Greetings, fight fans, and welcome to the Adventure Rules Summer End Beach Extravaganza! Yes, after our last successful bash at Villain Con, we packed up all of the implements of destruction and brought them all the way to Costa del Sol. Now that we ran off that creepy scientist and hired a few SOLDIERS to serve as bouncers, we have a nice environment for a great gaming-themed beach party. Tonight we’re going to have a movie marathon, complete with more snacks than you can shake a stick at! Well, that’s what I want to say, anyway. It turns out that our snacks were stolen by some annoying pests, so I got a couple of our Blogger Blitz competitors to “volunteer” for a grocery run.
Don’t worry, folks, we’re in good hands. These competitors have already proven themselves once before and made it all the way to the semifinal round of the competition. In the blue corner we have Marjolaine (sponsored by Athena of AmbiGaming), the masterful manipulatrix who put Bowser in his place during the Totalitarian Teatime event. In the red corner we have Ganondorf (sponsored by Teri Mae of Sheikah Plate), the King of Evil who violently beheaded Sigma and the three-headed monkey in Blogger Blitzception. Each competitor has given their explanation of how they saved this beach party on their respective blogs: you can view Athena’s argument here and Teri Mae’s here.
Once the posts were submitted, our hardworking judges returned from their own beach vacations so they could discuss the submissions and decide a winner! For those who may not know, the judges of the competition are Kim from Later Levels, Destiny representing Adventure Rules, and Pix of Shoot the Rookie. Each of these ladies is worth a follow, so be sure to go and say thanks for the effort they put in to make the Blogger Blitz run smoothly! With introductions out of the way, I think it’s time to aim the cameras at our competitors and see which one proves herself the ultimate Movie Marauder!
Let us first journey far across the Great Sea to the beaches of Forsaken Fortress, where Ganondorf has just put the finishing touches on his blog post from the last round – this is a great touch and it immediately puts Teri Mae and her sponsored villain in a strong position. Kim said “I really liked the way Teri Mae introduced her entry by finishing off Ganondorf’s blog post; then used his memoirs to tie-in with him showing a film about his triumphs.” Establishing a strong connection to the first round of the competition plays into the meta of Blogger Blitz and for those following the competition from the beginning, it sets a great scene. Destiny agreed: “it was cool that she also did a throwback to her first match.”
It also gives context to the movie party that Ganondorf is throwing. Why would the King of Evil have a movie night if not to glory in his past conquests? The fact that his relaxing movie night is actually four hours of pro-Ganon propaganda with compulsory attendance for his minions is very in-character for Ganondorf, and as Kim said “A four-hour montage of his best bits – was there a better choice for the film to show at Ganondorf’s movie night? His party was still all about him despite it being hosted for others!” Already Teri Mae has us hooked – Ganondorf’s party is clearly justified, completely in character, and as a cherry on top it’s tied to previous events within the competition.
Teri also scored extra points for choosing to have the party in the Forsaken Fortress. For Destiny, this was a throwback to her favorite title in the Zelda series, so while this didn’t literally give Ganondorf an advantage in the competition, it certainly was a pleasant touch. Pix liked the strategy behind the decision: “the way Teri-Mae set hers definitively in the Zelda universe…allowed Ganondorf to play to his strengths.” When it comes to setting up the post and giving us context for what’s going on, Teri Mae has already more than proven herself.
Each competitor had two main challenges to deal with during this event: resupplying their party using someone else’s party, and dealing with the thieving wererats that stole their original food in the first place. Ganondorf made quite a show of doing the former but the latter didn’t factor much into his machinations. The judges didn’t necessarily dock points from Teri Mae for this – primarily because we don’t actually have points – but they did wonder why Ganondorf wasn’t more hands-on during this particular moment. Kim wondered if perhaps he “considered such a lowly form of critter to be beneath [him],” and Pix seemed to agree with this line of reasoning, saying “it made sense for Ganondorf to get one of his servants to do it.”
When it came to the food-stealing shenanigans, Teri Mae devoted plenty of time to the partygoers, the source of their revelry, and how Ganondorf pilfered the party. His scheme, a wicked Trojan horse of sorts, showed that his sponsor absorbed the judge’s comments from the last round and applied them to her approach. ” I like that she made Ganondorf more clever this round,” Destiny said, “as I felt that he was a bit too rash in the last round.” Pix and Kim both loved how Ganondorf’s scheme truly embraced the idea of villainy.
“[It] was very in-keeping with his character,” Kim said. “I liked the way that those he trapped would then be subjected to an evening of having to watch his triumphs on film!” Pix seconded that sentiment. “Tricking and caging the party goers and taking them to his own party whilst simultaneously stealing their food was a wonderfully villainous move.” I specifically stated in the advice for semifinals that the bloggers should embrace villainy, and the decision to both rob and humiliate the rival party animals helped Ganondorf to shine brightly by the time his submission came to an end!
Now let’s leave the land of Hyrule and travel all the way to the white sands and crystal waters of…Isle Delfino? Like Teri Mae, Athena started out by connecting this post to the events of her first match in the Blogger Blitz. Despite the friendship between Marjolaine and Bowser leading to some judicial disapproval in the first round, the friendship continued and we open on them hanging out with Princess Peach in the icy castle from Totalitarian Teatime. Destiny had mixed feelings about this choice. “I liked that she made her character ‘friends’ with Bowser from the last match. That was an interesting throwback to the previous match. I’m a bit confused as to why Peach would befriend a villain and want to have a movie night with her and another villain (One of which constantly kidnaps her), instead of going to Mario’s beach party (Where all of her actual friends are).”
Conversely, Kim interpreted this as a build up to future villainy: “inviting Bowser and Peach to Marjolaine’s movie night after their assistance in the first round defined the villain’s attitude to ‘friends’: people kept around for their usefulness at a later date.” As we saw with Teri Mae’s submission, the presence of elements from the previous event also created the justification for the party. Naturally, if Marjolaine is going to continue hanging around with Bowser and Peach, she’s going to need to keep them fed. And it’s fun to see each character’s unique tastes incorporated into the post. As Kim said in her judgment, “of course Peach would want cake!”
Where Teri Mae spent a lot of energy and focus – roughly half the post – on setting up the situation, Athena jumped right into the action. After the wererats wreck her own treats, she notices Mario having a party on the beach outside and decides to help herself to the sweets. While Ganondorf completed his mission in one go, Marjolaine has to make multiple passes in order to get just the right thing. So let’s look at each pass separately and then see the overall impact of her thieving ways.
Marjolaine’s first trip to the beach party isn’t as stealthy as she intended, but this works out in her favor as the delightfully friendly Luigi shows up to literally hand her exactly what she wanted. The judges interpreted this scene differently, particularly Pix and Kim. Kim felt like this scene went by too easily, and would have liked to see Marjolaine’s skills tested more. “In some ways it felt as though Marjolaine had it too easy,” she said; she did end up saying that “it makes sense that a good-natured character such as Luigi would let her simply take the pastries after a friendly conversation.” On the other hand, Pix felt like Marjolaine didn’t just luck into Luigi’s kindness, but rather that this was intentional manipulation. “She basically tricked him into giving her the pastries just by pretending to be a hungry party guest and preying on his good nature. I thought this seemed well suited to Marjolaine’s style.”
When she returned with the food, Athena introduced complications to the story in a couple of different ways. One was the wererat issue, where we get to see Marjolaine draw her dagger and get into a bit of a scrap before getting Bowser to finish off the critters. Pix loved it! “I like the fact that Marjolaine went about taking them on herself, before delegating the task to Bowser when realising it would swing things to her advantage – quietly devious and cunning, very fitting of a villain like Marjolaine.” Destiny, however, would have preferred to see Marjolaine handle this situation herself. “I’m curious as to how Marjolaine would’ve defeated the wererats if Bowser weren’t there. I feel like we didn’t get to see a whole lot of what she’s capable of.”
The second complication is that Bowser wants a completely different snack, requiring Marjolaine to head to the party a second time. No longer able to prey on Luigi’s generosity, what option does she have for stealing food this time? Things get even more complex when Marjolaine’s rival Leliana shows her face again, along with the Grey Warden (the player character of Dragon Age). While their presence was intended to make things more difficult, Kim didn’t feel this worked as intended. “We should have guessed Leilana would make another appearance to torment Marjolaine; however, I’d have liked to have seen a little more tension between the pair, particularly after what happened in the first match…it would have been good to see Leliana give her a little more grief on her second attempt!” Even with two trips to the party to complicate things, the judges didn’t feel that Marjolaine had quite enough of a challenge to overcome. But what she lacked in difficulty, she made up for in her excellent displays of manipulation in using Bowser and Luigi’s personalities to forward her own goals!
Now that we’ve looked at each post separately, we’ll evaluate their features against one another to discover the winner once and for all! As we’ve now seen, both competitors decided to link their semifinal submissions to their posts from the first round. The judges enjoyed this approach in both cases. “Both Athena and Teri Mae submitted great entries for their first rounds,” said Kim, “so having the opportunity to see how their stories continued was a highlight for me.” Sure, this technique worked well for both – but did it help one competitor more than the other?
Pix spoke about this at length in her judgment. “I thought this worked more convincingly for Teri-Mae with Ganondorf than it did for Athena with Marjolaine. The reference in Teri-Mae’s post to the events of the previous round served as a good introduction, but most of the post wasn’t reliant on it, whilst Athena really dived in to the world that was created in the previous post with the inclusion of the characters that were in that post as key members of this one…the makeup of the people at the parties was perhaps too reliant on what happened in the previous post.” While those who follow the Blogger Blitz regularly may recognize all of the elements being incorporated from round one, a newcomer might have a harder time understanding why there was so much to do with Mario present in Athena’s submission. While Teri Mae used the Blogger Blitz references as a fun throwback, they weren’t key to understanding everything that was happening in the scenario.
Another common thread between both posts is how neither competitor seemed to be too worried about the wererat problem. Kim ultimately attributed this to the possibility that neither sponsor believed this was a particularly important part of the event rules. Destiny instead thought it was simply because wererats are a level one problem for a pair of level one-hundred competitors. “I do think that the ridding of the wererats was a bit easy for them both, but I understand that they probably wouldn’t be that hard for those villains.” When comparing the two of them against one another, though, Marjolaine clearly dealt with the wererats more and her passing off the job to someone else was contextualized in a more villainous way.
“This was an interesting one because both of them ended up getting someone else to deal with the Wererat problem,” Pix said. “Whilst it made sense for Ganondorf to get one of his servants to do it, I like the fact that Marjolaine went about taking them on herself, before delegating the task to Bowser when realising it would swing things to her advantage – quietly devious and cunning, very fitting of a villain like Marjolaine.” Ganondorf feeding the rats to the Helmaroc King made perfect sense and was a legitimate way to deal with the problem, but Marjolaine tried a more hands-on approach and, when it failed, used her villainous wiles to get Bowser to do the dirty work for her.
Teri Mae and Ganondorf gained an advantage with her excellent incorporation of Zelda elements and the previous round of Blogger Blitz, but Athena and Marjolaine took back their advantage by having a more villainous solution to the wererat problem. Both bloggers are at equal footing at this point. With the setting established and the wererats dispatched, there’s only one more category we can use to compare these two posts: the pillaging of the parties.
Let’s review. Teri Mae and Ganondorf drew in the party-people with the promise of seeing evidence of the Hero’s triumph. Using his Trojan puppet, Ganondorf caged the entire party, dragged them to his fortress, and forced them to watch four hours of his incredible feats. Athena and Marjolaine first used Luigi’s kindness to get free pastries from the party, and later had a conversation with Leliana and the Warden. Both villains demonstrated their ability to obtain pastries from another party – but only one did so in a way which proved they were the pinnacle of scum and villainy.
“Another tough voting week!” Kim said. “It’s been a difficult one for me again and although I’ve got a vote, it’s incredibly close. I think I’d like to go with Teri Mae this time… I think she gave Ganondorf more of an opportunity to show off his villainous side. And what else would a villain want to watch but a four-hour film of their best bits?” Pix, too, cited Ganondorf’s villainy as the reason why she felt he would gain an edge in this competition. “Both competitors this week wrote wonderful narratives, full of character and both were great at evoking the feeling of the event, adding in just the right amount of humour. However, I’ve voted for Ganondorf because the scene that Teri Mae wrote makes such good use of his villainous qualities. Marjolaine was again written wonderfully but she just lacked that bit of real villainy that I think a character like her would display in this situation.” Destiny, too, cast her vote for Teri Mae, as she felt that Ganondorf proved his ability to overcome adversity while Marjolaine literally had her meal handed to her on a silver platter.
So while both competitors submitted excellent posts for the Movie Marauder event, there can only be one winner, and that winner is Teri Mae and her sponsored villain Ganondorf!
And so as this beach party comes to a close, we have before us a plethora of Great Sea seafood thanks to Ganondorf – not to mention a bunch of extra party guests! As always, both competitors this week put forth great posts and the judges had to spend some time working out their thoughts, but once they had the opportunity to share their thoughts the decision became unanimous. Athena did an excellent job, but Teri Mae brought her A-game and took the advice of both the judges and host to create a submission that shattered expectations!
With that, let’s say one final thank you to everyone involved. Athena and Teri Mae, thanks for working so hard on your posts and giving us a great competition to read this week! Pix, Kim, and Destiny, thanks for providing your judgment to the match and taking time out of your week to read and make notes on both submissions! And fight fans, thank you for reading each of these posts and showing your support to all of the amazing bloggers who make this event possible! If you’re excited for more Blogger Blitz action, then be sure to come follow Adventure Rules on Twitter so that you don’t miss a moment of speculation or smack talk, and so you’ll see every post the moment it goes live. Thanks for reading, adventurers, and we’ll see you next week for the second match of the semifinals!