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‘Starcraft’s Top Moments Over 20 Years

Posted: 31 Mar 2018 01:30 PM PDT

It’s been a whole 20 years since the original Starcraft was released. The impact this game has had can’t be understated. Not just in its genre, not just in esports, but even as far as entire nations.

Starcraft pushed forward everything from small design improvements to high-level strategic thinking. It pushed forward business models, online matchmaking, and balancing for high-level play. Later on, it did the impossible — improving on a classic with a sequel.

We thought we’d take a moment to remember some of the most notable Starcraft milestone moments over the years. A few of them are milestones for everyone, and a few of them are our personal favourites.

1998 – ‘Starcraft’ is Released

The original incarnation of Starcraft was a re-skinned Warcraft 2. But after a negative response when showing an early version of the game at E3, Blizzard knew it needed to up its graphical game.

The change was made to isometric, which brought all kinds of new challenges. Limited CGI was implemented in-game, coupled with voice acting, to give the game’s portraits a new feeling of life.

Players responded extremely well to Starcraft‘s asymmetrical factions, and Blizzard had to invest heavily into Battle.net to handle the unexpected load.

Having only anticipated a limited launch in other regions, Starcraft becomes a surprise hit in South Korea, and plays a large part in the rise of “PC bang” culture (socialising in LAN cafes).

1998 – Brood War is Released

Just eight months after the release of the base game, Blizzard brings out the Brood War expansion.

Story-wise, this gave us three new campaigns which ultimately resulted in Kerrigan being in control of the Zerg. Gameplay-wise, it gave us new technologies and new units, such as the Lurker and Valkyrie.

It was also around this time that people starting talking about Starcraft as a game balanced down to a science. While it was impossible for Blizzard’s developers and QA testers to anticipate the evolving metagame pioneered by high-level players, after a few patches it had the balance tight even at a pro level.

A true achievement, considering the wildly asymmetrical factions.

2000 – World Cyber Games

Starcraft: Brood War is included in the first iteration of the World Cyber Games, which for many years served as gaming’s equivalent of the olympics.

The first event was hosted in South Korea, with the other games being FIFA 2000, Unreal Tournament, Quake 3 Arena, and Age of Empires 2. Starcraft would outlast all of them.

2000 – Korean Esports Association

Also known as KeSPA, this organisation would play a large part in shaping the competitive Starcraft landscape over the years.

It was destined to have its fair share of controversy, as people became more and more serious about Starcraft. At the height of televised matches and prize money, players would practice long hours in crowded gaming houses for very little money.

KeSPA was seen as not protecting these traditionally young competitors, as it was generally up to the winning members of each team house to buy food for their teammates.

Later on, KeSPA would lose influence as Blizzard sought royalties for KeSPA broadcasting its intellectual property. The talks went poorly, and rights to broadcast Starcraft 2 would go exclusively to GOMTV.

2001 – Rise of the Kings

One of the most famous gamers of all time enters the Starcraft competitive scene. SlayerS_BoxeR, the “Terran Emperor,” became a dominant force at a time when the Terran race was considered unsuitable for pro play. He innovated dropship micromanagement and won the World Cyber Games tournament in both 2001 and 2002.

It gave rise to some amazing moments, including this one which became the first Starcraft meme:

Much later on, in the days of Starcraft 2, a player would call themselves SlayersBoxer out of respect for the original legend. The two would eventually meet in a top ranked, televised match, with the same name.

Over the course of the next decade, other personalities would come onto the competitive scene and shape it in their own way, adding to the list of viable strategies and remixing the various timings that pros would have to be aware of.

Players such as Flash, Jaedong, and JulyZerg would amaze audiences with their strengths, and all have their periods of dominance over the scene.

StarCraft-Tychus

2010 – ‘Starcraft 2’ is Released

After a decade of Starcraft rivalling Counter-Strike (through its various iterations) as the most popular and enduring esport in the world, Blizzard brought out a sequel.

Pre-release, in March of 2010, Blizzard showed it wasn’t without its own competitive side. As competing RTS games Command & Conquer 4 and Supreme Commander 2 geared up for their releases, Blizzard dropped the open beta for Starcraft 2. It was a move designed to completely steal the thunder of the rival franchises, and it worked — though the other two games had issues of their own.

The potential for disaster in a Starcraft sequel was huge, and a big topic of conversation was how anyone could improve on something so perfect. We needn’t have been worried, because Blizzard was up to the task.

Blizzard’s strategy here was focusing on little improvements to great effect. Aspects like the Terran supply depots folding into the ground were a minor feature, but had enormous implications on competitive matches.

It helped that the game looked great, but what mattered was the asymmetrical factions were just as balanced as they were before, despite all the improvements and changes. It was a classic right out of the gate.

2010 – GOMTV – From Pros to Prose

With GOMTV securing the broadcasting rights to the Global Starcraft 2 League, this was the first example of a highly successful, global subscription model for esports. GOMTV let players broadcast in standard definition for free, but a small fee (around $5 per month) would allow high definition streaming and access to video on demand.

It would pave the way for other payment systems like MLG, though arguably none would be as successful, even to this day, as GOMTV.

While this was mainly down to the popularity of Starcraft 2 and how entertaining high level play was to watch, part of this success was down to its broadcast team.

Former professional Starcraft players in the West such as Artosis, Tasteless, Day9, and InControl would become commentators in the days of Starcraft 2. The former two headed up GOMTV’s broadcasts, becoming fan favourites as they filled the lulls with humour and meta analysis, while going appropriately bonkers at the biggest moments.

2011 – MC Vs JulyZerg

A personal favourite moment of ours was this epic match-up between two titans of the Starcraft 2 scene. JulyZerg was the veteran with legendary speed in micromanagement. MC was the upstart with crazy new strategies, and a penchant for theatrics such as looking at his opponent and making the sign of a cut throat.

We zero in on this one because for us, it was the high point of the Global Starcraft League. MC was the first Protoss to win a GSL, and did so on the strength of prepared pocket strategies. In this case, he had saved some just for the final against JulyZerg.

One memorable match in the best of seven involved MC expanding and being scouted by JulyZerg. As soon as JulyZerg’s drone left, MC cancelled his expansion buildings and swung into full unit production. By the time JulyZerg scouted again, it was too late to build an effective defence.

MC became known for his excellent use of probe force fields, splitting up JulyZerg’s roaches to tackle them in smaller numbers. MC often taunted while doing so, such as dancing with zealots or building a nexus inside JulyZerg’s base.

It wasn’t the closest final. MC ended up convincingly beating JulyZerg 4-1. But the matches were close, and the level of theatrics were high as JulyZerg scrambled with his notorious speed of actions and thought, to respond to MC’s cunning strategies. It was the most memorable of Code S grand finals.

2013 – Heart of the Swarm

Blizzard began bringing out expansion packs to Starcraft 2 at an awkward time for RTS games, though there wasn’t much it could do about it. MOBA games such as League of Legends were taking the world by storm, so much so that Tasteless and Artosis could already be seen in the MOBA commentary booths.

Blizzard was already acknowledging this with its own MOBA game, Heroes of the Storm — which awkwardly shared the same ‘HOTS’ acronym as Heart of the Swarm. Blizzard would attempt to get people to use the shorthand Heroes for its MOBA, but HOTS was what stuck.

Heart of the Swarm brought a new, Kerrigan-focused campaign as well as additions to units, technologies, and game modes. It reinvigorated the RTS scene, but the slide towards MOBAs was unstoppable.

2015 – Legacy of the Void

With its final expansion, Blizzard made large pacing and core design changes. It was the perfect opportunity to tackle the problem if Starcraft 2‘s macro mechanics.

A design imperfection since launch, the race-specific economy systems such as Zerg queens spitting on their hive, creep tumours, and upgrading supply depots were arbitrary busywork designed purely to take up player attention. With enough now added to the game to take up player attention anyway, these systems could be discarded.

Legacy of the Void is still chugging along to this day. Starcraft 2 is a tournament favourite, and an example of what esports can be.

While many of its other games dabble in RNG systems and masquerade as esports, Starcraft and Starcraft 2 were completely skill-based and showed what Blizzard can do when it deliberately sets out to create an esport. These games took on lives of their own, and would have been wild, global successes whether Blizzard put up prize money for competitions or not.

It’s been 20 years, and we’ve heard from Blizzard developers that we’ll definitely be visiting the universe of Starcraft again. Something tells me they weren’t just talking about Starcraft characters in Heroes of the Storm — so let’s bring on the next 20 years.

The post ‘Starcraft’s Top Moments Over 20 Years appeared first on FANDOM.

5 Comics That Will Satisfy Both Children and Adults

Posted: 31 Mar 2018 10:00 AM PDT

Walk into any comic book store, and you’re just as likely to find adults as children. That’s because nowadays, the folks producing all the wonderful work on the stands know that both age groups are interested in the stories they have to tell. Marvel’s MAX line, for instance, is aimed towards adults tired of mainstream censorship, allowing for gratuitous violence and foul language. DC’s upcoming Zoom and Ink imprints, on the other hand, are hand-tailored for younger audiences.

But there are plenty of comics out there that adults and kids alike can easily enjoy — comics that straddle the line between simple and complex, between entertaining and engaging. Without any further ado, here are five comics that will satisfy children and adults.

Marvel’s Star Wars

han solo star wars jason aaron john cassaday
Han Solo rates his comics 12 parsecs out of 12.

The Star Wars universe presents endless storytelling opportunities, from the hope-infused A New Hope to the dire straits of The Empire Strikes Back. Marvel has released several different Star Wars comics to accommodate all the possibilities, but none embrace the spirit of adventure quite like Jason Aaron and John Cassaday have been able to with their series simply titled Star Wars.

The comic picks up after the destruction of the Death Star, revealing what Luke, Han, Leia and the gang were up to between movies. Full of action and intrigue, Aaron does a wonderful job of capturing each character’s unique voice, and Cassaday renders it all in an exciting, cinematic style.

The expanded stories of beloved characters are lure enough for kids and adults, but the fact that they’re so well done makes it even more of a draw for both parties. It’s like having a Star Wars movie in the palm of your hand: a space opera for all ages.

Adventures of Superman

adventures of superman dc comics
One of the many art styles you'll find in this anthology series.

As readers demanded more nuanced storylines from comics, it became harder for the nearly invincible Superman to deliver. Where to draw the line between excitement and complexity? Adventures of Superman circumvents this problem in a clever way.

Written and drawn by various industry talents, the series presents a grab-bag of stories starring the Big Blue Boy Scout, and it’s that grab-bag quality that allows the stories to succeed where others haven’t. If you want Supes fighting a giant robot sent by Lex Luthor, you’ve got it. If you want a more introspective piece chronicling a day in the life of the hero, there’s that, too.

No matter what specific issues it focuses on, they all embody the essence of the legendary hero and respect his legacy. Depending on what part of that legacy appeals to you most, there’s almost certainly an issue for you, young or old.

Bone

jeff smith bone
More adventure than you can shake a bone at.

You know those stories that you get completely lost in? The ones that keep you up all night because of the absorbing worlds, the characters that make you laugh and cry, and the boundlessness of imagination within? Bone is that and so much more.

Creator Jeff Smith wrote and drew all 55 issues over the course of 13 years, a testament to hard work — and it shows. Often compared with The Lord of the Rings in scope, the adventures of the Bone brothers are as heartfelt as they are hilarious, as epic as they are intimate, and as fun as they are thought-provoking.

If you’re an adult, Bone will make you feel like a kid again. If you’re a kid, Bone will light your creative spark like nothing else. Either way, you’ll be in as much awe as Fone Bone (the protagonist) ever was.

Spider-Man: Blue

spider man blue jeph loeb tim sale
'Spider-Man: Blue' will make you blue -- but in the best way.

A more controversial choice for this list, Spider-Man: Blue is quite possibly the best entry in Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale‘s “color” series (which also includes Hulk: Gray, Daredevil: Yellow, and Captain America: White). But why the controversy?

Spider-Man has always been the everyman hero — someone with normal problems, but abnormal powers. This miniseries covers two main issues: love and death. While often considered “adult” themes, they are things that we all have to deal with at some point in our lives. And with Spidey, there’s always levity to balance tragedy.

What also makes Spider-Man: Blue an all-ages read is that it’s a retelling of classic Spider-Man stories — namely, those centering around Gwen Stacy, Peter Parker’s first true love. As fun as early Spider-Man comics are, it can be rough trudging through the campy writing style, so this modern take almost acts as a history lesson for kids and a journey down memory lane for adults.

Calvin and Hobbes

calvin and hobbes bill watterson
The days are just packed.

Though the titular characters are named after long-dead philosophers, writer-artist Bill Watterson makes darn sure that time spent with the boy (Calvin) and his imaginary friend/stuffed animal tiger (Hobbes) is full of life, bursting at the seams with whimsy and wit. Yet true to the spirit of philosophy, this comic strip will get you thinking as frequently as it will rupture your spleen with laughter. Watterson maintains the balance expertly.

What Calvin and Hobbes does best is show what it’s like to be a kid: the relationships you have with adults at a young age, cramming as much in as possible before bedtime (and then finding ways to stay up past that), and of course, imagination without limits. That makes it easy for just about anyone to relate to, either out of longing nostalgia for youth or experiences you’re having as someone around Calvin’s age.

Choices, Choices

At the end of the day, no one’s going to stop a kid from buying The Walking Dead or an adult from purchasing a Big Nate collection. There’s a world of comics out there just waiting to be explored, whether you’re 9 or 99. But comics like those listed here are the kind that will generate the most discussion between age groups, the kind that will connect them where others will not, the kind that will mean the most to all generations of comic book readers.

7 Black Superhero Titles You Should Read

The post 5 Comics That Will Satisfy Both Children and Adults appeared first on FANDOM.

‘Dragon Ball Legends’ Is The Pocket PVP Fighter You Never Knew You Wanted

Posted: 31 Mar 2018 08:50 AM PDT

When you love video games, it can be easy to become a bit of a snob about playing on mobile. If you own a console or PC that provides you with sprawling 80 hour RPG epics, choosing to spend your precious time on throwaway apps like Clash Of Clans can feel a bit like abandoning a gourmet meal midway through in order to tuck into a soggy kebab.

Sure, there's nothing wrong with enjoying some questionable junk food every now and again, but sooner or later, you're going to start wondering why you didn't just stick with the good stuff.

Yet, with apps now beginning to offer players more in-depth and original experiences, attitudes towards smartphone games are also starting to shift. Whether it's playing host to uniquely beautiful experiences like Florence, or recent console phenomenons like PUBG and Fortnite somehow surviving the transition to mobile intact, interactive entertainment on smartphones is arguably now better than it's ever been.

It looks like this mobile momentum shows no sign of slowing down either, as based on what we've seen of the upcoming Dragon Ball Legends so far –app-based action could be about to get another impressive poster boy.

 A new Legend Arises

Developed by DIMPS, the team responsible for classic Dragon Ball beat 'em ups like the Budokai series and the more recent Xenoverse games, Legends' stylish 3D visuals immediately give off the impression that this is an impressively fully-fledged fighter. Thanks to its striking console-quality production values and high-quality 3D character models, at first glance, this looks like your very own pocket-sized Budokai.

Yet, after finally getting fingers on with the app, it turns out this isn't actually a traditional fighting game at all – it's something far more unique. Where seminal smash 'em ups like Street Fighter or Dragon Ball FighterZ demand that players master a series of complex inputs, Legends instead eschews complexity for accessibility, allowing you to demolish your opponents with only one finger.

GDC 2018: ‘Dragon Ball Legends’ Brings Fully 3D Online Brawling To Mobile

Speaking with the game’s producer Keigo Ikeda, he reveals that at one point Legends almost was a console-like brawler.
"In the beginning, we wanted to create a heavily action orientated game, so we tried build a game where you hold the game landscape wise and play with two hands. But it was fidgety and difficult to control – touchscreens don’t work like controllers. So we switched back to portrait so that you can hold (the phone) with one hand.”

“Our  aim was to provide a game that didn't feel like it was the quality of a smartphone app, but at the same time that it didn't feel like it was too complicated – that it was accessible for everybody… If players want a game of that depth they might as well just play FighterZ or Xenoverse."

 One Finger Action

While it certainly shares some similarities with the fighting genre, sensibly, the developers haven't tried to shoehorn a console experience onto mobile. Instead, this one v one Dragon Ball beat 'em up works because it feels like a hybrid of several different types of mobile games.

Sporting an over the shoulder view, players hold their phones vertically, tapping to attack and swiping to move in the intended direction. There's a bit more nuance to the controls than that, of course, with a vertical swipe sending players dashing or into a backstep, and tapping and holding the screen allowing your fighter to charge up their Ki. But when it comes to unleashing screen-filling specials, the main bulk of the action here boils down to using a series of on-screen cards.

As you may expect, the strategic element in Legends comes down to timing your dodges and choosing when to combine standard attacks with your more punishing card deck of destruction. Despite sounding a bit weird on paper, it's all very intuitive. The response time is rapid enough that you feel like you're in control, but forgiving enough that you can play one-handed on your commute without breaking a sweat.

Launching a KI blast at Piccolo before dashing into him and unleashing a flurry of punches into the unsuspecting Namek all felt surprisingly faithful to the anime – and more importantly, it was a ton of fun to pull off.

 Keeping Your Cards Close To Your Chest

The card-based attacks aren't all you have up your arsenal though. If you want to create a real screen-filling spectacle, you can always unleash your Rising Rush attack. Like an Ultra attack from Street Fighter, these game-changing attacks can take a huge chunk out of your opponent's health bar. In order to earn them, however, you'll have to use the right combination of cards beforehand.

It's this mix of fast-paced brawling and card battling that makes Legends feel unlike anything else. Whenever our matches ended, we found ourselves eager to hop right back into battle – especially when we were taking on a human opponent. Thanks to Google's Cloud Program, Bandai Namco's new app lets players take on opponents anywhere in the world.

Where server limitations and internet speed restrictions normally sees players divided into region-specific servers so that matches don't lag, here, you can grab your favourite team of Dragon Ball characters and fire a Kamehamaha at someone who's sitting on the other side of the planet.

Testing the online in a US event space, we didn't have the chance to put this through its paces, but a live demonstration of a battle in San Francisco against one of the devs' Japanese colleagues showed that the potential for seamless online brawling is certainly there.

A new Saiyan Legend

While PVP is the focus here, Ikeda revealed that there will still be single player modes for fans to get stuck into too.

"We've been really pushing PVP as a whole project but that's not the only game mode that we'll be providing. There will also be an original DB re-enactment type of event where you can play in certain iconic events against characters that players want to see, were you relive your favourite scenes from the anime. Then there's also an original story mode too."

Like FighterZ before it, series creator Akira Toriyama has clearly seen something in Legends, as once again he has designed an entirely original character for the game. "the original character will be the main protagonist [in Legends' story mode] – you'll be seeing the story from his point of view," Ikeda confirms.

In terms of more memorable faces, the full roster has yet to be revealed. So far though, we’ve seen Super Saiyan Goku, Piccolo, Pan, Vegeta, Krillin, Nappa and Frieza in his base form.

As you’d expect, this will be a free to play game. While Bandai Namco has yet to officially confirm how microtransactions will work in Legends, Ikeda said he and the team are attempting to make them as unobtrusive as possible.

“It is free to play and there are some in-app purchases, but it’s not going to be off when compared to what we have on other apps right now. We're still actually thinking about it and we haven't decided completely what to do.”

How’s Dragon Ball Legends Shaping Up?

Ever since the advent of the appstore, shoddy licensed games have been dumped onto the storefront by the bucketload. Thanks to Super and of course the brilliant FighterZ, Dragon Ball is enjoying a worldwide resurgence, hitting a peak of popularity that it hasn’t since the early 2000s. It’s good to see bandai Namco capitalising on this, and using that momentum to create a surprisingly competent mobile tie-in. But will the publisher manage to get the balance right between player fun and the company’s finances?

Either way, we’ll find out soon, because Dragon Ball Legends is coming to Android and iOS this summer.

The First Ever ‘Dragon Ball Super’ Movie Is Coming In December

The post ‘Dragon Ball Legends’ Is The Pocket PVP Fighter You Never Knew You Wanted appeared first on FANDOM.

5 Ways the X-Men Could Change the MCU

Posted: 31 Mar 2018 07:00 AM PDT

Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox will cause big changes in the world of film and television, most notably when it comes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Once Marvel Studios finalise the deal, they will be able to introduce one of their most iconic properties from the comics, the X-Men, into the MCU. Getting mutants into the MCU leaves the door wide open for many possibilities, so here are just a few ways this could change the entire franchise.

Character Relationships

The wedding of Black Panther and Storm
The romance of Black Panther and Storm may be coming to the MCU.

The ability to feature the X-Men in the MCU allows Marvel to explore relationships between certain characters from the comics. The massive success of Black Panther has led to a lot of speculation around the direction that the sequel will take, with the marriage between T’Challa and Storm being a topic of particular discussion. Introducing the mutant would undoubtedly affect his romance with Nakia, which Chadwick Boseman and Lupita Nyong’o have already discussed in interviews.

Another connection that the MCU may touch on in the future is Magneto‘s paternity of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. Avengers: Age of Ultron vaguely referenced the backstory of the Maximoff twins by having them explain that their parents were killed in a bombing attack when they were ten years old, though they could reveal later down the road that they were adopted and Magneto is their real father. This could add an interesting new dimension to Wanda’s character development.

History and Backstory

Genosha
Have mutants been hidden on the island of Genosha?

Marvel has released 18 movies to date and there’s so far no hint of the existence of mutants. Introducing Spider-Man into the MCU was easy due to his youth and him being in his early days as a superhero, but in the comics, mutants have existed for thousands of years. So where have they been until now? Were they on the island of Genosha, which, like Wakanda, has been hidden from the wider world? Did Professor X wipe all knowledge of them from humanity’s minds? Once they do appear, what is their reason for revealing themselves?

The answers to these questions could put a fascinating twist on the MCU’s overall history, and seeing how the established MCU characters will react to the presence of mutant-kind will be interesting, to say the least.

R-rated Movies

Spider-Man interrupts Deadpool and Shiklah as they get intimate.
Will Deadpool's crudeness make its way into the MCU?

One character who the general public has really been embraced in the last couple of years is Deadpool, and a lot of this is because his movie is rated R. The unprecedented success of Deadpool makes it difficult to imagine that Marvel would give the audience a toned-down version. But in doing so, this could lead to the MCU’s first foray into R-rated material.

MCU movies have stayed in the realm of PG-13 and left the more mature content for its Netflix shows. However, the studio has never released anything as raunchy as Deadpool. Given Deadpool‘s success, this may result in the MCU featuring foul language, crude humor, gore, nudity, and graphic sex scenes for the first time. And Disney CEO, Bob Iger, has already discussed this possibility and is onboard.

No More Inhumans

The Inhuman Royal Family
Inhumans, not long for the MCU?

In the last few years, Marvel have been doing everything they can to raise the popularity of Inhumans, mainly due to their inability to use the X-Men in the MCU. However, the results have not been what they were hoping for. The planned movie focusing on the Inhuman Royal Family was cancelled, with the television series that was made instead was also a failure. Furthermore, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the series that introduced Inhumans to the MCU, is likely to end with its current season.

All these factors, as well as the possibility of featuring mutants, means that there’s no reason to push the Inhumans. It’s now likely that their MCU days are numbered, and it’s doubtful that we’ll see them again.

Better Villains

Mister Sinister
Bryan Cranston wants to play Mister Sinister.

The most common criticism of the MCU is that the villains are underwhelming, with Tom Hiddleston‘s Loki and Michael B. Jordan‘s Erik Killmonger generally considered the only exceptions. Throughout the history of the comics, the X-Men have faced off against some of Marvel’s most compelling villains. If done right, this could give the MCU a better collection of antagonists to choose from.

Marvel have the opportunity to give us new interpretations of villains we have already seen in live-action films, like Magneto, the Hellfire Club, the Shadow King, Apocalypse and his Horsemen. However, they can also give us the live-action debuts of compelling characters like Mister Sinister, who Bryan Cranston has expressed an interest in portraying.

The introduction of the X-Men into the MCU is a vast goldmine of possibilities for worldbuilding. It’s going to be very exciting to see how it changes the franchises as it progresses into the future.

Now That Marvel's Produced a Solid Villain, It's Time for Some Doom

How Marvel Has Changed Movies, For Better AND Worse

If 'Infinity War' Follows the Comic, It's Going To Be a Bloodbath

The post 5 Ways the X-Men Could Change the MCU appeared first on FANDOM.

The Best Horror Homages in ‘Ready Player One’

Posted: 31 Mar 2018 12:49 AM PDT

Ready Player One is filled with movie references, featuring stone-cold classics like Back to the Future, Jurassic Park, and Saturday Night Fever. Alongside the blockbusters however, horror films also play a surprisingly prominent role in proceedings. Even though Ernest Cline — writer of the book and co-writer of the screenplay — isn’t a horror guy.

“That’s the one weak spot in my ’80s knowledge,” he told FANDOM during the film’s London junket. “I’m like Aech in the film; I didn’t like scary movies. I would force myself to watch the ones I felt I had to. Usually, science-fiction horror was what I would be familiar with, like The Thing or Aliens.”

In spite of Cline’s aversion to the genre, multiple horror Easter Eggs made it into the movie. With the following FANDOM’s favourites.

Though one is a MASSIVE SPOILER. So click away now if you haven’t watched the film yet.

Alien

The Alien chestburster.

Following Wade Watts’ triumph in the street race quest, his avatar Parzival becomes something of a celebrity in the OASIS, with fans clamouring for selfies and autographs as Blondie’s One Way or Another plays on the soundtrack.

A man approaches Parzival and takes him to a room around the corner, away from the crowd. Where an alien promptly bursts out of said bloke’s chest. In homage to the iconic chestburster scene in Alien. Though while the sequence kicks off scary, it’s then played for laughs, with the now chest-free fellow revealing himself to be Art3mis in disguise.

The Shining

The Shining twins.

We’ve already covered how and why changes have been made to the quests in the movie version of Ready Player One. With the biggest departure being our heroes having to survive the events of The Shining for quest two. Meaning they encounter the creepy twins. Get taken out by that ocean of blood. And confront the horrors of Room 237.

Cline says the inclusion of the film was largely director Steven Spielberg’s idea. “We made a list of ’80s films, and Stanley Kubrick only made one or two movies in the ’80s,” he explained. “When Steven saw The Shining on our list, he immediately started to geek out about the thought of recreating The Shining.”

Horror Icons

Our third choice is a bit of a cheat as it concerns multiple movies and characters. But they are making the briefest of cameos. And kind of fit into the same category. As Cline told FANDOM: “I would avoid Freddy, Jason and Chucky [when I was a kid]. But Freddy, Chucky and Jason are all in our movie.”

So if you’re paying close attention, particularly during the final battle, you’ll spy Krueger, Voorhees, and the doll from Child’s Play slashing their way through the crowds. Meaning three icons of 1980s horror are all in the mix.

Ready Player One is out now.

‘Ready Player One’: The Easter Eggs Even the Writer Couldn’t Find

The post The Best Horror Homages in ‘Ready Player One’ appeared first on FANDOM.