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Vol. 3 January 2012

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

New Anime Coming Soon! From Arena to Skyrim

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Contents Literature Section  Book review: I Am Legend by Richard Matheson  Book Art

New Anime From the Director of Cowboy Bebop Page 14

Game Section  The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim  Game Art

Film and Animation Section  Anime News

The DC Team Contact Us Credits

 Dragonistic Artwork and Crafts


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From Arena to Skyrim Page 10

We here at the DC are proud to bring you the January issue of our web magazine. Everything you see has been put together by a team of only a few people. The links you see are fully functional, and we encourage you to visit the pages of the artists and sites featured. We return after taking a month off in December, and we hope to continue bringing you interesting articles and artwork features. We are currently looking to expand our team, particularly in the Film and Animation section. We are also always looking for artwork to feature and sales to advertise. If you are interested in contributing to the magazine or promoting your work, see our Contact Us page. -The Dragon’s Claw Team

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[THE DRAGON’S CLAW] Book Review

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson Reviewed by AJ With a film adaptation starring Will Smith, I Am Legend gained quite a bit of recognition a few years ago. I read the book simply because I liked the movie. While the story was heavily edited for the movie, the basis remains the same – there’s one man alive in a sea of things that want him dead. The story follows Robert Neville, a man who is quite average. His home is attacked by vampires every night, forcing him to constantly repair the damage and forage for supplies by day. He is plagued by the death of his family and the lack of human contact. Eventually, Neville takes it upon himself to learn more about the vampires and separate the ancient myths from the reality. Through many painful struggles and against the odds, he stabilizes himself and dedicates his time to research. The story, though often describing grueling tasks in Neville’s day-to-day life, is never boring. There is a steady flow that keeps the plot moving forward at all times. Matheson’s writing style, particularly because of some of his adjective choices, is great at conveying everything from the peaks of insanity to the emptiness and loneliness of death. At one point he describes the air as “molten” – definitely a unique description of air, yet one that perfectly explains the heat, humidity, and stagnation. The story is quite sad in many places, and, at times, a bit gruesome. It’s an interesting take on vampirism and a postapocalyptic society, and also a unique look at basic human emotions, instincts, and needs. The plot is hardly comparable to the movie, and if you like one, you won’t necessarily like the other. The book, fortunately, is quite short, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good story. 


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Book Art Feature

↑A G A P E by Velvet-Moonlight

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[THE DRAGON’S CLAW] Featured Game

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim By AJ The fifth installment of The Elder Scrolls series, Skyrim, certainly has a lot of people talking about Nords and Khajiit. The game was at the top of the UK’s Christmas charts, which have been dominated by Activision and EA for the past eight years, and several of its voice actors have been nominated for 2012 Academy Awards for their work in the game. People who have never played any of its predecessors are picking up a copy and starting their adventures on Tamriel, hopefully without any arrow-to-the-knee incidents. Graphically, Skyrim looks fantastic. The rugged mountains are dotted with crumbling ruins, glowing caverns, spired towers, and busy towns. Cities sprawl over the mountains in the distance, giving you quite the view from high above. The complex scenery certainly has its share of glitches, too, though. There are known freezing issues on PS3, and there are many instances of clipping and stuck images.

Skyrim is quite a bit different in mechanics than the previous games. The entire skill system was overhauled, cutting and adding


[FANTASY HEADQUARTERS] skills, changing the way player’s level up, and adding perk trees. The crime system has been updated from Oblivion, giving you different bounties depending on the area you’re in. You may also have assassins or hired thugs sent after you for stealing, making it much more interesting, but the system’s not without drawbacks. Horses can report you for crime, and that was probably taking it a bit too far. The combat of Skyrim is quite customizable. Skyrim introduces dual-wielding, allowing much more versatility. Different combinations of equipment (or equipped magic) will create different attacks, and the same spell on both hands can be combined for a massive casting. Certain attacks take place in a tiny cutscene, which is nicelooking, but seems to break the flow of combat a little. Alchemy, enchanting, and spell-making are also available in Skyrim. Alchemy suffered a downgrade, allowing three items (instead of the four items Morrowind and Oblivion allowed) and using a standard table instead of four pieces of leveled alchemy equipment. As someone who hoards reagents and potions, I was a little disappointed. Smithing takes weapon and armor repair to a new level, introducing ore mining, smelting, leather tanning, workbenches, forges, and grinding wheels. It makes for a much more interesting experience than simply repairing weapons and armor. In fact, durability has been completely removed from Skyrim, allowing the player to focus more on improving their equipment rather than simply keeping up with its damage. Marriage is another new feature, and it doesn’t discriminate against race or gender…as long as you don’t want to marry a khajiit or bosmer. Still waiting on a mod for that, Bethesda. Having a spouse has several benefits, like extra money, food, and a bonus for sleeping with your spouse. Of course, the most important new features of Skyrim are the dragons and the Shouting. Shouts use the dragon language to create powerful effects, unlocked by finding the words on Word Walls and collecting dragon souls from killing dragons. They’re like super spells. Shouts play a significant part in the overall game, and a pretty huge part in the main story. Dragons are found in several places, perched on Word Walls or terrorizing guard towers. Weaker

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[THE DRAGON’S CLAW] ones can even attack randomly, raining fire or ice down on you from the sky.

Overall, Skyrim is great to play. There are loads of NPCs and objectives, lots of massive dungeons, and plenty of ways to customize your character. In general, it seems that the game was made with a bigger audience in mind. The menu is minimalistic and clearly labeled, the skills seem a little more simplified, and the attack cutscenes are all closer to other popular video games than they are to previous Elder Scrolls games. It can be buggy in places, but it’s still very much worth playing. 


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Celestial Chainmail on Etsy 10% off with the code 2MYVALENTINES until February 15th!


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[THE DRAGON’S CLAW] Featured Game

From Arena to Skyrim By AJ In 1994, Bethesda released The Elder Scrolls: Arena for MS-DOS. The openworld game had cities, generated wilderness with inns and other points of interest, and dungeons. Designers took inspiration from the Ultima series and built their world for a firstperson RPG game. Arena was difficult to get started with, a little buggy, and hard on the computers of the time, but it was considered a success, paving the way for other games of its type. The second game in the series, Daggerfall, was released in 1996. The world of Daggerfall is massive, with over 750,000 NPCs and over 15,000 places of interest. Instead of a linear storyline like Arena had, Daggerfall has six different endings with more complex quests. Then came The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind in 2002, setting a new standard. The game had very customizable characters, detailed stats, and a wide variety of factions, items, and side quests. The game characters and landscape was created by hand, making it far more detailed than its predecessors. Very few things in the game are leveled, meaning the player can encounter (and try to defeat) very powerful enemies very early on, and find very good loot if they know where to look. The main quest is generally


[FANTASY HEADQUARTERS] considered to be a little lacking, but that didn’t keep it from getting a Game of the Year edition. Bethesda released The Elder Scrolls Construction Kit, which allows users to modify the game. Thousands of mods later, including many graphics mods to help it keep up with the latest graphics, Morrowind still holds up today in playability. Morrowind had two sequels, Tribunal and Bloodmoon. Tribunal introduced mercenaries that would follow the player around, and Bloodmoon introduced werewolves and several monsters that later appeared in Skyrim. In 2007, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion came, complete with horses and NPCs that interacted with each other. The story was better told than Morrowind’s, combat was more complex, and the skills, while mostly similar, had the added benefit of perks as they were leveled up. NPCs sleep, eat, and read, generally following schedules, but not to the point of being fully scripted. Alchemy introduced poisons as well as potions with good effects. Monsters level with the character, keeping the game around the same level of difficulty and continuing to challenge the player.

Oblivion had a single sequel, The Shivering Isles, that added plenty of new items, monsters, and new areas to explore within the realms of Oblivion.

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[THE DRAGON’S CLAW] 2011 brought us the latest game in the series, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The skill system was reworked, the crime system became more advanced, more activities opened up for the player, and

dragons will attack you at random. The graphics are generally described as being somewhere in between “really good” and “the best thing ever.” The landscape is incredibly detailed, and the map is dotted with tons of diverse points of interest. The development team focused on making each region, race, and even different sectors of the same city seem unique. The Elder Scrolls has also produced several side games, including Battlespire, Redguard, and even four mobile games. The series has contributed heavily to the RPG world, and it will continue to do so for years to come. 


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Game Art Feature  Halo by Vybeosa

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[THE DRAGON’S CLAW] Anime News

Sakamichi no Apollo By Tim You know what animes most of us would agree are awesome? Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo. You know what else is awesome? Shinichiro Watanabe, director of both Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo, is going to be directing a new anime called Sakamichi no Apollo. It’s about three high school students who come together because of jazz music. Now, I’m not normally a fan of jazz, but the opening theme to Cowboy Bebop, “Tank,” and the rest of the soundtrack is the only jazz music I truly enjoy. Who composed that along with the rest of the soundtrack, you’re wondering? Yoko Kanno. And guess what? Yoko Kanno is the composer for Sakamichi no Apollo’s soundtrack. Yoko Kanno has done many well known animes, such as Cowboy Bebop, The Vision of Escaflowne, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Wolf’s Rain, and many related movies. The soundtracks of all of those I greatly enjoyed. I think this is something to get excited about. We don’t know when Sakamichi no Apollo will be coming out, but I know I’ll be keeping an eye out for it. 


[FANTASY HEADQUARTERS] The Great & Powerful Trixie has finally arrived in your podunk town! Prepare yourselves for the greatest show of your lives during Trixie’s unprecedented Tour of Indefinite Length! (Trixie needs to lie low for awhile after the debacle back in Ponyville.)

Let the show begin!

Trixie Tales on Tumblr

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The DC Team AJ

Jakku

Audrey J. Ross spends much of her time on various art projects. She sells jewelry, crafts, and art prints, and she has a book published on Kindle. She plans on going to college for visual arts to further her artistic studies. When not being artistic, she is often cooking, listening to metal, and/or browsing the Internet for hours on end.

Jakku Diran Ebansu is a pseudonym. He's a 17 year old amateur artist and professionallyserious gamer. He represents Britain on the DC team by complaining about the weather a lot. He loves high-tech scifi and exaggerated science, like in Eureka, for example. He believes he reads far too much scifi and fantasy. The scifi diet starts tomorrow. Supposedly.

J

Tim

Jet (pronounce as: yet) is a Dutch sixteen-year-old girl. She’s still in school, but wants to study Biology or Archeology after that, even though languages are her strongest subjects. She loves reading, writing and drawing, but can also often be found doing some sport or another. She often listens to music from Disney movies.

Tim Geary is an avid gamer and eater of spicy things. He’s often spotted leaving his natural habitat with a bag full of snacks and a bottle of hot sauce. He hopes to attend college to pursue interests on wildlife biology and psychology. He is currently researching metaphysical and paranormal phenomena and beliefs from all over the world.


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The DC on the Web

Facebook  Twitter  Blogger  DeviantART

THE DRAGON’S CLAW WEBSITE

Submit Artwork Get in touch through any of the above sites or email AJ directly if you’re interested in having your art featured in our magazine! What We’re Looking For We accept fan art and original works that incorporate fantasy, science fiction, or gaming. No nudity or extreme violence, please. More info can be found in our DeviantART group. Advertising Contact AJ if you would like to place an advertisement in our magazine. You can message her on any of the above places or email her directly. Join the Team Think you can do what we do here? We’re looking for team mates! Fill out our application if interested. Email AJ at eternal_night11@yahoo.com

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Credits Cover image and all Skyrim screenshots by AJ from Skyrim; Arena, Daggerfall, Morrowind, Bloodmoon, Oblivion, and Battlespire images from The Unofficial Elder Scrolls Pages and © Bethesda http://www.bethsoft.com/ http://uesp.net/wiki/Main_Page I Am Legend cover © Orb Books http://us.macmillan.com/orb.aspx Book Art Artist http://velvet-moonlight.deviantart.com/ Game Art Artist http://vybeosa.deviantart.com/ Cowboy Bebop image ©Tokyopop http://tokyopop.de/ Advertisements https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dragonistic http://www.etsy.com/shop/celestialchainmail http://trixie-tales.tumblr.com/ This entire webzine was made in Microsoft Word 2007 http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-Word-2007-OldVersion/dp/B000HCZ8GW


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The Dragon's Claw Vol. 3