The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #243: Reading from The Thirteenth Hour on Flying Through the Clouds and Like a Hood Ornament 3 – the Rocketeer’s Rocketpack

Episode #243: Reading from The Thirteenth Hour on Flying Through the Clouds and Like a Hood Ornament 3 – the Rocketeer’s Rocketpack

https://archive.org/download/podcast243/Podcast%20243.mp3

This week’s show is all about flying, both in the traditional part of the podcast as well as in the Rocketeer segment.  I’ll always aim for them to be related if possible, since, after all, The Rocketeer was one of the things that influenced the writing and creation of the Thirteenth Hour world.

In the first part of the show, I’m reading from the chapter where the main protagonist, Logan, is gifted a silver hoverboard he calls Lightning that has its own onboard magical “computer” (though that’s never exactly stated), allowing for a kind of magic artificial intelligence, and runs off the power of the sun (again, never exactly stated, at least not in this one).

Just to get us in the mood, I thought I’d include the intro from the 1984 film, The Neverending Story, for the quintessential audiovisual cloudscape experience:

Here is the passage from The Thirteenth Hour:

Lightning beeped cheerfully and drifted slowly forward down the lighted blue pathway that I had walked down earlier.  She really picked up speed in the windy section near the entrance. I crouched down low, white–knuckling the board with both hands.  Maybe I should have practiced a little first, I began thinking to myself.  But Aurora was in trouble, and I needed to concentrate on that.  The flight to Cordel would have to be my practice.  Lightning shot out of the Palace and began to climb steeply.  My heart plummeted into my stomach, and I prayed that we would slow down, eyes shut, knuckles even whiter as I gripped the edges of the board for dear life. 

The board beeped then; I opened my eyes slightly, and by shielding them against the torrential winds, I was able to see a message flash across the complicated, yet impressive looking front of the board. 

“Relax, Logan!  There’s no way you can fall.  Both your feet are now strapped in. You can let go of my sides if you want.  Have fun!”  

I looked down; my right foot was now securely strapped onto the board.  I stayed crouched low, but let go of the edges, first one hand, then another.  As soon as I did, I felt as if I were going to fall backwards and began to flail my arms.  Lightning slowed down a little, allowing me to regain my balance.  But at every dip, my stomach felt like it was shooting up to my throat.  I wanted to grab onto something solid, but I realized that there was nothing but air to hold onto!  In desperation, I gripped the side of the board again, but it didn’t do any good.

“This is harder than I thought!”

Another message flashed across the screen.

“Well, it really isn’t too hard once you get the hang of it.  Just relax and let me do the work.  Now, how about some aerobatics, my favorite?”

“Uh, wait a minute!  Aerobatics?  Is that anything like acrobatics?  I don’t think I’m ready for that!” I yelled.

“Sure you are!  You just don’t know it yet!  All you have to do is hang on!” flashed the screen.

I yelled a succession of curses as my stomach shot up to my throat as Lightning spun around three times in succession.  The screen read, “Barrel roll maneuvers complete.”

Whatever that meant!  She ended up in an inverted position, with me looking at the sea, dizzy.  I had paid so much attention to the insides of my eyelids that I hadn’t looked around to notice how high we were.  We seemed to be traveling at an insane speed.  The waves far below flashed by in a blur.  The wind kept getting caught in my gaping mouth and bellowing out my cheeks while I struggled to close my mouth.  At one point, I felt like I was going to fall out, dangling only by the straps holding my feet onto the board.  Instinctively, I grabbed both sides of the board.  Lightning rolled back over, and I breathed easier. 

“This might help you out.  I am going to deploy an invisible shield that will surround you and myself.  It’s just like a big bubble.  It will cut air resistance and protect you.  And just in case you’re interested, it will prevent you from falling should you manage to slip out of the foot restraints.”

“We couldn’t have done this before?” I croaked, as wind caught in my mouth, hard that time, stunning my vocal chords.

“No, my programming instructs us to be at least fifty miles away from the Palace before I deploy the bubble shield.”

“Why fifty?”

“If I overheat, I could self–destruct.  The explosion would level anything in the surrounding area within a fifty mile radius.”

“Self–destruct?” I repeated, horrified.

“The shield has never been tested before.  There’s a very slight chance that it will overload my systems.”

“Overload?” 

“Is it just me or is there an echo here?  It’s alright.  The shield’s up now. All systems are operating well within normal limits.  However, it’s written in my programming to warn all passengers if they aren’t.”

As if they could do anything about it, except maybe jump off and die hitting the ground instead of in a mid–air explosion.  The wind didn’t seem to be blowing as hard now, though I couldn’t see the shield, nor could I feel it.  But I noticed that it was much quieter, and I could talk without shouting, although there was still a ringing in my ears from the rushing wind.

“It seems to work,” I said, feeling around tentatively.

I looked back; I couldn’t see the Palace.  When I asked how far we were away from it, Lightning flashed across her screen, “About 75 miles right now.” 

Jeez, we were going fast.  We couldn’t have been in the air very long; under an hour, I guessed.  I looked back again and noticed a plume of colored, sparkling mist in our wake.  It looked just like a rainbow.  I looked under the board; the mist was coming out of three separate locations on Lightning’s bottom side. 

“Those are my engines.”

I realized that I had been so caught up in the excitement/horror of my ride with Lightning that I had never even questioned how she generated her power.

As if reading my mind, Lightning flashed, ”I can show you the owner’s manual later that discusses more of the specifics, but for now, all you need to know is that there’s a readout on my display that shows how much power I have left.”

I found the icon on her display, which read 95% power.

“You know, I don’t mean to sound ungrateful or anything, because I really appreciate you going fast since you know I’m in a hurry and all, but do you think you could slow down just a little?  I think I left my stomach somewhere behind the last mountain.”

“No, according to my scanner, you still have it.”

“Oh … it was just a manner of speaking, you know …”

“A joke?”

I laughed.  “Well, almost, I guess.”

“Tell me a joke then.”

“Oh, I don’t know any good ones.  When we find Aurora, we’ll ask her.  She’ll know some.”

“All right.  Nothing like learning how to swim by jumping in the deep end, huh, Logan?”

“Right.  Without a lesson.”

“Well, no one ever did learn to swim in a turtle pool.”

“What’s a turtle pool?”

“You never had one of those?  One of those little plastic kiddie pools about a foot deep that you fill up with a hose?”

“Plastic?  Kiddie pool?  Hose?”

“Ehh, never mind.  Probably just some stuff that hasn’t been invented yet.  One of these days I really have to organize my files.”

“So … how long until we reach Cordel?” I asked.

“About thirty minutes.  How do you like flying around like this so far?”

“I like it, especially with the bubble shield.”

“Good!  We’ll always fly with it on from now on.  I’m glad you like flying!  I knew you were a flyer when I first saw you!” flashed the board, with a few friendly beeps.

“We’re going to take a little detour, and I think I’ll throw in a few tricks, just to keep things interesting.  Wouldn’t want you to fall asleep or anything!”  

“Oh, I really don’t think you’ll have to worry about …” 

Just at that second, I tried to scream as Lightning shot upward suddenly, but my voice was still somewhat hoarse.  All that came out was some kind of croaking sound.  Then she hung a hard right, shot into a loop with a couple of twists thrown in, and straightened out high above the clouds.  My stomach, however, took a little longer.

“Guh … give me a minute to recover,” I panted.

“Okay.  It’s pretty much a straight trip from here, so we’ll take it easy so you can get used to doing turns and things like that. Of course, you can always count on me to fly, but I thought you’d like to give it a shot yourself.”

By shifting my weight left and right, I was able to make turns.  By leaning forwards or backwards, I could either climb or dive.  I even tried a tentative loop with all the grace of a one–legged stork.

“Hey, not bad!” flashed the message board.  “See, it’s not so hard!” 

“I guess …” I said.

“Logan, I know what you need!  A little attitude!  How about some music?  ‘Cause there isn’t much to see up here.  Just clouds, and when you’ve seen one, you’ve pretty much seen them all.  And there’s nothing like music to boost your confidence!” 

“Music?” I asked, a little surprised.

“Yes.  One of my unsung talents.”

“Hey, Lightning, that was a joke!  Well, kind of, anyway.  I think that’s called a pun.”

“Really?  Well, see, things are looking up already!”

I heard a sound suddenly.  Or sounds, rather, but they were like nothing I had ever heard before.  The music sounded slow, at first, then it picked up pace, until the speed of the music matched the speed of our flying.  It was strangely futuristic, but at the same time, it seemed like I had always known the melody. [When I was originally writing this passage, I had the melody from When in Rome’s “The Promise” in mind.]

There were words sung, too, but in a language that I neither understood nor wanted to understand; somehow, the mystery of the words added to the mystique of the music.  In a way, this is in vain, as my description here will do no justice to the melody, because there are some things that are perhaps impossible to describe in words and are better left unspoken.    

I felt, at that moment, an incredible rush of energy and indescribable exhilaration.  I felt ready to take on the world – or, at least, a dragon or two.  All my fears of flying vanished like the mist of the rainbow behind us. The feeling of gliding through the air with the wind rushing through my hair, sleeves and pant legs flapping back and forth, and the music rushing up to meet my ears was indescribable.  But it is perhaps best compared to that day, long ago, when, as I stood at the top of the hill near the castle, looking out at the landscape around – I let the wind take my hand and lead me to dance.

I later wrote a song for Long Ago Not So Far Away about this part of the book that became the song, “I’ll Fly Away.”  It has two versions, both below – with varying levels of synth and tempo depending on your mood!

Today’s Rocketeer segment is also about flying – the Rocketeer’s rocketpack!

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Today marks the third Rocketeer segment as a part of the podcast.  Below are a few previous episodes about the Rocketeer:

Ep 18 on comics (Dave Stevens)

Ep 53 on rewatching the Rocketeer as an adult

Ep 235 on making the resin miniature Rocketeer

This week, we’re discussing three versions of the rocketpack (in descending order below): 1.) the sliver-purple one with fins from the comics, 2.) the finless silver double barrelled Art Deco one from the movie, and 3.) the silver and purple double barrelled one with fins from the cartoon that came out this past fall.

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The Rocketeer - Meet Kit Secord (Promo) - YouTube

Here are a few design ideas on the gloves and rocketpack from the film, showing the original prototype (closer to Dave Steven’s original drawings), then how it evolved into the double silver bullet shape seen in the film (these come from The Rocketeer Official Movie Souvenir Magazine).

Here are some excerpts from the original comic drawn by Dave Stevens about how the rocket pack was controlled and refueled.  (The images below come from The Rocketeer: The Complete Deluxe Edition, which is unfortunately quite difficult to find now – look on Amazon and eBay for used copies at more reasonable prices).

This little animated .gif is, of course, from the point in the movie where the Rocketeer, not above a little self conscious vanity, asks how he looks.  Peevy, not above a little blunt honesty, says “Like a hood ornament!”  The Rocketeer blasts off for the first time, Peevy gets blown backwards into the hangar, and I get a name for this part of the podcast!

Stay tuned for more Rocketeer gear talk next week!  Stay safe!

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There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I finished one year ago, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #240: Adam from ACToyDesign Returns to Talk Toys Part 3

Episode #240: Adam from ACToyDesign Returns to Talk Toys Part 3

https://archive.org/download/podcast240_202003/Podcast%20240.mp3

Generally, I eschew any and all current events, especially anything that could be political in any way.  However, if you’re reading this, you’re undoubtedly aware of the global pandemic.  Everyone can do your part!  This is not just a you thing, not a me thing, this is an everyone thing.  This is a perfect time to stay in, read that book you’ve been meaning to get to, binge watch your favorite show, or rewatch some old movies.  The things you wanted to do aren’t going anywhere, but you gotta be around to enjoy them later.  Be safe!  Next week, we’ll talk about what happens if you want to work out while confined inside a little room (kinda like Logan was in The Thirteenth Hour …)

And now, in the spirit of escapism, let’s talk toys!

This week, we have another special episode – Adam from ACToyDesign and the IG account @mom_gave_them_away returns for the second part of his followup since his last appearance in October to discuss toys and toy making!  Look for part 1 and 2 as well as Adam’s appearance on our two shows (1and 2) on Terminator films 2-6!

We had a whole discussion on the nature of heroes and how supposedly straight laced ones, like Captain America, reflect a kind of hero that can be great for kids to have as role models.

Image result for captain america

Check out Adam’s show on the many roles of Willow‘s Warwick Davis.  Willow did have a short lived toy line, but many 80s movies did not, for whatever reason.  In this episode, we talk about toy lines that we wish would have been made (or ones we might work on making out of resin some time in the future).  Like …

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Batteries Not Included

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Short Circuits 1 & 2

Speaking of Short Circuit, check out this absurdist video by El DeBarge for “Who’s Johnny?” Absolutely classic!

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The Last Starfighter – why there were no ships or more widespread video games (I think there might have been one?  There is a fan made game that looks just like the one in the film you can find here, though.) made from this film, the world will never know.  Adam did, however, find these prototype figures by Galoob that, had they seen the light of day, would have been amazing!

Galoob Last Star Fighter

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Howard the Duck

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The Flight of the Navigator

Check out ACToyDesign on Patreon.

If you enjoy Star Wars, check out his new show, I Have Spoken!

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There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I finished one year ago, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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Influences Behind “The Thirteenth Hour” Part 2: Film

This is a continuation of my previous post that looks at media influences behind The Thirteenth Hour.  Previously, I talked about how novels, illustrated children’s books, and graphic novels played into the writing and art style of the book.  Today, we’ll be looking at how movies and television programs did the same.  I’ve tried to include links for each where you can find out more if curious; all pictures are linked to their source sites.

Movies/TV:

ET – I was obsessed with this movie when I was eight years old.  As much as I liked the idea of an alien visiting my backyard, I think I also wanted to Eliot, the main character, too.  I mean, he got to drink Coke out of a can, had Star Wars action figures, and ate Reese’s pieces.  In 1988, that seemed like the bees knees as far as I was concerned.  And, he was a misunderstood youth who was picked on and bored at school – a sympathetic main character for an eight year old trying not to zone out while the teacher went on about long division.  There was also a scene near beginning of the film where his brothers are playing a board game I thought was Dungeons and Dragons (more on this below … or maybe the game Tunnels and Trolls), with little men and a diorama-like set that (I guess) was supposed to by a dungeon (you can sort of see it below and in this clip).

That seemed awesome at the time, too.  I created the character of Alfred, the boy who falls asleep in class and dreams the events in The Thirteenth Hour, with at least a little of Eliot in mind.

The Neverending Storyanother contribution to the Alfred character was one of the main characters from this 1984 film, Bastian, the boy who finds The Neverending Story book in an old bookstore while running away from bullies and gets transported inside its covers.  I saw this movie before I read the book.  They both have different merits, but I must admit that from the start, with the swirling, dreamscape clouds (see below) and 80s synthpop theme, I was hooked.

The Last Starfighteranother 1984 film about a young man, Alex Rogan, from a trailer park who is recruited into an interstellar space war after acing The Last Starfighter arcade game implanted on Earth by an enterprising alien recruiter.  Although I don’t think I realized it at time time, there are a lot of parallels in this story to how Logan from The Thirteenth Hour is recruited by Wally, a fast talking wizard, into becoming an Imperial Ranger.  There’s even a part where Wally tries to convince Logan he should stay in the Imperial Rangers, just like how the film’s alien recruiter tries to convince Alex he’s destined to be a starfighter and not just a kid from a trailer park.  (At least, that’s how I remembered it, I haven’t seen the movie in a long time.)  And, now, as I write this, I’m just realizing that Logan and (Alex) Rogan sound … kind … of … alike.  (I can’t remember if his last name is mentioned in the film, but it’s the one listed on imdb.com.)  Hmm.  I guess the things you consume do influence you in unconscious ways.  But … that’s kind of the point of this site – to explore where all this came from as much as possible!

Labyrinth – a film featuring a young Jennifer Connelly playing a girl that faces off against David Bowie (in tights and big hair) in a labyrinth filled with fantastical creatures to rescue her infant brother, who is kidnapped by David Bowie’s goblins.  Why David Bowie has goblins and is wearing tights is anybody’s guess, but it might have something to do with it being 1986.  Jim Henson and his team created the goblins for the film, and it’s a wonderful example of puppetry prior to films dominated by CGI.  I recently rewatched the movie with my brother, and we felt to held up pretty well over the years.  But one thing I was struck by this time was a scene where David Bowie is pointing at a clock with 13 hands:

Umm … 13 hands … 13 hours … uh … was I aware of this at the time when I wrote The Thirteenth Hour?  I’d seen the movie for sure; it was one of my favorites since first seeing it at age nine or so, but I honestly can’t remember looking back 16 years.  Who knows;  like I said above, the unconscious works in weird ways.

The Flight of Dragons this early 80s animated film (which I think was done by Japanese animators since the characters have that vaguely early 80s anime look) is another story in which the protagonist is transported into a parallel world, this time into the world of a game.

 

In the game’s world, there is a (if I remember correctly) subtle romance between the main character (the guy in the bowtie) and the princess character (the piece on the right).  Now, I haven’t watched this movie since I was in elementary school, but I seem to remember this part of it was, well … nice.  Yeah, really nice.  There was a kind of warm, fuzzy, wistful feel about the way the writers portrayed the growing attraction between these two characters.  Not sure what was responsible for this – it have been could be the 80s Japanese influence or just two and a half decades of fuzzy memory at work, but that’s what I remember for whatever reason.

Flight of the Navigatoranother 80s film in which a boy meets an alien (in the form of a spaceship), though this time, he’s abducted and transported 8 years into the future.  I think the scenes of the ship and its interior served as inspiration for some of The Thirteenth Hour‘s locations, like the Palace of the winds, with it’s floating chairs and staircases.

Flight Of The Navigator(the page this picture is from has lots of other great movies on it with clips and comments)

There are also some great scenes of the ship zooming through the clouds and over water, which was sort of what I was envisioning when Logan zooms around the sky on Lightning in The Thirteenth Hour.  I wonder if this was something of an 80s movie staple – films like The Neverending Story, The Flight of the Navigator, and The Lost Boys come to mind as ones where there is aerial footage of flying through a sunset-lit clouded sky.  I tried to do something similar in the book trailer.  I guess it was my way of paying homage to these films.

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Update (2/7/16): Old and new covers of Logan soaring and backflipping in the skies.

The Sword in the Stone – This animated film from the 1960s had a great portrayal of Merlin the wizard.  It was based on the first part of the book, The Once and Future King by T.H. White, but this was one of the few cases where I enjoyed the movie more than the book.

There’s one part where Merlin transports himself to Bermuda, and when young (future King) Arthur asks where that is, Archimedes, Merlin’s pet owl and requisite Disney animal sidekick, says, (roughly) “Oh, some place that hasn’t been discovered yet.”  In the picture above, you can see Merlin is sporting shades and Bermuda shorts.  And that gives you some idea of the humor they imbued in the film.  I tried to give a nod to these kinds of anachronisms with the banter Logan has with Lightning, as well as with Wally, Wander, and William (these three wizards I envisioned looking something like the Merlin in this cartoon).

Willow unlike some of the other examples above, in this 80s fantasy film, there is no alternate world in which the protagonist is transported.  You started off the movie in it, which, after all the parallel universe shifting in 80s movies, was a nice change of pace.  (You can only stretch the fantasy thing so far – when fantasy characters pop up in the modern world and end running around in New York city or something, it gets a little weird.)  Anyway, I saw this when it first came out, thought it was basically the second coming, and now am kind of afraid to rewatch it for fear it may not have aged well (that’s probably true of a lot of these films, by the way).  However, I remember liking the epic score.  And, the idea of an unlikely, somewhat naive hero going on a quest to save a world is a fantasy staple that never really gets old.  Joseph Campbell has written about the archetypal tale of the hero’s journey and why it has appealed to us throughout the ages.

Legendlike Willow, the world of Legend is self-contained.  It also has Tim Curry in tons of makeup and a young Tom Cruise running around in armor but no pants (which, if you’re a straight dude, fail).  The story in this one I remember being, how shall we say … a bit shite.  I also saw it as a teenager, so I was probably a bit more critical than I would have had I seen it earlier.  But I recall enjoying the scenes with the unicorns and liked the soundtrack, which if I remember correctly, was a more traditional score (by Jerry Goldsmith) in some versions and a synthesizer-based one by Tangerine Dream in others.  I saw the synth one, and though I think fans of the film often knock it for being out of place, I thought it fit just fine for the 80s (The Neverending Story did something similar).   And, what the hell did I know at the time – it made perfect sense for unicorns to be frolicking about with a pantless Tom Cruise doing roundoffs on a table in the fight with Tim Curry while electric guitars and synthesizers wailed in the background.  I loved every bit of it, and that’s why I made a synth theme for The Thirteenth Hour.

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As a total aside, in my opinion, the Tom Cruise character (like Noah Hathaway’s Atreyu character in The Neverending Story) had great hair.  Maybe it was more fashionable in the 80s when big hair was a thing, but to my untrained eye, I thought the longish, somewhat unkempt look was the perfect ‘do for an unassuming hero, and gave Logan from The Thirteenth Hour something similar.  Again, this may be just me looking back 16 years later and trying to make connections out of thin air, hey, if the shoe fits …

(Movies and book illustrations obviously don’t have to contend themselves with the obvious realities of trying to make hair like this look at least somewhat presentable.  Having unfortunately dabbled in the longish hair for a time when trying to um … save some funds, I erroneously thought long hair would be less hassle than short hair since you had to cut it less and do less with it – you know, like combing it.  Right?  Nope.)

The Black Cauldronlike Willow above, this Lloyd Alexander book spun into an unlikely children’s movie, which I remember being quite dark for Disney, was another example of the hero’s journey, where a reluctant hero (an assistant pig keeper, I think) goes on an epic journey because he believes in something bigger than himself.  I haven’t seen the film in a long time, but if I remember right, there’s also a cute romance that develops between the main character and the female lead, that, like in The Flight of Dragons, portrays those awkward, tentative first steps young adults make on their way to figuring out what love is.  In the future, perhaps I’ll write more about this aspect of writing Logan and Aurora’s relationship in The Thirteenth Hour, but for now, I’ll say that it look quite a few years to get their story right, as I suppose it took a number of years of life experience to be able to reflect and write about something that is so central to human existence, yet so mysterious and complex.

-“Wildfire” (cartoon) – a hard to find Hanna Barbera cartoon from 1986 about a girl who has another identity in a parallel universe and a magic horse called Wildfire that can transport her back and forth.  I remember it most for its catchy theme song which stuck with me all these years.  I can’t say this for sure, but I’m sure there was a reason why I thought it was important to have songs as a part of The Thirteenth Hour.  Maybe this is one of them.

“Dungeons and Dragons” (cartoon) – I had no idea what Dungeons and Dragons was as a kid.  I mean, I knew it was some kind of game set in a fantasy world with the potential for quests and epic battles and creatures like dragons and elves, and I had a few choose-you-own-adventure style D&D books that made the whole things seem just … epic, like something out of a video game (but almost better, since the graphics sucked back then).  Then, when I was older, I found out what a “role playing game” really was – you, well, played a role.  Like in a play.  You had to act.  And you had little funny shaped dice that decided your fate.  I never did figure out if you got to have those little action figures like in the ET scene and what, if anything, you did with them.  I mean, I don’t know what I expected, but for some reason, I remember being incredibly disappointed.  Looking back, I think what I really wanted was what video games now are capable of offering – an immersive fantasy world.  But obviously, that didn’t really exist in 1987 (or if it did, I certainly didn’t know about it).  But … there was this little cartoon which I watched sometimes on weekend mornings.  I don’t think I really understood what was going on, either, but it had knights, wizards, and dragons, and that was good enough for a seven year old.

In the next post, I’ll continue the video game talk and how my stumbling attempts at playing them influenced the creation of The Thirteenth Hour. 

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