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Jul 12, 2021

Poem: Heaven's Brushstrokes

Heaven's Brushstrokes

 by Austin Ballard

            What beautiful brushes have you, Lord,

            That paint across the azure skies.

            With strokes of white across your board

            Ignited pink with each sunrise.

            And after rain from tempest cries,

            Rainbow tears and golden sun

            Adorn the heavens and wet mine eyes,

            And leave the works of men outdone.

Jul 9, 2021

Dubbing Differences: The Lion King

 Dubbing Differences:

The Lion King

I found the following notable changes in the Brazilian Portuguese dub of Disney's The Lion King:
  • “The Circle of Life” is instead “The Circle without End
  • Instead of “pouncing” lessons, Mufasa gives him “attack” lessons.
  • During Zazu’s “morning report,” the only pun he gives is “The baboons are doing monkey business.”
  • Instead of saying “sire,” Zazu always says “Majesty.”
  • “The Pride Lands” are simply renamed “The Lands of the Kingdom.” Pride Rock is called “King’s Rock.”
  • Instead of “Pleeeease?” Simba and Nala say “Let us!”
  • Zazu: “Your parents will vibrate.”
  • Nala: “Gotcha!” instead of “Pinned ya!”
  • Ed’s voice is not dubbed.
  • Simba: “But Zazu, you said they were nothing but dirty, barbaric butchers.”
  • Instead of “Ix-nay on the upid-stay,” Zazu says “Into a closed mouth enters no fly.” And Banzai says, “Hey, don’t call me a fly!
  • Banzai: “We’d like to have a lion on the table!”
  • Shenzi: “Oh wait, I got one, I got one! I’ll have a lion sandwich!” Those two aren’t puns, so the hyenas seem to be portrayed as just being more evil or giggly.
  • The “birdie boiler” is simply called a “pan.” As in, a frying pan.
  • Simba: “I just wanted to be valiant like you.”
  • The song “Be Prepared” has all of its numerous metaphors removed and replaced with simpler terms.
  • Scar says “Simba, it’s a surprise of death,” but I’m not sure if that translates to the same idiomatic meaning.
  • Instead of “There’s no way I’m going in there,” Shenzi says “I have no idea where he went.”
  • Timon: “I’m baked. Let’s find some shade.”
  • Simba tells Timon and Pumbaa he doesn’t know where he’s going, instead of saying “Nowhere.”
  • Instead of Timon and Pumbaa saying “Boy, he looks blue.” “I’d say brownish-gold,” they say “Boy, he looks beat.” “Who beat him up?
  • Timon: “Ah, you’re a rejected one! That’s great, so are we!”
  • “You got to put your behind in your past” vs. “You gotta put your past behind you” actually translates really well. The word for behind (as in, rear-end) is trazeiro, and Pumbaa confuses it with the word for behind (as in, back in the past), atrás.
  • Timon: “No, no, no, bungler. Stop thinking before you get a headache.”
  • For some odd reason, sometimes they say “Hatuna matata.”
  • Timon: “Take Pumbaa, for example. Why, when he was a cub…”
  • There was no effort to make the “Not in front of the kids!” part insinuate a rhyme like English does with the word “farted.” He says “I felt so sad / Every time that I—” but there’s no way a verb would have rhymed with the Portuguese word for “sad.”
  • Instead of saying “Hippo?” Simba says “Rabbit?” This is clearly to match his lipsyncing, since the Portuguese word is “coelho.”
  • The word for “grub” doesn’t also mean “food” in Portuguese, so Timon just says “Food. What’s it look like?” when he holds up a grub.
  • At the end of the Hakuna Matata song, Timon, Pumbaa, and Simba just scat a bunch instead of singing the actual words “Hakuna Matata” a few more times.
  • Banzai: “Yeah! It’s dinner time, and we don’t smell even a trace of any food.”
  • Zazu: “Oh, you wouldn’t like me. I’d be so tough and bitter.”
  • Banzai says “Que brasa” instead of “Que pasa,” which more or less means “Holy mackerel!” I feel like it would’ve been find to just keep it as “Que passa.”
  • In English, Simba says “Pretty dumb, huh?” but in Portuguese he says “Nonsense, right?”
  • Pumbaa says “I pull myself away from your feet,” and Timon corrects him, “It’s drag, not pull away.” The gravel/grovel joke gets kind of muddled.
  • Simba says “You’re starting to sound like my father." In English, Nala retorts with “Good. At least one of us does,” but in Portuguese she says “Good. It’s good to remember him.” A much more innocent comment, yet Simba gets offended.
  • Instead of “I can’t cut it out. It’ll grow right back!” Rafiki just says “I can’t stop. It’ll return!” which makes less sense.
  • Timon: “You can count on us!” instead of “We’re with you till the end!”
  • Simba: “No. Simba.” instead of “No. It’s me.”
  • Scar: “Criminal!” instead of “Murderer!” But later, Simba says “I’m not a murderer!” so maybe it was done for lip syncing.
  • Scar: “Please. Have piety. I implore you.” The Portuguese word for mercy is “misericórdia,” which would’ve been much too long to replace in that line.

Jun 4, 2021

Warcraft II Abel Voices Pack download!

A few months ago, I set about recreating all the timeless iconic voice lines from Warcraft II. When I realized how easy it was to set them as the actual sound effects on Warcraft II by simply replacing the files in the GameSFX folder, I realized that I had to complete the set and recreate not just the voices, but all the sound effects.

Unfortunately, the microphone I used to use doesn't work anymore, so the new sounds sound too high of quality to match the voice lines. And some of the sound effects were harder to make than others, but overall, it was a fun project to complete.

If you'd like to have me making all kinds of weird sound effects and imitating all the voices in your own Warcraft II game, simply download the sound files at the link below and follow the instructions in the readme file it contains!  

Click Here to Download the Pack!

If you want to see the sounds in action, check out this video:

Jun 1, 2021

Dubbing Differences: Disney's Aladdin

 Dubbing Differences:


I found the following notable changes in the Brazilian Portuguese dub of Disney's Aladdin:
  • In the opening song, instead of “Arabian nights 'neath Arabian moons,” it says “There’s beautiful moonlight and tons of orgies.” ...I’m guessing this is a more overt reference to “hotter than hot in a lot of good ways,” but wow.
  • Traveler: “This is the famous Dead Sea container.”
  • The phrase “a diamond in the rough” is changed to “a rough diamond.” Quite a different sense.
  • The Cave of Wonders is called the Cave of Treasures.
  • Aladdin: “All this for just one loaf of bread?”
  • Lady: “Still I think he’s rather exciting.”
  • Aladdin: “Look at that, Abu. It’s not every day you see one animal riding another.”
  • Most instances of “street rat” are replaced with “thief,” which is kind of funny when Aladdin says “I’m not a thief!”
  • Jasmine: “Just you, Rajah” instead of “Except you, Rajah.” I like subtle differences like these.
  • When Jafar shows up, in English the sultan just sort of goes “Ah ah! Oo!” like he’s startled, but in Portuguese he gives a huge, terrified gasp that is hilarious to listen to.
  • Shopkeeper: “Try this! Your tongue will dance and sing!” 
  • Instead of saying “Breakfast is served” to Abu, Aladdin says “A good lunch for you.
  • Aladdin: “But she didn’t take anything” instead of “But no harm done” (as he gives the shopkeeper an apple)
  • Iago says “Your Lowness instead of “Your Rottenness,” and “Your Evilness,” instead of “O Mighty Evil One.”
  • Aladdin: “Well, you don’t seem to be from around here” instead of “You do kind of stand out.”
  • Aladdin: “We have total freedom” instead of “We come and go as we please.”
  • When Jafar gets bitten on the wrist by Abu, he makes a sort of warbling noise instead of screaming in pain. It’s kind of silly, but it works somehow with his character.
  • Aladdin: “That cursed traitor!” instead of “That two-faced son of a jackal!”
  • Genie: “Can we call you Al, or maybe just Din? How about Din-din?” (pronounced jing-jing)
  • This has been the case with every Disney movie I’ve seen so far: the word idiota is used to replace almost every insult: “chump,” “stupid,” “fool,” etc.
  • Genie: “I feel like an animal” instead of “I feel sheepish.” This movie's use of puns must have been really frustrating for the translators to make sense of for viewers.
  • Genie says “chicken á la queen” instead of “á la king,” and “crab á la mermaid instead of “Alaskan king crab.”
  • Genie: “Now it has a lot more space!” instead of “Talk about your trunk space!”
  • Aladdin, to Elephant Abu: “Abu, you’re so skinny!” instead of “Abu, you look good.”
  • Jafar: “Urgent problems require urgent measures, my lord.”
  • In the “Prince Ali” song: “He has thirty golden camels.” (In English, he has 75)
  • “He has more than a hundred little monkeys” (in English he has 95)
  • When Aladdin says “Much farther than you’ve traveled, I’m sure,” Jafar says “Where?” instead of “Try me.”
  • Iago: “‘An excellent judge of character.’ NOOO!” Technically, "no" and "not" are the same in Portuguese, but it was still funny.
  • “A Whole New World” is instead “An Ideal World.”
  • Instead of saying “Not that I want to pick out curtains or anything,” genie says “That doesn’t mean I want to marry you.”
  • Iago says “garden of animals” instead of “menagerie.”
  • Most of the laughter in the movie (mostly Iago and Jafar) is kept in their original voices.
  • “Finders, keepers” (spoken by Jafar) has an interesting translation: “Whoever finds it is the owner.”
  • When Genie is in his giant evil form, his voice is made digitally deeper when he speaks.
  • Jafar: “There’s someone I’m dying to introduce you to” becomes “I’m going crazy to introduce you to someone”
  • Jafar: “Don’t talk back to me, ya big blue lout!” changes to “Don’t refuse me, you big blue clown!”
  • Jasmine, to Jafar: “I never realized how incredibly likeable you are.”
  • Jafar: “Get the point?” becomes “You understand?”
  • Genie’s cheer, “Jafar, Jafar, he’s our man. If he can’t do it, GREAT!” actually rhymes in Portuguese, and translates to “Jafar, Jafar, he’s my lord. But if he loses, BETTER!
  • Instead of saying “Wish for the Nile,” Genie tells Aladdin to “wish for all your dreams [to come true].”
  • Instead of “Made ya look,” Genie basically says “Y’all come back now, ya hear?

                                                                              May 24, 2021

                                                                              Relic Project: "Guide"/Legends of Mynn 1: Characters

                                                                              Alright, something to know about me if you didn't already: I love games. I always have. I always grew up thinking I'd be a video game designer in the future, and I wasted no time in my childhood investing in that future. I would draw screenshots of games I was going to make, complete with UI. I would write Warcraft II-style manuals for games, describing units and abilities and everything without even designing the game first. And then, there were projects like this.

                                                                              It's a .txt file simply called "Guide," and apparently it's a walkthrough / README for a game I was going to make someday. The date stamp of the file is 2006, which is unfortunate, because that must have been either when I accidentally updated it or moved it from one computer to another and the original date got overwritten, because I wrote it much earlier—I'm guessing around 2000 or 2001. Maybe earlier though.

                                                                              I'm so glad it's survived up to this point, though. It's such an interesting look at my early child game designer mind. I remember picturing the characters in my head and how they would look (of course in pixely graphics because that's just what I thought computer graphics looked like by definition), but not so much how the game worked, as you'll see in its descriptions. I know it seems to have been inspired by some aspects of Lords of Magic, but the way combat is described in the walkthrough and moves list are confusing.

                                                                              It's funny how thorough I am in every aspect of it, though I neglected to come up with an actual title for the game. Though some parts are impressive, it's clear that I had no idea how games were created. It's cute how I even came up with cheat codes for it and descriptions for how to use the "Level Editor." I always loved when games came with editors.

                                                                              Anyway, presenting "Guide," or "Legends of Mynn" or whatever it might have ended up to be. I've restructured things for easier reading here to get a better idea of how I intended it to be red, but I've preserved the wording for the most part. Today I'll just highlight the characters in the game.


                                                                              1. The Characters

                                                                              All characters have 200 energy and/or mana points each.


                                                                              Age: 40
                                                                              Health: 140/140
                                                                              Type: Arch-Warrior
                                                                              Weapon: Axes

                                                                              Graivalas (gri-VOL-oss) was a loyal guard for Mynn until he decided to lead a more interesting life. Then he served the King as their delegate and arch-warrior.

                                                                              • Slice. Swings his axe real hard straight forward for 40 damage. (40 EP)
                                                                              • Split. Swings his axe real hard at a selected angle for 40 damage. (50 EP)
                                                                              • Fury. Swings two axes in an "X" motion, dealing 60 damage. (80 EP)
                                                                              • Hurl. Throws a big axe forward for 80 damage. (90 EP, 10 damage to self)
                                                                              Special Attacks:
                                                                              • Wave Spin. Spins a big axe in a circle around him and fires a big fire wave for 90 damage. (90 EP)
                                                                              • Liquify. Set a number. Graivalas deals that much damage to the enemy and to himself. (0 EP)


                                                                              Age: 91
                                                                              Health: 100/100
                                                                              Type: Wizard
                                                                              Weapon: Staff/Magic

                                                                              Falamorr (fal-UH-mar)* is the head Mage in the Mynn Mage tower. Each day he researches long hours in the Arcane Arts and learns magic.

                                                                              • Jab. Pokes an enemy with his staff for 10 damage. (10 EP)
                                                                              • Ball Lightning. Shoots a ball of lightning straight forward, dealing 40 damage. (10 EP, 30 MP)
                                                                              • Bolt. Shoots a ball of lightning at a selected angle, dealing 40 damage. (20 EP, 30 MP)
                                                                              • Thunder Ball. Just like Ball Lightning but bigger, and deals 50 damage. (10 EP, 40 MP)
                                                                              • Tempest. Conjures a storm that fills up the whole screen, dealing 60 damage to enemies. (70 MP)
                                                                              Special Attacks:
                                                                              • Kamikaze. Uses all but one of your HP and kills three enemies. (99 damage to self)
                                                                              • Double Thunder Ball. Fires two Thunder Balls at selected angles, dealing 70 damage each. (90 EP, 40 damage to self)


                                                                              Age: 18
                                                                              Health: 110/110
                                                                              Type: Archer
                                                                              Weapon: Crossbow

                                                                              The only daughter of Ghavius, Taion (TIE-onn) is an almost fully experienced archer and serves as the second-in-command Mynn Guard.

                                                                              • Bolt. Fires her crossbow straight forward for 10 damage. (20 EP)
                                                                              • Pray. Restores 90 hit points to an ally. (30 EP)
                                                                              • Holy Tear. Instantly kills an enemy. (200 EP, 30 damage to self)**
                                                                              Special Attacks:
                                                                              • Boomerang. Throws her crossbow as a boomerang straight forward, dealing 50 damage to three enemies. (50 EP)
                                                                              • Beamerang. Throws her crossbow as a boomerang at a selected angle, dealing 60 damage. (60 EP)
                                                                              • Firedart. Shoots a flaming arrow straight forward, dealing 70 damage. (90 EP)


                                                                              Age: 82
                                                                              Health: 150/150
                                                                              Type: Swordsman
                                                                              Weapon: Daggers

                                                                              Ghavius (Jay-vee-us) is the father of Taion and Yorak. He is said to be part-animal because of his incredible sense of hearing.

                                                                              • Hurl. Throws a dagger straight forward for 40 damage. (10 EP)
                                                                              • Cut. Slices the enemy for 50 damage. (20 EP, 10 damage to self)
                                                                              • Stab. Stabs the enemy in the back for 80 damage. (40 EP)
                                                                              • Holy Tear. Instantly kills an enemy. (200 EP, 30 damage to self)**
                                                                              Special Attacks:
                                                                              • Kamikaze. Uses all but one of your HP and kills three enemies. (99 damage to self)
                                                                              • Swing. Swings a sword real hard at a selected angle, dealing 60 damage. (90 EP)†


                                                                              Age: 30
                                                                              Health: 130/130
                                                                              Type: Sorcerer Apprentice
                                                                              Weapon: Magic

                                                                              Yorak (YOR-ick) started his life as a swordsman, but when he wasn't accepted, he decided to become a Sorcerer. He is an apprentice now.

                                                                              • Fireball. Shoots a fireball straight forward for 30 damage. (20 MP)
                                                                              • Flame Arrow. Shoots an arrow-shaped fireball in a selected angle, dealing 30 damage. (30 MP)
                                                                              • Heal. Restores 90 hit points to an ally. (30 EP)
                                                                              • Recharge. Refills 90 MP. (30 EP)
                                                                              • Damnation. Fills the screen with fire, dealing 70 damage to enemies. (60 MP, 20 damage to self)
                                                                              Special Attacks:
                                                                              • Smite. Reduces both you and an enemy to 1 hit point. (0 MP)
                                                                              • Quicksand. Cuts an enemy's speed in half. (60 MP)
                                                                              • Copy. Clones one of your units. (70 MP)


                                                                              Age: 14
                                                                              Health: 60/60
                                                                              Type: Ninja
                                                                              Weapon: Own body

                                                                              Quirrion (KWIRR-ee-on) is the youngest of the group. His weapon is his own body. He uses attacks like kick and chop.

                                                                              • Kick. Kicks the enemy for 30 damage. (20 EP)
                                                                              • Punch. Punches the enemy for 40 damage. (30 EP)
                                                                              • Karate Chop. Chops the enemy for 50 damage. (40 EP)
                                                                              • Uppercut. Punches the enemy up for 60 damage. (50 EP)
                                                                              • Pound. Punches the enemy down for 60 damage. (50 EP)
                                                                              Special Attacks:
                                                                              • Fire Kick. His foot catches fire and he kicks for 70 damage. (60 EP)
                                                                              • Lightning Punch. His fist turns to ball lightning and he punches for 80 damage. (70 EP)
                                                                              • Spitfire. He spews a flaming spitball that deals 80 damage and drains 50 EP from the enemy. (90 EP, 10 damage to self)


                                                                              Age: 233
                                                                              Health: 200/200
                                                                              Type: Shapechanger
                                                                              Weapon: Transforming

                                                                              When he was a young lad, Mardok (MARR-dock) found a magic genie lamp. When he rubbed it and a genie emerged, he wished to live forever. After a few years, Mardok became a traitor to Mynn and now lives in the Mynnhah Catacombs.

                                                                              • Goblin. Transforms into a goblin. (10 EP)
                                                                              • Troll. Transforms into a troll. (20 EP)
                                                                              • Behemoth. Transforms into a behemoth. (40 EP)
                                                                              • Dragon. Transforms into a dragon. (80 EP, 80 damage to self)
                                                                              Special Attack:
                                                                              • Jiorii. Transforms into a Jiorii until he or the opponent is dead. (100 EP, 90 damage to self)

                                                                              *The crap is with this pronunciation? :D I'm pretty sure it was supposed to be FAL-uh-more.
                                                                              **I'm almost completely certain this was meant to be a Special Attack and the boomerang abilities were supposed to be swapped with this. If not, wow.
                                                                              †Not sure how I overlooked how gosh-awful this ability is. It costs more than twice what the regular "stab" ability does and deals less damage. I still don't get what the "selected angle" is and why it's more costly in general.

                                                                              May 6, 2021

                                                                              Dubbing Differences: The Little Mermaid

                                                                               Dubbing Differences:
                                                                              The Little Mermaid

                                                                              I found the following notable changes in the Brazilian Portuguese dub of Disney's The Little Mermaid:

                                                                              • The seahorse names Sebastian as “Horacio Felício Ignácio Crustáceo Sebastian.”
                                                                              • Flounder’s name is Linguado, the literal translation of “flounder.”
                                                                              • Scuttle’s name is Sabidão, which means “wisdom.”
                                                                              • Scuttle’s word for the “dinglehopper” is “brungumzumba.” A similarly nonsensical word.
                                                                              • Scuttle’s word for the “banded, bulbous snarfblatt” is “beautiful, rare ximbaco.” Just another nonsense word.
                                                                              • Flotsam and Jetsam are named Pedro and Juca.
                                                                              • Sebastian: “Adolescences. You give them a finger, and they want the entire arm.”
                                                                              • Sebastian calls Ariel a “crazy little girl” instead of a “headstrong teenager.”
                                                                              • Ariel: “Look at these things here. Precious.” Instead of “You want thingamabobs? I’ve got twenty.”
                                                                              • Grimsby omits the phrase “very expensive” when presenting Eric’s birthday gift.
                                                                              • Instead of saying "you old bean-pole!" Eric says "You sneaky devil!"
                                                                              • Eric: “It’s a beautiful present” instead of “It’s really something.”
                                                                              • Eric says “The princess of Redport” instead of “The princess of Glowerhaven.”
                                                                              • The sailor is silent for his first line “Hurricane’s a-comin’!”
                                                                              • “Under the Sea”’s chorus phrase ranges from saying “here in the sea” to “where I was born” (the phrase, “onde eu nasci,” rhymes with the English phrase “under the sea”)  and “where I grew up.”
                                                                              • The section on “Under the Sea” about all the different fish puns is very different, except for “the carp plays the harp” (carpa and harpa are fortunate translations). Among the differences are:
                                                                                • “The fruit of my neighbor looks better than mine” (instead of “the seaweed is always greener…”)
                                                                                • “The plaice below I don’t think has the best sound
                                                                                • No one plays badly, not even the cod.”
                                                                                • Even the salmon goes to the salon.”
                                                                                • “Each little mollusk that I look for knows how to play.”
                                                                                • Even the slug comes out of its shell to dance.”
                                                                                • The little snail takes a little nap.”
                                                                              • Ariel, to the Eric statue: “You want to go out with me?” instead of “run away with me.”
                                                                              • Triton: “I consider myself a reasonable king. I make certain laws, and I expect them to be obeyed!” This is much more politically official than the father figure approach in English.
                                                                              • Triton: “I’m going to end this” instead of “I’m going to get through to you.”
                                                                              • Ursula: “Don’t lurk in the doorways. It’s ugly” instead of “It’s rude.” Possibly a lipsyncing change because the word for ugly is feio.
                                                                              • Ursula: “A girl who doesn’t talk is what he loves” instead of “They think a girl who gossips is a bore.” I like these positive/negative switches.
                                                                              • Carlotta says that’s the first time she’s seen Eric laugh in months instead of weeks.
                                                                              • Most of Chef Louis’s exclamations when he is chasing Sebastian are undubbed.
                                                                              • Chef Louis says “Pardon, madame” in French instead of Portuguese.
                                                                              • Triton says “no stone unturned” instead of “no coral unexplored.”
                                                                              • Sebastian: “First, we must create the climate” instead of “the mood.” This does not lipsync well.
                                                                              • The lines of the song “Kiss the Girl” are surprisingly close to exact translations.
                                                                              • Instead of saying “You silly side-walker,” Scuttle says “Did you hear what I said?
                                                                              • The priest says “Let’s begin the ceremony” instead of “Dearly beloved…”
                                                                              • Instead of saying “You pitiful, insignificant fools!” Ursula says “You fools think you can defy me?

                                                                              May 1, 2021

                                                                              Calories Must Die! The Warmage Workout

                                                                              I've been wanting to get into shape for some time, especially with being stuck working from home because of COVID, so I bought a couple of 10-pound weights and started following a workout video on YouTube. The video was great for beginners, and it followed a great balance of working out each muscle group. The problem was, the video got old. I'm not interested in hollow encouragement and banter, and I could only stand hearing the coach crack the same joke so many times before getting in shape just wasn't worth it. So I got an idea.

                                                                              What does interest me? Video games. What gets my blood pumping? The video game Orcs Must Die! Whose voice don't I get tired of? The main character on the game, the Warmage, as he goes through killing orcs! So I spent way too many hours rotoscoping the coach of that workout video into the Warmage, adding exciting, blood-pumping music and the Warmage's banter to the video, and pronto! An almost too-perfect video for myself to work out to on a consistent basis. Seriously, how perfect is it that the songs have ending stings so I could customize the length of each workout, and that each sound effect has a place in the video?

                                                                              I'm also fairly impressed with how I doctored the logo and stuff with special effects, if I do say so myself. Anyway, I do this workout three times a week, and it's mainly made for my own use, but feel free to follow it as well! I was hoping Robot Entertainment would get a kick out of it, since it almost seems like something they would actually make, but no dice. Oh well. It was fun to make and it does its job well!

                                                                              Note: The only change I make to this workout is replacing the first exercise with 1 minute of planking. The more I've tried those "crushers," the more I suspect they don't actually work any muscles out. And I could use more ab honing.