“There are lines that shouldn’t be crossed in my opinion, and sometimes excessive violence is used in place of any kind of story development. Regardless of the perversion of [horror] in many cases, I feel like it can present some of the deepest subjects and concerns that may be too dark and heavyhearted for other genres to tackle.”
Our titillating talk got pretty spooky pretty fast so maybe don’t turn the lights down too low. Our interviewee is an excellent writer and reviewer but he also lives up to his moniker as a creature of the night by showing off his knowledge of things that go bump in the night. For horror fans, this is a true treat. Lovecraft, Stephen King, and some great horror recommendations await. But remember, we’re talking to a true gentleman with a refined taste, here. There’ll be no cheap thrills or jump scares. I had the feeling instead that this was someone who appreciates the artistry not simply the adrenaline.
The Midnight Mystic Mage is our latest and newest guest contributor and we’re more than thrilled to have his shamanic presence aboard. He has already written a few reviews, so be sure to check them out! If you’re interested in becoming a magely contributor yourself and expose yourself to our audience, check out the page Join the Party. If you’d like to suffer through an interview with none other than yours truly, then be sure to read our original post “Introducing Blogger Interviews”.
“Alrighty so it’s about time we get this interview up and running!
First question is how long have you been a gamer?”
“I started off playing my sister’s NES. Super Mario, Duck Hunt, Donkey Kong, etc. We were definitely a Nintendo family. Super Nintendo, N64, & GameCube. I loved playing my friend’s Segas but I never had one of my own growing up.”
“Have you followed Nintendo ever since?
When did you break off and start seeing “other people”, as it were?”
“Haha, I like the way you put that. I have not, it was technically the GameCube era when I stopped playing most of my games on Nintendo. I did play a little bit of Wii, but mostly just Wii Sports with the family.”
“Was there something about the Wii that just turned you off?
Why not get the Wii U? Bear in mind this is coming from someone who does not own a Wii U himself.”
“I think by that point was when PlayStation & Xbox just started doing some really amazing things. It was more what they had than what Nintendo didn’t at that point. I wanted to play the God of Wars, the Halos, and the games that I would never be able to get anything like with Nintendo. I honestly feel like the biggest mistake they made was not converting to disc to create the PlayStation/Nintendo hybrid that never was. Nintendo is incredibly creative and amazing, but it is hard to compete with the budget of a Sony or Microsoft.”
“I’m a Nintendo fan but I couldn’t agree more.
So what would you say is something you now look for in a game, and what are your favorite genres to play? Do you play a wide range of genres or stick to a few?”
“I definitely still root for Nintendo as well, I just can’t bring myself to buy a whole console just because I really want to play the new Mario or the new Zelda. The Switch does look very cool though, it is enticing.
“I love a great story, that is the first and foremost thing that I want in a game now. That being the case I tend to pick a lot of RPGs but I am open to most genres if one jumps out at me. The only one I really have stopped playing for the most part is first-person shooters. I still play one from time to time but very rarely.”
“Hopefully the Switch will soon have a more robust library
than just a draw from Mario and Zelda. Two questions popped in my mind, then. The first is why have you stopped playing first person shooters?”
“I think it has to do with why I tend to enjoy more relaxing and laid back gaming experiences. FPS games are more based on accuracy, precision, real time tactics, and skill. I am a father of two now with a full time stressful job, and the last thing I want to do is come home with my short times that I will have to myself and be stressed or frustrated over a harshly competitive game.
(I’m getting too old in other words )”
“Haha! I totally understand that as well.
I’ve never been too much of an FPS fan for pretty much the same reasons. Second question is simpler: what are some of your favorite RPGS?”
“Ooo let’s see, I love the Dragon Age games which is obvious with my most recent review. I have played the first two Dragon Quest games and thought they were incredibly solid, really want to dig deeper into that series when able. The games I have played from the Legend of Zelda series are also definitely amongst my favorite games. (Ocarina of Time, The WindWaker, Majora’s Mask)”
“I’m jealous since I’ve never played a Dragon Quest OR Dragon Age game.
While we’re on the subject of your favorites, which are your top three favorite games and why?”
“Fable (the original), Red Dead Redemption, & LoZ: The WindWaker… in no particular order, and that was super hard to pick just 3. I put the most amount of time probably of any game into Red Dead Redemption. I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did but it was just the perfect game for me at the time. Fable I feel was a pivotal game, it’s the first time I felt like everything I did was changing the outcome of the story and who my character actually was, I enjoyed the whole series but the first one was really a defining experience to me. The hardest to decide was between Ocarina of Time & The Windwaker, and I may kick myself for it later, but the latter just really stands out as one of the most enjoyable experiences I have had with a video game. (Honorable mention to Dragon Age Inquisition, it is definitely that good)”
“Yeah, awesome choices! I’d personally go with WindWaker over Ocarina too,
but only by a smidge. So the new Zelda of course is coming out next week and you mentioned you’d be passing on the Nintendo Switch for now. What would the Switch need to do specifically to win you over and get IT?”
“I would like to start by saying I was extremely blown away by the Switch reveal. I was so hyped and I think they took it in a much better direction than what I was anticipating. I guess that I am just not in a position where I can necessarily always get the new consoles and things like that even when I think they are exciting, especially something as experimental as the Switch. Nintendo always takes a brave, unexplored direction with things and I definitely applaud them for that. I would just like to let others test the waters for me on this one. Would also like to give it time to build the library up a little more. I regrettably have never played an actual Metroid game, but love games in the style of it. That would be a great addition if they can wing it. So there were definitely times in my life where I would have this thing pre-ordered, but right now I just have to wait and see how it plays out.”
“I was blown away by that Switch reveal trailer, too.
I’m in the same boat as you, though. I haven’t bought a console at launch since PlayStation One. For me it was a combination of the price point and Breath of the Wild, haha! I wholeheartedly agree that it needs that library built up. Do you have any thoughts on where we’re headed with the future of gaming? Do you think VR is going to dominate or the Switch will define handheld gaming for a generation?”
“I honestly don’t think anything will ever take over a normal controller and the butts on the seats, with no gimmick. I believe that both of these will experience vast success, but eventually going the way of the Wii motion controller, the Guitar Hero controller, etc. Even if both models do stick around and pass the test of time, I highly doubt that either will take over the main market.”
“So that’s the direction you would prefer to see the future of gaming go in?
More emphasis on traditional gaming and less on gimmick, is that correct?”
“I think there is always room for the gimmicks as well, and I definitely don’t mean it in a harsh way. I know the word gimmick can have some negative connotations, but I don’t intend them in this situation. Like I mentioned earlier I played a ton of Wii Sports with family and there are some amazing looking horror games for VR that I would totally love to play.”
“Yes, so let’s get into what was a recent identity jump for you.
You’ve successfully become a full-fledged Mage, complete with awesome nocturnal spells like Darkaga and writing skills as the Midnight Mystic Mage. Thank you for joining, of course, but what led you to this decision?”
“I have really been enjoying writing on my blog since I started it, as well as meeting new friends who do the same. I really enjoyed reading the posts on the page and loved the idea of every writer being a different Mage. As soon as I saw the blogger interview and join as a Mage option, I was all in!”
“Awesome! I detect from your magely bio and your first review,
an excellent and informative piece on Amnesia: the Dark Descent, that you’re a fan of horror.”
“Yes, I definitely am. There is just something about the psychological thrill of a great horror story that I really love. I specifically have an obsession with H.P. Lovecraft. The way he approaches things like insanity, mythological creatures/gods, and forbidden knowledge that drives people mad is just extremely interesting to me. I started to notice his influence in modern horror and really became fascinated with him.”
“I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself a fan of the horror genre,
in games in particular, so maybe you could help me understand the value and appeal of horror. I’m right there with you on Lovecraft. I’ve read a few of his works and I can appreciate his uniqueness. The literary grandfathers have generally always interested me and I’d consider him right there at the top with many of them. But maybe you can make a justification for the horror genre?”
“The horror genre is definitely a niche that many people avoid. I have also not been the biggest fan of it in many periods of my life. To quote Lovecraft and hopefully help me gain some traction with my thought process: “The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” You could chalk it up to cheap thrill seeking, possibly a primal urge to feel something other than the dull monotony of the “Groundhog Day” that the daily grind can become. It can be a way to purge the darkness by allowing yourself to be consumed by it for a short period and understanding it. I know that there is a lot of plain bad horror out there, I try to watch some movies and turn them straight off very often. There are lines that shouldn’t be crossed in my opinion, and sometimes excessive violence is used in place of any kind of story development. Regardless of the perversion of the genre in many cases, I feel like it can present some of the deepest subjects and concerns that may be too dark and heavyhearted for other genres to tackle.”
“An eloquent justification.
What’s an example of a horror movie that you’ve had to shut off it was such absolute dookie? And conversely, what are some examples of your favorite horror films, games and books?”
“Let’s see, the most recent one that I can remember was The Devil’s Rejects. That hotel scene just really went too far for my tastes. Another one that I had to shut off was The Human Centipede, lol, that one was just gross. I really loved The Visit by M. Night Shyamalan, he is definitely the king of twists, and that one made my jaw drop. The Shining was a really good book. I felt some of the changes in the movie were unnecessary, but I enjoyed it as well. Hate to only fall back on games I reviewed but Amnesia: The Dark Descent & The Last Door Season 1 are seriously great games with some Lovecraftian qualities.”
“Ugh, the Human Centipede… I tried to watch and failed.
I think the Shining movie has that extra strangeness because of the genius of Stanley Kubrick, but yeah, pretty different from the book. Any anticipated films or games in the horror genre you want to see coming soon? Alien: Covenant?”
“Looks great, I actually have not seen the Alien movies. It’s definitely a series I need to catch up on, I feel like I might have watched one of them a long time ago but can’t quite remember. I have to go with one that at this point is probably a predictable choice. The new Call of Cthulhu game is supposed to be coming this year, and it looks completely stunning. Super excited for that, I have been waiting for it for a long time.”
“Oh yeah I can second that one! Looking forward to it as well.
Also, I’m sure you’d enjoy the original Alien. Superb and unique sci-fi horror. Anywho, let’s shift gears to your blog. How did you come across your blog name? Was it an epiphany of sorts?”
“Yes, most definitely. I am a member of the world’s oldest and largest fraternity, the Freemasons. I wanted to commemorate this with my blog in some way when I was starting it. When you become a Master Mason it is described as “being raised to the Sublime degree of a Master Mason”. I thought it over for a while and then had an “A-Ha!” moment and really thought it went well together.”
“Nice, I wasn’t expecting an origin so dramatic!
What is something your blog specializes in? In other words, what can your readers expect for you?”
“Haha, I have up to this point been only reviewing video games. I am going to begin doing reviews for movies and books as well. I hope I can help others get as much enjoyment out of various things as I do with my recommendations.”
“So why are you blogging?
Is there a goal of some sort you’re aiming to achieve?”
“Not really, I want to be as good at it as possible just because I have a lot of fun with it. I mostly just wanted to be able to find like-minded individuals to talk to about things I like when I started the blog. My wife gets really tired of hearing about Lovecraft and video games! lol”
Well I’d say you’ve met that goal in this awesome WordPress gaming community. Discussion is the word of the day. I seriously can’t laud this community enough. It’s by and large miles ahead of the average forum group.”
“Totally agree, I have been having a great time getting to know everybody and learning some awesome stuff! Maybe if anybody has any favorite games, movies, or books that they would recommend? I’m really thankful for all the inspiration from everyone in the community. Everybody has been very helpful and courteous.”
“Recommendations are the way to go.
Speaking of, what are some hidden gems you would commend to us in terms of games? I mean we’ve all played the Zeldas and so on but what are some titles we’ve maybe never heard of?”
“Love some hidden gems! I have got to give it up for Chroma Squad first and foremost. It is a tactical RPG where you create your own team of power rangers. It has amazing pixel graphics, hilarious dialogue, it’s just an all around killer game that I think deserves more attention. I am also really enjoying Freedom Planet right now. It is very reminiscent of 2D Sonic games. It really takes that model and improves upon it in so many ways, I would highly recommend it to any fans of those games. The Banner Saga I feel like has more attention than the previous two I mentioned, but I really loved the gameplay in the first of the series. The battle system is very solid, that is another tactical RPG.”
“Heard of Banner Saga but not the other two.
Any idea why they went under the radar for so long?”
“Not really sure, maybe they lack a big marketing budget or publisher. For fans of those types of games I really recommend them both, some of the bosses on Freedom Planet are so frustrating, though! Freedom Planet 2 is in development now. I have not heard anything about another Chroma Squad yet. I should mention Chroma takes place as if you were filming a Power Rangers TV show, so it is very quirky, meta, and I absolutely love it.”
“Let me ask you: Why Vincent Price?”
“I fell in love with the story The Case of Charles Dexter Ward by Lovecraft. So I was looking to see what type of graphic novels and movies had been made from it. I saw The Haunted Palace adaptation and had to see if it was any good. Price’s voice and acting ability really blew me away and just left me wanting to see how well he did in other movies. I haven’t been let down by him so far: the House on Haunted Hill, The Last Man on Earth (a version of I Am Legend), the Tomb of Ligeia, the Diary of a Madman. He is a real treat to watch.”
“He had the golden voice, certainly.
I just remembered him from the Muppet Show right now. So with so many films based and loosely based on Lovecraft’s works, what are a handful that you would recommend as primers as it were to his adaptations?”
“Loved The Haunted Palace of course, The Thing on the Doorstep was one that I really enjoyed also. The Colour Out of Space had its moments that I thought were cheesy but overall was pretty good. Necronomicon I was mixed about, it had some moments of really great stuff, my favorite was the take it did on Cool Air, but it also had a bunch of overly gruesome, unnecessary stuff that seemed to be hoping for shock value. Same explanation of that one goes for Re-Animator, in my opinion, which did very well and even got a second movie I believe, but wasn’t exactly my style.
“One could very well ask: Why Lovecraft, then?
To piggyback onto that question, how influential was he?”
“What really introduced me to Lovecraft was HP Podcraft, it is a really fun podcast to listen to. I listened obsessively to every episode and just became so fascinated by him as a person, his story, and his extreme talent and creativity. I did not understand how influential he was until I started to learn more about him. Authors like Stephen King give him he highest of praise, saying, “I think it is beyond doubt that H.P. Lovecraft has yet to be surpassed as the twentieth century’s greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale.” The most amazing part to me is that he probably didn’t even know the type of lasting impact he would have. He died in relative poverty and received nearly all of his renown posthumously. He did influence many writers in his generation too though, and of course is known for his letting any author write in the mythos that he created, which many did.”
“HP Podcraft is a genius-level podcast title!
I’d agree with you that his work has an undeniable influence, even on films which aren’t direct adaptations.”
“Loved the title myself, now somebody just needs to make The Edgar Allan Podcast ”
“The Edgar Allen Poecast!”
“Dude! Nailed it.”
I’d just like to ask you what you would say to all your fellow bloggers and gamers out there in the ether to encourage and inspire. A final word of wisdom, if you would?”
“Would like to thank all of you for reading and always being so friendly. This really is the best gaming community I have had the pleasure to be a part of. Reading all of your blogs always makes my day brighter and I love sharing your enthusiasm and learning what to not waste my time with as well. I would just encourage everybody to lead a happy and balanced life. Work hard and keep your passion and hope alive.”
“Well, I appreciate your time very much. Thank you, sir!
You’re an inspiring and well-read individual. I was greatly encouraged talking with you. Thanks for participating!”
“Had a great time!”
Did you enjoy this post? Consider becoming a Warrior of Light and join us in restoring integrity and quality to entertainment journalism. We specialize in long-form, analytical reviews and we aim to expand into a podcast and webzine with paid contributors! See our Patreon page for more info!