by Maxie Daviau
by Maxie Daviau
“Bien fou qui s’y fie”
“Wolf in Town”
by THE WOLF FR
Furillen City has been open since the beginning of April, and as ever, the Flickr stream has been busy, with some excellent pictures taken by some very talented visitors. We decided to mark the first month with an exhibition of our favourites, which will open in the massive Trident Intercontinental Shipping Hangar – quite radically modified as an exhibition space – next Tuesday, 2nd May.
We will be holding similar shows for pictures of the ground part of the sim – and will be re-opening the gallery on that level specifically for the purpose when the time comes – in the near future. Look out for notices about this, and if you are a photographer yourself, an invitation to participate.
For geeks, the title of this particular show is a reference to the very first page of the very first volume of one of the most successful recent ‘resets’ of the Batman series, and one of my own personal favourites, The New 52. Here it is …
“Shadow of My Former Self”
by Imani Nayar
Having posted favourite pictures of the sim in groups every week or so for a while, I think it might be nice to go back to the Picture of the Day format.
So, let’s begin with this beautiful image – “Ivy”, by Cherise Abonwood …
I rather like the fact that every Batman villain has his or her own origin story – sometimes several – which explains (but rarely completely justifies) how they turned villainous. The Joker is a case in point. His backstory is brilliantly told by Alan Moore in The Killing Joke.
Originally a lab assistant and then a failing (and therefore poor) stand-up comic, he agrees to help out in a heist to steal a million dollars. On the day of the robbery his wife dies in a freak accident along with his unborn child, but a distraught Joker is forced by the mobsters to continue. The job goes wrong, with our fledgling villain tumbling into a vat full of chemicals, which disfigure him forever. At the end of the story, The Joker says to Batman …
There is no difference between me and everyone else! All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy.
The Joker’s point is that Batman, too, had a bad day himself once – well, we all know that he did, when Joe Chill killed his parents –
… and it drove you as crazy as everyone else – only you won’t admit it.
Predctably, Batman does not agree –
… maybe ordinary people don’t always crack – maybe there isn’t any need to crawl under a rock with all the other slimey things when trouble hits.
This is one of several origin stories for The Joker. As he himself says of his past:
Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another … if I’m going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice!
The Killing Joke ends – appropriately – with a joke, told to Batman, who listens in ominous silence …
The Joker’s main base throughout the Batman series tends to be Funland, which is a massive amusement park surrounded by flashing lights and full of weird, scary rides – such as the ghost train, on which his victims are tortured or executed.
Our scaled-down version of Funland – which I have just finished tweaking a bit – is a chaotic, ramshackle affair, stuffed full with broken rides (although the ferris wheel, bungee jump and drop tower work just fine), dry weeds and an irritating clown who tells terrible jokes. You’ll find it on the ‘Hipsterville’ corner of the sim, just behind the boxing hall.
Incidentally, for visitors who don’t enjoy walking, we installed 28 teleport points around the city. So, if you prefer, you can take the weight off your pixel legs on your next visit.
The sheer longevity of the Batman characters is one of the things I’ve enjoyed most when building Furillen City. Take Poison Ivy, who is by no means an ‘old’ character in the series but first appeared in Batman no. 181, published on June 1966 … which makes her exactly fifty years old.
Poison – originally Pamela Lillian Isley, a botanist – is essentially an eco-terrorist. She uses plant toxins and pheromones to fight a battle whose ultimate goal is to protect the natural environment and preserve endangered species …
Really, what’s not to love about Poison …
Despite sometimes being a romantic interest for Batman, Poison has had a number of villainous associations over the years, working with Two-Face in Batman: Dark Victory, the Injustice Gang, the Secret Society of Super Villains, and in The New 52 Batman reboot, Birds of Prey. Her best friend is Harley Quinn, with whom Poison is sometimes linked romantically.
In the 1969 serial, Batman and Robin, Poison teams up with Bane to renovate the Turkish Bath House, which they use as a hideout … and this is what we’ve referenced in the latest addition to Furillen City …
Our version may lack the ‘grand foyer’ and ‘long winding entrance’ of the original, but it’s green, lush and creepy, which is exactly what Poison would have wanted. You’ll find it right next to the Gotham Gazette HQ, where the Steampunk Museum used to be … until, somewhat appropriately we feel, it was vaporised by Ms Ivy.
The sim has been busy with visitors throughout the past week. It’s been intriguing to see the numbers divide roughly half between ground and city. Those who have enjoyed parking their avatars on the ground for hours on end continue doing so, while some of the city’s more secretive spaces are slowly unveiling themselves to visitors with a little more patience and a willingness to explore.
The refinements keep on coming, too, even though we keep saying ‘enough is enough’. The old apartment block near to Chinatown has given way to several new buildings, including a weed cafe and blues bar, and an extravagantly priced coffee factory (check out the chalk board outside). The Chinatown area itself has also been expanded and improved, as has the area around the gym and the walkway (‘Poison Ivy’) behind The Cat Mews.
There have also been changes underground. Having rewatched Christopher Nolan’s amazing Dark Knight Trilogy, I felt that we had to install a chemistry lab, and you’ll find this right next to Sionis Industries. We also managed to connect the two tunnel systems – the sewer system and the bank vault tunnels – and you can cross from one to the other by passing on through the lab.
Finally, and well over a week ago now, we found a spot for our version of Wayne Tower. This had been part of the city from the beginning, but gave way for a while because I wasn’t happy with the skyline where it was. Now it sits behind Arkham Asylum, giving height to that corner of the sim without overshadowing other tall buildings. It’s huge … so teleport to the top, set your draw distance to the max, and enjoy the view …
Talking of views, here are some recent highlights, taken from both ground and city during the past ten days or so. The sheer range and variety – and consistent high quality – of the images on display here underlines that the sim offers incredibly rich pickings to photographers …