This time I have a summary of two Dragonball Z episodes, and you'll have to read the summary for the four episodes that I missed after that on Pojo's Dragonball Web, because I didn't watch them. The episodes that I missed are #47, #48, #49 and #50. There are also three movie reviews, for Thir13en Ghosts, Enemy of the State and The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.
- Dragonball Z - Vegeta and Zarbon fight, Vegeta defeats Zarbon and throws him in a lake. He takes away Krillin's Dragonball. Krillin gives it up because he knows Gohan's gone after the other one. Vegeta thinks he's got all the Dragonballs now. He runs into Gohan, but Gohan hides his Dragonball and Vegeta doesn't find it. But when Vegeta realises he's been duped, he gets pretty mad and swears to recover the Dragonball! Gohan returns safely to Bulma and Krillin. Meanwhile, Frieza deploys his secret army - The Ginyu Forces who are known for decimating entire planets!
Goku is training at 100 times Earth gravity on his ship. Gohan and Krillin leave to find Guru, the eldest Namek, and Bulma stays back with the Dragonball. This proves to be more than a little problem for her, because she first has a bad dream in which Vegeta shows up for it, and then, after she wakes up due to an earthquake, the Dragonball rolls off into a river! She goes in after it, and faces a giant crab protecting it's eggs! She manages to get back the Dragonball to the surface - only to meet some of Frieza's henchmen. This was where I stopped watching, but in later episodes, she manages to trick them and escape. Gohan's power is awakened, and the Ginyu arrive on Namek. For more info see the site I mentioned earlier.
- Thir13en Ghosts (2001) - A wealthy, eccentric explorer, Cyrus Kriticos (F. Murray Abraham) dies, leaving all his belongings to his nephew Arthur Kriticos (Tony Shalhoub). Arthur and his family are going through some bad times, because Arthur's wife died in a fire that also destroyed their home. They're pretty excited when Cyrus' lawyer shows up and tells them that they're now the owners of Cyrus' house! But there's something EVIL about this house - first, it's entirely made of glass that has lots of strange Latin words written all over it, and most importantly, there are ghosts in the basement! Cyrus, you see, was a collector, and he's captured ghosts for powering a machine (the house itself is a machine!) that will give him hellish powers! Poor Arthur and his family are soon trapped in the house with the ghosts, but they find an ally in Rafkin (Matthew Lillard), a psychic who helped Cyrus trap the ghosts. This movie is director Steve Beck's debut, and has interesting performances, and is enjoyable from start to finish. The ghosts are extremely scary (there are some very gruesome and very gory makeup effects), and the movie keeps delivering the shocks at a steady pace! There's hardly any story to speak of but it's so much fun. Recommended watching.
- Enemy of the State (1998) - An NSA Official (Jon Voight) has a Congressman murdered, and thinks the incident's been covered up, until he realises that a bird watcher had a camera planted in the woods that caught the entire murder on tape! Using high tech surveillance equipment, he and his henchmen quickly zero in on the naturalist, and chase him to recover the copy of the tape that he's got with him. During the chase, the naturalist runs into Robert Clayton Dean (Will Smith) in a lingerie store, and quickly drops the tape into Dean's shopping bag (which Dean doesn't realise). Dean is pretty puzzled at this, but even more puzzled when he sees the naturalist dead on the road a short while later!
But by then, the NSA men find Dean's visiting card (Dean is a sharp lawyer) on the dead body, and they are soon after the tape that Dean doesn't even know he has! His house is bugged, transmitters are planted in his pen, his shoes and clothes - people start chasing him, he loses his credit cards, his job, and almost loses his family! But then he meets Brill (Gene Hackman), an ex-NSA technician who helps him find out exactly what's going on, and helps him deal with this very dangerous situation. This movie has excellent acting from the stars, a great supporting cast (including an uncredited Seth Green), terrific action sequences and is done in flashy, heavy style by director Tony Scott (same style that I liked so much in The Last Boy Scout). Written by David Marconi. Highly recommended movie!
- The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) - J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy story set in Middle Earth is brought to life in this three hour Oscar-nominated movie from Oscar-nominated director Peter Jackson (The Frighteners)! A hobbit, Bilbo Baggins (Ian Holm) comes into possession of an unusual ring. Sixty years later, on his 111th birthday, Bilbo leaves his shire and gives the ring to young Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood). Frodo is told by his friend, Gandalf (Ian McKellen), that the ring is an evil one - it was created by a dark sorcerer in the fires of Mount Doom, and it gives it's bearer great power - but also brings with it evil and corruption! The sorcerer's soul, thought to be dead, is gradually returning, gathering strength, needing only the ring to gain absolute power. So Frodo, Gandalf, and a small group of warriors form a "fellowship of the ring", with a mission to take the ring back to Mordor (from where it came), and cast it into the fires of Mount Doom - the only thing that can destroy it. I really can't describe the grand scale of this movie, you just have to see it for yourself. This is simply one of the best movies I've seen, with fantastic visuals that have to be seen to be believed, and an excellent cast. This is the first part of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and will be continued in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, to be released this year.
Can't believe it's been 21 days since I updated my site last! There's lots of "to-be-updated" stuff collected in the text file of mine. So here goes...
- Mon/Tue/Wed/Thu, 4/5/6/7 Mar - Just a little something I didn't mention last time, on 4th Mar. I got a deathmatch map for Doom II by American McGee (idmap01.wad). On Tuesday I did a demo of Doom II MAP18 (The Courtyard) in 0:31 after watching a demo by Adam Hegyi. Wednesday was a holiday from college, on Thursday I did well in my Computer Graphics test, and there was a lecture on Personality Development given by my father at college! This was great, everyone enjoyed it.
- Fri/Sat, 8/9 Mar - Networks test at college, I did some more work on The Other Side of Phobos (OSP), and I found out that I won the Second Prize in the college Essay Writing competition (that I took part in maybe a week or so before). On Saturday, there were two tests at college, Management Science and Artificial Intelligence - I did well in both. And I got 19/20 in the Graphics test.
- Sun, 10 Mar - Karthik's Doom Pages crossed 7000 hits! Thanks to everyone who visits that site, and thanks NewDoom.com for hosting me there! I watched the previous day's Dragonball Z episodes, (but I've missed 4 episodes since that!). Anyway, there's been PLENTY of new stuff on Pablo Dictter and Tobias Münch's sites, and the site that they run together, Fehler 404. I was almost finished with OSP. Download Varun's Doom Nightmares Wallpaper from Doom Center.
- Mon/Tue, 11/12 Mar - I didn't do that well in Language Processors test, but after I got home from college, I worked for a couple of hours on OSP and it was almost done. I watched Thir13en Ghosts, it was a very good movie. After coming back home I finished OSP and compiled the WAD. The next morning I made a couple of changes and recompiled the WAD, added all the resources, and the music track by Josh Frazier, and that was it - my Ultimate Doom level, The Other Side of Phobos was finished! I used my utility Karthik's WAD Changer to modify the WAD to run on E1M1. I released the level on Karthik's Doom Pages and mailed people about it. The Download/Info/Screenshots/Story page for the level is here.
- Wed/Thu/Fri, 13/14/15 Mar - We wrote a test in the morning and left college in the afternoon. They reconducted that test later. Anyway, after coming home I found some nice comments about my level, I'm going to put up all those on the OSP info page. 13th was also Doomworld's fourth birthday! Happy Birthday Doomworld! To celebrate that, they've redesigned the site, and added plenty of cool features. On 14th, Varun's SSC Exams, his final school exams, started! He's done well in all the exams, and very soon, he'll finish the entire series of exams! On 14th, I also got an emulator for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System from PE2000.net (thanks to Ganeshan for the link) and also got a ROM for SNES Doom from there. But the emulated SNES Doom is no fun at all, it's extremely slow.
I went to NIIT that evening, and that was my LAST CLASS there - I've decided to discontinue the course. There's simply too many other things going on at college, and I'm also attending classes for the CAT exam, and it appears this NIIT course won't be closing anytime soon (due to new curriculum and new courses they've introduced). Taking all that into account, I've decided to quit :). I've been associated with NIIT for more than two and a half years now... I started a computer course there in August 1999, and I completed two semesters. I've finished the first part of the Third Semester, and well... now I'm stopping. I'm very grateful for the wonderful teachers and friends I have had there, and I have lots of great memories of my time there - getting test scores 96% in SQL, 97% in Java, 99% in Windows NT/Linux - and recently, my K-Test Engine being used to conduct actual tests :). But many of you who are reading this probably sensed that I was going to quit soon - now it's official.
I also downloaded Linkin Park's Crawling, and played the first level from an upcoming episode for classic Doom, by Damian Lee - this was very good! I also got an emulator for the Nintendo Gameboy Advance, and got some ROMs - Doom GBA, Street Fighter 2 Revival, and Jackie Chan Adventures.
- Sat/Sun, 16/17 Mar - Blade aired on HBO, but I couldn't watch it because our cable operators have stopped transmitting that channel and Cartoon Network for some reason (it's still offline by the way). I didn't even watch Dragonball Z. On 17th, AndrewB put up the usual /newstuff Chronicles at Doomworld - my WAD got some excellent reviews! Check out the Top Story Page here! I got some Linkin Park MIDIs as well. 17th March was also Doom Center's first birthday - so a very Happy Birthday to Bigdog and the entire staff from me!
- Mon/Tue/Wed, 18/19/20 Mar - Registered as a member at the Doomworld Forums. And I also downloaded Mordeth. I had an older version of it before, but now I got the one that's compatible with source ports (the version that comes with a DEH file and just the required resources). It's great. On 19th, I read Bigdog's article, A Tribute to Doomers, which was posted on the occasion of Doom Center's birthday. It's a very well written, sentimental article, highly recommended reading! And thanks Raphael Cheney for signing my guestbook. On Wednesday I got some files from Elbryan42's Doom Depot, most importantly, a 12-second video clip of the upcoming Doom 3, which was shown at last year's Quakecon. This 12-second video is far more stunning than the other February 2001 Tokyo footage that's available at Doomworld (and pretty much every gamefiles site :)).
- Thu, 21 Mar - Happy Birthday Ganeshan! Varun did well in his Maths exams, and I finished my Operator Precedence Parsing program at home. I also downloaded ActivePerl 5.6.1 for Windows, and a news-updating CGI script called Coranto. Unfortunately I couldn't get Coranto to work properly. Anyway Coranto, formerly known as NewsPro, is the one that is used at SomethingAwful.com for their news. Worth the download though, you never know when you'll need it :).
- Fri, 22 Mar - Yahoo! is going to discontinue it's free POP3 access from April 24 - a pity since I won't be able to use Outlook Express from then. Anyway, I'll have to revert to my older method of copy-paste :). I also saw the excellent Enemy of the State on STAR Movies. And the last set of tests at college are going on, pretty soon, this semester will be over too!
- Sat/Sun, 23/24 Mar - I had two tests at college and I relaxed after coming back home. The strangest thing is that they actually decided to conduct special classes on Sunday as well!!! I didn't go to college on Sunday (I'm not that crazy), I went for my CAT class in the morning, and then downloaded some good stuff. I got the official theatrical trailer for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (3 MB in size), and to watch it, I downloaded QuickTime 5 (9 MB). Then I also got HACX - a total conversion for Doom II by Banjo Software. This is almost a new game by itself, and I've been trying to download it for some time now. Finally got the 11.5 MB beast. Then at night my parents and myself went to see The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Check out my review (just scroll up the page). Awesome movie.
- Mon, 25 Mar - Got up at 6:30 AM this morning to watch the 74th Annual Academy Awards on STAR Movies. I'm pretty sure you know who the winners are by now, anyway here are the winners in the top categories... A Beautiful Mind was Best Picture, the Best Actor was Denzel Washington, Best Actress was Halle Berry, Best Director was Ron Howard. Compet-N also announced it's own Doom Academy Award Winners - the winners of the Golden Cyber. Check out the official page here, and this is the IRC log.
Got a bunch of WADs for both Doom and Heretic to check out (including some of Pablo Dictter's old old work made back in 2000 from FileFront... hey Pablo! I haven't played them yet but I bet they'll be great).
I made a few updates at the official SNIST IEEE Students Chapter Website, there are some interesting new articles. And I'm going to add two more after this site update. I'm also going to work on a program for Brute Force Parsing for the Language Processors Lab. Those programs are pretty hard to do! I hope I get them to work.
Another interesting thing happened some days ago at college - a con man who called himself Dr. William Patten showed up and gave a short lecture and later tried to get some of our students to pay money and attend a seminar of his! Our professors knew there was something fishy about him and so, thankfully, sent him off soon - and he was never seen again. Anyway, I admire the way he blatantly claimed that he had a B. Tech. from IIT, an MBA from IIM Bangalore, and a Ph.D. from MIT! He said that he also works for Microsoft in Seattle!! The guy had a lot of courage - after all, it does take courage to walk into a college and pretend that you're the smartest guy this side of the planet! Anyway he did give his email address to us, so ahem...
Movies coming next month on STAR Movies - The Lost World, Ronin (Apr. 5), and tomorrow - they're showing Mission: Impossible, and on Friday, Jurassic Park.
I'd also like to wish all my friends the very best of luck for their exams, we will be starting them in the second week of April.
Dragonball Z, Psycho and Sleepy Hollow in this edition of Reviews...
- Dragonball Z - This is a summary of everything that happened in the last SIX episodes of Dragonball Z. Last time's episode ended with some very special students coming to King Kai's planet - well, this time we found out that it was Yamcha, Tien, Chao Tzu and Piccolo! They managed to make it all the way through Snake Way and to King Kai's planet! Goku was very happy to make contact with them, but once he mentioned that Frieza and Vegeta were on the Planet Namek, even King Kai was worried. He warned Goku not to even think of facing the all-powerful Frieza. King Kai accepted Yamcha, Tien, and Chao Tzu as his students after they showed their sense of humour (Tien: "You can tune a piano, but you can't tuna fish!"). Piccolo easily completes the first task of catching Bubbles the chimp. The others find it more difficult however. Back on Namek, Krillin and the young Namek boy Dende, set out to find the eldest Namek and to get his Dragonball. Vegeta ran into Zarbon, and they fought. Vegeta seemed to have the upper hand, but then Zarbon transformed into a demon and beat the stuffing out of him before dumping him in a lake! Is he dead?
Krillin and Dende soon reach the eldest Namek, Guru's place. Guru senses Krillin's good intentions and awakens the hidden power within him, and also gives him the one star Dragonball. He also tells Krillin about how Piccolo came to Earth. And then Krillin went to get Gohan so that Guru can awaken the power within him too. Zarbon reports back to Frieza - Frieza isn't too happy about Zarbon not finishing the job properly, and tells him to find Vegeta and bring him back, so that they can find where he hid the Dragonball that he stole earlier. He also tells one of his men to send the Ginyu Squad.
Back on King Kai's planet, all the warriors pass King Kai's first two tests - catching the chimp Bubbles and bonking the cricket Gregory on the head with a heavy hammer. Piccolo doesn't want to waste any time, and decides to take on all the others by himself in battle! Bulma and Gohan, while waiting for Krillin, detected the Dragonball that Vegeta hid, in a lake nearby, and Gohan went off to get it. Zarbon found Vegeta in an almost-dead state and brought him back to Frieza's ship.
Vegeta is in the rejuvenation tank on Frieza's ship and Zarbon and Frieza are hoping that he'll recover so that he can point them to the Dragonball's location. However, Vegeta manages to escape from the ship (through a little trickery), and also manages to STEAL FRIEZA'S DRAGONBALLS! He threw them far off into the distance (Vegeta: "What a major league arm I've got") and flew off to get them. Frieza was furious and told Zarbon to recover them within one hour. Meanwhile, Gohan found the Dragonball that Vegeta threw into the lake. Krillin was flying back with his one star Dragonball, and Vegeta spotted him and started following him. He was in turn, spotted by Zarbon also!
Goku was training hard on his spaceship but when his ship passed through a magnetic disturbance, the gravity generator started going crazy. But he managed to turn it off. On King Kai's planet, Piccolo was surprised at how strong the other warriors had become.
Krillin got back to Bulma with his Dragonball. Bulma told him that Gohan had also gone to get one of the Dragonballs. But at that time, Vegeta got there! Soon, Zarbon also arrived! Bulma was attracted by Zarbon's good looks (she actually thought that he had come there to save them!), but then he started fighting with Vegeta. Vegeta was even stronger than before. Bulma was shocked when Zarbon turned into his demon form. She realised that her dream was actually a nightmare, as Krillin said.
Next episode: the battle between Zarbon and Vegeta intensifies! Who will get the Dragonballs? They better do it fast - because when the old Namek Guru dies, the Dragonballs will disappear!
- Psycho (1998) - Starring Vince Vaughn, Anne Heche, Viggo Mortensen, Julianne Moore, William H. Macy. Directed by Gus Van Sant. I haven't seen the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock movie, but I really enjoyed this remake. Marion Crane (Heche) works in a firm that sells property - and she steals $400,000 from work, tries to make a quick getaway in her car. She travels a long distance out of town, and stops at the Bates Motel. The Bates Motel is run by Norman Bates (Vaughn), who lives in a big house nearby with his dominating and cruel mother. There's really nothing more that I can say, except that you should watch the movie. It is gripping right frrom the beginning, and when Marion is soon killed off in the shower, that's when things start getting even more interesting! There are twists in the plot and some genuinely chilling scenes! Very well acted by everyone - Mortensen as Marion Crane's boyfriend, Sam Loomis, Julianne Moore as Marion's Sister Lila, and William H. Macy as the Private Investigator Arbogast. End Credits say "Special Thanks To... John Woo for his Kitchen Knife".
- Sleepy Hollow (1999) - Awesome movie from director Tim Burton! Set in 1799, Johnny Depp is excellent as Inspector Ichabod Crane, who is sent to the town of Sleepy Hollow to find out just who was behind some beheadings there! The locals say it is the Headless Horseman - who comes from Hell and chops off heads of people, but the Inspector is determined that it is an actual person. He discovers conspiracy and well, some nasty horrors too. Christina Ricci plays Katrina Van Tassel, who "bewitches" him. She is the daughter of Baltus Van Tassel, who might have something to do with the murder cases. This movie is a mystery/horror/thriller, excellently written (screenplay by Andrew Kevin Walker, based on the story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving) and acted. But the real standout in this movie is the atmosphere - the visuals and sets are fantastic. It is beautifully filmed and the music by Danny Elfman is great too. One of the director's best movies.
I've been quite occupied with Doom mapping recently, in fact I updated Karthik's Doom Pages a couple of times with what's been going on. But here is everything else that happened...
- Sun/Mon/Tue, 17/18/19 Feb - On Sunday I spent a lot of time working on my Episode 1 style Doom level, this time I built some nice outdoor areas. And I also watched Dragonball Z. On Monday, I updated Karthik's Doom Pages with six screenshots from the new level. I also posted a progress report on the status of The 9th Gate, and a big list of news. And I downloaded Opera 6.01 that night. On Tuesday, Pablo Dictter sent me some comments on the screenshots, and I also studied for the Management Science test at college the next day.
- Wed/Thu/Fri/Sat/Sun, 20/21/22/23/24 Feb - I did very well in the test on Wednesday. Also, inferno_45 said that he would do the music for my Episode 1 style level. I also played Metabolist's Ockham Complex again (my review). And on Wednesday, in the evening at 8:02 PM - 20/02/2002, 20:02 is the date/time, which is a perfect palindrome! On Thursday, I did very well in my Computer Graphics test, and I was also happy because I was able to get a program of mine work in the Language Processors class. Our III Year I Semester results were also out in the evening! The results were released on the JNTU website, and it was very busy that evening, but I got to see my marks. I got a score of 70.3%, the top score is 74%. On Friday, I did pretty well in the Computer Networks test, and stayed back till 7 PM in the evening for the IEEE session. Two interesting seminars and a quiz were conducted. I updated the website too. On Saturday morning I went for an eye checkup. There was no NIIT class in the evening. I got an MP3 remix of the Pacman theme from DJ Pretzel's Overclocked Remixes. Also recorded episodes of Dragonball Z which I watched on Sunday.
- Mon/Tue/Wed, 25/26/27 Feb - Downloaded Hexen from Abandonware-France. I did pretty well in the Artificial Intelligence test. On Tuesday, I wrote the Language Processors test and came back home. I relaxed at home and also redesigned our IEEE Students Chapter Website. Wim Vanrie is working on a top-secret project :). Downloaded Richo Rosai's A Warm Place from Doom Center. Did OK in the DBMS test. I got 20/20 in both MS and CG tests. On Wednesday night I saw Psycho (1998) on HBO. Very good movie.
- Thu/Fri, 28 Feb/1 Mar - Fehler 404 was updated on 26th, and so was The Worlds of Toby M. Fehler 404 has some new articles by Pablo, and a Driving Licence Aptitude Test by Tobias. I listened to inferno_45's music for my level - it is very good! I got 11/20 in AI test (pretty good for that). On Friday, there was no IEEE session in the evening at college. I got two MP3s - the theme from Demon Star by Bobby Prince, and the Dance of the Sugarplum Lunatic by Mark Klem.
- Sat/Sun, 2/3 Mar - On Saturday morning I read some trivia about Psycho on the IMDb. There was no class at NIIT in the evening. I recorded Dragonball Z. At night I saw Sleepy Hollow on HBO. I also tried out DETH. On Sunday I did a lot of work on my Episode 1 style Doom map. I made a Title Screen for it two days back. The level will be called The Other Side of Phobos. I watched the Dragonball Z episodes on Sunday. Pablo wrote another article at Fehler 404, and also released two Doom I levels on his site - Pretty Hate Marine: Entryway and Pretty Hate Marine: Starf***ers Inc. And I downloaded two music videos of Nelly Furtado (I'm Like a Bird and Turn off the Light). Also saw the video of her song ...On the Radio on MTV. Downloaded the nominated demos of the Compet-N Doom Academy Awards, watched some of them.
Today there was no college, I updated Karthik's Doom Pages in the morning with a new screenshot of The Other Side of Phobos, and I watched Psycho one more time.