Halloween:Mansions of Madness


We don’t celebrate Halloween in Australia, and I’m not a big fan of it either myself…

BUT I do love themed parties/events, and I love dressing up, so it wasn’t a surprise that I was a full supporter of running our tabletop group session at the same time as Halloween, just so we could play Mansions of Madness, dressed as our characters – Monterey Jack, Joe Diamond, Dexter Drake, Carolyn Fern & Preston Fairmont.

We had some great fun investigating the occult and paranormal mysteries of Dearly Departed


 Of course, if we’re going to the lengths of calling this a themed event, I had to do some decoration/food!

Using some of our old props from Ash’s Undead Pirate birthday party, I did a quick table setup to help set the mood (inc. candles for lights). Most of the food were bought (as I was lazy), but I did decide to make pigs in blanket, mummified-style, for a quick and easy savoury snack!  The rest are just an assortment of Halloween cookies, Halloween-themed Mr.Kipling cakes and Cadbuy curly wurlys (to look like worms).

x x x

For that very fresh body, at last writhing into full and terrifying consciousness with eyes dilated at the memory of its last scene on earth, threw out its frantic hands in a life and death struggle with the air; and suddenly collapsing into a second and final dissolution from which there could be no return, screamed out the cry that will ring eternally in my aching brain.
–H.P. Lovecraft, Herbert West—Reanimator

Fire Gardens @ Royal Botanical Gardens


For four nights in October 2018, the Royal Botanical Gardens was transformed in to Fire Gardens, a magnificent piece created by French Artists, Compagnie Carabosse. 

As we walked through the Fire Gardens, the feeling that we had stepped in an otherworldly place hit me. Entrancing and intriguing music wafted through the darkness of the night, calling us to continue venturing deeper in to the heart of the gardens. The cold and darkness of the night contrasted heavily against the bright and burning flames, dancing along to the soft hums of the Fire Garden guests.


With only flames to light our pathway, the gardens felt endless. As our feet followed the beats of the musicians, we lost all bearings and found ourselves deep within the heart of the Fire Garden. This night felt so surreal and can only describe it as if we were stepping in to an otherworldly space, with an almost cult-like atmosphere.


This was really a fantastic transformation of the Royal Botanical Gardens by the Compagnie Carabosse – I forgot I was still in Melbourne, and felt transported in another world and time.

Fire is so fickle; beautiful and warm, but yet unwieldy and destructive.

Madfest 2018


“On that day, mankind received a grim reminder. We lived in fear of the titans, and were disgraced to live in these cages we called walls”

Despite our less than stellar experience last year at Madfest, we decided to go for a weekend pass again.
With the allure of two Fate voice actors (Ayako Kawasumi and Koki Uchiyama), as well as a dedicated FGO booth, Ash was pretty keen and as his supportive gf, so was I.

You can imagine our disappointment when yet again Madfest delivered another less than stellar experience.


There was a limit of 120 Fate signature tokens, and despite having a moment of hope that if we got there early enough to line up, we might get a token, we decided against it. This turned out to be the correct choice, as we soon found out that there was actually 250 VIP tickets, meaning that there wasn’t a chance we would’ve even gotten in the first 120 without being a VIP. It’s quite perplexing why Madman made this decision, but it just made us realise that going VIP was necessary if you were after a signature token, and that Madman was more interested in their profits than their customers, the fans of this franchise.

We understand that people willing to fork out money for a VIP ticket should be given first access to signature tokens, but if they wanted to make it limited to only the VIPs, they really should have said so, rather than providing false hope to non-VIP ticket holders that they may get a signature token.


Apart from that  over allocation mess, which I am glad that we willingly missed, we also experienced other problems at Madfest, most notably these two less than stellar experiences:

1) Upon arriving at Madfest, we wanted to buy the Fate/Grand Order Duel figures and were directed to the signing area. We told the Volunteers that we wanted to buy the merch, to which they pointed out the designated line. After 2 minutes of lining up, we had the same volunteer run towards us to ask what we were doing in line (!?!). After confirming that we wanted merch, he left us alone. We stood in this line for about 30 minutes and the line did not progress at all. We didn’t see anyone from line our reach the merch table, so noting that we were going to definitely miss our panel if we continued to line up, we left.
My only question: WHY WAS THE LINE NOT MOVING? We still don’t have answers to this.

2)  Excited for FGO’s first summoning event, we decided to line up. As the line wrapped around the booth twice, we got to see their wonderful technical difficulties as they tried to get the event up and going. Due to this, I believe the event started 10-15 minutes late, to which the gave us some apologems lolol. When the event finally took off, people cheered (yay), and we made the slow parade around the booth. The hour passed and we were finally at the final corner before getting back to the front of their rectangular shaped booth. You can imagine our utter horror when we, plus about 20 people in front of us and 20 people behind us were turned away because the event was over. Why was the length of the line not monitored and cut off to avoid disappointment? We waited for an hour plus for nothing. We asked the booth staff if we could at least receive the summoning card, or even be given priority in line for the next event, to which they replied no to both requests. The only choice was to line up again for the next summoning event, which we begrudgingly did (as can be seen above) and thankfully, managed to summon.
although I got the only silver ;A; cu alter


Thankfully the rest of Madfest wasn’t too bad. The move to the new Exhibition area was excellent, and it was definitely an upgrade having everything in one location. The mobile app was a great choice too! The Fate/Grand panels were entertaining, and we enjoyed attending the free Luna Haruna concert – we definitely need to work on our light stick moves! AGS102 were also cute and friendly (above).


 We also like that Madman brings in their own food vendors, giving us another option than overpriced MCEC food! Although the South Melbourne dimmies were good, we definitely preferred last year’s food vendor (bring back Dekoboko & Maedaya!). The Duff energy drink booth was also great! And despite the troubles we faced earlier with buying the Fate/Grand Order Duel minis, we got some and enjoyed their cuteness. Also, other awesome merch aka the shirt Ash is wearing above!


Our loot for this year! Not that much compared to previous years, but at least I got some cute pinnys!