Sunday, April 29, 2007

A brief glimpse of Granado Espada at DOM1NATION

I went to the e-Games event called DOM1NATION at Le Pavillion yesterday with my friend Jonette, and we had ourselves quite a bit of fun.

Jonette's a long time friend of mine who also happens to love MMORPGs, and I must admit I've been pestering her to play Granado Espada for some time now. Naturally, neither of us could miss this event, which promised to have a bit of Granado Espada in it.

We got there just slightly before the event began, and the opening act, anime and j-rock cover band Do'Ahou, treated us to a noisy, hard-rocking, musical mishmash of theme songs from Dragon Ball, Bioman, Shaider, Doraemon, Zenki, Voltes V, and Daimos.

But since the venue was still sparsely populated at that time, she and I kind of felt odd that we were among the few who could appreciate the performance by knowing what the songs actually were.

Hosting the event were Pinoy Big Brother alumnus Rico, and a girl with a nice accent named Jocelyn [sp?].

The event space was laid out such that the major e-Games properties were arranged along three of the walls. Immediately next to the entrance was Dreamville with its henna and glitter tattoos and the MTV VJ hunt. Along the right wall were Audition, hosting a small dance stage and a Dance Dance Revolution machine; and O2 Jam, hosting another small stage and a Percussion Freaks machine. The left wall had, first, a sort of obstacle course and a large bouncy stage for jousting, for the shooting game Battle Position; then the Supreme Destiny space, with a sign-ups desk; and then Ran Online, which featured an arrow-shooting gallery.

The Audition, O2 Jam, Supreme Destiny, and Ran Online spaces all featured, in addition, about 40 PCs apiece, both for free play and for tournament play. O2 Jam was having its grand finals for the Jammin' to Jakarta event. Ran was hosting special events such as a Boss Time Attack and others. And Audition was also slated to host special performances by dancers such as the group Exodus, and the award-winning freestyle dance group Philippine All-Stars.

At some point during the morning my Granado Espada-hungry eyes caught sight of a singular apparition: among the crowd of cosplayers who were attending the day's cosplay competition appeared a familiar-looking blonde with an equally familiar-looking red dress with lace and ruffles.

Turns out this gem of a female elementalist was none other than Ann of e-Games! She and a few other people came to the event in full GE regalia: the male musketeer in his standard-issue green uniform; two versions of a female musketeer [one in a burgundy-brocade coat and one in a black outfit]; and the male wizard, who wore the reverse of the Clara mago armor as he was wearing a black top and white pants. And he even had a top hat!

[There should be a proper top hat for male wizards in Andre Janzur's shop!]

Just after Jonette and I broke for lunch, who should stop in front of us but the lady I was waiting for: sGE Community Manager Hrin!!!! She looked really good in her all-black outfit - and her boots were, as Tsubaki of Anime Desho Desho? put it, the type to kick booty with!

Jonette and I introduced ourselves to her and she was more than gracious to us - she welcomed Jonette warmly, and wound up asking me if I was planning to keep the "NineMoons" family name into POBT.

I told her that yes, I would like to keep playing as NineMoons, and would do my best to grab that name when POBT account sign-ups rolled around.

Around 2pm came the event I was waiting for: Rico and Jocelyn came up on stage to announce that Granado Espada Brand Manager [Philippines] Ivee Feria was about to make an announcement about GE! Ivee then came up on stage and introduced the game and its provenance. They showed the version 2.0 video next, and during this video the GE cosplayers came up on stage as well to perform some of Andre Janzur's patented funny poses.

It's time to make a stand.

I mirrored the v. 2.0 video at this entry.]

Finally, CM Hrin came up on stage and said she was very happy to be coming to the Philippines, and that she was greatly looking forward to getting back into the game to meet the Filipino players in the world of Granado Espada.

After saying goodbye to Hrin and Ivee Jonette and I repaired outside, and in response to her query about history within the game I gave her the short version of GE history.


And tomorrow I will be interviewing CM Hrin - so please, if you've got questions to ask her, leave a comment here!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Do you have a question for CM Hrin...

...about Pre-Open Beta Test?

...about her life as a Community Manager for a fast-growing / up-and-coming MMORPG?

...about life in Singapore?

...about Granado Espada in general?

Then send in your questions here!

I'll be interviewing CM Hrin within the next couple of days and I've been told to get questions from ALL of you Pinoy GE fans!

So comment away, leave the questions, and I will do my level best to make sure they all get answered to your satisfaction!


My coverage of the DOM1NATION event and its GE-related events will be up tomorrow ^^

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Wanna meet CM Hrin in person??

Sure you do!

From e-Games Philippines Product Manager for GE Ivee Feria comes this SMS news flash:

...pls go to d dominatn event,so u cud meet her in person.

In this blog post Granado Espada Community Manager Hrin talks about being busy, and mentions that she'll be in the Philippines today to meet with people from e-Games. She also made a request to meet some of the local GE gamers, and even though she says that was a bit last-minute-y, they agreed.

It turns out that if you go to the e-Games anniversary event DOM1NATION on Saturday, 28 April, CM Hrin will be there - and I'm guessing they'll be doing a formal announcement of the Granado Espada kind at the event!

Watch this space for more information!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The new Granado Espada forums are up and running!

Click here to read the news item at the official GE site.

Click here to sign up for an IAH Games Passport account.

Click here to go to the new forums.


And in other news, this site will be undergoing a series of small modifications, designed to allow easier navigation. There will also be a few aesthetic changes upcoming.

But don't worry, I'm not taking it down, or even going on hiatus - I'll be implementing the changes gradually, and you can still enjoy reading what I've posted here!

Hope you all come back when I've finished with the modifications, and hope you continue to enjoy the stuff I've posted here!

Monday, April 23, 2007

My idea for a Granado Espada promotion: Flash mob

The term "flash mob", in current parlance, refers to a large group of people who gather suddenly in a public place - a mall, a park, a street corner, a busy intersection such as you'd find in Tokyo, an MRT station, a lobby of a building - do something unusual for a short period of time [usually no more than 30 minutes], then disperse just as quickly as they arrived.

According to Wikipedia, there is also the "distributed" variant of flash mob, in which multiple flash mobs in multiple areas are coordinated to happen more or less all at the same time.

Flash mobs are greatly helped along in coordination and logistics by modern technology, such as SMS, instant messaging, and mobile e-mail.

I think the closest local equivalent might have been EDSA Dos - after the decision to not open that fateful envelope was made, after a female senator of that time horrified the nation with her celebratory dance, the text messages flew far and wide to tell people "We must gather! We must protest!" And so the crowds began to converge on the EDSA Shrine - thus toppling a presidency.


On the more off-beat and fun side, though, flash mobs have involved everything from pillow fights, to a rendition of the song-and-dance routine that is the end
sequence of the cult anime hit The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya [Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu].

[Thanks to Tsubaki at Anime Desho Desho? for that video link.]

So that set me thinking, why not a Granado Espada Flash Mob? After all, don't we already have the wild, weird, and wacky Poses as crafted by the one and only Andre Janzur?

My idea would be for a group of the Closed Beta Testers to get together in a public place - like the Mall of Asia, or the atrium at Glorietta, or even the garden area at Greenbelt 4 - for the express purpose of drawing attention to the upcoming Pre-Open Beta Test phase by doing some of the funniest poses from the game.

The Testers would assemble at a time when there were a lot of people in the chosen public place, do a pre-arranged sequence of poses in unison [and in silence], and then quickly disperse afterwards.

The other players might bring their posters, or wear their shirts, pins, and hats, in order to arouse more curiosity from the, it is hoped, audience interested in what could bring on an "attack" like this.

Any takers on that half-headstand thing, for example? Or what about that Hadouken pose, or the hugs?

What about pulling reenactments of the funny screenshots used in the contests at the forums, at, and at

Send in your comments and suggestions - it might be nice to do this immediately before POBT starts, so as to attract the most attention.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

POBT client download schedule!

The newsflash at the official site.

The article goes on to say that the main download site will still be, and that they'll also be putting up mirror sites to help take up the demand for the downloads.

I know the new patch and the new client will be pretty huge. At least a gigabyte for the patch alone, and about 4 GB for the v. 2.0 client.

Here's hoping that a lot of people will be kind enough to both mirror the files on other download sites, and that there will be a lot of seeders for those who prefer to grab their downloads via torrenting methods.

...Dare I say, "Gamers, start your engines!"?

A peek into RNPC Panfilo's cookbook: recipe 2/2

The second in this series of recipes may be familiar to players of about level 45 and up, as this is the first quest you can do with the proud, powerful magic-user from Absinia, the Port of Coimbra's Magic Items Merchant, M'Boma.


Percha Inzella: A recipe for spicy octopus legs [pulpo gallego]

This recipe was featured in the August 2006 issue of the food magazine Epicurious, credited to Jose Garces, and comes from their Web archive of past recipes.

Within GE, M'Boma asks you for help with his homesickness, and even treats you to a litany of complaints about how bland the food of Vespanola is, when compared to the flavorful, spicy, hot dishes of his native Absinia.

He therefore asks you to make a request of Panfilo: have the cook make him a dish of spicy octopus legs, to help ease his longings for home.

And since Panfilo believes in the freshness of ingredients, he makes you hunt the Barrel and Crate Octopus in Jezebel Glen to complete his dish.

3 (1- to 2-pound each) octopuses, cleaned
1/2 cup pickling spice
1/4 cup kosher salt, plus additional for seasoning
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 4 lemons)

Cut tentacles from octopus heads (just below eyes) and discard heads.
In 5-quart heavy pot, combine tentacles and enough water to cover by two inches. Add pickling spice, salt, pepper flakes, and 1/2 cup lemon juice, and bring to boil.
Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until octopus is tender, about 40 minutes.
Remove from heat, let rest 5 minutes, then drain.
Refrigerate tentacles until chilled, then cut into 3-inch pieces.
In large bowl, toss with remaining lemon juice and kosher salt to taste.

Serves 4.

Pulpo gallego trivia:

- a bit of irony comes from the fact that in the magazine, the recipe carried an English label of "Spanish Octopus" - when M'Boma was complaining that Vespanolan food [which is based on Spanish food] was flavorless

- when octopus is included in a dish of Japanese sashimi, it isn't really raw - both it and the squid in the presentation are most likely to have been parboiled before serving

- a more famous Japanese recipe for octopus would be the street food and snack takoyaki, wherein the octopus is cut into smaller pieces, battered, and fried on cast-iron molds, then eaten either on a stick, with chopsticks, or with toothpicks

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A peek into RNPC Panfilo's cookbook: recipe 1/2

Reason number 6 to love the RNPC Panfilo: he cooks to make others happy.

And in order to make YOU happy, too, I'll be putting up two recipes for you, based on the quests I've done so far with this wonderful recruitable NPC. Along with the recipes come some trivia and, perhaps, other ways to enjoy the food presented here.


Pure White Food: A recipe for pasta alla carbonara

This recipe comes from Jeff Smith of The Frugal Gourmet.

Within the game, this quest is triggered by the depression of the fashion designer and RNPC Andre Janzur, who is greatly concerned about the bad reputation currently attached to a person he admires, the ghostly Dilos Lantemn, who at this point in the game is still the final boss of the first dungeon Al Quelt Moreza.

Panfilo intends to present this dish of white food to Andre, who has a real liking for white things, and himself dresses only in white, in order to cheer him up.

1/4 lb bacon
1 stick or 1/4 lb butter
1 c milk
2 tbsp wine vinegar
1 lb pasta [we usually see carbonara over long noodles such as spaghetti or fettucine, but you can serve it over any type]
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 c freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

Cut the bacon into small pieces, and fry in the butter.
Heat the milk in a small pot, and add the bacon and butter.
Add the vinegar to turn the milk into cheese.
Simmer until smooth, about 15 minutes.
Boil the pasta of your choice until al dente [firm to the tooth]; drain and return to its pot.
Pour in the eggs, the bacon sauce, and the grated cheese; toss everything well to blend.
Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve hot.

Serves 8-10.

Carbonara trivia:

- it's "peasant food"

- a true carbonara always has eggs and some form of meat [remember, you had to hunt for Boar Meat to complete the quest inside the game]

- the name "carbonara" comes from the fact that the meat in the recipe used to be cooked over charcoal

- the joke, of course, is that you call a white-sauced pasta dish "black"!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

FLAREgamer interviews CM Hrin!

The interview at CM Hrin's blog.

Watch out for my own interview of CM Hrin, coming soon to a blog post near you! ^^

Friday, April 13, 2007

iBlog 3 summit: a quick Granado Espada update

I've just got back from Day 1 of iBlog 3: The Third Philippine Blogging Summit, and I've got some wonderful Granado Espada-related news to share with you - and in particular with my fellow players here in the Philippines.

One of the event's major sponsors was, you guessed it, IPVentures, which is the mother company of and of IP-Interactive, which will be releasing and overseeing Granado Espada here.

IPVentures also sent a speaker to the event, mainly to talk about how e-Games is helping build communities of gamers and also encouraging them to blog and/or express themselves as players of their games. The name on the program was that of CEO Jaime Enrique Y. Gonzalez, but the person who went to the event was actually e-Games President and COO Steve Tsao.

I was introduced to Mr. Tsao by Joel Tan, and he was gracious enough to spend a few minutes chatting about the local release of Granado Espada with Joel and me.

Essentially, Mr. Tsao says he's pushing as hard as is possible to get the game released here already, as he says he's fairly aware of the number of people who have already played it here, and similarly of their collective desire to get back into the game.

He advised us he'll soon be meeting again with the people at IAH to talk about GE - and so I want to wish him luck for the trip - so we can get our game on!

Mr. Tsao made quite a good presentation as speaker, incidentally, and even touched on GE definitely being released in the Philippines this year, in some form or another.


My thanks to Joel Tan (Ceskypooh's World, Gam3r Me
, and Game! Magazine) for the introduction to Mr. Tsao.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Real-world equivalents in GE: part 4/4

Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

And we finally come to the last of this series of posts.

[Did you see what the special posted "interruption" was all about? Leave me a note to tell me what you think - and don't forget to drop in at the official forums, too.]


Practically the first quest a player takes in the game involves the Firearms Merchant of Cite de Reboldoeux: the Targan Najib Sharif, who asks you to investigate a mysterious box.

Out in the real world, "Najib" was the nickname of Dr. Mohammad Najibullah, the fourth and last President of the Communist Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. Dr. Najibullah was also counted as the second President of the Republic of Afghanistan.

The RNPC's last name, "Sharif", may be derived from the traditional Arab title given to those who serve as protectors of a tribe and all of its assets, such as property and wells.

And that might have informed his characterization as someone who sells weapons.

At the next town, the Port of Coimbra, I'm sure a lot of people were simply pole-axed for a while when it came time to duel the Magic Items Merchant M'Boma for his card, as he was backed up by Claude Baudez. But did you know that someone carries this name out in the real world right now? Major General Edward Sam M'Boma is the current Chief of the Defense Staff of the African country of Sierra Leone.

When in the City of Auch, one cannot miss the great promenade with the arched steel-and-glass ceiling; if I remember correctly, this is the Grandice Arcade, named for the great Queen of Pioneers. Grandice, who now lives at the Ustiur Base Camp under the name "Grandma", won renown throughout the New World for her exploit of holding off monsters single-handedly for 30 minutes while the inhabitants of her settlement were evacuated to Cite de Reboldoeux.

Another famous character of this name, or similar to it, is the red-headed jewel thief Grandis Granva, from the Gainax anime series Fushigi no Umi no Nadia, or "Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water". Remember her? She led the Grandis Gang [composed of Hanson and Sanson, her henchmen] and even drove her own big yellow tank, called the "Gratan" [for "Grandis Tank"]. She went over to the side of the good guys and even nursed a futile crush on Captain Nemo [Eleusis Ra Alwar].

Also in Auch, those who wield rifles, pistols, and cannon buy their advanced weaponry from the Firearms Merchant in that city, Lorch Furuholnen. Out in the real world, he shares his first name of "Lorch" with towns in Hesse and in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, and one town in Enns, in Austria.

On the other hand, he shares his last name with Magne Furuholnen, who was the guitarist and keyboardist of the band A-Ha - best known for the hit single "Take On Me".

And finally, we have the one RNPC whom every single player wants to obtain - or, in her particular case, assemble: Catherine. Historically, she shares her name with several rulers: from Catherine de' Medici and Catherine of Aragon, to the two Russian tsarinas Catherine I, and Catherine the Great.

In addition, there's a somewhat gory legend attached to this name. Saint Catherine of Alexandria gave her name to the medieval instrument of death by torture, the Catherine wheel, which is now her symbol in saints' iconography. This particular Saint Catherine was supposed to have been executed on this device, originally called the "breaking wheel", but it broke when she touched it, perhaps as proof of her holiness. For all the details, you can start by viewing the Wikipedia article on this instrument.


Some light-heartedness in the next few posts, so stay tuned! ^^

GE official MTV!

We interrupt the post series "Real-world equivalents in GE" in order to bring you this fresh-off-the-nets video, straight from GE Community Manager Hrin.

Please watch above: the first official Granado Espada music video. The song is titled Fu Huo and since I can't read a lick of Chinese, you'll have to tell me who the singers are.

Comment away, and then let's talk about it after I finish the post series, okay?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Real-world equivalents in GE: part 3/4

Part 1
Part 2
Part 4

While the first two articles in this series talked about possible real-world derivations and equivalents
for some locations in the in-game milieu of Granado Espada, these next two posts have to do with the lovable, collectible, tradeable, and highly sought-after RNPCs.

I took the spellings for the RNPC names from this page. Don't worry about the
Thai - when you click on the RNPCs' pictures, you're taken to a separate page which lists their stances in English.

So, right into it then.


One of the first quests for GE newbies comes from Ramiro the Adventurer, and he is also the first RNPC that you have to duel in order to get his or her card. Speed and elemental traps aside, though, history records his first name as being related to the Spanish House of Aragon. There were two kings named Ramiro, who were also descended from the Jiménez dynasty, the first people to bring European culture and influence to Spain.

The Upgrade Merchant in Cite de Reboldoeux, Idge Imbrulia, has a familiar last name to us. It might have been derived from another source, but certainly her last name sounds like that of Australian singer, songwriter, model, and actress Natalie Imbruglia, who sang the hit songs "Torn", "Wishing I Was There", and "Wrong Impression".

The name of Ramiro's counterpart in the City of Auch, the boy pickpocket named Tiburon, means "shark" in Spanish.

My favorite RNPC, Pánfilo de Narváez, takes his entire name from a Spanish conqueror and soldier who lived from 1470 to 1528. He was an opponent of the equally famous Hernán Cortés, who led the Spanish Conquest of Mexico. De Narváez lived a troubled life, eventually perishing during a disaster-ridden expedition to Florida.

While he acts European, André Janzur may derive his last name from that of a town in the African country of Libya, which lies due west of its capital of Tripoli.

She may look militaristic and piratical with her eyepatch, but Port of Coimbra Weapon Merchant Adelina Esperanza owes her name to two decidedly peace-related concepts. Saint Adelina of the Roman Catholic Church was a French Benedictine nun [feast day 20 October], while "esperanza" is the Spanish word for "hope".

Idge Imbrulia's opposite number in Coimbra, the bare-chested Soho, may take his name primarily from the lively and multicultural West End district of London called, you guessed it, Soho. This location is notable for several reasons: it's the home of London's main gay village [centered on Old Compton Street], a part of London's Chinatown [centered on Gerrard Street], and a center for independent film and videos and for television and film post-production. Soho has also held the reputation of being the heart of London's sex industry for nearly 200 years! The famous London landmark Piccadilly Circus is also located in Soho district.

Other world locations called Soho are actually spelled "SoHo": the most famous are the New York City district SOuth of HOuston Street, and the area SOuth of HOllywood Road in Hong Kong.

Emilia Gianino, the Magic Items Merchant in Coimbra, may derive her first name from that of the wife of the villainous Iago, from William Shakespeare's play Othello.


I'll conclude this series of articles in the next entry, and then we'll talk about some light-hearted topics, from my idea of a GE "flash mob" to some recipes lifted directly from Panfilo's recipe books.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Real-world equivalents in GE: part 2/4

Part 1
Part 3
Part 4

To continue this series of informative articles, today I'll be talking about the real-world equivalents of the towns in the in-game world of Granado Espada. There's even some information on the derivation of the names of two dungeons.

I devoted the introduction of the previous article to Porto Bello and mushrooms; well, since then I've found out one more significant factoid regarding that name.

Several places in the United Kingdom bear the proud name of Porto Bello; and there are even namesake towns in New Zealand and in Dublin in Ireland.

But most important to us in this article is the location known as Portobelo in the country of Panama. Formerly known as Puerto Bello and also called Porto Belo by some, this port town in the province of Colón played an important role during the heady years of the Age of Exploration.

It was one of the great silver-exporting ports on the Spanish Main [the mainland coast of the Spanish Empire around the Caribbean, including Florida, Mexico, much of Central America, and the northern coasts of South America]. The great Spanish treasure fleets, which included the Caribbean treasure fleet and the Manila Galleons, ferried the riches of the New World and Asia back to Spain via Portobelo.

Portobelo's location on the Caribbean and the Spanish Main also made it a haunt of pirates and privateers, and one might just be able to imagine someone like witty Captain Jack Sparrow to have landed there.

At present, the fortifications at Portobelo are among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Before getting the levels to tackle Porto Bello, though, one might be advised to first hunt mobs and do the challenging quests inside the monster-infested Tetra Great Ruins. Strange as it may seem, though, this firmly landlocked dungeon might owe its name to a fish you might even now have in your friendly neighborhood aquarium.

The often brightly-colored tetra are freshwater fish of the families Characidae and Alestiidae, and are distinguished from other fish by the presence of a smaller fin between the main one on its back and its tail. They are actually rather easy to care for and thrive in captivity, and are therefore among the most popular species of aquarium fish.

On the other hand, the word "tetra" might also be familiar to math and geometry buffs as the numerical prefix meaning four. A tetrahedron, for example, is a shape composed of four triangular faces, three of which meet at each vertex. To be a "regular" tetrahedron, all four of the triangles that make up its faces must be equilateral.

If you play tabletop RPGs, you'll know this shape as the d4 die.

Now for our beloved safe zones, the towns of Granado Espada.

In this blog entry, sGE Community Manager Hrin says that the second part of the novice adventurer's tutorial will take place at the Port of Coimbra.

While not quite a port itself, the real-world city and municipality of Coimbra in Portugal might see almost as many people as those on the streets of the fictional port. The real Coimbra is a university city, host to the University of Coimbra [founded 1290], and to its students and the tourists from around the world who come to see one of the oldest universities in Europe.

Coimbra is one of the most important urban centers of Portugal, second only to the capital Lisbon, and is the chief city of central Portugal. It was even the capital of that country from 1139 to 1260.

The city itself traces its roots all the way to Roman times, when it was a town called Aeminium.

Today, Coimbra is the center of the Greater Metropolitan Area of Coimbra [16 municipalities], the district seat of Coimbra district, and the capital of Portugal's Centro region.

After conquering the many maps around the Port of Coimbra and the ship-dungeon of Porto Bello, many GE players often opt to move on to the City of Auch, where they can get the next levels of weaponry and armor, or trade in looted yellow and blue weapons and armor for Enchantment Chips.

But did you know that in the real world, the town of Auch is located in southwestern France? It's the préfecture, or capital, of the Gers département, and is located in the région Midi-Pyrénées.

An ancient town dating from around 50 BC or so, Auch was first occupied by a tribe called the Aquitanians. At the time of the Roman conquest the town of Auch was known as Elimberris, and was then renamed Augusta Auscorum.

Auch can also be used as a surname, and in this aspect it has both German and French origins. The French surname, of course, refers to the town of Auch.

The German one, on the other hand, derives from the Middle High German word Uhte, and originally denoted people who watched livestock [sheep, cattle, goats, etc.] at night.

That might tie in to the generally more Germanic names of some RNPCs in Auch, such as Gurtrude Peterson and Lorch Furuholnen.

Unfortunately I was unable to find information on either Cite de Reboldoeux, or on the Ustiur Base Camp - but if you know anything about their possible real-world equivalents, send it on to me and I'll happily post it up, with your name credited of course.


In the next two entries, I'll wind up this series by talking about the RNPCs and their possible real-world equivalents or derivations.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Real-world equivalents in GE: part 1/4

Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

True story: when I first looked at the map of Granado Espada, the first thing I noticed was the name of the ship dungeon located outside the Port of Coimbra. And when I read that name out loud, I got myself a bad case of the munchies.

Portobello mushrooms [Agaricus bisporus] are the really dark, really old, really big grown-up versions of the button mushroom. This might just be the most commonly eaten form of fungus in the whole world.

We commonly find this type of mushroom as a young'un, canned in slightly salted water in the grocery stores. When it gets older and loses the white coloration, though, it becomes the portobello, which can grow almost as big as a hand, and is terrific on top of a piece of toast, or as another type of ingredient in pasta sauces. [California Pizza Kitchen, anyone?]

And if you think that Porto Bello is the only name that Granado Espada derived from the real world, read on. Today I'm talking about the real-world equivalents of some of the other place names that we find in our own in-game New World.

In this thread on the forums, poster "ge7812" explains that Granado means "pomegranate", and Espada, of course, means "sword". The poster goes on to elaborate on the in-game meaning of the title, saying that the New World's name was derived from those of the two explorers who found it: Gilberto Granado, and Ferruccio Espada.

Oporuto, which was the actual first nation to discover and attempt to exploit this New World, derives its name from those of Porto, the second city of Portugal, and from that country's name as well. It seems that in old times the city of Porto was referred to as Oporto, providing the closest possible real-world origin for Oporuto's name.

The name of the country of Vespanola can be derived from the following sources: Espana, which is what the Spanish call their own country; Hispania, which was the name given by the ancient Romans to the whole Iberian Peninsula [where modern-day Spain, Portugal, Andorra and Gibraltar are located]; and Hispaniola, the name of the island on which Christopher Columbus founded the first Spanish colony in the Western Hemisphere. This island is now occupied by the countries of Haiti, and the Dominican Republic.

[On a side note, I'm wondering if there's anyone in the game hierarchy with a thing for Vespas, the popular brand of stylish Italian scooter? Perhaps Kim Hakkyu might have the answer to that. ^^]

It was a little harder to find a derivation for the name Targa, the country that Najib Sharif hails from. As with everyone else in the game, I'm assuming that this country is their equivalent of India, Pakistan, or Sri Lanka, owing to Najib's appearance and manner of dress.

Actually, the word "targa" comes from the Old Franconian language, and evolved into the Old English word "targe", which means "shield" - or, in terms of usage, "buckler". The Scottish Highlanders made extensive use of the targe as a means of defense, and larger versions of it were used in the sport of jousting.

All of this ties in rather neatly with the in-game profile of Targa, which is renowned for making wonderful firearms, and for having a warlike outlook.

The fact that Targa lies between Vespanola and Katai also speaks in its favor as the game's equivalent of India, for reasons explained below.

The country of Illier, renowned for fine swords, high fashion, and good food, dervies its name from a location in France called Illiers-Combray. Originally, this village was simply called "Illiers", but after the world-renowned author Marcel Proust described it under the name of "Combray" at the beginning of his great novel Remembrance of Things Past [in French, A la recherche du temps perdu], the village honored him by changing its name to the current compound.

Ilier claimed a central position on the continent of Orpesia, in much the same way as France does on the European continent, and we can probably assume that Ilier does indeed serve as the game's stand-in for France.

The in-game country of Brestia takes its name from the place-name Brest. There are four places in Europe which share this name: one in France, one in Germany, one in Belarus, and one in Slovenia.

It's rather difficult to assign a real-world equivalent to Brest, as aspects of its description could apply to different European nations. Germany did indeed ascend to become a formidable power in Europe, but Spain's traditional rivals have been France and England.

Furthermore, the Spanish Armada was sent to England, and was roundly defeated by superior English artillery; rather similar to how the Vespanolan Red Navy won out against the superior numbers of the Brestian fleet.

Now Katai is much easier to place in our real world. Its name is derived from "Cathay", the old term for China. The fact that nearly all the Orpesian nations were searching for routes to Katai's resources gives us a further clue, as history shows many voyages towards the Far East to claim the many riches that were thought to be there.

And then we come to Absinia, home to fierce warriors and magic-users like M'Boma. And what do you know - "Absinia" is currently known to us as the African country of Ethiopia!

A quick glance at Greek mythology shows that even the ancients were aware of the existence of Ethiopia. It is also known today as the "Cradle of Humanity", because of the peerlessly ancient traces of humanity that have been found there.

There are also records of a European contact with Ethiopia, as Aragon, one of the kingdoms that was incorporated into modern Spain, had received two Ethiopian emissaries as diplomats.


In the next entries, please look out for my discussions of the cities/safe zones in GE and their real-world equivalents, as well as the possible derivations of some of our favorite RNPCs.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Game! articles: second in the series

The power of three will set GE free.

In this second Granado Espada article for Game! Magazine, I talk about the proliferation of threes inside our favorite historical MMORPG.

Hope you all have a good and meaningful weekend.

In my next post, look out for some real-world names and places within our New World - and boy, you'll probably be surprised. ^^