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  #11  
Old September 4th, 2010, 05:13 PM
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Default Re: Vanarus, Machaka Lion Kings etc

I like Machaka for what it is. I see the main problem being that it's the only official southern/western African Nation in the game. There's room for plenty more. Maybe as many as Asia.
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  #12  
Old September 4th, 2010, 06:00 PM
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Default Re: Vanarus, Machaka Lion Kings etc

There's nothing wrong with Machaka not being very accurate in correllation with african history/mythology. Abysia is totally fictitious and noone minds, so what's wrong with the devs making some (huge I know) creative liberties with Machaka. Sure there needs to be more southern african nations, and it would be nice to have one which displays the culture better, but there's no point in beating up on Machaka.

If it really bugs you, then mod a new machaka that suits your likings. Like what has been done for pythium.
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  #13  
Old September 6th, 2010, 05:18 AM

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Default Re: Vanarus, Machaka Lion Kings etc

I am reading my third novel from Mosambique now, and so far in all of them are plenty of mythological references.

One central theme is the constant interaction with the dead. They can be conjured, have to be taken care of and revered, they can protect or harm.

One of the stories centers about a man seeking power through the aid of the dead. He uses the help of a sorcerer and is granted great power by means of what would translate into fire and death magic. On the other hand there is his son, IIRC, who tries to protect, seeks the way of harmony or healing, acquiring skills in water, earth, air and maybe nature.

And there is this constant theme of cursing, divining the future, summoning spirits, the fear of the dead that still walk our lands and materialize in our dreams unless properly treated.

This is just off the top of my head without further research. Oh and there is this motif of a fanatic primitive warrior tribe fighting naked besides red? body paint that protects them from bullets (there was civil about thirty years ago). Their goal is to stop the marauding bandits and bring peace to the land.

I know there was more, some apocalyptic stuff, big world destroying monsters you know. That was by Paulina Chiziane (I hope I got the spelling right). The other I am just reading is by Mia Couto. I don't know if you can get a translation, I try to read the original to maintain my Portuguese. There are German translations, as far as I know. They make excellent reading, combining mythological aspects, folklore of the people, action, history of the 70s and 80s and social criticism.
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  #14  
Old September 6th, 2010, 11:26 AM
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Default Re: Vanarus, Machaka Lion Kings etc

One of the developers is a religions professor; He probably has more insight into the role spiders play in African mythology than the people who don't want spiders involved in the Machaka theme.
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  #15  
Old September 7th, 2010, 04:52 AM
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Default Re: Vanarus, Machaka Lion Kings etc

And, by the way, Haggard was pretty accurate about Zulu weapons. Maybe it wasn't a good decision from Dominions team to leave, say, two-ended spears out, but that's another story entirely.
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  #16  
Old September 7th, 2010, 08:36 AM
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Default Re: Vanarus, Machaka Lion Kings etc

BTW, in case anyone's interested, here's a link to Endoperez' mod for an Anansi pretender for Machaka:

http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/showthread.php?t=30603
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  #17  
Old September 7th, 2010, 10:37 AM
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Default Re: Vanarus, Machaka Lion Kings etc

Kristoffer may or may not add these nations at some point. He was intending to do something about EA Machaka, but then the Jomon updates sort of ran over that.

As far as Machaka goes, it has plenty of African mythology on it. EA would also have, though of a different bent, since it would likely concern itself with the earlier stuff (immortality, cloud people, the coming of death etc).

Vanarus, well, aside from two units that are already in the game, no idea what its status is.

Any possible updates are likely to be infrequent and random now that they are working on the new project, whatever it is.
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  #18  
Old September 7th, 2010, 11:55 AM
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Default Re: Vanarus, Machaka Lion Kings etc

Machaka has:
(1) no unique national summons
(2) nothing that doesn't look like an ignorant white man's exoticized concept of Africa.

Now, I'd love to be wrong, but the nation is *incredibly thin*, and I'm pretty sure that's due to a lack of mythological depth. Admittedly, Africa is really big, I'm sure I don't know about all or even most of the mythological traditions, but its #2 above that really gets me.

So for those of you saying it has plenty of African mythology in it - what? where? Because I'm not seeing it.

And just because one of them is a professor of religion does not make him an expert in every mythological system. There's a lot of them. And they aren't considered 'religions' - mythology is a separate field. Now, clearly he knows a lot about some mythological systems. And where he has expertise it shines through. Machaka, otoh, could have used more research.
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  #19  
Old September 7th, 2010, 12:18 PM
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Default Re: Vanarus, Machaka Lion Kings etc

Wrana: I'm not sure if you're referring specifically to 'King Solomon's Mines', and not his later works, but Haggard wasn't writing about the Zulu in that particular book. The weapons he described seem much more similar to Congolese throwing knives and Songe axes (which would have been appropriate for the Great Lakes region, which I believe is approximately the real world location of Kukuanaland in the novel.

I think there might also be the mention of swords (definitely present in 'Allan Quartermain'), which would also be appropriate to the region, and ofcourse spears, but then spears were ubiquitous in colonial Africa. There is also mention and use of chainmaille (possibly influenced by the chainmaille armour still used in Algeria in the 19th century? The Kabyles and others in that region, and the Morocco area, still used heavy swords, as well, known as flyssa, rather specifically for piercing/breaking chainmaille.), which was replicated by the 19th century Sheffield armourers in the second book--and which may have strongly influenced Tolkien's mithril chain armour.

J. R. R. Tolkien was very familiar with the works of H. Ryder Haggard, as was Robert E. Howard, and H. P. Lovecraft.
Haggard, along with Edward Plunkett, Lord Dunsany; is pretty much the grandfather of modern fantasy.

It's been a while since I read King Solomon's Mines, but as I recall, Umslopogas (the Zulu warrior--who by the way uses an exotic battleaxe of partially European manufacture, not an Assegai--the most famous specifically Zulu weapon) doesn't make an appearance until the sequal, "Allan Quartermain".

The "lost people" in 'Mines', the Kukuanas-while they did speak a dialect of Zulu-were pretty specifically differentiated from other African tribes (different skin colour--more reddish than black--etc.).
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  #20  
Old September 7th, 2010, 12:55 PM
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Default Re: Vanarus, Machaka Lion Kings etc

Squirrelloid:

Go right ahead list things that are missing from it, if it seems thin to you. Machaka has had a lot less focus on it than many other nations and it is more of an amalgamation of various African mythologies than a specific national mythology.

However, the focus on Death and Earth magic, the witch doctors, sorcerers etc all fit rather well. Many of the things appearing in Machaka are universal to African mythologies or large swathes of African mythologies even if it doesn't fit all of them.

If you think it sucks, start naming specifics, because I'm really tired of these vague references on how "it's not authentic, it's too generic, it's missing things" line. If you know what's missing, name it. I'm not averse to learning new things, but I'm certainly not going to go off on some Google hunt based on vague generalities. I'll rather reference my mythology books at home if it comes to that.
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