Archive for Christof Laputka

Leviathan Chronicles Chapter 24

Posted in The Leviathan Chronicles with tags , , on February 15, 2010 by Random Frequent-Flyer Dent

Leviathan Chronicles Chapter 24: The Showdown at Mt. Chenglung, Part 1

To express my feelings on this latest installment of The Leviathan Chronicles, allow me to quote Roman Emperor and Shakespeare star Julius Caesar:

“I came. I listened. I thought it was badass.”

I don’t know if Julius Caesar actually said that. Probably not in those exact words. (He probably would have said it in Latin.) But if given the opportunity, he definitely would have said it about Leviathan 24.

But enough with me being clever in Latin, ’cause this particular chapter is full of enough epic to keep me going for longer than you’re probably willing to read…

Ok, I have to get this out of the way now and never speak of it again, because I was immensely freaked out. I may be many, many things, but squeamish is not one of them. With that out on the table, I think you can now fully appreciate the gravity of the situation when I say that certain parts of Chapter 24 had me curled up in a ball on the chair going “Ah! No! What? What is he– AW DOOD DON’T DO THAT! AH! PAIN! OMG WHAT?!” and making other such grammatically incorrect exclamations of shock. If you listened, then you’ll know what I mean and probably had similar reactions yourself. If you haven’t yet listened, well, you’re in for a surprise. Things rarely disturb me enough to the point where I have to pause the show and do the Heebie-Jeebie Jumping Jacks, but I think it happened at least twice in this chapter. Aargh.

On a related note, some things need to be said about Bennu.  I always knew that Bennu was no good. People who go around in white hooded robes are either assassins or evil, and I’m pretty sure that Bennu might actually be a bit of both… but one thing’s for sure, he’s definitely a traitor, and he obviously let Harlequinn escape after the OMG bit with the blowtorch: These are both not good things. I dislike Bennu. It’s kind of how I feel about Whitt Roberts — I want them both to die a slow, painful death, possibly smothered in jellyfish, but at the same time they’re both such great villains that I’d miss them too much… the more hate I have towards elements of something, be it audio, TV/movie, or book, the more I love the thing as a whole. It’s a complicated system, but it works.

Now that we’re past the bits that still make me shudder, I want to take a brief moment to point out Leviathan’s educational value. All my life, I thought that a Sherpa was a fluffy dog, kind of like a husky. I was very surprised and a little relieved to find out that Sherpas are in fact a Tibetan ethnic group, and that Leviathan didn’t all of a sudden feature talking fluffy dogs. See, you learn something new every day. With that said, let the plot summary commence.

The penultimate chapter of Leviathan Chronicles’ first amazing season is full of twists and surprises and scary things and squee-worthiness, capped off by an ending I never saw coming in a million years. The episode begins at of Mt. Chenglung with Oberlin, Mai Lee, and Whitt Roberts. Whitt is being an a complete arse to the Sherpa guides (who, at this point, I still believed were dogs), and pretty much to everyone in general. No surprise there. He’s a mean person. In fact, he’s pure evil, to the point where he has the guides chased down and torn apart by the group’s new porters: giant blood-red genetically engineered monstrosities called ‘Enforcers’, presumably of a similar variety to the ones that chased down Macallan and Tulley about a dozen chapters ago. These appear to be Enforcer 2.0, however, since they take orders and fetch and carry instead of just rampaging Hulk-style, and they proceed to carry Oberlin, Mai Lee, and W.R up the mountain in cushy heated style.

Now, I remember quite clearly the first time Leviathan Chronicles really made me spazz out completely — I was on the way home on the school bus (lifetimes ago) listening to (If I remember correctly) Chapter 16, which involved a ginormous kung-fu battle. I was spazzing out for a solid ten minutes afterwards… and now, a year and a half later, Chapter 24 finds us back at the scene in the temple where the Chinese government took the Starstone. Whitt Roberts reveals that while the government thought that the alien artifact was the most important part of the temple, they were sorely mistaken… the most important part was the base the Starstone was sitting on — it turns out to be a giant transmitter that leads deep underground to the biggest Keyhole in the world. Whitt opens the Keyhole, and something unbelievable is awaiting on the other side…

In between all of that, there’s my favorite part of the whole episode. It’s on a much lighter note from everything else, and it featured my second largest squee-moment of the chapter. Down in Leviathan, Tulley goes for a walk and discovers a wonderful ‘dive bar’ tucked away in a corner. After displaying a bit of nautical fanboy knowledge to the proprietor, the two hit it off and begin sharing drinks and spicy squid chips. (For the record, those sound delicious…) This is the part where he reveals that he has feelings of some sort for Macallan, which made me have a little bit of a moment, but it’s also the part where a certain reference is made that caused me to be very happy.

See, a while back my other most favorite audio drama of all time, Darker Project’s The Byron Chronicles, referenced Leviathan Chronicles. (In case you didn’t know, the Big Bad in that show is a creature called Leviathan, so…it’s funny.) Ages ago, when I first heard the trailer for Leviathan Chronicles (on the end of a Byron episode, no less) my little conspiracy-theorist mind went wild and rabid over the possibility that the two shows were connected and had some evil world-conquering scheme. It might not have been true at the time, but it definitely is now.  Probably. Anyway, all I know is that one second, two characters were discussing different drinks, and the next, there was an epic Byron reference that utterly made my day again.

Tulley is a great character — he (and originally Macallan) serve as audience surrogates, asking the questions we all wish we could ask,  and generally being awesome. It’d be impossible for me to single out one character out of the entire cast whom I could point to as my favorite, but Tulley is definitely in the running… but, since bad things usually happen to characters I particularly like, (case in point, Oberlin and Harlequinn — it’s almost eerie) it’s only a matter of time before death happens. On that note, I usually try to keep my wild theories in check, but this time I’m gonna spew out a couple about the finale episode. I’m pretty sure that a major character will die, and that we’ll find out more about Evangeline’s mysterious project. (My money’s still on “spaceship”, but we’ll see…) I’m also going to throw out there the fact that I’m pretty sure Sienshun and co. are the “bad guys”, instead of Evangeline as we’ve been lead to believe. I’m also looking forward the the ‘showdown’ mentioned in the title… I’m planning the Leviathan Listening Party now… it will be spectacular.

This episode was an hour and six minutes long, but it seemed too short for me — I think I can safely say that this was the best episode of the series to date. Anything that makes 66 minutes feel like 6 minutes definitely deserves the title of ‘best thing ever’.  I can’t wait until the next chapter, even though it means that there’ll be no more full-length episodes for a while. However, we won’t be left completely without Leviathan goodness after Chapter 25 drops — among other things there’s the launch of the new website, new merchandise, Leviathan minisodes, and last but definitely not least, Season 1 Director’s Cut. Those are in the ranking of the four best words I’ve ever heard, right up there with  ‘Here, have free bacon!” and “Snow day, no school.”

I don’t think there’s much else I can say, except WOW. I was left speechless, something else that doesn’t happen on a daily basis, and judging by the fact that Chapter 25 is shaping up to be about 400 times better, I’m worried about my sanity as the day approaches…

To listen to this episode, click the pretty picture up at the top!  Coming soon are Gaia’s Voyages Episode 7 (BSAP), Twilight Theater, and hopefully, The Byron Chronicles Season 3 premiere!

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Episode Review: The Leviathan Chronicles Chapter 22: City Life

Posted in The Leviathan Chronicles with tags , , , on November 10, 2009 by Random Frequent-Flyer Dent

The Leviathan Chronicles.

It’s a good name, but when I recommend it to friends and random, confused  people I meet on the street, I  refer to it as ‘PURE AUDIO CRACK’ in a voice that sounds almost completely unlike Trailer Voice Guy Don LaFontaine. Why do I do this? Because ‘Leviathan’ is like a highly addictive drug that is free and also comes at more or less regularly scheduled intervals. It’s also a very high-quality drug.

I’m going to stop the drug metaphors now.

The Leviathan Chronicles Chapter 22: City Life continues the tradition of  being at least 2x as epic as the episode before it (even though episodes 20 & 21 are my current favorites ever.) In this episode, Macallan and Evangeline explore Leviathan, meeting and talking with its inhabitants;  most notably, a classical painter and his apprentice (played by Mur Lafferty, writer of the ‘Heaven’ trilogy and a lot of other awesome stuff). Evangeline is forced to cut the trip short, however, once she receives news that a serious security breach has occurred within Leviathan’s main computer, resulting in a virus that could destroy everything, including the pressure shields that make Leviathan habitable. The main suspect? Harlequinn, rogue Immortal, assassin, thief, and Evangeline’s lover. An enraged Evangeline leaves Harlequinn in Bennu’s capable hands for questioning. Oh, and speaking of Bennu–he’s actually evil councilman Kriegerson. Remember him from way back in Episodes 9 & 10? If not, you should go back and re-listen.

This is why I love ‘Leviathan’ so much! Every time I think I know what’s going on and who’s right and wrong, things get changed up. Harlequinn may or may not be the one who planted the virus (a note left inside a globe in Evangeline’s room may or may not indicate this), and he might also be on the Rebellion’s side, Evangeline’s side, or both. Bennu may or may not be plotting against Evangeline, and Sienshun/the Rebellion may or may not be evil. Oh, the ambiguity! It’s wonderfully infuriating. I have a feeling that when the first ‘season’/chunk of episodes ends in the not-too-distant-future, my head will explode.

Also, remember that so-called doomsday device? The one Nathaniel Pratt took the plans for when he ran to the surface? Evangeline calls it a “failsafe device”, and says that they may be able to use it to create a “new Earth”, but she also says that she prays she will “never be forced to use it”. Based on the description of this machine, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that I think it’s a space ship, but my theories are usually pretty far off the mark, so… it could also be a doomsday device. Or, it could make toast.

 One of the things I enjoyed most about this episode were the guest stars, which included Mur Lafferty, David Ault, and a host of others as the citizens of Leviathan. Speaking of voice actors, I discovered something in this episode that made me feel a little foolish: after two episodes of listening to Evangeline, I suddenly realized that she is voiced by the one and only Laura Post. (DP’s The Byron Chronicles, Star Trek: Lost Frontier, & Batman: No Man’s Land, among others, as well as a myriad of other projects including Metal Gear Solid: Philanthropy.) I had to dig through the ‘Leviathan’ website to find the cast list, but it was worth it. I would have gone crazy otherwise.

So, quick wrap up: Leviathan is awesome; it has a plot that is twisty and wonderful, like a pretzel, or quite possibly a whole bag full of Twizzlers candy.

(I’ve noticed that I tend to compare ‘The Leviathan Chronicles” with food. This is because I really love food, and I really love ‘Leviathan’. I actually think I might love ‘The Leviathan Chronicles’ more, because unlike eating food, listening to ‘The Leviathan Chronicles’ all the time does not result in me needing to buy bigger pants.)

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Listen to The Leviathan Chronicles Episode 22: City Life by clicking here. Or, to get the show on the front of iTunes’ podcast page, download it there! Don’t forget to rate it and leave a comment, too…

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This review was brought to you by the number 22 and the letter L. One, one review, ah ah ah ah…

Yeah. I made a Sesame Street joke.