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Crom led me! My journey with Conan the Cimmerian! (Part 2)

03.22.2011by: The Arrow

"Let teachers and philosophers brood over questions of reality and illusion. I know this: if life is illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, and am content." — Conan (via Robert E. Howard)

IN THE NAME OF CROM! READ PART 1 OF THIS PIECE HERE

STEPS 4: CONAN VIDEO GAME

For a while there; I kept going back to the Conan the Barbarian flick for my Conan fix; that's until I got this video game. To this day, it always makes me feel all Cimmerian and shite. In the game, you of course play as Conan (voiced by Ron Pearlman). You’ve been stricken of your armor (by some evil wizard dude), you’re stuck on an island on the continent of Hyborea (good vacation spot btw) and you got a horde of foes up your ying-yang. The quest? Fight to get to the bosses, beat them to get your armor back, find a priceless gem, save some topless babes and of course the world. The game is pretty much a button masher in terms of the fighting. You can whoop that ass hand to hand, with swords, via magic (Conan hates that shite) and you can also throw some of the objects around ya at people.

The game gets pretty gory (and the red grub is very well done). The more you clock forward, the stronger Conan gets, the stronger he gets, the more he can behead, chop and plasma up the opponents. Conan is true to himself here, a total badass! When he gets shot with an arrow, you can actually have him yank it off and throw it to the ground. Cool! The only downfalls with the game is the puzzle solving stuff which I am not a fan of and the jumping séances that has you fall and start all over again, but other than that, highly recommend for any CONAN fan.

Little Known Facts: There are 7 video games based on Conan thus far. It all started in 1984 with Conan: Hall of Volta which was released for the Commodore 64, the Apple II and the Atari 800.

GET THE CONAN GAME FOR XBOX 360 HERE
GET THE CONAN GAME FOR PS3 HERE

STEP 5: THE CONAN COMICS

The video game eventually led me to finally tackling Conan in print. I got this Conan comic collection of short stories (Dark Horse's The Chronicles of Conan) and trust me it's a freaking blast! The last issue I got VOLUME 18 ISLE OF THE DEAD was written by Bruce Jones, John Buscema and Marc Silvestri. In this book, Conan is the mack, as usual. He loves a good beer, goes by his code of honor religiously, pussy always gets him in trouble (I love how he calls the chicks "girl", Example: "It wasn't my doing girl!") and he whoops that ass while "name dropping" himself in the third person all the time (Example: "Conan of Cimmeria will have his gold!").

This particular collection has a groovy horror jive to it that I mucho appreciate. And this issue was no exception: I'm talking giant spiders, zombies, gruesome looking gods, snake people, a giant crab... the works! In my everyday life, I rarely have time to sit down and just read, sad but true, but every time I force myself to put my problems and work aside to take the time to digest some Conan on the page; I am a happier and better man for it afterward. They're just so much damn fun!

Little Known Facts: There are 20 volumes to the The Chronicles of Conan series of far. The last one was  "Volume 20: Night of the Wolf and other stories" (December 2010).

GET THE CONAN ISLE OF THE DEAD BOOK HERE

THE PROMISE LAND? MAYBE! THE NEW CONAN THE BARBARIAN

I am looking forward to the new CONAN THE BARBARIAN (initially just called Conan, but they added the Barbarian so audiences wouldn’t confuse the film with talk show host Conan O Brien, yes Hollywood thinks we’re complete IMBECILES) even though pretty much all that I’ve seen/heard so far kind of turns me off. First it’s in 3D, I am not sure if it was shot in 3D (I hope so) or if they went the Post Conversion way with it (I will wrestle it in 2D if that is the case) but for some reason I hear the name CONAN, and the LAST thing I think of is 3D. So that scares me. Second of all Jason Momoa is not selling me. I know, I know, he looks more like the Conan as described in the pulp stories than Arnold did; but hey like many others out there Arnold introduced Conan to me, that‘s where Crom led me, so I gotta go with that.

Looks like the original character or not, from what I have seen so far, Momoa comes off as too soft, almost like a Twilight version of The Cimmerian. The shitty teaser definitely didn’t help sway my opinion to the bright side and I hope that the full trailer will prove me wrong. On the upside, I do dig Marcus Nispel as a director, he has a good eye and does violence right. I recently clocked Nispel's PATHFINDER (2007), which has a similar vibe as CONAN and enjoyed it. It was not perfect by any means (some of the editing was too tight, image randomly too dark and the last block was so-so in execution), but it gave me hope for the new Conan. PATHFINDER reeked of Frank Frazetta influence to me and if CONAN is as lean and mean as it was, I'll be okay.


For the new CONAN, I hope Nispel keeps to the strengths he displayed in PATHFINDER and learned from the mistakes he made with it as well.

So in closing, thanks for taking this trip down memory lane with me. Writing this, I realized that I solely touched upon the Conan myth thus far as there is much more Cimmerian out there to explore. Moreover, I couldn't escape the irony that I've taken in so much Conan over the years, but not once did I read a Conan story by original author Robert E. Howard. And I will rectify that soon; I just ordered this HOWARD CONAN BOOK, it's about freaking time! I raise my Ale to thee...LONG LIVE CONAN!

Little Known Facts: In the 1990s there was talk of a sequel called King Conan: Crown of Iron, which would have starred Arnold Schwarzenegger as an older Conan. That project went tits up when Arnie became the governor of California in 2003.

IN THE NAME OF CROM! READ PART 1 OF THIS PIECE HERE

Extra Tidbit: Actor Paul Sloan suggested that I try training to Basil Poledouris Conan score. I now cannot train without it. It f*cking pumps me like mad! Specially when bench pressing.

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