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Uesugi-dono Blog

Coming Up: On Monday's Blog...

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- Since I had to be at work at 6am I decided not to attend the midnight launch of The Last of Us, so expect impressions on Monday... expect them to be grand, however, 'cause expectations are LARGE.

- In more Playstation Plus love I am THRILLED that the digital version of Uncharted 3 (which I just received as a free game alongside XCOM) has FIXED that F'in sound glitch that marred my ENTIRE experience with this game, causing me to rate UC3 as the WORST in the series, behind even the Vita's Golden Abyss. (Incidentally one of my favorites.) With this corrected version I may go back and revise my rating. I am NOT pleased, however, with the inclusion of their 'Free to P(l)ay' model of Multiplayer. I had the original installed on my system, why in the shiny hump can I not still have access to my original MP? Eh, I don't really care though. I don't really play MP anyway.

- Tried Machinarium. Not overly impressed. It's like a flash game... on my PS3.

- Headline: "Mad Max will NOT have Multiplayer" SOLD.

- AssFlag has officially sold me a PS4. I put down the deposit yesterday making the PS4 the FIRST EVER console I will buy at launch. Just do the math: ACIV + Holiday Release Date - Microsoft-style DRM x Under $450 Price Tag = Uesugi Gets a PS4.

- Have you seen or played the demo for Call of Juarez: Gunslinger? Thoughts? I've just discovered it. I'll be getting the demo this weekend.

- I am SUPER hyped about a relaunch for Mirror's Edge. I loved the original but I ALWAYS maintained that it needed an open world MP where you just ran courses and completed tricks for points. The announcement that it will be at least open world gives me a geek-on from hell. I cannot wait.

- I am not overly impressed with The Order: 188-whatever or Final Fantasy MCXVIII. Much like the Vita, the PS4 needs more games. I hope it doesn't experience a similar game drought like the handheld.

- Speaking of the Vita congratulations to @pokecharm ! I don't think you'll be disappointed beyond the usual "where the hell are the games" disappointment that all of us VIta owners have. Also it's a wonderous Skype machine.

10 Classic Games that Need a Reboot

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Alright, you caught me. This is mostly a recycled blog from years ago with minor updates, but it all still holds true.

We've all got favorite games from the past, games that we remember fondly and would love to play again but for whatever reason we just cannot; either the platform itself no longer exists or the quality just doesn't hold up any longer. Many games get sequels that do not deserve it. Here's my list of games I wish would get an update, remake, or simply port to the new generation.

1. PrivateerWing Commander: Privateer - Privateer was a pioneer in free will in video games. The premise was simple; you start out inheriting a basic transport and from there you can trade goods across the galaxy, take bounty or patrol jobs, and eventually become a pirate. There's a basic story that you can or cannot follow but the free-roam in Privateer was simply phenominal. Several attempts have been made to emulate this game, even a crappy Privateer 2, but all have failed. An updated Privateer would be a fantastic MMORPG, but even as a single-player adventure it would rock. I envision it as a 3rd person over-the-shoulder in port and a flight sim like the original once you are aboard your ship. Alternatively this could simply be rebooted as a FIREFLY game. That would sell a kajillion units so, Game Industry... get on it!

2. Uncharted WatersUncharted Waters - The Koei classic was basically the same premise as Privateer, just set in the age of exploration. Again the possibilities are limitless in the free-roam category. With a focus on trade and exploration this game would be incredible. In Japan this series continues to enjoy popularity, even seeing release as an online MMORPG but with a PS3/PS4-built installment there would near limitless adventure.

3. BlackthorneBlackthorne - I cannot begin to understand why this awesome sidescroller/platformer has not yet received a full 3-D remake. Blackthorne was a revolutionary game with a great story and tight action. I can practically see it in my head; the rainy, apocalyptic setting, your people held in slavery by the grotesque Ka'Dra'Suul and you; a rogue prince with a shotgun, their only hope. As a 3rd person free roamer set to a heavy metal soundtrack a la Brutal Legend this game would rule.

4. Golgo 13Golgo 13 - The world's greatest assassin deserves a remake. As an M rated title Golgo 13 would be a big hit, not only in Japan but here. Who wouldn't wanna play the oversexed ultimate badass assassin? G 13 for the NES was the first game I had sex in, maybe the first NES game that was ever possible in. As an adult adventure an open world G 13 would be a hit on the caliber of Metal Gear.

5. Rocky: LegendsRocky: Legends - Not the most realistic of boxing games Legends was nonetheless lots of fun. The game packed in tons of fighters from the Rocky universe and had smooth mechanics and a great career mode, even if you couldn't use anyone outside of the famous fighters. A new update would offer better graphics, an expanded roster, and hopefully keep the great career mode but allow you to take other fighters through it.

6. dark sunDark Sun - The Dark Sun fantasy setting is wholly badass in its own right and Wake of the Ravager was a phenominal title back in its day. The setting was simple enough; you created your character from scratch and then started as a gladiatorial slave, eventually escaping and taking on a variety of missions. An update could introduce you, and maybe a co-op party of MP friends, into a massive open world ripe with adventure opportunities and an integrated competitive MP game where you simply fight in the arenas of Athas as a gladiator. Really, how much more awesome does a game need to be?

7. Baseball StarsBaseball Stars - The greatest baseball game ever made holds that distinction not because of of its gameplay mechanics but because of its great customization levels. Eschewing real teams Stars had some teams of their own but where it really shined was building your own teams, picking their mascots and colors, and hiring and customizing your players. You picked their faces, their names, and built their stats. An updated Stars could feature a broader team builder and offer great multiplayer leagues.

8.WeaponlordWeaponlord - One of the bloodiest fighting games ever. Weaponlord was brutal beyond compare and featured hidden fatalities drenched in gore. Revamping it with Mortal Kombat-style graphics and keeping it a side scroller would be cool, or even take it 3-D and give it a story making boss fights into the kind of battle the original game featured.

9.GkGabriel Knight - There are simply not enough good detective games out there anymore. The Gabriel Knight games, especially Sins of the Father, were fantastic games. A new update would be a great free-roam mystery. Set in a living city like GTA IV's Liberty City would give it fantastic character and all new life.

10. The ImmortalThe Immortal - The Immortal was a fantastic adventure where death lurked around every moment. You needed to be smart instead of strong to survive. With a setting like Demon's Souls a new Immortal could utilize an inventory system to create spells and potions to help solve the deadly puzzles of the game.

I'm sure you have your own lists of games to add and, to be honest, it's hard to restrict this list to ten. So developers, if you're out there reading, take a look at these games and the ones other readers add. We're fans, and we'd gladly pay for great reimaginings to great games of yesteryear.

Day of the Dead (Xbots)

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Honestly I can't decide which is funnier; Microsoft's sudden 'reveal' of 'what it really meant' or the sheer glee of the downtrodden Xbots and their return to the mindless defense of their Corporate Masters.

x1

This little gem tells me ONE thing: "Oops." This is Microsoft's attempt to extricate itself from the shitstorm it created by implementing this inane idea in the first damn place. This is literally the ONLY way MS could have smoothed this over with gamers other than just trotting out some suit to say "Oops, my bad... forget that whole used game fee thing, we's just kidding!" For just once Patcher might just be right; any publisher (Looking at you EA & Activision) who decides to charge a fee to play a used game would be idiotic to do so. In effect this 'announcement' (Read: Change of Policy) places the burden on the publishers which, I think, is kind of funny. Now the very people who have whined and complained for years will have to take the heat themselves if they want to try and crush used gaming. Do not mistake me, I have no sympathy for the Devil, but well played, Microsoft, well played.

Frankly, anyone who believes this bullshit deserves to be spied on. When Xbox One is on and youre simply having a conversation in your living room, your conversation is not being recorded or uploaded, Because no one is more trustworthy than a soulless, corporate entity, right? Honestly the last time I heard a line of bs like this it was Bush Jr. trying to justify the revocation of civil liberties to the largely sonambulant American public. (They got away with that too and even just this week Obama did the exact same thing with American cellphones.)

For all the disingenous malarky that Microsoft has shat out upon the newsfeed you'd think that they had just announced free XBL and $1.95 consoles the way the Xbots have flared back to life with gusto; each chanting a medley of "Told you so," blended with "Sony's gonna charge a fee too!" I don't know why I expected them to change; you'd think a fanbase as betrayed as they were would exercise a little caution and suspicion but apparently they'll be hailing 06/06/2013 as a holiday from now on.

I remain (justifiably) skeptical.

Playstation Plus: Psychic Powers Publically Presented Per Prescience

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So yesterday I had a strange urge. Despite the imprending release of The Last of Us, despite the allure of XCOM and Dark Arisen, I found myself longing to play a game I have already beaten and sold. I have a love/hate relationship with Deus Ex: Human Revolution. I loved it all the way until the end, where the absolute Deus Ex Machina ending (Push one of 4 buttons to recieve an anti-climactic canned ending with only different vocal scripts) kind of killed the entire game for me. Thus DX:HR became one of the most overrated games of recent times. Still though, I was missing it. I want to play it again; but I will NOT buy it used simply because the ending put me off so badly. So how to satisfy my longing without reneging on my principles? Dilemma, dilemma...

Enter Playstation Plus.

Plus

That's right! This week's free game is none other than Deus Ex: Human Revolution! It's like Sony can read my damn mind. This has been such an awesome year for Plus, Spec Ops: The Line, Vanquish, Sleeping Dogs... now this? I may never let my membership expire; I've got too much to play!

DX

Updatery of the Recent Variety.

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So I've returned from a vacation to Walt Disney World; myself, the wife, 3 girls, and my mother all went to the Happiest Place on Earth for 6 days and seven nights. It was just as fantastic as you can imagine. Pics, if you want to see, can be found here.

- My gaming time has recently been split between Dark Arisen and XCOM; although mostly the latter. Odd, since I beat XCOM quite a long time ago but here's a game with near endless replay value. I love Dark Arisen but, after Skyrim, I'm struck by how small the world of Gransys actually is. Gran Soren is the capital... of one small fishing village; Cassardis. How frightfully boring. The game isn't, however. DD keeps pulling me back in but presently I'm mired in minor 'kill X number of beasts Y' quests.

Cave

- I keep coming back to the freebie I got off of Plus; The Cave. The reason I keep coming back is I can't decide which group of three to take and there's only one save file! Still, though, a neat little game. Some minor puzzle solving in a pretty platform environment but suprisingly entertaining.

Xbone

- Boy, the Xbox One fiasco sure has the people talking. I guess I should say something about it... Nah, it kind of speaks for itself, dont'cha think? Hey, anyone wanna buy a Spybox that lets you watch TV on your TV?

LoU

- I'll be picking up The Last of Us when it hits next week but, honestly, I don't feel that excited. I'm sure that will change, Naughty Dog are masters of their craft, I just hope this isn't the glitchy mess that UC3 was. (I had a persistent sound glitch) Oh, hey, they will have revolutionary multiplayer tacked on that will let you play against other players! Meh.

If you've ever played a table top RPG such as Dungeons and Dragons read this!

The Xbot's Lament

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The Xbot's Lament

Very funny, but sadly so close to the truth as to be indiscernable. I have never seen a media launch come off quite so badly. One has to wonder if MS even has a focus group that studys gamers. It's almost like they're trying to emulate Nintendo's Wii success by purposefully marketing this to people who do not game. For someone like me, a former Xbox and 360 owner who turned back fully to Sony after becoming totally disillusioned with the 360 it's actually a little painful to watch.

What can Lure me from Gransys?

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I wanna blog, I really do... it's just that the emergency root canal yesterday has left me deflated... and drugged.

griffin

- So my relentless Dark Arisen marathon has been put on hold, thanks largely to an escort mission and a pesky ass Griffin who seems to have developed a taste for the sweet flesh of fat Cassardi priests. Sky-Bitch swooped down out of nowhere to gobble him up and I didn't even have a chance to react. Oh well, I needed a break anyway. ( @Katzenbalger - Wanna help me out mate? Then I need to know where I can find airtight flasks or how to make them.) I fumbled around for a little while, starting both The Lost and the Damned and inFamous before I finally realized what I craved...

XCOM

- Inspired by @johnsteed7 and @pokecharm 's exchange on her blog I delved back into one of the very best games of 2012. If Binary Domain was my GOTY for 2012 XCOM: Enemy Unknown was a close second. I jumped headfirst into my second playthrough by tweaking all of the options on Second Wave; a decision I kind of regret when you think about the random weapon damage and how it can negatively affect Muton encounters. Needless to say I'm hooked again. I spent ALL day yesterday playing XCOM and, honestly, I can hardly wait to get back to it. I also nominate THIS game to help revive the Vita. The gameplay is perfectly suited for Sony's criminally underappreciated handheld and porting it over would give me a real reason to simply sell my copy of the PS3 game. I would prefer this on the Vita.

Last of Us

- I was slow in securing my preorder for The Last of Us but it's taken care of now. I think this will be Naughty Dog's finest work. It does make me think of Enslaved a little, another underappreciated gem. I'm not very excited by the news that it will be diluted with multiplayer, though. Worrysome.

DOA5

- So, most everyone I know irl apparently despise change so vehmently that they cannot be bothered to learn how to play a new fighting game that is not Street Fighter but I happen to LOVE Dead or Alive 5. Anyone out there wanna throw down sometime? I'm green, but playing is a blast. Let me know.

New Writing Project

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Officially I am working on The Wanderers Pentad Book IV: Peacemaker, but I got sidetracked the other day. Below is an independant concept that jumped in my head; the prologue from Foolkiller. Thoughts? (Note: Gamespot helpfully removed all tabs, apostrophes, and god knows what else. I'm replacing apostrophies, since I can't force tabs in, but I may miss a few.)

"In the Name of the King"

The woodland path was littered with diffused light as a spring breeze blowing the leaves caused the shadows to jump and dance. The trail cut through the mountains and was little used; connecting the capital with only the frontier and a few remote mountain villages. The surrounding wilderness was lush and verdant this time of year, the recent rains nourishing the temperate foliage, and the gregarious chirping of the birds and chittering of the squirrels only lent to the pleasant atmosphere as a lone traveler led his horse down the path towards the capital. He was not a young man, nor was he aged; rather a competent-looking fellow in the midst of his third decade of life but the lines on his face hinted to the nature of his past, as did the broadsword belted to his left side that swung in its baldric with each leisured stride. He wore a black leather sleeveless jerkin over a shirt of chain mail but it was shrouded by a forest green cloak that draped his shoulders in heavy fabric adorned with a bronze and silver brooch, circular in design with a owl perched in a gnarled tree featured within, all in elaborate knot-work. The brooch was also an allusion to the man's past; for no one of modest means could have come by it honestly.

The traveler wore a soft smile as he paced along the path leading a black stallion behind him. This was no draft animal but a war horse, fifteen hands high, whose muscles rippled with each step beneath a velvety black veneer. A hand-and-a-half bastard sword hung from left side of a weathered saddle, within easy reach for a rider. On the horse's rear was secured a bedroll, a tent, and an unstrung longbow along with a quiver of arrows hanging off the saddles right side just ahead of the saddlebags. The man himself had dark, reddish-brown hair grown out just shy of shoulder length and a scruff on his face that easily a week's worth of growth. His blue-green eyes scanned the flora contentedly and he took a deep breath of the clean spring air, relishing the picturesque scenery and superb weather.

The path angled downhill through deep canopy cover as it wound towards the sounds of rushing water. A waterfall was ahead and the path connected by a narrow, but well-constructed wooden bridge that spanned the thirty-foot gap created by the falls; it was a landmark the traveler was well familiar with and he looked forward to taking a respite on the structure and gazing out over the vale below; in fact he had procured fresh apples just this morning with the intent of enjoying them with his steed once he got there. His appetite whetted, he picked up his pace subconsciously as the sound of the roaring water grew closer, the canopy thinning somewhat as he neared the bridge. Just then the peace of his surroundings was shaken; a girlish scream pierced the morning air followed by gruff, raised voices. Instantly the traveler's smile faded as he rounded the last bend, the bridge coming into view and on it; an altercation. Three men, soldiers by the armor and tabards they wore, bound two children; a boy and a girl. The boy couldn't have seen more than twelve winters and the girl less than ten. As one soldier tested the ropes binding their arms behind their back another was affixing two ropes to the balustrade of the bridge each ending in a noose. The girl was in a full panic, crying and resisting, and the guard working at her bindings cuffed her hard behind the ear. At the strike the boy began to resist as well, but a backhanded stroke from the armored gauntlet of the ranking officer ceased his struggles as well. The traveler grimaced, a look of cold anger passing over his features, but he led his mount wordlessly onwards towards the scene.

"Quiet you," the officer commanded, "lest we visit your family once you've met your end!" He shook the boy roughly as the other soldier physically pulled the girl back to her feet. The third finished with his work and now the two subordinates looped the nooses over the children's necks and tightened them. The girl now only sobbed in resignation as the boy's blue-eyed gaze turned and caught sight of the stranger approaching the bridge. His stare was haunting and forlorn and he said nothing but soon the officer turned to see what had drawn his attention. "Hold, traveler," the officer said in a commanding tone, taking two steps towards the end of the bridge and holding up one mailed hand in a gesture to stop, "in the name of the King."

"What business compels the King's soldiers to hang children?" the stranger asked tersely, coming to a halt at the end of the bridge.

"No business of yours," the officer said dismissively, beginning to turn, "keep your distance until this work is finished."

"It seems my business now," the traveler remarked dryly, "since you hold my passage witness to murder."

"Tis not murder but justice!" the officer snapped, his subordinates bristling at the stranger's tone and audacity, "They're poachers; slaughtered deer in the King's forest."

"An impressive feat for a girl of nine years," the traveler released the reins of his horse and took a step onto the bridge, his arms hanging at his sides and the sunlight glinting off of steel bracers that protected his forearms, "to fell a stag."

"The girl was complicit!" the officer spit as one of his subordinates moved around him and leveled a pike in the stranger's direction, "I'll not offer another warning, traveler, stand back lest you find yourself compelled to join them!"

"Perhaps I will," the stranger moved forward at an easy pace, hands held low to either side, "tis as good a day as any to die and I've always enjoyed the view."

"There's a price to pay for your drollery," the officer signaled the pike-wielding soldier, "and your lament will be upon your lips as you meet your Maker!" At the signal the soldier dashed ahead, lunging at the stranger's abdomen with his pike, but the traveler moved fluidly to his right; turning his body and seizing the pike's haft in his left hand even as his right went to the hilt of his sword. For a moment the pair was frozen, the soldier tugging against the traveler's surprising grip, but then the stranger spoke in a calm and clear voice.

"And now: a dilemma," he said, a bemused smile crossing his face, "would you be disarmed or slain where you stand?" He pulled the sword loose in its scabbard, a glint of morning light playing off of exposed steel. "Truth be told tis not a choice of yours to make. Even if you release your hold on this weapon I could take your life before you've a chance to draw your blade," his eyes gazed over to the reddening face of the officer, "which is valued higher; the lives of a pair of hungry children or three of the King's men?"

"You've drawn steel against the King's soldiers," the officer pulled his own long sword free; "such is the same as drawing against the King himself!"

"My weapon has not cleared its sheath," the traveler clarified, "so I've not drawn on anyone yet. What happens next rests on your shoulder, ser."

"Kill him!" the officer commanded as the remaining soldier raced around, his pike at the ready, but no sooner was the last word given voice than the stranger's sword swept up out of its scabbard, taking off the first soldier's left arm at the shoulder. The second roared as he thrust his weapon at his enemy but a flourish of the traveler's broadsword knocked it wide as he whirled the pike in his left hand and delivered the point into the man's unarmored throat. He pressed forward until the soldier went backwards over the balustrade to fall to the water far below, the weapon still stuck in his throat. The officer, sensing an opportunity, raised his long sword and rushed at the stranger's back but the traveler pivoted around and parried his attack high even as he pulled a dagger with his left hand and stabbed it up to the hilt into the soft tissue under the officer's chin, pinning the man's mouth closed and driving the blade up into his sinus cavity.

"That was an incredibly foolish decision to make," the traveler chastised him as the officer's weapon slipped from his grasp to clatter down onto the bridge; "combat should always be avoided until you've a measure of your enemy. Now I can rightly identify you as the King's soldiers. That gives me a gauge of your abilities and the reactions I can expect but you," he leaned in close to the struggling officer, obviously in terrible pain, "what do you know of me?" he hissed, glancing down slightly at the brooch pinned to his cloak, "Clearly naught!" he suddenly withdrew the dagger and grasped the officer by the white cape attached to his armor, sheathing the broadsword before wiping off the dagger's blade as the officer's hands went to his throat, trying to stem the flow of blood. Finishing he turned his attention to the children, walking over to them and cutting the bonds on their hands before putting the weapon away and removing the nooses over their heads. "Are you hurt?" he asked, lifting the girl's chin to examine her cuts and scrapes.

"Behind you!" she cried. Almost quicker than her eye could follow the traveler spun around, his broadsword clearing his scabbard once more and taking the officer's hand off at the wrist, the dagger and the hand gripping it falling to the bridge. The traveler followed the stroke by thrusting the blade into the officer's chest, piercing his armor and seeking out his heart. The officer's face bleached of color and he seized the traveler with his left hand, gripping hatefully at his cloak, his eyes glassing and fixing on the brooch.

"Greylore," he hissed as he crumpled to his knees before folding backwards. The traveler pulled his sword free from the officer's chest before walking over to the first soldier, who was still lying on the bridge. The flow of blood had nearly ceased from his severed arm and the man was ghastly pale, his breathing had slowed to shallow gasps.

"God receive your soul," the traveler said solemnly before sliding the broadsword between his ribs and ending his suffering. He cleaned the blade of the weapon and returned it to its scabbard before dragging the bodies to the balustrade and hoisting them over, followed by their weapons, leaving only bloodstains as evidence. Then he looked over to his steed, still standing placidly at the edge of the bridge. "Strider," he called to the horse and the stallion obediently came forward. The traveler took the reins and led the horse near the children, who still stood where hed left them. He delved into the saddlebags and came up with a small sack of bright red apples. He removed one and then passed the bag to the children. "Here," he said when the boy hesitated, "take them." Reluctantly the boy obeyed, mumbling a word of thanks. "Do you live near here?" the stranger asked, both nodding in reply, "then best you run home. Speak not of what happened today, to anyone. You've not been to this bridge, do you understand?"

"Yes, milord," the boy looked down at his feet, "thank you, ser. You've saved our lives."

"I only did what all good-hearted people long to do," the traveler explained, "only that I am blessed with ability."

"Please ser," the girl spoke in a meek voice but her green eyes did not shy from his gaze, "may we know your name?"

"I am a traveler," the man waved off her request, "no need that I ever be any more than that."

"I would know your name, ser," the girl insisted, unafraid, "that I may include it in our prayers."

The corner of the traveler's mouth lifted in a moment of contemplation, and then he spoke: "You may call me Alec; that will suffice."

"Thank you Ser Alec," the girl offered him a pretty smile, "I will keep your name even when I'm old and gray."

"Then you'd best become old and gray," he smiled at her and tousled her blonde hair, "get yourselves home and be wary the King's soldiers. Better to leave a carcass than become one yourselves."

"Yes, milord," they both replied as the traveler turned and fed the remaining apple to his horse. Once it was gone he gave one final smile to the children and then continued across the bridge, his mount following loyally behind him. Once he was out of earshot the boy turned to the girl with an astonished expression on his face. "Do you know who that was??" he asked.

"Said his name was Alec," the girl replied, not really paying attention as she watched the traveler disappear down the trail.

"That's Alec Greylore!" her brother said excitedly.

"Who's Alec Greylore?" his sister asked, finally turning her attention to her sibling.

"Who's Alec Greylore?" her brother was incredulous, "Alec Xavier Greylore; the Foolkiller."

The girl began to question him but then an old tale she had heard when she was only six came back to her; a tale of the son of Duke Greylore, a promising young knight who had gone astray, a fallen paladin, "we were saved by Foolkiller?"

"Come, best we leave this place," her brother said as he pulled her along, "and we never speak of this, not to anyone!" The pair of them sped up the trail, opposite of the traveler's direction; the only evidence left at the bridge of the morning's conflict being bloodstains and two hangman's ropes dangling in the wind.