The Terminator franchise is now thirty-five years old which means, given the fact that Arnold Schwarzenegger’s titular character was supposedly from the year 2029; we’re now just one decade away from a time in which director James Cameron envisioned there was a good chance we would be living in a world of human-like cyborgs and murderous artificial intelligence. Thankfully, while there are more than a few people who would undoubtedly argue that we’re not that far off living in a world dominated by machines, we remain, for the time being, blissfully cyborg free.
The latest instalment in the Terminator series, Terminator: Dark Fate will be released in theatres across Australia on 31st October. The sixth film to feature the T-800, Dark Fate is the fifth in the series (let’s not forget that 2015’s Genysis was, in fact, a sort of reboot rather than a continuation) but also a direct sequel to the franchise’s second outing, Judgement Day. Confusing? That’s time travelling robots for you.
Whilst Terminator; Dark Fate might not be a Halloween movie in the traditional sense – aside from acting as a catalyst for a worldwide explosion of Sarah Connor-inspired party costumes – the release of the film is remarkably well-timed. Halloween is a time for scares, frights, and things that keep you up at night.
And nothing keeps you up at night better, or more effectively than considering what the end of the world might look like. From super volcanoes to zombie viruses to biomechanically engineered plagues, we’re all obsessed with the apocalypse – and this isn’t a new thing.
Speculating about what might bring about the end of the human race has long been a mainstay of conversations over a few beers in the pub. Movies like Dredd, Cloverfield and World War Z (amongst countless others) have offered us more alternative theories for how worldwide destruction might come about than we could ever imagine by ourselves. REM even sang a song about it once. So why is it that we all seem to be so concerned with the end? According to both Nostradamus and the Mayans, the human race should have already been long gone by now.
Perhaps, it is not so much our destruction that fascinates us, but the possibility of our survival. After all, who hasn’t sat and spent a few hours planning out how they’d outrun a zombie, or outwit a malevolent robot intent on using their organs for breakfast cereal? Whether it be monsters, aliens or machines that we’re faced with, if the movies have taught us nothing else, it’s that when it comes to the apocalypse, the one thing humans are not likely to do is sit on the sidelines.
The game, which was launched in 1989, remains exceedingly popular thirty years later with the latest instalment Sixth edition having been released in summer of this year. Whilst Shadowrun features familiar RPG character choices such as orks, elves, and goblins, the scenarios available to play out have a distinctly modern flavour, with themes such as cyberpunk and urban fantasy underpinning the entire storyline.
Dicebox currently has a wide range of Shadowrun products to appeal to everyone from complete beginners to experienced RPG pros, with opportunities for unique character creations, varying mission objectives, and intricate world-building – depending of course, on which edition you’re playing.
For seasoned Shadowrun GMs, the Sixth World RPG GM Screen (priced at $30.00 and available from late November) offers the chance to enhance the player experience with a variety of screen inserts and gives complete control and easy visual tracking of NPCs, character stats and references.
Because whilst, thankfully, the cyborg apocalypse does not yet seem to be upon us, Dark Fate serves as a timely reminder that there’s no excuse not be prepared. Until next time, hasta la vista baby.
Oh come on, you all knew how this was going to end.