Guest Post: Something Stompy This Way Comes

Image result for mech warrior gif

This week I have a very special entry from a very special homie of mine, Ryan. Get ready to have your heart strings plucked and other emotional things that I can’t properly come up with because, hey, I’m too lazy to write my own blog… What did you expect?                                                           ~C


The original draft of this piece was a bombastic tirade on why feminism is in fact for everybody and why you should reconsider any negative stance you might hold on it.

The second draft of this piece was a bombastic tirade on why football is in fact not just for dumb jocks but rather for anybody that enjoys a bit of alcohol and a lot of adrenaline.

I stand by all that, but this isn’t really my space to score political points, so I threw all that out and decided to preach the gospel of

GIANT

A 3D rendering of a Bushwacker, a very intimidating Battlemech

STOMPY

A drawing of a Warhammer, an even more intimidating Battlemech

ROBOTS

A drawing of an Atlas, the biggest and meanest son of a bitch Battlemech in the universe.

THIS IS THE INNER SPHERE

Image result for mechwarrior inner sphere

The year is 3025. Over a thousand years, humanity spread to the stars, conquered thousands of worlds (and called them the Inner Sphere because reasons), and then decided “dammit what we really need is a return to the Dark Ages.” So some jackass named Cameron declared himself Hegemon of the Star League and blah blah blah and named a bunch of people as Knights and Lords and then everybody set to enslaving peons. This peace lasted for a couple hundred years and ended when some other jackass decided to kill the only living heir to the Cameron line because unlike European royalty the Camerons didn’t have a bunch of cousins to have creepy incest children with, so their family tree was more of a family line.

Anyway, this made a bunch of people very angry and was generally considered to be a bad idea. Then there were a few hundred years of military strife bringing us to 3025, billions having died in the interim. Oh also they kept nuking each other back into the stone age so nobody remembers how to build anything more advanced than a toaster and the whole Inner Sphere really only gets by on salvaging technology from the ruins of obliterated worlds and cities. Fortunately the population has been in decline (see: nukes, endless centuries of war, whatever) so there’s lots of excess to go around!

But that’s all the boring stuff, let’s talk about the Mechs.

Look at this glorious array of 20+ meter tall, 20 to 100 ton warmachines, mm mm

Three mechs in a desert shooting things with lasers and whatnot

A Battlemech is not actually a robot because it has a pilot, but Giant Stompy Robots so perfectly encapsulates what makes the whole shindig worth it so just deal with the appropriation of terms ok. What it is is a hilariously ridiculous tank with legs that shoots lasers and missiles and machine guns and what amounts to a shotgun if it were scaled up to be the size of a minivan.

Some woman whose dreams have been destroyed standing in front of a minivan

(Like this, but expulsing death instead of mom jeans and grass-stained children)

A Battlemech walks by using something called myomer, which is basically artificial muscle that expands and contracts when an electrical current is run through it (ha, this actually exists, somebody’s totally gonna invent IRL Mechs and it’s gonna be so great). Oh and the pilot, called a Mechwarrior, controls the thing by slapping a helmet on his or her head which plugs into their neurons, so they basically become the Mech. Yeah, hardcore, right?

Oh but it gets better. See, Battletech originated in the 80s and while some of the art has been updated, the aesthetic has… not.

Yeah, this is a Mechwarrior: So is this:
hahaha hehehehheehe

Modern efforts to update the art have turned out… well, this, but let’s try not to talk about it.

Image result for mechwarrior female pilot
IT IS THE 31st CENTURY AND MANKIND IS STILL OBJECTIFYING WOMEN

Mechwarriors are the Knights of the retro 80s medieval future of the Inner Sphere. Battlemechs are their steeds, but also their swords and lances and also their armor, listen it’s not a great analogy ok, just… stick with me.

Listen at this point this basically sells itself, right? Like, do I need to even keep telling you information that doesn’t involve “hot damn where do I buy this?” Gosh I hope so because I have drifted so far from my outline for this piece that I can’t even hope to rein this in without rewriting the whole thing and, I mean, haha yeah right I’m not going to do that.

Well the bad news is that Battletech is sort of laying fallow right now. Which is sad, because it’s also experiencing a modern Renaissance. The company that originally spawned Battletech (FASA) went out of business (sorta) in the 90s. The IP was sold off, winding up with… well, like four different companies. Microsoft owns the rights to video games, FanPro (and then Wizards of the Coast and now Catalyst Games) got the rights to the tabletop games, some other damn company got the rights to the TV show (oh yeah, there was a TV show, I mean god the humor writes itself). There is a video game that is current and moderately popular called Mechwarrior Online which focuses on piloting your own Mech. There’s another one in development called, appropriately, BATTLETECHALLCAPS MEANS IMPORTANT, which is going to focus on commanding a Lance (that is what a group of Mechs is called, yes seriously) of mercenary Mechs. The tabletop game (also called BattletechNOT ALLCAPS BECAUSE NOBODY CARES) still exists, though I might be the only person in the US still playing it so good luck there.

So that pretty much sums it up I guess. I mean there’s a lot more to it, the timeline goes as far forward as like 3150 and involves the return of the Star League military under the guise of the Clans who are a bunch of sorta-cloned warriors that use made up words and have a ridiculous honor code for ritualized combat (so, Klingons), also there’s body doubles, the Star League reforming for a hot minute before deciding that oppressing the peons and killing each other is more fun than stability, a religious faction blowing up a bunch of worlds in I-kid-you-not a Jihad (whoa real thinly veiled attempt at modern allegory there)…

Tell you what, just watch this and weep for this modern world which is so deprived of the joy and glory that is Battletech. and then spend a bunch of money on battletech stuff so i have somebody to play with 😦

tl;dr pew pew lasers

—————————

Ryan F. Scott Fitzgerald Wilson III the Great was born in a crossfire hurricane, enjoys long walks from the couch to the fridge and back, and is better than you though he doesn’t know precisely what at yet, so it might appear as though he’s actually a failed human being that is inferior to you in almost every way. He also thinks he’s funnier than he is, so don’t get him started.

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