“War. War never changes.”

From: Fallout

Genre: Video games

Who said it?: Narration from the opening

The story behind the quote: The Fallout games are Role Playing Games that takes place in an alternate timeline. In this alternate timeline, technology has rapidly advanced from what we have today. Robot servants were commonplace but everyone still lived with a 1950’s look and sensibilities.

However, due to depleting petroleum reserves around the world, China attempted a bold invasion on Alaska and succeeded. This started a nuclear war that lasted for only two hours but devastated the United States.

Fortunately, the US government build massive fallout shelters, called Vaults, and managed to have some of the populace take shelter there. This is usually where your (nameless) character was born, with some exceptions (Fallout: New Vegas). Because of a series of events, you have to go out to the wasteland and meet people who have survived the nuclear war, such as ordinary humans, Ghouls, mutants, and even the Brotherhood of Steel.

The game always starts out with an opening narration, stating that, through all of the events that’s happened, war never changes.

Geek wisdom: People have been with conflict with other people since the dawn of time. For whatever reason; money, power, ideologies, land, resources. It doesn’t matter. Wars always start out with someone who wants something and attempts to do so through force. And it doesn’t really solve anything. Maybe it’s just part of our animal instinct to overcome by overpowering.

As individuals and the (supposedly) most superior and intelligent animal on the planet, we should always try to supercede this instinct and overcome it with logic and a realization that we do have to work together, not against each other. Nothing changes due to conflict. It’s only when we accept one another and work together that things change.

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“Thank you Mario! But our princess is in another castle!”

From: Super Mario Bros.

Genre: Video Games

Who said it?: Toad

The story behind the quote: The quote is one of the most popular ones in video games. In the original Super Mario Brothers game for the NES, Mario (or Luigi, if you actually playing as the 2nd player), travel to different locations in the Mushroom Kingdom to find and rescue Princess Peach (well, Princess Toadstool in this game) from the evil King Bowser.

Unfortunately for Mario (or Luigi), for stages 1 to 7, they aren’t able to locate her. So when the get to the dungeon during these stages, they only find Toad or one of his (apparently) million of twins saying that Princess Peach is in a different castle. Still, it doesn’t stop Mario (or… well, you know who) from moving on to the next castle.

Geek wisdom: Even if it is disenharting that they weren’t able to rescue the Princess when they arrive at the castle, the brothers still move on, without a break. And this is the wisdom we can find here. Even when we encounter obstacles in life, its important to keep on trying and trying. Never give up.

“Form feet and legs! Form arms and torso! And I’ll form the head!”

From: Voltron

Genre: Television, Cartoons

Who said it?: Keith (Voltron Lions) and Jeff (Voltron Vehicles)

The story behind the quote: For anyone who lived their childhood in the early 80’s, this shouldn’t need any introduction. Voltron is one of the most popular robot cartoons ever created. It was so popular that there were 2 versions of the titular robot, Voltron Lions and Voltron Vehicles.

Let’s start with the Lions since they did come first and they were the more popular ones. Earth sends 5 space cadets (Keith, Lance, Pidge, Sven, and Hunk) to the planet Arus to protect Princess Allura and her subjects from the evil empire led by Zarkon from the planet Doom (how appropriate!). Each week, Zarkon, his evil son, Lotor, and the wicked witch Hagar, devise various schemes and send out a giant monster called Ro-Beasts to try to conquer the galaxy. However, by combining all 5 Lions into one mighty robot called Voltron, Defender of the Universe, the Keith and the others manage to foil their plans.

After the success of the Voltron Lions came the Voltron Vehicles series. This time, the Galaxy Alliance are trying to find suitable planets to colonize but the Druel Empire are also doing the same thing and they’re not big on sharing! The Druels attempt to beat the exploration team by also using their own Ro-Beasts. However, the Galaxy Alliance have developed a new Voltron comprised of 15 individual spaceships led by Jeff.

For the ones who are really into the history of the story, it wasn’t always “Form arms and torso!” It was initially “Form arms and body!” They eventually changed it because someone probably figured out that “body” mean the entire body.

Geek wisdom: Watch the show closely and you’ll actually see that, in some episodes, Keith and Jeff give commands to their respective team members even when they are combined. This means that, even when in Voltron form, the leader doesn’t have full control over the robot and has to rely on his team to execute some attacks. Yes, they rely on teamwork!

People have to realize that, as a team, they can always accomplish much more than going it alone. If you’re a team working as one, its possible to take on even a problem as huge as a giant Ro-Beast!

“I must break you.” and “You will lose.”

From: Rocky

Genre: Movies

Who said it?: Ivan Drago

The story behind the quote: The quotes comes from the antagonist of the 4th Rocky film, Ivan Drago. The second quote is probably more obscure, but since it starts earlier in the film, we’ll start with that.

The Soviet Union (yes, not Russia. It was 1985) sends a delegation of people including a monster of a man named Ivan Drago (played by Dolph Lungren) to the United States and puts an open challenge to any American boxer in order to prove the Soviet’s superiority in the sport. Motivated by pride and patriotism, Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) takes on the challenge. Although Apollo displays a lot of bravado prior to the fight, as shown in the big production number for his entrance to the ring (with a performance by James Brown, no less!), this is quickly erased soon later. As Apollo trash talks Drago and tries to slam his gloves down on the Russian, Ivan’s hands stay up, not moving an inch and informs the former Heavyweight champ that he will lose.

Now for the next, and more popular, quote in the movie.

After Apollo’s crushing defeat (and ultimately, his death… sorry, spoilers!), Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) decides to avenge him by travelling to Drago’s home turf in Russia. After another training montage (around 20 minutes of the film is training montages, I think), Rocky and Drago finally face off in the ring. Mirroring his interaction with Apollo, Drago informs the Italian Stallion that he will break him before pounding his fists into the American’s.

Geek wisdom: What made Drago such a freakingly strong boxer? Sure, it may be the (implied) steroid use as shown in the training montage, however, there is ulitmately a different reason. Ivan Drago had only one goal: beat people up. Its his single purpose and his only job.

What we can learn from this is, with or without steroids (probably), there’s a lot we can accomplish as long as we dedicate all our effort in doing the task. On the flipside, if you look at Rocky’s training in Russia, it also shows his dedication and what also made him a force to reckon with. It’s this focus and intensity that made both of them fierce boxers.

“Be excellent to each other.”

From: Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure

Genre: Movies

Who said it?: Bill S. Preston, Esq.

The story behind the quote: This quote comes from the excellent movie Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (see what I did there?). In the future, Earth enjoys living in a utopian society based on the ideas of The Two Great Ones named William “Bill” S. Preston, Esq. (played by Alex Winter) and “Ted” Theodore Logan (Keanu Reeves, before he knew “kung-fu”) who, together, form Wild Stallyns. However, this future is endangered as the duo, in the present (well, 1989 in the film), are failing history class. If Ted fails, he will be sent to a military academy, breaking them up. In a mission to prevent this, Rufus (played by the late George Carlin) goes back in time to help them.

In order to pass the class, Bill and Ted convince historical figures throughout time to come with them to the present (still 1989 in the movie). However, at one point, they get sidetracked and visit the future. When they arrive, the residents gather around for a chance to see The Two Great Ones in person. Unsure of what to say, Bill manages to give the line before Ted closes it out by saying “Party on, dudes!”

Geek wisdom: No truer words could have been spoken. The idea to be good to everyone is something that we should all do. If we did, there would probably be no wars or hate, no famine or no pain. The world would actually be a utopian society. Sometimes, even the most simple of minds can produce the most thoughtful of wisdom.

“Try not! Do… or do not. There is no try.”

From: Star Wars

Genre: Movies

Who said it?: Yoda

The story behind the quote: Probably one of the most popular quotes in the entire history of geekdom. In the Empire Strikes Back, Luke travels to the planet Dagobah to find the last living Jedi, Yoda, to train him in using the Force. During one of the training sessions, R2-D2 alerts Luke that his X-Wing (basically his spaceship) is sinking into the swamp. Luke laments that the ship is stuck too deep in the bog. The aged Jedi Master tells him to use the Force to raise the ship but Luke says its impossible since its too big.

Yoda rebukes this and says that its only impossible since he thinks its impossible. The young apprentice says that he’ll try but this only makes Yoda more adamant, saying that either he does it or he doesn’t. When Luke fails and claims that it was too heavy, Yoda then shows the young Skywalker that it is possible by doing it himself.

Geek wisdom: This is pretty self-explanatory. When most people say that they’ll try something, they’re almost always thinking that they’ll do it to show that its impossible. In their mind, they’ve already failed. Because of this, they don’t really give their best effort to accomplish the task.

I’ll be the first to admit that I do have a pessimistic attitude when it comes to a lot of things, but I always make sure to do my best in the things I plan to do. This is because of the advice I got from a puppet that lives on a planet a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Thanks, Yoda!

“What is a man? A miserable little pile of secrets! But enough talk… Have at you!”

From: Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

Genre: Video Games

Who said it?: Dracula

The story behind the quote: The quote actually comes at the start of the game. Symphony of the Night opens with a dramatized version of the ending of an older Castlevania game: Rondo of Blood. Richter Belmont has practically completed his quest and all that remains is to defeat Dracula. He finally reaches Dracula’s throne room at the top of the castle and confronts him, proclaiming he will kill the vampire.

Dracula states that he’s alive because he was summoned by man and his followers liken him to be the savior of humankind. Richter rebuffs him by telling him that people do not need a demon such as himself. The vampire expresses him disgust with the human race because they are not honest with themselves, delivering the quote, before doing battle with the vampire hunter.

Geek wisdom: What Dracula says is kind of true if you think about it. We just can’t help being dishonest for various reasons; to build themselves up, to avoid getting into trouble, or to please others. We also want to withhold knowledge from others so that we’ll know more than them. What’s worse, there are even people who lie to themselves since they don’t want to realize the sometimes ugly truth about their lives.

In this manner, mankind is just a “pile of secrets.” While we can’t be honest with others all the time (due to social conventions), we should at least be honest to ourselves and admit our failings.

“I’m the goddamn Batman!”

From: Batman

Genre: Comics

Who said it?: Batman

The story behind the quote: The quote comes from Frank Miller’s All-Star Batman and Robin, a sort of reimaging of Robin’s origin. In the very first issue of the comic series, Dick Grayson’s family is murdered by a hit man while performing their circus act. Orphaned, Dick is supposed to be placed in the custody of the police. However, Batman steals Dick from them (Batman suspects that the cops are corrupt)  and speeds him away in the Batmobile.

The police start to chase after Batman (he is kidnapping someone, after all) and the Dark Knight starts ramming the squad cars that come after him and they eventually escape. However, Dick is afraid of everything that’s happening and he asks Batman what right he has to be doing this. Batman is apparently offended by this and questions Dick’s mental capacity before uttering that famous line.

This quote, along with the All Star Batman and Robin series, has been heavily criticised by both critics and fans alike. While there were a few who liked the new direction Frank Miller was going for, most people didn’t appreciate the fact that the characterization of Batman was too different from previous incarnations. Here, Batman is more sadistic and appears to get some form of pleasure in inflicting pain and he cares less for injuring innocent bystanders. This line has been recorded in infamy because of the idea that Batman would even refer to himself in this way.

Geek wisdom: You have to be proud of who you are and what you’ve become. You can be a badass dark knight or just an ordinary joe. It doesn’t matter and it shouldn’t matter: you are who you are. In fact, all of the events that you’ve experienced in life created and molded you into the unique individual that you are, and that by itself makes you special.

It is difficult to accept sometimes, especially if you’re in the dumps and you feel life doesn’t feel worth living. However, if you don’t respect yourself, no one will respect you. The goddamn Batman knows this, and you should, too.

“No wise man would call himself “wise.””

From: Odin Sphere

Genre: Video Games

Who said it?: Demon King Odin

The story behind the quote: Odin Sphere was a under-appreciated game released during the end of the Playstation 2’s life cycle. It combines side-scrolling gameplay with RPG elements with beautiful hand-drawn sprites. Not only that, the story was pretty deep, with a huge number of interesting characters with a couple of twists along the way.

Anyway, the quote comes during the epilogue of  the Black Sword act. Demon King Odin finds out that his daughter, Gwendolyn, has been kidnapped by Inferno King Onyx of the fiery kingdom of Volkenon. Onyx informs Odin that the girl has not been harmed and, in fact, was a gift from the main antagonists of the game, the self-proclaimed Three Wise Men. Odin then rebuffs this, informing the Inferno King that a wise man does not need to call himself wise and they are just a group of thugs.

*By the way, if you can get this game, do it! It’s a great game!

Geek wisdom: Let your actions speak for themselves. If you’re good at doing something, just do it and people will recognize you for it. There are a lot of people out there who tell a good game, but when it all comes down to it, they just come off as being okay. There are also a lot of people who can back up their big talk with actual skills, but they mostly come off as arrogant.

Look at some of the greats: Michael Jordan, Stephen Spielberg to name a couple. They never claimed to be the greatest at what they do. However, a good majority of people think that they are. Somehow, not bragging about your skills actually elevates others perception of you. If you are wise, display it. Don’t advertise it.

“The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Or the one.”

From: Star Trek

Genre: Movies

Who said it?: James Kirk and Spock

The story behind the quote: The quote was actually mentioned twice in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. The first time is relatively early in the film. Spock is actually in command of the Enterprise when it receives a distress call from another starship. Kirk, now an admiral decides to take command due to the emergency. Spock then derides his friend, saying that Kirk shouldn’t have taken the promotion since this has taken him from what he actually loves: being the commander of a starship. However, he will still follow Kirk since he is not only his commanding officer, but, more importantly, his friend.

The 2nd time this is mentioned is the more remembered. Spock had to enter the warp core of the ship to repair the engines so that they could escape destruction. Because of this, he has been exposed to a fatal dose of radiation and is dying. Kirk rushes to his aid but is unable to help his friend. Spock asks his friend not to grieve and starts the phrase only to be completed by Kirk.

It is important to note that this is possibly not the true origin of this quote. Greek philosophers have been noted to mention something along these lines. However, most people, especially movie buffs, remember the quote coming from this film due to the emotional weight it carries.

Geek wisdom: Sometimes, self-sacrifice is important in the scheme of things. A lot of heroes know this and this is why we remember them. Its through their sacrifice that we get to live our lives. Think of the soldiers who fight for our freedoms. They are fighting for you so that you don’t have to.

We can still do little things, such as volunteering for tasks that no one likes to do (taking out the trash, for example). Or, if your friends wants to go rock climbing and you don’t want to, go along with them still. We don’t have to give up our lives to follow Spock’s example.