Union Pacific’s No. 4014 – The Big Boy Visit’s Longview, Texas

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Last Sunday, after lunch had been hastily scarfed down after church, I packed the family (+inlaws) into the car. We headed down to the local train depot to welcome Union Pacific’s Big Boy No. 4014 into town.

There were so many people at the station. Many in the crowd still dressed in their Sunday finest. All held back by a fence from getting closer to the Big Boy. I have to admit, I was disappointed by the view from the depot. So we hopped back into the car, as Big Boy No. 4014 rolled out of Longview. We took a quick trip down down Highway 80 in order to get ahead of the train. One could say we had the perfect spot the second time around.

I would like to thank Union Pacific for adding a bit of history and steam to an otherwise slow Sunday afternoon. You can read more about the Big Boy here.

Ni No Kuni: Impressions

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Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, is an RPG on the PS3. Co-developed by Level-5 and Studio Ghibli, the game features stunning animation and a child-like story.

Ni No Kuni

Ni No Kuni starts out on an UP note. This trauma inducing event propels the protagonist, Oliver, on an epic journey to a parallel world. It is there that an evil being, Shadar, is wrecking havoc on the lands denizens. Shadar is a dark menace who enjoys stealing parts of the soul. With every yin comes a yang–this is a Japanese RPG after all–, the showdown between Shadar and Oliver “the pure-hearted one” is only a matter of hours of leveling.

The Soul Connection

One of the core components of Ni No Kuni is soul restoration. Example: Say Shadar took a person’s enthusiasm, Oliver must now find someone else with excess enthusiasm, ask for it, and give it to the person who is lacking.

As a Christian, I cannot help but notice a similarity of sorts between Christ and Oliver. They both work on souls!

Christ Vs. Oliver

  Christ

  • Son of God, restores/completes the soul when a person simply believes in him.

  Oliver

  • Mere boy, completes souls upon request for quest rewards.

I have enjoyed Ni No Kuni so far but have to admit that the pacing is slow. The game reminds me of being at an idyllic summer camp by the lake. Not such a bad thing unless you hated summer camp as a kid.