Leon's Microblog

https://modarchive.org/index.php?request=view_player&query=180814 – *listens to this mod* *thinks* *opens the instrument comments* *nods*
When is Puzzmo dot com adding the pulling pins puzzles
Pochi & Nyaa is actually good for beginners because the garbage blocks are just dogs and cats. Yes, you're going to take 78 garbage and lose, but all that means is your board is filled with cats. You can't get that mad or upset. Now, those FREAKING Puyos, on the other hand,
https://fairysvoice.net/blog/How_to_replace_an_RPG_Maker_MV_game's_runtime_with_your_own_local_copy_of_NWJS – New blog post (I've started writing how-tos for mildly complicated technical things I often do with game files and whatnot)
ASCII art titles at their minimalistest
Void Stranger Kart Racer. No items, but each racer has the staff, and can remove or add tiles from the racetrack, leaving holes to fall through, or creating shortcuts. You could call it Void Racer. The fluffy bat-blob mascot could be Lakitu.
I have a theory, and I will not be budged: dark modes in UI rose to prominence entirely because flatscreen monitors don't let you crank the brightness down to nearly nothing, as compared to CRTs. I had to do that through the entire 00's, and I didn't imagine any better.
Playing this game is making me feel called out about how much my Twine game You Are SpamZapper 3.1 (https://fairysvoice.net/games/You_are_SpamZapper_3.1/) owes to the writing style of Start Again, seeing it writ large once more… Suffice to say, if you liked that game of mine, this one is certainly for you.
"Ahh, a classic gaming moment, beloved through the ages." – common quote when I'm playing Madou Monogatari 3, and I, the innocent and blameless Arle Nadja, send out Carbuncle in the heat of battle, only for it to instantly fall asleep like a traded Pokémon with not enough badges.
I want what they have…
Look, I just think the Wordnik dictionary needs a bit of a talking to.
Naljnl, rire fvapr frrvat vg, vg nyjnlf erzvaqf zr bs rcvfbqr 4 bs gur fubj Gur Fgenatr Jbeyq Bs Thearl Fynqr (1960), jurer gur znva punenpgre vf chg ba gevny va n oynpx ibvq sbe gur pevzr bs gur cerivbhf rcvfbqrf orvat gbb zrgngrkghny naq abg shaal.
Rot13 spoilers for a very missable Void Stranger easter egg… Try Your Freaking Luck… Vs lbh fnirfphz ("dhvgfphz") gb oehgr-sbepr gur chmmyrf, lbh pna trg qrgnvarq naq chg ba gevny, sbe fnirfphzzvat, ol gurfr jnpxl eborq svtherf. Vg'f n shaal zbzrag gung trgf shaavre nsgrejneq.
Finally, a J→E definition that's actually precise
A lot of otherwise innocuous stuff becomes especially meaningful as a result of the elements - in particular, the "your turn" skills, which let a character use another character's skills, provide a vital utility in accessing specific attack elements twice in a turn cycle.
The combat system is the exact same as Start Again, but I'll repeat the praise: the fact that the 3 "elements" are abstract enough to be attached to literally any attack gives the game a lot of flexibility for interesting combat decisions.
Please Be Sharp Please Be Sharp Please Be Sharp: A Prologue
I'll give this game one hell of a credit: the sheer amount of minute but noticeable dialog and description variations whenever you do the same actions all over again are pretty effective motivation to keep doing the same actions all over again, as per the player-character.
Me when my followers telepathically beg me to just post normally
Best pun in the narrative thus far, and the party wisecracker isn't even the one who says it.
This game takes a real damn handhold-y while to start getting to "the good stuff" relative to its predecessor, but… squeeze that orange hard enough and the acid will eventually drip out. I mean juice.
Attention MV devs! Stop leaving this bastard of a sound asset in your games!! If you replace even just one default sound, make it THIS one! It's the retro pixel font of damage sound effects. No SNES RPG would be caught dead with this thing.
I'll give the game credit… this joke here's pretty good.
I'm so tired that I'm feeling drop dead gorgeous without the gorgeous.
It's so funny to think about how this game basically asks "So you know the yellow star save points in *specifically* Deltarune… what if they were hot"
I think it's a little on-the-nose that these games' main character's name is Suffering, but it gets the point across. *someone tries to notify me and I immediately frisbee my phone into the nearest lake "for safekeeping"*
They said the game name in the Americanest accent they could muster
For those wondering, this is the feature-length "sequel" to Start Again (https://insertdisc5.itch.io/start-again-prologue/) which I was rather fond of a few years back. I highly recommend playing it first because the opening to this game DRAAAAAGS if you're not already somewhat invested in the characters.
https://armor-games-studios.itch.io/in-stars-and-time – It's 2023, baby. Wake up. It's time to play grayscale pixel-art melancholic character-driven death-based-time-loop top-down grid-based dungeon-crawler indie games that delight in making you do the same thing over and over
Leon has now changed their entire personality to: • Hating the controls of Tripuzz (1997)
https://fairysvoice.net/blog/The_Pochi_&_Nyaa_Calculator/ – New blog post writing up the research that went into the Pochi & Nyaa calculator page I created.
That being said, I had envisioned a number of possibilities: that they might reveal something about the ancient origin of the 12 gems, and in particular that they might "save" the player's character from their fate in the "normal" endings.
Most of the characters use their wish from the 12 gems in a shortsighted fashion, limited by their own ignorance and base desires, and this imagined character might force them to make a wish that brings them peace… The game is fine as it is, but I like to daydream about this.
When I first played Puchi Carat, I was absolutely convinced for awhile that there was going to be a secret 1CC-only True Last Boss. There isn't one, unfortunately. Even though there is a secret extra character, it's just a crossover cameo.
Most importantly!! I've also made a crossposting script so that now my microblog posts are crossposted to: • My website • Twitter dot com • Mastodon dot social • Cohost dot org Yes, I'm truly entering, to quote Universal Paperclips, "a new era of trust". (No Bluesky tho 🤷‍♀️)
Thrilled to announce that I've updated my homepage (https://fairysvoice.net/) –added an Updates page so changes (especially fixes/tweaks to my web games) are actually noticeable, added a Blog to motivate myself to write blogposts, and added a Microblog based on my Twitter archive.
Top 1 fatality animations
I like how late-90s-early-00s this lategame boss is. What's Game Boy Advance than this
Everyone shield your eyes – some serious awesome is about to go down. *hits the S.S. Anne truck with the staff from Void Stranger*
*prepares to cut birthday cake without a knife, only for every other implement to bounce off* …Alas… if only you could have made it… we needed you… *gazes sadly at party guest list with "Fanart Madotsuki" crossed off*
When I browse through the Netrunner card database, reading a card called something like "Reversed Accounts", and then see cryptographic currency spam in the comments, I just think "Ah, an in-universe bit…"
Watching some Smash Bros.
Nyoki-Nyoki, autumn edition
So I didn't notice this at the time, but apparently having more colours than the opponent gives you an attack boost to "even things out"… so I guess it isn't working as I'd intended.
I wish the Nyoki-Nyoki CPU AI was better at the game. I have to resort to turning it to level 30, playing with five colours, AND giving it only two colours to make it competitive.
RayForce's music is so good… It takes a lot for me to feel positive feelings about a "ship shmup" (shmup where you shoot at generic spaceships) but RayForce is able to do it… Not even ChoRenSha or Dodonpachi can manage that…
MODArchive tip: sort your collection by length and then scroll to <40s to find the real wild west of music, where anything is possible.
https://modarchive.org/index.php?request=view_player&query=180740 – Strange mix of 00's peaceful squarewave chiptunes and eerie percussion and record-scratches.
Higurashi episode 7: Minagoroshi
Playing Puyo Puyo before bed gave me a brutal case of "puyomnia"… >_<
Remembering how the first ever software program I had that featured an authentic, explicitly-labeled "dark mode" was SaintEdit for the Mac in 1994.
This one ended up in an awkward spot on top-right that precluded further extension… but still, definitely more efficient than some of the previous ones.
This one's mostly a mess… but, me refusing to use those yellows at 0:57, with absolutely no reds in sight, was me staring God (here represented by Draco Centaurus) directly in the face and not blinking.
A true sign of skill is when you set everything up in 30 seconds and then spend another 30 seconds jumbling around the pieces in the top 4 rows. (Still, pulling that starting green link out of nowhere was pretty slick.)
This would've been great if those reds in the upper middle and those surviving purples hadn't proven to be useless… both getting in each other's way.
The only reason this attempt reached 9 is because the green at 0:57 goes on an unplanned adventure… >_>
Did you know that Puyo Puyo, a videogame made of software, is capable of being played, despite neither being released this year nor even being popular? I just thought that would be a fun fact to relay to you all – an exchange between flickering souls. Anyway what day is it
Well, this one's a PB for fewest remaining puyos, I guess…
🎆FINALLY getting close to my PB…
This is /maybe/ a bit more like it.
This didn't work out as planned
"Don't ask me – I just work here!!" –signature phrase of the talking boulder from Void Stranger
What gets me is that StarSweep already had a foolproof solution for putting pieces below other pieces: just use a cursor to place pieces anywhere! Stop using the Tetris falling-block paradigm when its rules stop making sense!! But no, this ugly hack is bolted on instead.
It's… like… OK, for one thing, the down-press input for dropping pieces through other pieces – like they're platformer semisolids?? – is SO finicky that I'm constantly overshooting. Trying to place a piece in the middle of a structure is such an ordeal.
"This is just another Puyo Puyo-like," they said. "You just connect 4!" they said. "You'll get it in no time," THEY SAID.
Touhou translators forced to add "THIS ISN'T OUR FAULT!! ZUN actually used the wrong freaking graphics for this one ending and then released the game like this!" to the Unfinished Dream Of All Living Ghost text as an in-game TL note
*imagines if system_erasure had been fans of Gradius instead of vertical shmups, and as a result losing a life in Void Stranger took away all your powerups* Hrmmmmmmmmm
Today's tweets are brought to you today by… "The Basket-Weave flood-fill texture from MacPaint 1.0" An underappreciated member of "the gang" compared to such fan favs as Checkerboard and Bricks, it still brings a smile to one's face whenever you encounter it.
New 1CC!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2OSluR21HY I Literally Only Played This Mode For The Music
The Quiet End of the Mundane Age (https://www.shortboxcomicsfair.com/shop/p/the-quiet-end-of-the-mundane-age-by-theo-stultz) – Mostly just a slow romance comic, but the main characters do have some pretty nice chemistry, and the central archeological mystery around them is an interesting backdrop.
Leave You Be (https://www.shortboxcomicsfair.com/shop/p/leave-you-be-by-barbara-mazzi) – Tonally unfocused and… deliberately anticlimatic comic… about living an anticlimatic life… and being surrounded by beauty you can't touch or even see. Might actually be the most subversive comic on sale.
Germ (https://www.shortboxcomicsfair.com/shop/p/germ-by-liz-chee) – Fascinatingly structured psychological horror short with simple but very effective imagery and symbolism.
Ocean (https://www.shortboxcomicsfair.com/shop/p/ocean-by-lucie-bryon) – Initially rather silly slice-of-life comic that eases into a more down-to-earth, likeable stride. Has a nice full-circle ending.
*makes myself a cup of tea, Earl Grey, hot* This is the Trek version of Neo Kobe Pizza
It took me awhile to understand this, but the flavour text on the left card explains the abilities of the right card, making the latter much more sinister. (In Netrunner, you lose the game if you ever have "-1 cards" in hand.)
I like it when Netrunner card combos can get darkly hilarious.
Pearl Hunting (https://www.shortboxcomicsfair.com/shop/p/pearl-hunting-by-hana-chatani) – A very slow-burning story that does manage to build up to a satisfying, ironic conclusion. A solid work from a comics veteran.
It All Ends With Me (https://www.shortboxcomicsfair.com/shop/p/3s20hekys42i0gddv2evzskqfbuubx) – A cold, tense fairytale comic with great linework and character design, juxtaposing sumptuous architecture and dress with the gruesomeness of meat.
It's agreed that Kirby, from videogames, has no concrete gender. We all accept this. However, Kirby/Prince Fluff in Kirby's Epic Yarn *IS* yaoi.
Pinball Wizard (https://www.shortboxcomicsfair.com/shop/p/pinball-wizard-by-pavina) – A wacky and quite expressive dark comedy with some legitimately hilarious moments. The hyper-anxious, constantly hyperventilating protagonist is a great foil for the schemers all around her.
Synthetic Snow (https://www.shortboxcomicsfair.com/shop/p/synthetic-snow-by-madeline-mcgrane) – Despite an unpromising opening, this eventually blossoms into a surprisingly vivid and abstract tale, referencing a certain classic.
When are we getting an Ico-like videogame where both characters are blind. Now that's a relationship I wanna play.
So I coooooould pay the Kagi company $10 a month to get better search engine results… OR I could pay the Pixiv corporation $6 a month to be able to block fanart of every show I don't like… Hmm… Which would be better… The trajectory of my whole life may hinge on this…
I just LOVE it when I go to some Japanese webcomic serialising site and discover that after the first 3 episodes I have to spend 20 shiny emeralds to read each of the remaining 5.
Calling all Void Stranger voidheads… So I was thinking, the reason this song is called "Lax Lullaby" has GOT to be because of its similarities to this Nintendo ditty, right? It lines up with a relevant character name, too……
*sees something spellbinding* Interesting, very interesting. Unfortunately, such frivolity won't protect you from my spells, which I shall finish casting in just a few–– now what in the dingdang heck
Marrow (https://www.shortboxcomicsfair.com/shop/p/marrow-by-sloane-hong) – Cute little body-horror scenario. The ending is maybe a little too dramatic for its own good, but the main characters are pretty likeable and keep the story warm.
Morana Until Death (https://www.shortboxcomicsfair.com/shop/p/morana-until-death-by-les-piggies-kari-lynch-bailie-rosenlund) – Interestingly tense horror vignette… Despite an outwardly simple story, tries hard not to be obvious or to play familiar tropes, keeping the reader as distrusting as the protagonist to the very end.
Miss Mouse and the Crumbling Catacombs (https://www.shortboxcomicsfair.com/shop/p/miss-mouse-and-the-crumbling-catacombs-by-rachel-cherry) – Rather standard 25-page fantasy story held up by above-average dialogue. Artwork is kind of sketchy, but composition and posing is good.
Galatean Girlfriend (https://www.shortboxcomicsfair.com/shop/p/galatean-girlfriend-by-imogen-mangle) – Nice little bad-relationship horror story that plays with the physicality of the two main characters a lot.
And now, I review some limited-edition 2023 Shortbox comics (https://www.shortboxcomicsfair.com/) which are on sale for only a few more days.
Just watched this year's Netrunner world tourney… Damn, those grand finals (https://www.twitch.tv/videos/1951574246?t=9h4m3s) really were pretty wild.
Thinking about how Outer Wilds's tutorial included a museum area letting you examine all the platforming elements – purple crystals, ghost matter, etc. – fully confident the player would still be thoroughly amazed when confronted with actual puzzles involving them 4 hours later.
*starts typing "does Kera-Ma-Go have enough made-up nonsense words in it to make Moon Remix RPG Adventure qualify as a NieR-like" into Chatroulette*
One nice thing about Netrunner is that when extremely predominant cards are rotated and replaced with nerfed or rebalanced versions with different names, it makes sense given that the same thing happens to programming tools every few years as well.
Look, you can't call Void Stranger "the NieR of sokoban-like games" unless it has conlang song lyrics. *someone points out that the song in the game with English lyrics sounds like that if you're not an Anglophone* ……You know what, I'll take it
4:99 AM… The shopping hour…
New 1CC!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8c0G_1JXNg Ironically, I think Hardest is possibly easier than the other difficulties because the gravity speed-ups (which are EXTREMELY sudden and jarring) happen much earlier in the stages instead of "just when you least expect it".
They're adding a CSS value called "pretty"? That's the best name they could come up with? The text wrapping is "pretty"?? Why not give up the pretense and call it "good" or "epic" or "awesomesauce" or something
The characters in this game are so charismatic
Sigh… it's almost the year 2100… why can't humanity invent the SinusBuster Tenthousand and put sinusitis to an end… I was promised the SinusBuster Tenthousand in Blade Runner and The Fifth Element…
*thinking of something relatable to tweet* That quasi-religious ceremony which the Barkley 2 unfinished demo uses to explain its corny overcomplicated HUD bar is actually extremely clever
Godlike MOD instrument comments
*Arle voice* MIOENS Who is this tweet even for
The voice-actor fell down a trapdoor part 2
So I just looked up what the kanji in "Kotsujin" actually mean, and​ wouldn't you know it… more Buddhism in the shmups!!
The voice-actor fell down a trapdoor
Void Stranger, also known as "OFF for lesbians",
Roushinshi building the essentially guaranteed Platinum Structure in that one Hiryuu stage with the exact same listless lack of enthusiasm as an office worker ordering a drive-through coffee
Getting pelted with red, blue and yellow Land Maker tiles for saying "Snowgrave" every time I win with Soumei
Land Maker feels so much like… "what if Puzzle Bobble was actually good". "So you mean they got rid of the awful colour RNG?" Oh, absolutely not. But now, losing to RNG is entirely your fault instead of the game's.
https://archive.org/details/moonofficialbookstrategyguidescanjp/page/n79/mode/2up – The official strategy guide for Moon Remix RPG Adventure has the entire Youshamen comic in full resolution???
They quickly drop a solid rec for some PC98 game called Flame Zapper Kotsujin, so I went and booted it up… Damn, how come I've heard of ChoRenSha but not this??
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1wyPN4DaJE – Listening to this interview with system_erasure about ZeroRanger and going on an emotional catapult ride once they mentioned they started development in 2009 in Game Maker 6.
What the Metroidvania elements add to Void Stranger function like that – they change the meaning and relevance of individual puzzles, encouraging the player to look "beyond" them and start seeing them as just paths to a goal, against the traditions of the genre.
The addition of the map screen isn't just to contextualise the levels and add a sense of place and progression – it also wordlessly reveals to the player ideas like "you can just skip specific levels" and "this level opens a shortcut you can use after a Game Over".
I'm reminded, funnily enough, of Super Mario Bros. 3, and how its one "big thing" (which it probably didn't invent but did popularise) was taking the arcade-like platformer and adding an RPG-like map screen with "inventory" and multiple paths, becoming an "adventure-platformer".
Something a few people have noted about Void Stranger is that one of its most striking features is simply presenting a familiar genre in an unfamiliar framework – putting the sokoban-like puzzle genre in a Metroidvania-like framework with powerups and "backtracking".
Thinking about what makes Land Maker engaging despite its pieces being only monominos (contrast with "domino" pieces in Puyo Puyo or Dr. Mario)… I think the mechanic where pieces paint where they land means that they /situationally/ behave as dominos or triominos.
Aifa (from Land Maker) whenever the opponent gets a Silver Structure, she looks over to check if it's yellow, and it's yellow
More saliently: having a certain density of missable interactions or secrets, or hidden alternative ways to manipulate the game, is really not the domain of any one title, but something any game could potentially aspire to.
OK, sure, there are some very specific Undertale-like ways the different routes' plots "make sense" that even I would point out, but other stuff like the way NPCs work, the NPCs' personalities, and how "runs" work, reminds me a lot more of a Souls-like game or a dungeon RPG.
People keep loosely comparing Void Stranger to Undertale and I don't quite get it. Like, yes, there's missable NPCs and bosses, Easter eggs and multiple endings with fairly obscure routes… …but, y'know what I think Void Stranger resembles more in those aspects? Elden Ring.
Void Stranger (2023)
I will say… maybe the most shocking thing about ZeroRanger is how much of Void Stranger you CAN'T see in it. Like, there are dozens of obvious surface-level features, but the two games' philosophies about narrative design, tone, genre, and player agency are still worlds apart.
3) The understated pun that the mechas are "ZeroRangers" because they are melee-only (i.e. "zero range") is just barely tolerable enough that I can live with it. *I am informed via Blackberry (in keeping with the fruit theme) that this isn't really a compliment at all* Well,
OK, time to say something good about this game. 1) I like that the main shot manages to still be the optimal choice for large parts of the later stages. 2) The little "beginner QOL" things, like not having terrain damage, or letting you survive collisions with enemies, do add up.
Well, I eventually managed to get the end of ZeroRanger. Final verdict: "Those are definitely some games I remember playing before this one."
Thinking about Void Stranger makes me a little frustrated because it does so much right storytelling-wise that if the actual plot and characters were, like, even just 30% more interesting, then it would be absolutely transcendentally good… So close yet far from perfection…
OK, I didn't flunk the bonus stage this time. This 1CC is now officially "legit". …Maybe some of those end stages were a little mashy, though… …maybe… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_5oPYzCi88
Twinkle Star Sprites is a shmup with chains… so when are we getting the falling-block game with graze
I GOT A LAND MAKER 1CC BUT I FLUNKED THE BONUS STAGE SO IT'S OFFICIALLY "GRODY" AS A RESULT Still, not bad considering I'm mostly still learning the nitty-gritty of the mechanics. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIL-yYIKKtY
Land Maker (1998)
Some of you may have missed the big #PetalCrash2 announcement, so here's my breakdown of all the observed gameplay changes: • Cheating is now legal • Penny & Deony have two cursors that you control twinstick-style • Petals can now be "castled" like in Chess (not clear why)
I just did a 1CC up to and including loop 2 stage 3, and I /still/ got the bad ending >:( …Guess I'm gonna have to think my way out of this conundr*closes the game and opens a Touhou stream instead*
Welcome to my Mezase! Senkyu-ou frag vid
There's references, there's gratuitous references, and then there's "What if we just put the Treasure Co., Ltd. logo on this wall. You love that, don't you"
Gonna start calling Touhou 12.3 "Touhou twelve-and-three-tenths"
ZeroRanger's later stages' music uses that one famously cheesy MIDI synth choir sample that's common in mid-00's PC shmups such as Genetos. Unfortunately, hearing it simply makes me wish I was playing Genetos instead.
ZeroRanger review: ☑️Gradius references ☑R-Type references ☑️Radiant Silvergun references ☑️Gunstar Heroes references ☑RayForce references ☑Recca references ☑Xevious references ☑Undertale references 🔳Darius references RESULT: 1/10
Feeling like something cool might happen if I get to the final stage without collecting any powerups… which sounds like an interesting and provocative design decision, but falls flat due to one small detail: i dunt wunna
I'm absolutely convinced there's a fashion design line that goes from the Void Stranger lords ← Asriel Dreemurr ← Ran Yakumo. It's as clear as day.
It is with deep regret that I must announce that I have now fought Sans in ZeroRanger.
OK, fine. I didn't want to do it, I didn't want to just follow another image trend, but you know what? It actually turned out pretty fun, laying all my heartfelt favs out like this 'w' So, here's my "25 Games To Get To Know Me" chart.
I love that you can pinpoint multiple features of Void Stranger as evidence that it was made by shmup devs. Like, you can say, here is your lives, here is "using a continue" and the resulting "bad end", here is "loop 2", here is the ChoRenSha turn-one-item-into-three thing…
ZeroRanger currently mostly feels like "what if Guxt was released before Cave Story instead of after".
The emulator's online stopped working so they had to switch to Mario Bros. arcade score attack for finals >_> Now that I think about it, it is pretty funky that this arcade game's co-op mode and score attack mode are just… the same mode.
*notices no one is talking about Void Stranger* God I wish Void Stranger was more popular *realises this means my mentions would be full of people who found more Easter eggs than me* God I'm glad Void Stranger isn't more popular *notices no one is talking about Void Stranger* God
Online tournament for the Super Mario All Stars versus mode https://www.twitch.tv/videos/1946848659 (starts 47:33)
*after innocently trying something out in Void Stranger* Wow, I can't believe Void Stranger is a software program built exclusively to ruthlessly troll me, the only person on the Internet who has ever purchased it (plus the people who recc'd it to me ig)
First human to die of Void Stranger easter egg FOMO
God I HAAAAAAATE being exactly the target audience for this game
This absolutely smells like the kind of shmup where you have to fly into the core of a boss immediately after you destroy it to warp to a secret area, just like in Nemesis 2 for MSX… or something equivalent.
So I downloaded ZeroRanger – just to "see what all the fuss was about" – and, uh, the references are definitely flying thicker and faster than the other __ranger game. They named a BGM file after the boss theme from Salamander that got used in like 2,000 Gradius games since.
Void Stranger is… how do I put this… a videogame with every single positive AND negative association in the word "kamige".
Void Stranger also has a tiny fraction of the number of cause-and-effect puzzles of a La Mulana 1 or 2. You know what a more fitting comparison would be? Cave Story's Sacred Grounds. And even then, Void Stranger's puzzles are much clearer than what that game asked for.
Void Stranger's cause-and-effect puzzles are dramatically more tamed in comparison: the objects that are capable of hidden or edge-case manipulation are limited in number and (usually) visually obvious. Only one or two true "leaps of faith" are ever really asked of you.
The latter category is the true meat of La Mulana: basically every memorably difficult puzzle involves an obscured or invisible cause-and-effect. The game teaches you to scrutinise everything, to consider that any inert object in any room could be revealed as manipulable somehow.
La Mulana puzzles to me fall in two overlapping categories: code puzzles (gather the code, then input it) and cause-and-effect puzzles, where the puzzle is realising, or being told, a relationship between disconnected objects, or an edge case in how an object can be manipulated.
……OK, look, let's extract the elephant from the room here: I think everyone saying Void Stranger is "like La Mulana" is doing it a significant disservice, even though it has plenty of obvious references. Its puzzle design is significantly different and more "regular" than that.
Music opinion: I remain unchanged that the first area's music is the floating cream of the crop, but the 6-minute-long(!) dark jazz music for area six is a decently close second place. Everything else is far below those two.
The Void Stranger soundtrack isn't available to download online, so I used an asset extractor tool to extract the music files.
*leaning back in rocking chair* Feels like the Void is getting Stranger every day…
OK everyone, I got the sixth and most conclusive-feeling ending. Hmm……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………good videogame.
…………FIFTH ENDING………… ……I can't freaking believe the game really did make you the exact same stuff all over again except with basically one thing different……
FORTUNATELY, this time I actually wrote down solves for an extremely large amount of rooms using a series of arcane diagrams, so the sting isn't too harsh. Still… current motivation to continue is pretty close to rock bottom.
FINALLY!!! FOURTH ENDING (or possibly the fifth, sixth or seventh) obtained. Unfortunately… seems like there's at least one more ending that'll require doing a good portion of that stuff all over again :(((((((
By the way… I ACCEPT ALL CHALLENGERS (for specifically Pochi & Nyaa, the exact-opposite-of-a-hit 2003 falling block game by Puyo Puyo designer Moo Niitani, and no other game) !!
I played Pochi & Nyaa on Fightcade today and my mind decided the nyan blocks looked like Void Stranger statues >:((((((((
🌚Playing Tokimeki Memorial to fully enjoy a well-written, well-designed classic sim 🌓Playing Tokimeki Memorial to fully enjoy the Taisen Puzzle-Dama spinoff of it 🌞Playing Tokimeki Memorial to fully enjoy the secret Easter egg version of it in La Mulana 1
Going to start thinking positively and referring to brainworms as "brain fauna".
This game (Void Stranger) has a LOT of very obvious 90s Nintendo visual references, but unlike most such games, it has enough pride and maturity to keep them barely below the line of "cloying". It doesn't make you see them or wait for your applause.
Putting it out here for all to see: if it turns out there's a puzzle where the solution hinges, pun intended, on the fact that opening a chest causes you to face south without moving, I'm gonna be ready for it.
Reaching the point where I'm considering just brute-force-entering things into the name entry screen to see if something will happen : (
Really curious as to whether – as one of my initial presumptions upon seeing this game's main mechanic – the devs really did play specifically Anodyne 1 before designing this game.
*thinks about how spiders die, THEN curl up* Wow, wonder if any sphinxes thought of that one yet
Volcanically sighting as I finally give up all pretense of dignity and open the Wikipedia page for "Dante's Inferno" in search of ideas
Feeling very disheartened right now… a huge number of my leads have turned out to not have enough information, or just become seeming dead ends (sometimes literally Game Overs). That said, I'm still liking the game, and am very astonished it isn't WAY more popular than it is.
Having 72 grasshoppers and still refusing to burn one unnecessarily is this game's 99 Megalixers.
When you retweet yourself
I dunno, I think there's just something inherently dorky about Ars Goetia, even more so than, say, Norse mythology in La Mulana 2 et al. At least mythology has some implicit, often tragic narrative to play off of, whereas Ars Goetia is mostly just a bunch of names and vibes.
I don't know how I feel about this game making its backstory turn out to be more Ars Goetia stuff… I definitely had a "we're doing this again, huh", reaction, but they do vaguely try to make it a bit unique.
The old gen 1 Pokémon joke that the Juggler trainer class constantly switches out their Pokémon was definitely way too subtle for me back in the day.
THIRD ending found… I also found a fourth """ending""" which doesn't have credits but does return you to the "name entry screen" when you get it, but it's probably just an Easter egg (←clueless)
I managed to get another, different ending!!……… but… it seems The True Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove begins here…
That being said… I will add that the sheer amount of unique one-off cutscene music (along with other aspects of the cutscenes) makes me wonder what on Earth this $10 game's budget really was (compliment).
Music opinions… First area's theme is breathtakingly good, about as great at instilling reverence and awe as both La Mulanas or both Deltarune chapters. However, the subsequent area themes only range from mildly interesting to slightly annoying.
The one big feeling I'm taking away from the story is that, despite all its surprisingly varied cutscenes, it would basically be garbage if the protagonist was a man. "Leon, I notice that sentence doesn't actually state that it isn't garbage" OK, look right here, YOU,

That's the most recent 200 posts. Check the archives to see what the older stuff is like.

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