Last Week in Cyberpunk 4/2/2019

Can you hear me? Is this on? Did the pollution and radiation pumping from hearts and minds scramble this transmission? Because we got Aliens coming for you, Megazones to inhabit, a musical Junkie, and couple of Youngbloods showing us what to do with a Nazi in this Last Week in Cyberpunk and I would hate for you to miss it. So read on, and I’ll see you at the bottom.

Reality

Migrants Moved from Holding Pen Under Bridge in El Paso to Cramped Tents in Parking Lot

Conjuring up images from the movie Children of Men, last week saw hundreds of asylum seekers relocated from a holding center under a bridge. A spokesman for Customs and Borders Protection said that the agency was “in the process of transferring all of the illegal aliens being held temporarily” from under the bridge to a processing station in northeast El Paso with more space and shelter. ‘More space and shelter’ apparently being three fucking tents in a parking lot that couldn’t hold the  1,500 people they crammed into them. With little food and stripped of blankets or jackets in below 40 degree nights, the migrants are suffering under the worst dystopia. Record number of families have been apprehended at the southeast border, with drops offs at makeshift shelters occurring everyday. As of today, another tent was being set up, but to increase space or to simply house even more people is unknown.

For more on this story, go here and here.

Movies

The First of the Alien 40th Anniversary Shorts has Launched with Alien: Containment

Four survivors find themselves stranded aboard a small escape pod in deep space. Trying to piece together the details around the outbreak that led to their ship’s destruction, they find themselves unsure to trust whether or not one of them might be infected.

So goes the opening to the first in a series of short films inspired by the Alien franchise of films. We mentioned previously IGN, in partnership with Tongal, is releasing a series of shorts to celebrate Aliens 40th Anniversary (because Ridley Scott can’t be fucking trusted to), and the first gives me great hope for the others to come. It’s short, sweet, clocking in at 9 minutes and 33 seconds of well paced tension and body horror. Give it a watch, and remember the burning in your chest isn’t anything to worry about. Nope. Not at all.

Megazone 23 is Getting a Reboot and a Sequel

This may be old news to some of you, but recently anime studio AIC unveiled a new poster and footage for the in-production reboot projects for early cyberpunk OVA Megazone 23. After a successful crowdfunding campaign in 2017, AIC has focused their efforts on expanding the OVA’s material into a full television series and hopes to drum up excitement with this new footage. However, the reboot, Megazone 23 SIN, will only cover the first two parts in the series. In addition, AIC is producing a sequel to Megazone 23 XI, a spinoff of the original 1985 anime.

Both series take place on massive colony ships (called Megazones) in the distant future after humanity is forced to flee Earth due to catastrophic resource draining. Each Megazone is a detailed recreation of cities from the past; its citizens unaware that they are in a simulated environment. In Megazone 23, a young biker named Shogo is pulled into a conspiracy surrounding his world after stumbling upon a prototype mecha-bike, leading him to the ship’s main artificial intelligence, Eve. A similar plot occurs in Megazone 23 XI, but revolves around a young girl named Sakura. The concept of these false worlds was truly ahead of its time, preceding the focus on virtual reality in science fiction by over a decade (as seen in The Matrix, Existenz, The Thirteenth Floor, and Dark City). No word yet on either projects’ air date, but we’ll keep you posted.

Alita: Battle Angel Earns $400 Million in Six Weeks

After a slow start, Alita: Battle Angel has managed to gain enough momentum at the box office to cover its expenses. Ringing in at 10th in sales for its sixth week, Alita has gained roughly a million USD in sales, which puts its domestic gross at about $84 million. Worldwide, however, Alita has grossed $316 million, putting the grand total just over $400 million–which is reportedly just enough to cover the film’s $200 million budget, investments, marketing costs, and all the other lovely trivialities that come with a blockbuster production. No news yet on how this will affect the chances of a sequel, but the outlook is not so good. But if James Cameron had enough pull to get a live-action film based on a Japanese property that’s still pretty obscure in the States up and running in the first place, we wouldn’t count it out just yet.

You know the drill, James Cameron writer/producer, Robert Rodriguez director, based on Yukito Kishiro manga, Feb. 14 release date, yadda yadda yadda.

Human Lost Announced

Coming off the heels of the recently-concluded Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System trilogy, a new film by the director of Afro Samurai, Fuminori Kizaki, and chief director of Psycho-Pass and the new FLCL series, Katsuyuki Motohiro, has been announced. Based on Osamu Dazai‘s manga, No Longer Human, Human Lost takes place in 2036 Showa 111, after mankind’s elite have achieved immortality through the use of nanomachines. However, Yozo Oba, the film’s protagonist, is not elite. Joining his friend’s biker gang, he travels to “The Inside”, a district exclusive to elites, and makes a discovery that likely will reveal the true nature of his society.

The film will be animated in a 3D style similar to Blame! and will purportedly see a US release this fall, distributed by Funimation.

Junkie XL Composing Soundtrack for Terminator: Dark Fate

According to the Hollywood Reporter, music producer/composer Junkie XL (aka Tom Holkenborg) will be writing the score for the newest installment into the Terminator franchise, Dark Fate. If you’re familiar with Holkenborg’s work, you may recognize him from films that were largely sizzle and no fried motherboards, but most notably worked on Deadpool, Mad Max: Fury Road, and Alita: Battle Angel. We’re looking forward to seeing exactly how many times he’ll drop the bass in Dark Fate, which is projected for release on November 1st of this year.

Tabletop Games

WITHER

Avast Gaming has just launched a Kickstarter campaign with some serious promise. WITHER, their new cyberpunk race to the finish, takes place in Ultra City in 2170 under the oppressive regime of an AI-run security corporation. A select few recognize that society is about to collapse and must battle other characters as well as complete their own objectives before they wither.

WITHER is advertised as an RPG in an immersive cyberpunk world that never plays the same way twice, thanks to a wide variety of characters, random event cards, and strategies. Not sold yet? Avast already has a full prototype in place, complete with two-inch paintable figurines, high quality cards, and a 24×20” board and is just waiting for funding from you beautiful people to get put into mass production. Unfortunately, the game as of this writing only at less than 2% of its goal, but the campaign ends on May 4th, so if this is something you want to see happen, you can throw your next paycheck at WITHER here.

Shadow of the Beanstalk

Have you played Android: Shadow of the Beanstalk yet? If so, Fantasy Flight Games has a treat for you. “Night on the Town” is a new adventure for the most recent sourcebook in the Android series. The description is as follows:

At the base of the ladder to the stars, nothing is as it seems. Most who call New Angeles their home live a relatively mundane life in the near-future. But all of that can change in an instant. Taking a wrong turn can change your life in an instant, and running into the wrong people can turn a simple night out on the town into a bloody affair.
Fantasy Flight Games is proud to present “Night on the Town,” a free digital Shadow of the Beanstalk adventure for Genesys roleplaying that can be downloaded here (2.6 MB)!
“Night on the Town” is split into two parts. The first part, “Happy Hour” was originally a one-shot adventure ran at Gen Con 2018 and the Magnum Opus event at the Fantasy Flight Game Center later that year. The second part, “On the Run” was written as a sequel to “Happy Hour” and was featured at PAX Unplugged in 2018.

The game’s two-part story features characters in touch with cyberpunk’s deepest noir roots for beginners and those who enjoy standalone adventures, but can be modified to include any PCs. What are you just sitting there for? Download that sucka right here!

Books

Tiamat’s Wrath

Over a year has passed since James S.A. Corey‘s last entry into the cyberpunkish space opera The Expanse, and based on the description it’s looking like the series is now leaning more heavily into its space opera side. Still, the gritty sci-fi series deserves a shout-out:

Thirteen hundred gates have opened to solar systems around the galaxy. But as humanity builds its interstellar empire in the alien ruins, the mysteries and threats grow deeper.
In the dead systems where gates lead to stranger things than alien planets, Elvi Okoye begins a desperate search to discover the nature of a genocide that happened before the first human beings existed, and to find weapons to fight a war against forces at the edge of the imaginable. But the price of that knowledge may be higher than she can pay.
At the heart of the empire, Teresa Duarte prepares to take on the burden of her father’s godlike ambition. The sociopathic scientist Paolo Cortázar and the Mephistophelian prisoner James Holden are only two of the dangers in a palace thick with intrigue, but Teresa has a mind of her own and secrets even her father the emperor doesn’t guess.
And throughout the wide human empire, the scattered crew of the Rocinante fights a brave rear-guard action against Duarte’s authoritarian regime. Memory of the old order falls away, and a future under Laconia’s eternal rule — and with it, a battle that humanity can only lose — seems more and more certain. Because against the terrors that lie between worlds, courage and ambition will not be enough…

Tiamat’s Wrath was published on March 26th through Orbit Publishing, and you can pick it up here.

Koko Uncaged

This series is new to Neon Dystopia, but Kieran Shea‘s final installment into his frenetic cyberpunk trilogy just dropped last Tuesday through Titan Books.

The third and final installment in the fast-paced kick-ass Koko trilogy described by Booklist as “[A] futuristic wild ride… Great fun”.
Surviving job loss, an unsettled vendetta, a submarine wreck, heartbreak, and mortal carnage on a tokusatsu scale, Koko P. Martstellar (ex-corporate mercenary and saloon/brothel owner) is trying to reassemble what’s left of her life. Being hired to protect global industrialist Bogart Gong seems like as good a place to start as any, but bodyguard work isn’t the cakewalk Koko thought it’d be. Throw in some autocratic malfeasance, a hatchet man with a flair for the dramatic, a South American despot, lovers back from the grave, and a high-speed race at a prison, and you’ve a brain-melting cocktail of cyberpunk satire that’s impossible to put down.

If that description has you sold, you can get a copy of Koko Uncaged here.

Video Games

Wolfenstein Youngblood is Coming to Bring Co-Op Future nazi Killing to Us All

The trailer for Wolfenstein Youngblood has dropped, filling our ears with Carpenter Brut and our hearts with a bloodlust only Aryan Nazi blood can satisfy. The story, from what we can gather, takes place in the 1980s with an ageing BJ Blazkowicz vanishing to parts unknown, leaving his two twin daughters Jess and Soph (who are just as badass as he is) to find him in Nazi controlled Paris. Compared to the two previous installments of the series, this one seems a lot less Brooding War Vet and more over-the-top joyous brutal synthwave fueled Teenage Nazi Killing Forge Go! Plus, the devs have said if you have the deluxe version of the game, you can invite a friend to play for free and download the game at no cost. This joyride of violence will be coming to your gaming system of choice, including PC.

You’ll have to wait till July 26th before you get your hands on this one, but until then I’ll leave you this to keep you company.

Conglomerate 451 Announced

This one looks fucking cool. While cyberpunk dungeon crawlers aren’t a brand new idea, Runeheads’ upcoming Conglomerate 451 is taking the concept to the next level. As the CEO of a Special Agency, you are in control of Ghost Agents, cloned soldiers that have been trained and augmented to follow your every command. Luckily for you, your agency has been tasked with entering the megacity of Conglomerate’s 451st sector to take down corrupt corporations and restore order “at any cost”. So send in your obedient fascist footsoldiers and get cracking!

Structured as a first-person, turn- and grid-based RPG, the game will feature roguelike elements, customizable skillsets, and permadeath, as well as a pain and trauma system, which will exacerbate physical and psychological wounds over time. The game is coming soon to Steam Early Access, so go on and wishlist it here.

Notice a cyberpunk story we missed this week? Let us know down below or on social media.

Some of the links included in this article are Amazon affiliate links. If you would like to purchase these items, consider using the links provided and help support Neon Dystopia.


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