Anya Stroud: The Cortana of Gears of War

Anya Stroud from Gears of War 3
The titular character of Gears of War, Anya.

So Gears of War 3 is about to hit the Xbox 360 and the other lesser platforms and I thought it would be rude to not do a focus piece on shall we say the titular character of the Gears series, Anya Stroud.

Who the heck is this Anya? you may well ask? Anya is the Communcations Manager for G.O.W. She's the lady who tells Marcus Fenix and Dominic Santiago that there is a courtyard free some place for them have a group huddle in to talk about their issues. Boom!

Lieutenant Anya Stroud was a Gears of War officer in the COG Army and the daughter of Major Helena Stroud. Our heroine Anya joined the COG army to follow in her mother’s footsteps, but unlike her mother, she did not serve as a frontline Gear soldier. Anya Stroud instead became a communications officer and served in her mother's unit during the Pendulum Wars. It was during that time met soldier Marcus Fenix and formed a love interest with him, and also became friends with Dominic Santiago. Friends being a keyword.

Stroud is proud...
The release of the demo for Gears of War 3 showed two things: 1: it looks awesome and 2: Anya looks set to break free from her communications role and break out into a combat role. Booya...

So why is this Anya character important? She's no Cortana right? Two words come to mind: Marcus Fenix. Despite his daddy issues, he's been through a shit storm. Why shouldn't he fall for one of the last remaining beauties? What's suggested in Gears 1, is intimated in in Gears 2. I'm fully expecting conception in the third adventure of Gears of War 3... unless of course Marcus makes a boob of himself!

Come hither....

My pick is somehow Marcus Fenix has to rescue her and in doing so declares his undying love to Anya. Something you'll never see the Master Chief do... and in that vein, Anya is just as popular a gaming heroine as the Chief's digital love, Cortana.
It's gettin' hot in here!
Gears of War has captured the minds and hearts of many gamers around the world. Some of them have even lost their virginity. This includes those fans who like to play dress up. Of course, people who like to dress up as characters from video games prefer to call it costume play:

Anya appears to be missing 28 GOG tags...
But it is not just the cosplay fans that want to keep abreast of all the Gears of War issues. Some artists just have too much spare time and are happy to come up with their own interpretations of the Anya character:

Come hither Part II......
Order your copy of Gears of War III here from Amazon. Or get the book! Here's what we thought of Gears of War 4's effort.

Is it me or is Micheal Stipe beginning to look like Billy Joel?

Is it me or is Micheal beginning to look like Billy Joel?

Here's a sweet article from Rolling Stone Magazine in which Mike Mills has a wee chat about the up coming R.E.M. album, Collapse Into Now.

When R.E.M. began recording Collapse Into Now last year they decided to throw out the guidelines they imposed on their last album, 2008's Accelerate. "On the last one we tried to make everything focused, short, fast and sharp," Mike Mills tells Rolling Stone. "We took most of the rules off this time, picking the best songs regardless of whether they were fast, slow or mid-tempo."

The disc, which is due out early next year, reminds Mills of the band's 1992 classic Automatic For The People. "The songs go from one type into another really easily and it all seems to fit as a piece," Mills says. "It makes sense as a whole the same way that Automatic For The People did."

Produced by Jacknife Lee, the disc was recorded over the past year at studios in Portland, New Orleans, Nashville and at Berlin's legendary Hansa Tonstudio—where Mssrs David Bowie and Iggy Pop recorded The Idiot and later where U2 cut Achtung Baby. "There's so many, not exactly ghosts...but vibrations in there," says Mills. "It's as very, very vibey place."

While in the city of Berlin, REM met up with longtime friend Patti Smith, who contributed vocals to the track "Blue." "Patti totally changed the song and added a whole other dimension to it," says Mills. "It was a powerful thing to watch." Another track, "It Happened Today," featured vocal contributions from Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam

The songs are also less political than the material on the last album Accelerate. "It's more of a personal record than a political one," says Mills. "Current events do come into our mind when we write, but the themes here are more universal."

Other songs on the album include the piano driven ballad "Walk It Back," a rocker called "All The Best" that features Mills and Michael Stipe sharing lead vocals and "Everyday Is Yours To Win"—which Mills describes as a "slow, beautiful song built around a guitar riff."

Mills says the group didn't always see eye-to-eye while recording the album. "This one certainly has its share of difficulty—but I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing," he says. "It just means you have creative tension, which is what happens when three strong-willed people manage to find a consensus."

Transformers Dark of the Moon Teaser Trailer

The Optimus Prime Experiment happily spied that the internet is full of joy about the new teaser trailer for the new documentary about the history of the Transformers. This doc, the third in a series put together by renowned historian Micheal Bay tells of a major cover up about what actually happened when Mr Neil Armstrong went to the moon...

Optimus Prime said to me over a meal of dead cat that he thought Mr Bay's footage looked to be bang on and appeared to be a faithful reconstruction of the actual events.

U2 Brisbane set list 2010.

U2 Brisbane Set List

December 09, 2010 at Brisbane, Australia

U2 played the second of two shows at Suncorp Stadium - fans got to hear the unreleased song, Mercy.

Set List: Return of the Stingray Guitar, Beautiful Day, New Year's Day, Get On Your Boots, Magnificent, Mysterious Ways, Elevation, Until the End of the World, I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, Mercy, Bad, In A Little While, Miss Sarajevo, City of Blinding Lights, Vertigo, I'll Go Crazy (remix) - Relax, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Scarlet, Walk On

Encore: One, Amazing Grace - Where the Streets Have No Name, Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me, With or Without You

First Night's Brisbane Set List.

The Cortana Pictures

cortana from the original Halo CE game
"Fancy a look?"

Pictures of Cortana from Halo

Everyone's favourite purple A.I., Cortana doesn't appear in Halo 3:ODST, instead we got a guy that liked to Keep it Clean and talked a little weird.

This doesn't mean Cortana is gone forever from the Halo series, she'll be back in all her nude glory when Microsoft surely does a sequel to Halo 3.

Her very brief but significant cameo in Halo: Reach hardly counted I reckon...

This doesn't mean we can't relive the past with some pictures of Cortana. She's a sex pot to all the 13 year old Halo players didn't ya know? And then some.

There's a reason Cortana's body appeared to be more naked and her boobs got hotter and bigger with the release of the Halo games.

It wasn't because of the improvements in coding technology... or was it?

Compare the picture at the top of this post to the next and note the distinct change in breast size.
cortana halo 3
The mind boggles at what this Halo 3 cut scene was all about.
cortana concept art
cortana witht the key halo
Contrast is key.....
cortana halo flood capture
No sex tonight dear, I have a head ache...
Cosplay is a really popular past time with all the Conventions that happen across America and the ROTW, so it's no surprise Cortana is a popular cosplay costume choice.
Only second to the infamous Princess Leia. bikini outfits...

cortana blue costume cosplay
Cortana cosplay at its finest

Here's another popular Cortana costume play outfit:
cosplay cortana halo

halo cosplay

What's the appeal of Cortana? Why the big deal? Let's face it, she's the real Hero of the Halo series, if it wasn't for her, the Master Chief would accidentally have unleashed the might of the first Halo Ring on the universe, destroying everyone. He'd have been a real boob eh?

The next image of Cortana is taken from the Halo Legends DVD:

cortana from halo legends

Halo artwork is very popular. I think the artist of the below sketch may have got Cortana's breast proportions all wrong. What do you think?

cortana drawing big breasts
Shed a tear, cause I'm missing you. 
Sometimes the owners of the Halo IP call in the big guns, and for the Halo Graphic Novel, this artwork was included. You can almost smell the sexual tension between the Chief and Mrs Cortana in the picture below. Is is me or is one breast slightly bigger than the other?

cortana concept art breasts

cortana covering her boobs
What are you looking at? Stop staring at my breasts!

Here's some Cortana concept are by Issac Hannaford who did some design work for Bungie:

Design work for cortna