Beleen | Wednesday, October 11, 2023
Ah, Friday the 13th! This date either sends shivers down your spine if you’re superstitious or… it’s an absolutely delightful day if you’re a horror movie fan or player of Artix Entertainment games. But why is Friday the 13th so special – erm, infamous? Is this day really as unlucky as people believe? And did our servers accidently explode during our first Friday the 13th Event in AQWorlds? 🤯
Let's dive into the curious history of Friday the 13th and explore some common superstitions while learning how to counteract the curses.
Friday the 13th is an unlucky day that happens only once or twice a year, but sometimes three times if we’re lucky. This day is often associated with unfortunate things, mysterious happenings, and bad vibes all around. The peculiar superstition of Friday the 13th has its roots in various cultural and historical sources, but no one actually knows WHEN this day began to be so bad.
Perhaps it dates back to Friday, October 13, 1307, when King Philip IV of France ordered the mass arrest of the Knights Templar. The King spread some fake news about the Knights doing something kinds sus, but really the King just wanted all their money, gold, and power, so he canceled them using Fourteenth Century methods 💀
However, the theory of “13” being unlucky traces further back to Norse mythology. In Norse folklore, there is a story about a gathering of 12 gods at a fancy dinner party in Valhalla, but then the party is crashed by the 13th guest, Loki, who is the Marvel Comics…aaahhh I mean, the trickster god of mischief. The party got wildly out of control, someone died, and the whole Earth went dark afterwards.
Wow. No dessert either? 😭 Worst. Party. EVER.
Unless your next get-together is crashed by a naughty Norse deity, we have some helpful remedies to some common superstitions in the real world:
🪜Walking under a ladder: This superstition dates back to ancient Egypt, where the triangle was a symbol of life. Walking under a ladder (which forms a triangle) was thought to insult the symbol of life. To break the spell, just walk backward or make a wish as you pass under the ladder to counteract any bad luck.
🪞 Breaking a mirror: Everyone knows breaking a mirror brings 7 years of bad luck. This originated from the ancient Romans, who believed that mirrors had the ability to reveal one's soul. To reflect back the bad luck from a broken mirror, bury the broken pieces in the moonlight, or use the shards to create a mosaic piece of art – this symbolizes turning a negative event into something beautiful.
🐈⬛ Black cats: In medieval Europe, black cats were often associated with witches, and in many cultures nowadays, these murder mittens are believed to bring bad luck. Supposedly when a black cat crosses your path, instead of running away… tell her pspspspsps and give her a friendly pat should she allow it! Another way to break this superstition is to adopt a black cat as your furry friend and shower them with love furever!
☂️ Opening an umbrella indoors: My mom doesn’t even allow umbrellas inside the house, that’s how scared she is of an umbrella accidently opening up indoors 🤷♀️ This superstition is believed to insult spirits dwelling in the home (uhh, what does my mom know that she isn’t telling me?!) To reverse the bad luck, immediately close the umbrella and take it outside. Might need to burn it with a flamethrower if that umbrella was anywhere near my mom’s house, just saying.
🪵 Knock on wood: This superstition has ancient roots (HA! Get it?). The act of knocking upon anything made of wood is believed to summon protective spirits residing in trees. Various cultures have their own versions of "knocking on wood" to ward off bad luck after one says something that could possibly tempt fate. To prevent a jinx from occurring, simply knock on a wooden surface as you say, “knock on wood.” This should keep the good luck flowing and ward off any misfortune in your near future.
Hopefully. Knock on wood. ✊🪵👍
Lucky for you, Friday the 13th releases in Artix games are some of the most cherished events in history! Especially ones that happen in October – which is notoriously the spookiest month of the year. Since I started working at Artix Entertainment 14 years ago, my memories of Friday the 13th events *only* date back to 2009. Geeesh. Definitely don’t feel old >.>
Not sure if y’all were around when AQWorlds hosted their first-ever Live Event with musical mastermind Voltaire. But I was! In fact, this was my first week working at Artix Entertainment, my first time witnessing a weekly release, and my first time seeing the insanity unfold firsthand.
See that screenie? Barely, I know – my eyesight isn’t what it used to be either. BUT! If you squint really really hard, that character in the middle with the pinkish purplish chaos axe and basic brown outfit was my first AQW screenshot appearance ever! Pink outfits weren’t invented back then, but now I’m realizing that the pink chaos axe might have been the culprit for turning me into the fuchsia fiend you know and love / loathe today 💖
And yes, the AQW servers really did explode during the event. Twice. We had over 32,000 players logging in at once which ended up crashing the servers and the game for everybody – devs, players, and pirates included. If you want to read the recaps from AQW’s first live event, check out these dinosaur Design Notes, but you’ll have to scroll down because hyperlinks weren’t even invented back then. Joking! But not really: https://www.aq.com/archive/designnotes/aw-designnotes-2009-03.asp
Despite Friday the 13th being a notoriously bad day, this was one of the greatest experiences of my life! Plus, Fridays meant pizza party night, and that is NEVER a bad thing.
What am I allowed to say? I don’t wanna spill any spoilers – now that would bring me bad luck for sure! – but certainly I can give you some backstory. Back in 2005, during the first Friday the 13th in DragonFable, a mysterious necromancer appeared called… the Mysterious Stranger. I know moms worldwide teach you to NEVER talk to strangers, but this Stranger had something WAY better than candy; he had 3 doom weapons: the Skull Staff of Doom, the Twin Blades of Doom, and the ShadowReaper of Doom.
I’m paraphrasing here, but the Mysterious Stranger basically said:
“Hey kid, first one’s free!”
Doom weapons have played a huge role in our games over the years. The Darkness element, which Doom weapons hail from, is not inherently evil — but the faction commonly affiliated with the Darkness element are the Shadowscythe, and they are most certainly evil. The opposite of Darkness is the Light element, and Light kills the shadows immediately. But! In order for Darkness to remain in this realm, vile creatures have bound themselves to Doom weapons, using their telepathic voice to whisper things to the wielder of these weapons. This brings about events that allow the plane of shadows to come into fruition and corrupt the world of Lore.
As is true with all great heroes, it is up to the individual wielding a Doom weapon to resist the urge of evil! But… at what price?
You’ll find out soon enough when you play AQ3D’s Friday the 13th release, mwahaha!
In the real world, Friday the 13th may be surrounded by tales of misfortune, but in our amazing gaming realms, it’s a day full of fascinating festivities – and some seriously wicked items, like the ShadowReaper of Doom. No matter if you’re superstitious, or just super adventurers, by understanding the origins of these beliefs and knowing how to remedy the bad luck, we can enjoy the mystery of Friday the 13th without fearing it.
I guess we’ll just have to see what happens during our games’ Friday the 13th releases! You can check out all our new releases at Artix.com
Let’s make the most of Friday the 13th, and may it be a day filled with good fortune, fun, and lots of luck – even if somebody gets possessed by a Doom weapon or something like that
Beleen and the nostalgic AQ3D team