Forgotten Empires

Did you know that the Mexican Empire once existed? Well, now you do. Today we are travelling through history to visit some forgotten empires...

Mexican Empire
The Mexican Empire was founded in 1821 with the signing of the Treaty of Córdoba. This very short but powerful empire dominated most of Central America and a significant part of North America.

The Mexican Empire (1822)
At first, the Mexican throne was offered to the Spanish king Ferdinand VII, but he rejected it because he didn´t want to recognise the independence of Mexico. After the rejection of Ferdinand VII, the throne was offered to Agustín I, a general who was also regent at the time... and he accepted.

Agustín I, Mexican Emperor

After a couple of horrible years in which the instability reigned, a series of uprisings broke out throughout Mexico. The imperial troops were winning the war at first, but then most of the imperial troops rebelled against the emperor and the empire was defeated. Agustín I abdicated, a republic was established and the southern territories (which today are known as Guatemala, Costa Rica or Honduras) gained their independence. The northern territories were invaded later by USA.

Brazilian Empire
The Brazilian Empire was founded in 1822 with the coronation of Pedro I, who was the son of the king of Portugal. The extension of the Brazilian Empire is very similar to the extension of the modern Brazil, but it also agglutinated the territory which today is known as Uruguay, which gained its independence during the reign of Pedro I.
The Brazilian Empire (1823)

After the departure of Pedro I to Portugal (to reclaim the Portuguese throne), his son Pedro II was crowned as Brazilian Emperor. However Pedro II was only a five-year-old, so regency was established.

The anarchy of that regency was followed by the real reign of Pedro II. During his reign Brazil turned into a great power in America, something which created some conflicts with the other great power of the continent: USA.

Pedro II and some prominent Brazilian politicians
Wars were fought with Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay... but they all were won by the Brazilian army (which was very advanced at that time). Meanwhile, Brazil received some modern technology such as the railroad or the ironclad ship.

However, Pedro II didn´t want to continue with the imperial dynasty, so after his death a dictatorial republic was established.

Mughal Empire
The Mughal Empire was established in 1526 by Babur, a descendant of Genghis Khan. It occupied Pakistan, Afghanistan, and most of India. However, the Mughal Empire is famous because of the Taj Mahal, the greatest monument of this civilisation.

The Mughal Empire (1700)
At first, the Mughal Empire was only formed by what today is Pakistan and part of modern Afghanistan. But that situation changed when Babur and his descendants invaded India. They conquered Delhi and the north of the country.

After some campaigns to conquer the mentioned north of India, the Mughal emperors attacked the southern kingdoms, and slowly they reached their climax in 1700, during the reign of Aurangzeb (however, Akbar, who reigned between 1556 and 1605, is considered as the best Mughal Emperor).

Shah Jahan, Mughal Emperor
The culture of the Mughal Empire was very eclectic, and the empire was known because of its tolerance towards other religions (the official state religion was the Islam).

But that military and social power began to decline during the 18th century, with the rise of the Maratha Empire and the arrival of the British Empire. Slowly, the empire lost all its power and territories, and the last Mughal Emperor (Bahadur Shah II) died in 1862 in a British India. The Mughal throne was given to the Queen Victoria of England, which was acclaimed Empress of India.
F1 legends: The 1960s

We continue with the F1 legends. Today, the 1960s, an amazing decade full of legendary drivers and teams…

Jim Clark

Jim Clark driving his Lotus
-World Champion in: 1963 and 1965

Jim Clark was the best driver of the 1960s, and is almost considered as one of the best F1 drivers ever. He only drove for the Team Lotus, but both Jim and Lotus were a fantastic pair which changed the F1 history forever. The pair was stronger than ever before when, in 1968, Jim died driving a Lotus in Hockenheim (Germany).

Jack Brabham

Jack Brabham driving his Brabham
-World Champion in: 1959, 1960 and 1966.

Jack Brabham was a great driver whose driving style was only overcame by the Clark´s style. Jack started with sporadic and humble participations between 1955 and 1958. However, thanks to the Cooper team, he won the championship in 1959 and 1960. After two horrible years in 1961 and 1962, he created his own team, called Brabham, and won the championship again in 1966. He died of natural causes in 2014.

Graham Hill

Graham Hill driving his Lotus
-World Champion in: 1962 and 1968.

Graham Hill, another great driver remembered because of his relative regularity (having in mind that we are talking about the 1960s) and his very long career (he drove between 1958 and 1975). He first drove for Lotus, but in BRM was where he won his first championship in 1962. After some years fighting for the championship in BRM, he went back to Lotus and won another championship in 1968. After that, he drove for Lotus, Brabham and the humble teams Shadow and Lola. He finished his career in 1975 driving for his own team, called Hill. That same year, he died in a plane.

Rayman Legends / The Banner Saga

Hi, Daniel here. I was thinking about what to write this time, and was wondering if i could write about new games, but it's January and there are not many remarkable new games. So instead i am writing about two games I have been playing recently: Rayman Legends and The Banner Saga.

Rayman Legends is very similar to its predecessor, Rayman Origins: it's a 2D platform game, in which you have to collect “lums” (similar to “coins” in other games, with one difference, the lums are unlimited).
There are some other things of this game that drew my attention against other platforms. Apart from the 5 main and the 1 extra worlds, there are other 6 worlds , which take levels from Rayman Origins, called “Back to Origins”.

The main point for buying this game before other modern Rayman games is the following: the Challenges. Once a day and once a week, new challenges appear. The lums you collect there can be used to unlock characters and achievements in the game. These challenges are online, and they compare your scores with others all around the world. You can win platinum trophies by being one of the 25 first players in the world once the challenge gets changed.

There have been several things I liked about this game. One of them is the separation between normal levels and time trials, which unlocks as you beat up worlds. Another thing I enjoyed much is the Back to Origins section, because it gives you the opportunity of “playing” more or less Rayman Origins without having to buy it. Finally, what I liked the most was, as many of you who have played Rayman may agree, music levels (<3).

  • Fun to play
  • Not so long, but has a lot of extra levels (as Back to Origins)
  • Very challenging to complete.
  • Challenges make the game be unlimited repayable.
  • Music levels FTW!

  • Quite difficult
  • Hit-boxes are little confusing combined with their graphics
  • If you want to unlock ALL characters, you have to invest a LOT of time in the game.

To be honest, I haven't finished this game yet. But I can tell you that what I have played is enough to invite you to play. The story is more gripping and intriguing as you move on the story-line. The lore is fascinatingly deep, or so it seems when I have left playing the game.
The story develops in a vast continent, inhabited by two species of humanoids: humans and varl. Varl are giant humanoids with two horns in their heads. The gods have died and the sun has stopped. By the time the game starts, humans and varl are trying to form an alliance against the Dredge, dark, soulless creatures that invade both species.

Gameplay could be defined as RPG, turn-based strategy combat (Forge of Empires style), but those are the battles. There is other aspect of the gameplay which is very interesting to play, and it's the way trips are managed. I don't know how to explain how it works, but I highly recommend you to look it up in the Internet, or even try the game to know it.

Also I would like to say that the fact that the studio that devloped the game is indie and so it doesn't have many resources to make, for example, voice acting. That makes the story a little bit difficult to follow up, but it is nothing important.

  • Deep lore 
  • Gripping story
  • Interesting, original gameplay mechanics
  • Amusing battle mechanics

  • Almost no voice acting
  • Poor translation to Spanish (:P)

Hope you liked the reviews, and I hope 2015 gives us good games to play!

Planet Alpha’s story, Guardian’s blood (Historia del Planeta Alpha, la Sangre del Guardián) / Interviewing J.A. Blanco Hernández

Name of the book: 
Planet Alpha’s story, Guardian’s blood

Writer: José Alberto Blanco Hernández.
Number of pages: 281
Editorial: Abecedario.
Planet Alpha’s story: Andrew is a normal boy, one day when he is going home something strange occurs. In front of him there appears the Dragon Guardian (Dolf), he is hurt. By accident Andrew is transported to Dolf’s planet.
There he meets two bounty hunters called Tito and Juan, there they try to help Andrew to return back to his planet.
While this happens Dolf appears dead in the city, his successor now becomes into the actual Dragon Guardian, so he has to look for his own successor. Andrew becomes in his successor and he has to learn how Alpha works.
In this planet there is a group named “The Caravels”, they killed Dolf and they are trying to find the sacred spring which is a lost place where the guardians obtain their power from.

Andrew has to defeat The Caravels with the help of his new friends, the Guardians, and return to his planet.


Interviewing J.A. Blanco Hernández.

  1. When did you decide to start in the world of writing?
I don’t remember exactly when. I can tell you that I’ve always liked making stories, drawing comics with them or playing to write these ideas. I used to do it when I was a child. Unfortunately, drawing is not my thing (I have very bad hands), so I left comics. I started to write the book which you refer to about 2007- 2008. I had finished the teaching career, I wasn't working as a teacher yet and I had more free time. I had the idea and I started to write some chapters. Step by step the characters were coming to life and when I realized they were all immersed in an adventure too large to be fitted it in only one book.
  1. Why did you choose to write a book like Planet Alpha’s story?
When I was a student, fantasy books or imaginary worlds were my favorite; and besides I didn’t like reading many of the things that my high school said that we had to read (nobody likes reading as an obligation). I decided to write a book that was more according what I liked more when I was a student. If I had read something like that I would have loved it.
  1. Are you still doing your visits to schools for publicizing your book?
Of course, if some group of guys asks for it, I’m happy to talk with readers at any school, high school, library… For me it is a pleasure.
  1. Do you think of writing books for an adult audience?
I have an idea, but nothing serious so far. The truth is that I have more ideas for youth genre. I feel more comfortable in that world.
  1. You said to me that you’re planning to publish another book that has nothing to do with Planet Alpha’s story. Can you tell us a little about the book and what is the date of publication?
I can’t say anything about the date because the publisher hasn’t confirmed. The only thing they told me is that it will happen during this course 2014-2015.
What is it about?
A girl named Sofía receives a mysterious gift on her birthday: It is an ancient relic from Toledo’s city with a letter from her father that she believed dead years ago. The letter will guide her to different places in Toledo, discovering a mystery after another, guiding her towards one of the oldest secrets of the city; and she will realize that her city is not all it seems. She must hurry before it all ends badly for her and her friends. I will not tell you more… It is better not to give anything more.
  1. What advice would you give to young people who are interested in becoming writers?
The advice is very simple: read and write. They must know what they like reading, who their favorite writers are, what books make they feel something special… They should write about something they like. what they feel more comfortable with, regardless the gender. I think you should not write in order to publish it, just write for pleasure, sharing stories. Everything else comes with time… First of all, I always say that we must never stop dreaming.
  1. Do you have any literary project in mind for the future?
I have an idea for a new story that at first I think it would be very long, I’m still deciding if I make an approach to the subject or not.
  1. Can you tell us more about the experience of writing a book?
For me it is always interesting. I enjoy writing slowly, when I have time. Once you begin to create characters become part of me, as if I knew them. I think of them when I least expect, as if I remembered some friends; And they don’t leave me alone until I’m still writing and making the story grow. It may sound weird, but my experience with my inventions is that way.
Once I finish, I prefer not to read anything because I always find failures; first I give it to my friends and I hope they give me their opinion. Then I decide whether to change something.
I would like to have young volunteer readers to give me their honest opinion before attempting to publish. In the end, my job is for them.