why we go to clerics for resurrection spells.

"am I about to get stabbed"

well of course they are that's a Terminator. I wouldn't mess with a Terminator

so now Conan's... still dead what gives

guys come on he's dead, don't doodle on his face like a passed-out drunk

HOLLOW

DUNGEON INCURSION :D

CAVES TOO :D

"good thieves could do it, but not vengeful ones" LOVE IT LOVE IT ALL

you should probably agree to that, man's Vader.

seriously I will swear to anyone that that was Vader's voice

oh here we go WHY ARE YOU NOT BRINGING THE WIZARD. WIZARDS ARE IMPORTANT.

So close to having a full party and they dropped the ball.

I don't think thatr'ss effective camouflage for... anything ever. Just saying

ADVENTURE MUSIC

Conan the multiclass Barbarian/Rogue more like, at this point

you know they nevetr did explain the wheel

BEST. MUSIC.

Excellent Hide and Move Silently from all concerned

annnnd that's an orgy

a really lazy orgy

what's in the caouldron?

HEY KITTY

soup for giants?

the hell was in that soup

the hell are you talking about Subati, they eat goop

of course. Right next to where Doom sits

so many great lines you cal write with WHAT THE SHIT HIS EYES

my inner 12-year old is gleeful about so many things right now

Is his face stretching?

HE'S A SNAKE

why didn't I think of that of course he's a snake, he's all about snake

he's a HUGE snake

arson. Excellent stealth technique

sewriously their camouglage is the worst thing for this ara HELLO FELLA

GOODBYE HEAD

AWESOME

YESSSS

AND THE MUSIC IS WITH US. WE CANNOT BE STOPPED NOW

Doomsnake's so done with this

princess, you've got to stop talking snake. it's rude

Hey moustache!

STEW FOR EVERYBODY

Rexar and Thorgrim. YES. FIGHT REXAR. SWRD AGAINST AXE

that's a crazy hammer

wait BOTH? SHIT'S GETTING REAL GUYS

SNAKEFACED

they love to cut and run :D

that's the best pun I am a genius

who wants it first

DOESN'T MATTER YOU BOTH GET IT

oh hey Doom when did you get legs back

"THEY SHALL ALL DROWN IN LAKES OF BLOOD. NOW THEY WILL LEARN WHY THEY ARE AFRAID OF THE DARK." Casual Friday Dark Ages Vader is terrifyingly awesome.

Evil party!

he's shooting

a

snake

WELL THEN

you'll want to check on that

oh come on, Nameless can't die

see that there? creepy

is she gonna go all fangs now like the other one

that's dark

oh come on

what

oh no. ohhhh no. It is ON now.

I TOLD YOU TO BRING A WIZARD.

warmth isn't going to do her that much good NOW, you know

I wouldn't mess with Conan, fire.

shows what you know. What kind of wizard are you, an abjurer?

"I'm crying for him"

now BRING THE WIZARD THIS TIME

is he wearing the Serpent's Eye?

"bring him on"

oh shit yes what are they up to

I love wild blueberries. Nova Scotia blueberries are the best. The tiny ones, not those big fat tasteless ones that they bring in from wherever

the winds are his gods, remember?

HAHAHa "if I'm going to die anyway, better with you"

awfully nice of Thusla Doom to give them that much prep time

that looks like a badass trap

wizard in armor. not helpful.

IT IS ON NOW. ALL OF IT.

LOOK AT THAT AXE

CRUMB, IT'S YOUR TURN

it's probably Krum

GRANT ME REVENGE. AWESOME..

YESSSSSSSSSSSSS CONAN FOR BEST BARBARIAN EVER

worst cleric, but just awesome BOOM

sorry I'm not typing but all this is is WHACK and EPIC MUSIC

where are Rexar and Thorgrim?

there we go

ARROW-TOLD

Subati is doing great :D

now which one are you

MOUSTACHE

THAT has to hurt

there's Thorgrim

hey the wizard helped :D

ssssomewhat

I DID IT WITH MY SPEAR yes you did you wacky old nut

hehehe the helmet

AWESOME

knew that trap would be the best thing

don't let down your guaYOU MORON

what

 WHAT

oh come on what

NICE

SUNDER

oh hey Doom, what's up SNAKE ARROWS AGAIN

come on, wizard duel

oh come on

wait was that his dad's sword

ah we're back here. MOUNTAIN OF POWER.

confused about what;s ahhhh okay then

THE DAY OF ME IS HERE

OOOOOOOOH

hell of a speech guy isn't he

what's she doing there though

hey Doom. Your YOU is at hand.

SEE? VADER IS EVERYONE'S DAD

go on, chop him in two

CLOSE ENOUGH

That's how you get a head in this world

what, no "ooooh?"

you've gotta practice that bowling pitch, Conan

see I can't tell if the singing is the score or the cultists

it's almost a letdown

I mean, the guy was a snake. Not figuratively, either

awful thinky for a barbarian, isn't he

tha't sjust a glorious set though

wait what

I was just thinking shotput

you missed

eh, maybe he dodn't

that's a spectacular visual

well it won't be told now. That was a lot of movie.

Sitting through the credits to listen to the music. :D

And that was Conan! As always, second thoughts to follow tomorrow. Hope you enjoyed the read. This one was tricky... very slow film. Much less dialogue than I've been used to.

9 comments:

  1. On the one hand, this movie really has very little to do with either the plot or the character of Conan as actually created and written by Robert E. Howard.

    On the other hand, it's still a very good movie.

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  2. "guys this is already extremely badass and literally nothing is happening"

    That, my friend, is Basil Poledouris!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Conan's god is named "Crom". Or "CRAAAAAAHM" if you're doing an impression of Arnold Schwarzenegger. His friends in this movie are "Subotai" and "Valeria." And actually, I think Valeria's name is never actually spoken during the course of the movie, but that she is. Chronicler-wizard is "Akiro", I think they don't ever say it in this one either. You'll hear him again if you watch one of the shows I recommended you.

    The wheel thing is some kind of millstone, I guess.

    Music's by Basil Poledouris, and it makes up at least 30% of the appeal of this movie, IMO. I'm not familiar with much of his work, but he's brilliant here. This is always part of my go-to D&D music.

    The movie is only sort of like the short stories (Subotai and Akiro are original characters entirely, and Thulsa Doom is the enemy of Kull of Atlantis, another hero by the same author), but IMO it's better. Kind of strange and inaccessible, though.

    There's one sequel which is okay but kind of silly, one reboot that wasn't all that great, and another upcoming sequel 30-some years later.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wild Nova Scotia blueberries are, in fact, the best in the world. At least, the ones on Cape Breton Island are; I can't speak for the mainland. I imagine they're much the same.

    I think I actually have never seen this movie. But yes, that was James Earl Jones, the voice (but not the body or face) of Darth Vader. He has one of the greatest voices in Hollywood.

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    Replies
    1. I've gone berry picking on the island and the mainland and they're pretty much equally good, though of course I have to put in a good word for anyone being familiar with Cape Breton outside of this little province. Nan's blueberry pie is still just the best thing.

      So there was the bald guy in the suit and then they put the other fellow's voice over it, eh? Wonder what the guy in the suit sounds like?

      Of course, now I want to hear Vader talking about the fear of the night and the tree of woe. :D

      Delete
    2. Here is what David Prowse (body of Vader)'s voice actually sounded like on set: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSm9DDxQv8E

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  5. The "Conan the Cimmerian" stories are classic RPG-type adventures, based on the pulp stories written by Robert E Howard back in the '30s. They are all action, zero character arc, but a fun read if you can find them. I've found several in the "nostalgia paperback" book shelf at a local used book store.

    Good ear on you! That is indeed James Earl Jones playing Thulsa Doom.

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  6. Yes, one of the best soundtracks ever! I listen to it regularly. In addition to using it for tabletop gaming, it is great for focusing in on things when you really need to get a tack accomplished. You need to own this soundtrack.

    ReplyDelete