Brandon's Notepad

October 7, 2011

Original Battle Chess Capture Sequences

Filed under: Computer Software — Brandon @ 9:23 am
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Many moons ago, when I had time to do things for fun or for no real reason whatsoever, I documented the animation sequences for Interplay‘s original 1988 version of Battle Chess. I’m taking the time now to post these notes here, for no real reason whatsoever.

About The Pieces

Pawn: armored warrior, wielding a lance
Bishop: wearing a hooded robe, mitre, and knife-topped staff
Knight: wearing full armor and a cape, with shield and sword
Rook: castle turret that morphs into a rock monster
Queen: typical dress, fights with energy bolts
King: hunched-over old man with a variety of tricks

The Attack Sequences

Pawn takes… Pawn: attacks with lance, first the toe, then the head
Bishop: opens hole in the ground with lance, bishop falls in
Knight: kick to the groin, knight falls over
Rook: breif fight, rook falls and is smashed to pieces
Queen: stabs her in the back with a knife
King: takes crown with lance, king throws a fit
Bishop takes… Pawn: basic hand-to-hand combat, stabs him with bladed staff
Bishop: vaporizes him with staff (magic?)
Knight: very similar to capture of pawn
Rook: crumbles him with staff (magic?)
Queen: barehanded blade blocks, stabs her through the torso
King: slices king into three pieces
Knight takes… Pawn: basic hand-to-hand combat, stabs him with sword
Bishop: stabs him in the gut, then beheads him, bishop disappears
Knight: cuts off his arms and legs *
Rook: knocks legs out from under him, rook falls and crumbles
Queen: reflects lightning with shield, turning her into a dragon
King: failed beheading, cuts sceptor and disrobes him
Rook takes… Pawn: pawn surrenders and is smashed into a metal ball
Bishop: two blows to the head
Knight: smashes him into a helmet with feet
Rook: fist fight, fist goes down through head and body
Queen: devours her whole
King: flattens him, king is dropped and floats to ground
Queen takes… Pawn: vaporizes lance, pawn tries to runs, but is blasted
Bishop: chars him in place, his skeleton falls into a bone pile
Knight: vaporized inside his armor
Rook: blasts him into a pile of rubble
Queen: blasts her and she shrinks into nothing
King: blasts him, he disintigrates, leaving robe, crown, sceptor
King takes… Pawn: reveals hidden ball mace in sceptor and smacks him
Bishop: shoots him in the chest after missing his head and feet**
Knight: bats bomb to him with his sceptor
Rook: shrinks with with some sort of burning powder
Queen: they embrace, she tries to knife him and he knocks her down
King: not possible

* Reenactment of Black Knight scene from Monty Python’s Quest for the Holy Grail
** Reenactment of swordsman scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark

The Video

Years later, someone captured the sequences in a video and posted them to YouTube. Take a look:

February 8, 2011

Notable Covers

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Cover songs. Cover bands. Cover albums. Good ones. Bad ones. Whatever. Here’s my list of notable covers. Special thanks to YouTube, which has apparently captured everything ever filmed or recorded. (Note: I add them as I find them. The list will grow.)

American Pie

Nothing will ever top Don McLean’s original.
Chris de Burgh. True to the original.
Madonna. Exploits the lyrics (IMHO) to promote an ultra-leftist agenda (watch the video).
The Brady Bunch. Painful. Comical. Pure nostalgia.
Hernaldo Zúñiga. Most popular version in Texas?
Catch 22. Because the refrain is all you need anyway. Punks.
King’s Singers. Well done!
Leslie Cheung. This song started his career. The ground ended it. Very sad.

Bohemian Rhapsody

The Muppets. Best cover of this song ever!
P!NK. Not much different than watching Queen perform it. Good voice for the song!
William Shatner. Funny video! The serious bits are spoken.
Hayseed Dixie. From the 2010 album, “Killer Grass”. Typical H-D spoof.
Newton Faulkner. Painful.
The Ten Tenors. Not too bad. At least they had instrument accompaniment.
UC (Berkrley) Men’s Octet. Acapella. Suddenly want a haircut.
Surrey Harmony. Funny to watch the old ladies sing this song. Great voices! Stupid rock segment!
Robert Wilkinson. This intoxicated Canadian almost got all the words right.


Whether or not you agree with the principles, there is something enchanting about Lennon’s masterpiece. There’s no variance in the covers, no adaptations. Timeless.
Bill Clinton. Sang with Israeli singer Liel at Shimon Peres’s 80th birthday. Didn’t know the words.
Elton John. Central Park, September 1980.
David Bowie. The same, as expected.
Avril Lavigne. True to the original. Great voice.
Live. From a concert in December 1999. (Selling the Drama, Lightning Crashes)
Lady GaGa. Gag.

The Sound of Silence

Simple, poetic, and rich in symbolism, I consider this one of the most important songs of my formative years!
Live in Central Park, 1981. Ok, not technically cover, but this performance by S&G far surpasses the original recording, IMHO.
Nouela. Beautiful performance. Very sad video compilation by MusicForLife.
Kina Grannis. Also beautiful.
Brooke Fraser. Several good live performances available online. Sounds like Karen Carpenter with elements of Janis Joplin, Melissa Etheridge, and Linda Perry. Well done, but nothing really new.
Passenger. Folksy hipster from East Sussex. A bit dramatic, but worth a listen!
Coffee House Gypsies. Sung by minstrels? I’d love to hear them cover California Dreamin’
Ásgeir & Júlíus. Icelandic. Clear guitar and vocals. True to the original.
Emilíana Torrini. Also Icelandic. Sounds nice in her accent.
Einsauszwei Rework. Basis for a backdrop mix in a very sweet short film.
Bobaflex. Awesome rock version! Subtle influences from The Offspring? The video is terribly sad.
Nevermore. Metal. Megadeth/Pantera, with a hint of Manson perhaps? Didn’t move me.
Yao Si Ting. …on the walls of science?
Leonard Cohen. Read as poetry. A nice twist, a new perspective.
Duptribe. Psychedelic beat track + British accents = great sound! Many remixes exist.
Tiesto. This may be the Duptribe voice track laid down with some other sounds. Not as good, IMHO.
Hardstyle. Angelic voices + deep house = has promise. Short on lyrics though.
Niels Martreb. Strong beat. Synth. Humming. Very sterile, impersonal. Not the whole song. #robbed
Gregorian. A novelty? Yes, but chant is always awesome. Wonder what it would sound like in Latin. Hmm, well, here are the lyrics in case anyone wants to try.

Sympathy for the Devil (Rolling Stones)

I don’t like the Stones, but this song is cool for its historical and religious references. It is also covered quite frequently, often live.
Blood Sweat & Tears. BS&T3, 1970. Nice try. Lacks the spirit of the song, IMHO.
Jonathan Round. Self-titled album, 1971. My absolute favorite version by far!
Bryan Ferry. These Foolish Things, 1973. Bad…but still better than the Stones.
The Jerico Mile. Intro tune, 1979. Groovy instrumental.
Jane’s Addiction. Concert album, 1987. Too true to the original for my taste.
Laibach. 1989. From Slovenia. Bad English dub job?
Guns N’ Roses. Interview with the Vampire Sountrack, 1994. Because I’d rather listen to Axl than to Jagger anyday.
Pearl Jam. Live [YouTube], late 1990s. Improv, just hangin’ out on stage.
Gail Swanson. Standing on the Bridge, 1996? Great Sound! Could lose the Ian Anderson flute solo.
Jon Bon Jovi. Live in Wembley, 1997 [YouTube]. Same ol’ song, less-annoying singer.
Natalie Merchant. Tigerlily, 1999. Great live version! Blends well with her other songs on the album.
Tiamat. Skeleton Skeletron, 1999. Gothic! How appropriate.
Ozzy Osbourne. Under Cover, 2005. Nice change, but Ozzy could’ve put more heart into it.
Bossa n’ Stones. Freedom Dub, 2006. Same ol’ song, female singer.
Jenny Silver. Live on Sommarkrysset, 2010. Great performance, but didn’t add much to the song.

You Were Always On My Mind

Willie Nelson’s classic! Well, actually the original was sung by Brenda Lee.
Willie Nelson. Obviously, the most successful cover.
Elvis Presley. What’s to say? A typical Elvis rendition.
Pet Shop Boys. An upbeat sad song?
DJ Guest. Synth, drum machine, and female vocals.
Fantasia. American Idol. Jazzy R&B version. Meh.
Michael Bublé. Sinatra-ish.
Boy George. He loves this song! Lot’s of concert covers on YouTube.
Tim, Roland & Jake. Sung Chipmonk-style.

Dance Covers

Behind Blue Eyes – Jan Van Bass
Boys Of Summer 2k10 – Max Deejay
Dont Walk Away (Jade) – Jenny Jones
Eternal Flame – Lady Crew


The Covers Project. Someone is actually building a databse of cover songs!

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