Leon's Microblog – February 2017

Fiction where the dog says "Wait, you can talk now?!" to its owner before vice-versa occurs
Can I enjoy the popular Flash game "N" if I haven't played the previous N-1 games in the series
Training the party's pack horse to be a replacement fire mage has only disturbed it with the knowledge this world allows such wicked power.
Peeling off your face, flicking it into the washing basket, then fishing it out after you realise you don't have a clean one for tomorrow.
"Tourists eating the flowers to obtain telepathy are awakening to a community of local psychic animals so welcoming, many refuse to leave."
"We all try to express ourselves with what little we have. I would love a shadowy cloak, instead of talking to you from inside this bush."
It would've been a pretty good overarching context for the other abstract obstacles, and futuristic art style.
I'll be harsh for a second: the biggest disappointment of VVVVVV is that the dystopic setting suggested by this image wasn't actually real.
"Living on this mountain with my 509 animate dolls isn't lonely at all. Whenever I get sick of one doll, I make another."
You are released from prison to discover your apartment was demolished and replaced with a wing of the same prison, including your cell.
*thinks about that puzzle in Inside where you literally shoot baby chicks at a hay bale to knock it down* Uh, was that an Angry Birds refere
http://www.thelastcowboycomic.com/ – Just tried out this space scientist webcomic… not bad at all…
(Experiment in just scanning pencil doodles + level adjustment)
Shown a picture with one of your kinks vs. shown a picture with your favourite kink
Second drawing by me in 7 months.
"Y-you tricked me! But now that I'm a ghost, I'll get you good!" *uncorks the "Real Spell Meter" meter that's visibly full of spring snakes*
"I… don't know which meter I empty to cast spells." "The, er, red one marked 'HP'." "Oh! Wow, I've got just enough for a Hellfire Megaraze!"
"Okay, the front sign did say "Humans served ~in the ingredient sense ;)", but that second bit was in cursive so I couldn't read it."
"Due to the punch cards holding this game's code blowing away in a breeze, the next level has been recreated with public domain assets."
http://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php?mode=medium&illust_id=301484 – Composition-wise, this is good, but the slightly sinister eyes really complete this.
http://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php?mode=medium&illust_id=29496246 – Nice colours and shapes where each layer meets.
The other Supes boss theme is better than Ridley's theme. Fight me. The hinges on Hell's gates have broken, and I'm the first to come out ;)
*whispers* j/k Ridley's theme's worse than all of those
It's like… six Fight 2s… two Gilgamesh's themes… and one and a half Ridley's themes… at least!!
*thinks about how good Maruyama's theme was* Yeah… it was great *listens to it again* IT WAS THO https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JP3Rh1utD9o
Otherworldly VN character whose normally completely static dialog portrait infrequently blinks during sentences
and as extensions of the mood of affection that permeates the game and provides a lot of its humour.
and her death, if it happens, is out of love… UT frames its major deaths as conclusions of the characters' love for you, or each other,
Toriel's refusal to let you leave is great at introducing the threat of death as a real presence in Undertale's world, so early in the game,
and also "reversible" within the game's diegetic "saving" mechanism; Yet, I'll consider how they fit in a much more tonally whimsical world.
You might wonder how this compares to Undertale… Well, UT's deaths are markedly different because they're mostly player-caused and avoidable
That, I think, is how it can be consistently a peppy platformer and a bittersweet tale – keeping itself reined in, its tonal palette focused
Cave Story isn't big on levity - sparing in slapstick or self-effacement - so its understated delivery of tragedy is in the same register.
The only survivor who can weep, who can give meaning to their deaths, is the player… who can't do much except take King's sword and go on.
Thing about deaths in Cave Story compared to, say, Final Fantasy 4, is how quiet they are… No noble sacrifice, no survivors present to weep.
*remembers two major characters die in the middle of Cave Story and it's still totally tonally consistent* Somehow, we didn't love it enough
Scanlation of some later part of the same series.
The alien knights who've taken over the school to stop some psychic kids won't let you use their guns despite your vast bullying credentials
"All that survives of her poems is this one burnt shred from earlier historians lamenting that all THEY had was one torn-off book spine."
"Yup. So few trees here, they named the town "Tree", after our tree." *points to two-foot cactus* "It ain't much, but we're still Treefolk."
But my personal favourite track is this bouncy one for level 6: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsV0AzEokqI&t=1360
The strongest track opening in the game is probably this one for level 5, though it kinda drags later on: https://youtu.be/IsV0AzEokqI?t=1088
Here's some KFS music I like. Anyone who cares a lot for Parodius will appreciate the familiar feel of level 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsV0AzEokqI
…Anyway, the real disappointment is that Rami's in-universe rival Himiko had a great intro, then didn't appear again until the final world.
taking you from chasing Pon's airship, to dodging a military invasion, to battling Noah's Ark (which is actually an alien terraforming ship)
the plot and its progression just isn't structured enough to really leverage it. Which is a shame, as KFS had some pretty good progression,
Which is a style I like, insofar as it lets the plot heavily dictate the feel and mechanics of levels. But, like Earthworm Jim itself,
It's an Earthworm Jim-like: the run-of-the-mill platform stages are interspersed with the occasional shmup, roller-coaster or minigame.
I tried Keio Flying Squadron's platformer sequel, but it didn't have quite as compelling music and level design as the original.
http://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php?mode=medium&illust_id=58156333 – I like what details this picture chooses to elide, such as the ceiling
I've always liked that phrasing as description of that effect – these theme conflicts being part of a greater, strange-but-coherent whole.
In the game, there's places where the wall and floor textures rapidly cross-fade between environs – marsh into frost, stone into metal.
There's this line in the Banjo-Kazooie manual where it describes the environs in the hub world existing in "an eerie kind of harmony".
Someone make something where zones are themed by colour rather than actual environments, so steam, snow, marble and daisies eerily coexist.
but now my brain's mind is thinking "the steam vent jump puzzles should've been in Snowdin for consistency with its platformer-themed boss".
I really like the thematic consistency with Hotland's shmup-themed sliding-box puzzles, the jetpack minigame, and its shmup-mechanic boss,
This was a striking, melancholic scene for me… being a tiny and only able to play with these things instead of, like, puppies.
Have any Undertale fans gotten a load of this Wikipedia picture on the article for the least weasel https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Least_weasel
so that the wiener launches out and lands in the enemy's mouth when you try to eat it, leaving you with just the bun, or anything."
Me: "Sans isn't really a trickster shopkeeper… I mean, he does sell hot dogs, but the hot dogs are real and aren't, like, spring-loaded,
Anyway, when's Rami the dragon-riding bunnygirl finally going to fight her true rival, the Sonic to her Mario… Cotton
You effectively have a competing "fast" gun and a strong slow-fire gun - the same balance used in Garden of Coloured Lights, of all things.
I also like you can detonate them to clear bullets, and that a slow chain of renewable bombs is often (but ONLY often) better than shooting.
As for the game itself… I love that you can regain your Gradius-like options by just not firing for several seconds, no powerups needed.
MFW this cutscene isn't in the English version so I'll never frigging find out what any of this dialogue says for the rest of my life
Now I'm playing the Sega CD shmup Keio Flying Squadron.
http://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php?mode=medium&illust_id=10194429 – I don't like this image, but I DO like its name.
"Relax! I mean, you WILL die, but people who get dissolved become cool slime ghosts, like m–" *head slides off neck and splats on your lap*
"Easy way to tell if we're in reality or not…" *throws stick at dog* *stick falls into dog's body like a deep hole* "Realest dog I ever saw"
You discover your telepathic powers by suddenly mind-reading dolls and plushies you'd thought were inanimate, and were spies of your enemy.
Characters imploring you to reload a save file to revisit a mind-blowing plot twist that they can't believe happened.
New Game Plus mode where the in-party romantic relationships carry over instead of levels or equipment
I'd also like to note that the final week (dated from 27 Nov 89) stuck with me for its marked change in tone – three days of silent visuals.
(For more precise context, I read these in an anthology around 1994, five years after publication, and at around 8 years of age.)
So vivid was this sequence to me that reading it actually gave me a palpable fear of being under open sky for several years afterward.
Maybe the earliest inspiring comic sequence I read as a child was the 3 weeks of Calvin and Hobbes strips from here: http://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/1989/11/13
Maybe because contests are a suspension of reality, a hyper-real story-within-a-story, affording interesting interplay between both layers.
Reminded that my favourite game and comic chapters often involve zany contests… Paper Mario TTYD chapter 3, Cucumber Quest chapter 3…
Decided to read the webcomic Devil's Candy (http://devilscandycomic.com/)… Chapter 3 was pretty fun.
And this? This would be amazing if there was a place where you had to use it, and it wasn't completely worthless.
Like, I can think of maybe two other places in the entire game where you can break the floor using that depicted move. Two.
*thinks about how DKC3 tried to give Kiddy Kong a bunch of cool moves that the level designs almost completely ignored*
YN already gates you into wake up (or, hmm, use Medamaude) when certain "too horrible" things happen, and it'd be a lesser game otherwise.
Note: goading you to choose to wake up, rather than automatically waking, is very important. It must be allowed to get worse without end.
a narrative structure more nightmarish than even the creepy content of the nightmare worlds themselves.
Accumulating, snowballing negative emotions and sensations is very consistent with my personal understanding of abstract nightmares,
Try putting this in your Yume Nikki sequel: strange accumulating garbage that you /have/ to wake up to make go away https://twitter.com/webbedspace/status/832268801014063105
and there's a room which doesn't fade out all the way when you exit, and its image remains until you find an identical room across the world
and you don't get your face back until you find a human who looks like you, but after you do you spread your face to each wall you bump into
I want a viddygam where you find a one-eyed crying monster and when you touch them your face turns into one crying eye, and you cry together
http://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php?mode=medium&illust_id=25565666 – I dunno whether the sudden action in this scene is necessary, but as for its slapstick juxtaposition… I'll take it
http://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php?mode=medium&illust_id=5077356 – Hands in pockets of baggy flame shorts… yeah.
As for other problems… Five out of nine powerups simply let you break different blocks with your standard moves… rather underwhelming.
Considering the world is divided into four sides, it would've been neat to give each side its own theme, but alas, not even that's the case.
3 has generic levels not dissimilar to 2, but now there's just… lots of robots, for enemies? And the final boss is a mystery for all of it.
Wario Land 1 had good pirate themed worlds and enemies, and WL2 was weaker but had frequent Captain Syrup cutscenes keeping it moving.
Wario Land 3 has a lot of problems. Probably the biggest is theming: there isn't much tangible world design holding the levels together.
(Note: "immeasurably" = "not measurable in the slightest by any actual metric")
My life has improved immeasurably by realising I can cut the time expenditure for watching bad subbed shows by turning VLC to 177% speed.
Inguinal queeves
Me: "It also has a scene where a woman shouts "tits" at some tits, and an unrelated woman turns and replies." S,p: "I picked that name, too"
Me: "I can't link this comic… it has a scene where two strangers ask to feel each other's breasts in public." Someone, probably: "That's me"
There isn't any greater point to these remarks, just a brief reflection into my subconsciousness's relationship to houses' architecture.
Or, if it was my own front porch, memories dominate of either leaving it reluctantly in the cold, or returning exhausted and hot…
Throughout my years, I inevitably spent most of my time on them either waiting to be able to leave, or waiting to be able to go inside…
http://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php?mode=medium&illust_id=59473351 –Looking at this picture has given me pause to realise that my life has grown me negative feelings to front porches.
Important to note: the blues are very dark, and there's a lot of white adjacent to red… not just hue variation but brightness variation too.
http://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php?mode=medium&illust_id=51855598 – This person's account has a lot of this good stuff.
http://tryme12.2-d.jp/tea_party/ – This game looks kinda cute… wish I could play it.
http://wikibound.info/wiki/List%20of%20EarthBound%20enemies%20by%20battle%20song – I'm still a little amazed this theme is only used by five bosses. It felt like it was there every step of the way.
It's not really a karmic "magic corrupts" ending, because it isn't that horrifying or even judgmental… just a little cruel, like reality.
Thinking of this game again… the sense of melancholy described above is deepened and rarefied by the game's ending.
"LOOM is the fiftieth game in the series; DOOM is the five-hundredth."
*thinks about how the RPG Maker title screen menus are apparently so ingrained that makers feel safe to relabel them with garbage* Yeah
I'm fattening up my mind for the slaughter, with cartoons.
I also like that it's extended to Eri in episode 3… using it with a more dignified character enhances its emotional meaning and its comedy.
On a different note – I like how FLCL's signature brain portals are a powerful image, but also a source of slapstick injury and humiliation.
(Refer to this thread regarding my hard-to-explain interest in certain fantasy induction character arcs: https://twitter.com/webbedspace/status/825688687249731585)
(I do, however, want to compare Haruko to Ramona Flowers, to the point where I'm starting to regret bringing up the latter previously.)
because the meaning of the fantasy in this, and thus the induction thereof, is very different.
so I can't really compare, say, Haruko to Flip's Papika or w/e despite them serving the same "fantasy induction" role,
This isn't a fantasy on the same tone as others I've seen recently – the distinction of fantasy, reality and comic exaggeration is weaker –
I watched FLCL for the first time. I liked this specific animation in it in particular.
"Now I'll spoil every cliffhanger ending ever! They fall off! They fall off every time, but get caught or survive or something! Take that!!"
http://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php?mode=medium&illust_id=35368028 – This reminds me of… 00's indie platformers.
"Stars and moons on strings? Oh, dearie… those are deadly spiders."
*skeleton takes a drag* "Remember kids, only smoke when you're my age… DEAD AND A HALF! Now roll a cartoon!" *stubs it out on camera lens*
Think of each revenue stream as a new child, or a new wing of your house
Your friends will be agog with amazement, and a little bit of fear,
Adopt this pose and neither you nor your family need ever move again
This is an opportunity that no one will miss
By placing 66.6% of their soul inside a holy mecha known as a GOD-DOLL, humans can battle Sinners and
First drawing by me in 7 months.
You're alone in this chapter, but the rest of your party slots are filled with five ducks "with a sense of justice and thirst for violence".
"D-don't eat me!! …You're vegetarian, right?!" *whips out and bites into a bacon shred* "Ugh… damn you…" *lets go*
Running up to the bank teller at 4AM with spilling armfuls of leprechaun gold – her gaze narrowing as it melts away at the touch of sunrise.
People who have been erased from history can only play never-released games, watch cancelled movies, read unpublished manuscripts.
One other remark about Shovel Knight is that the themed rats were cool and I wish they'd been in the other stages as well.
Yuki-onna posing with victims
In the game's version of this episode, she just rides a stampeding cat through an auto-scroller until she gets her size back
Unbeatable super-strong tennis ghost
That being said, in the microblogging tradition, here's a few snapshots for you to look at and then immediately forget about entirely:
Unluckily, it's padded with unwatchable ecchi, the kind where the male lead grabs the female lead's breasts on purpose once an episode.
On a whim I tried watching the anime that this SNES ghost-busting platformer ("Ghost Sweeper Mikami") is based off of…
Now, I know what you might be thinking: "La La Land 2?" …To be honest, I got more of a Hitmen for Destiny vibe from them, but hey, maybe.
Gingiva has a brief interlude in the last chapter where you get to play as these two minibosses:
It's all a very succinct and satisfying character-driven quest.
After you too get 0 correct, and expelled, you learn she's gone to find a more permissive magic school, run by the world's end boss.
Answering correctly simply brings you back to the start… where you're told that when the student tried the test, they got 0 correct.
It's set at a magic school where a student is missing. Your path on the map is chosen by answering quiz questions about the magic system.
I can't really recommend this without extensive use of emulator rewind… its fourth world is pretty interesting, however.
(Spot of trivia: the world record was beaten by 15 seconds some minutes ago… and as for the yump count… well, no prizes for guessing.)
Time to play the official Leon word search!! ZZZZ DOGS ZZZZ Good luck, everyone!!
Each is the dominant power on Earth, and yet aren't quite like the other, each having their own vision of Earth and manifestation of power.
Azala and the reptites in the Stone Age, Mother Brain and the robots in 2300, Queen Zeal, Magus's mystics, and even Guardia in the present.
As an aside… one thing I like about CT's existing time periods is how each has a distinct ruling class you must overthrow or grapple with:
I want to see a Chrono-like game take it further, with not one but many lost peaks, each oblivious to each other, aliens on the same planet.
The notion that humanity isn't steadily climbing from the Stone Age up, but is churning on the waves of invention and oblivion, helpless.
It's a unique joy of stumbling into a world with magitek far in excess of the modern day, dozens of millennia ago, and lost to all history.
I think the most impactful bit of Zeal in Chrono Trigger is how it defies the linear progression of technology you've been led to accept.
How soon after neopronouns become mainstream will game studios start giving shadowy villains xe/xir pronouns just because they begin with X
I'm pleasantly surprised Ristar's intro has Good Monkey Island Colours and Good Kirby's Adventure Colours in the same scene.
I mean, distinctive embellishments like in Sailor Moon or Utena or real-life sukeban are good, but they still feel limited and far between.
(Leon said, apparently regarding the constraints of personal expression of actual teens only worthy of a parenthetical aside.)
Also, lately I've been feeling annoyed at mandatory school uniform policies for limiting various made-up cartoon students' character designs
And also that Pokémon has continued to add mons that are relatively distinct from the previous ones, I guess.
Anyway, long story short, I'm glad Undertale has a broad and diverse selection of monster designs and has become fairly widespread.
It's a videogame that's in front of millions of children, and the most it has to offer to the imagination and the zeitgeist is… creepers?
Every so often I feel that Minecraft was a real wasted opportunity with its lack of interesting original character or creature designs.
Libretta (right) looks more of a non-linear puzzle adventure, with a tone so much lighter it seems to only wear the drapings of horror.
Aria's Story Demo (left) has some bad searching busywork, but the antagonist (a woman who condescendingly narrates your actions) seems cool.
I'm glad there are at least two unabashed Ib-likes out there, and that they're both craftily set in libraries rather than art galleries.
Please, to everyone reading: give your tiles consistent palette sizes and meaningful levels of detail.
Fondly casts back to the bad old days when every indie platformer had these graphics (source: Treasure Adventure Game)
and when you kill them, they drop these unique, truly awful letters about being rejected. [fixed img]
and at the end they immediately propose marriage. If you refuse (I never accepted) you enter a boss fight with them,
Here's my favourite part of Gingiva: you can talk to various men NPCs who enter into a long dialogue tree where they try to hit on you,
And then there's a multi-minute "leaving hometown" sequence which doesn't quite fit the kind of urgency suggested by the instigating event.
Immediately after the instigating plot event, you get a multi-minute super-reverent tutorial about each morality your character can have.
Further impressions regarding the demo for Glitched: its prologue is paced really awkwardly?
Here's the link to these https://nomnomnami.itch.io/lonely-wolf-treat and also, wow, bittersweet xylophone chiptune is an ideal emotional texture for this.
The third one was sad!!
Now I'm playing the much-loved Lonely Wolf Treat games.
but certain enemies can cast the "exeunt" spell of a particular proxy as well, for essentially an elegant instant kill.
My favourite part is that you manually summon them into battle using "summon" spells, and can dismiss them with matching "exeunt" spells,
I feel like the Nomad's proxies are dramatically better incarnations, both mechanically and visually, of the Batter's add-ons.
Feel like it's the sort of visual metaphor that encourages the viewer to be complicit in objectification, rather than just portraying it.
TBH I feel like there's something a bit naff about representing women's servitude by having their heads removed and replaced with objects…
I'm playing Gingiva now.
*trying to change English to a subject-object-verb language by speaking exclusively in shonen battle-cries* "This key… our door! Unlock!"
The dog-muzzle helmet is lifted, revealing a pug knight inside. Their oddly resonating voice is explained.
The witch's snow footprints quickly change from human to raven, before vanishing. They look like magic frozen in time, as rare as gems.
A special attack called "Comics Aren't Just For Kids Anymore" that creates two explosive onomatopoeias.
https://youtu.be/jn37zuwpW6g?t=73 – There's something quite brilliant about jumping on a despawning object and shrinking along with it.
Another point about this is it reflects an internal consistency of YN's physics: Madotsuki's footsteps make a similarly idiosyncratic noise.
Programmer, after explaining why NaN is a number: "Your gender can't be "agender", I mean just look at the word."
I notice Undertale's full game itself contains a "demo" with almost the same sense of auspice as its own demo, in the form of Hard Mode.
I like indie RPG demos… they're like pilot episodes. No need for the game to commit to a full story arc, nor the player to hours-long play.
In all honesty, I'm very glad pacifistic dialog tree combat to exploit bosses' personalities is now mainstream.
Again playing indie RPG game demos… this one is called Glitched.
Every time you cast that spell, you try to find which belonging of yours is now gone – knowing it's always one you'll only miss long after.
You wake up a week later, having excised and stockpiled 7 days of good health in what you hope are leak-proof plastic cartons.
This article's "percentage read" progress bar ticks back down as you drowsily forget key facts soon after reading them.
You like that she still flatteringly calls you a machine, though her flesh outpaces your run-down joints and weary batteries day after day.
Your parents' trusted brand of dreamscavators bulldozing your memories of cartoons and pouring out marketable job skills in their place.
(There are of course counterexamples – branching or secret paths like Darius or Nemesis 3 – but it holds in the majority of cases.)
No matter how obscure or inscrutable the game is, if it's a shmup or similar, you may need just one cheat to ensure it will fully unfold.
The point I find most interesting is that unlike many genres, shmups reveal most of their content and world by simply letting time pass.
(A season of Game Center CX toyed with this idea, by watching the Famicom port of Xevious play itself for weeks on end.)
This has the interesting effect that you can turn on invincibility cheats and, without input, watch most any shmup play itself to the end.
Arcade games profit off hard-limiting the time any player spends playing, which is why shmup bosses always self-destruct after some minutes.
Let me tell you… waiting for that SPC to finally break out the steel drums was one heck of an unintended prank.
*thinks about bad Super Mario World SPC rips that only repeat one loop of the Special Zone music and cut out the secret steel drum tune*
so even a simple thing like visible checkpoints goes remarkably far to making them more approachable.
Level design wise, I've always felt MM levels to be something of a slog one pushes through without much sense of distance or progress,
and something like "King Knight" or Shovel Knight himself suggests a more amusingly contradictory image than the robot masters or mavericks.
I think the themed knights are a more fun boss design trend – knights by themselves are a distinctive design (see MM6's "Knight Man"),
Thinking about why Shovel Knight feels three times better than most other Mega Man inspired platformer, including the originals…
In all seriousness, though, this game's aesthetic is exquisite.
Boy I love Xexyz *remembers the shmup rooms that end in two identical doors and one door makes you do the whole room again* Boy I love Xexyz
In Super Mario World, jumping off a big switch like this is called a "yump". It's frame-perfect and doing it on all 4 switches is good luck.
*remembers this free font used in Undertale was made for Lesbian Spider Queens Of Mars and is called "Mars Needs Cunnilingus"* What a world
*remembers that time I implied the CSS box model includes a zettai ryouoki property* Good times
http://nfxnp.tumblr.com/post/53786889039/this-love-this-love-will-be-lovely-background – Just arbitrarily remembered this comic page after several years.
When you love your girlf *pronounces the last word in the voice of KC Green calling Garfield "garf"*
"I told you, I swore off men forever." *withdraws fangs from neck* "We were only dating and I flubbed up a kiss. Now I have to finish him."
Hacking a direct line to the vending machine's AI has only taught you truth: being filled with soda won't drown the sadness in one's heart.
Disguising your hot clones as the indestructible super-soldiers you were supposed to be mass-producing has secured another month of funding.
Dreams of your friends slashing open and feasting on your body after you flub one joke too many are now outpacing waking life in vividness.
As it turns out I've actually committed the Popee theme to memory so that I can invoke it at will to obliterate any earworms that plague me.
When you remember the heartwarming anime's opening and feel warm inside *thought bubble shows I'm thinking of this:* https://soundcloud.com/crystalclodz/popee-the-performer-main-theme
http://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php?mode=medium&illust_id=26012106 – I assume the hatband is meant to suggest a hideous toothy grin…very nice.
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