Leon's Microblog – September 2018

This one relies on a ruling that if you reach the bottom of your deck before the "until" condition is met, end the search having revealed every card, which should be around 20-30 damage per use. Riskier than Grindstone, this one's preparation more pleasingly conceals its intent.
I like this one's constant supervision component: any time their next card is remotely good, use your Shredders before they get it. Interestingly, a similar mechanic called "fateseal" was discontinued because it was widely hated: it made no one stronger, only one player feebler.
This one to me feels a bit too blunt, too lopsided… Grindstone itself isn't a very complicated card, designed to crush mono-coloured opponents even without aid, and this combo just gives it the grease its design implicitly calls out for.
This one is, to me, the quintessential MTG combo… the cards were designed 3 years apart, the combo is extremely obvious, and it's equally obvious that it vastly contradicts the flavour and design intent of either card… truly emblematic.
In this thread I shall review classic MTG card combos aesthetically.
Which author cameo wore it better
I find it perversely satisfying when you finally unlock the fast travel hub and get to watch Myst 1-style sweeping flythroughs of places you've already thoroughly searched… like playing Myst 1 in reverse.
*observes how most of the "summon cablecar" buttons are at least 5 screens away from the actual cablecar stop because they didn't want to add a bunch of movies of the cablecar sliding into place* Heh… Impressive… Now, show me your true power!
*thinks about how 90% of this game's audio assets are just loud metal groaning noises and fastidiously distinct motor sputters* 90s AAA budget priorities were truly incredible
I've moved on to Riven, and let me tell you, "The Sequel To Myst" is absolutely not how I would describe this game on anything but a narrative level. "What if Half-Life 1 was actually good" does spring to mind, however.
Favourite speedrun tidbit of the day: • Celeste leaderboards have a "New Game Plus" category. • Celeste does not have a New Game Plus feature. • It does, however, have this
Appreciating how much the iconic island looks like the most stereotypical 90s edutainment menu ever. Yeah, let's represent Machinery Zone with two big gears, this rocket ship over here is Looking-To-The-Future Area, right here is History And Civics Rotunda, kids'll love it
I love that Myst has a tutorial-ish room that they added late in development, and because they couldn't add any more building models to the island, they had to put it in a hole in the ground that's extremely hard to find without looking at the in-game map.
That "that tfw when" when you look up a game on Speedrun dot com as a joke
Let me tell you that I LOVE this game just all-out putting its meaningless arbitrary point-and-click puzzle codes on immaculately polished raytraced brass plaques… no chill.
*realise's I am now inexplicably able to play both 𝙼𝚈𝚂𝚃 and 𝙻𝙾𝙾𝙼 in the exact same emulator* Together at last, a romance fate had writ in the stars
UPDATE: My yeahest long boy ever
Glad I could squeeze that doozy in just before I have to go to a doctor's appointment.
I just tuned in to SpeedRunsLive dot com and the first stream I see is the water room in Super Mario Bros. 8-4. Ten seconds later, the runner gets the world's first 4:55… '_'
Wait a minute… if this thing flashed the SCUMM VM logo when it booted up… then why the FRICK is it listed as Windows-only on Steam?!
I've booted up this classic game for the first time and I'm REALLY hoping it will let me maintain my headcanon that you, the player, are some kind of black-furred chasmbeast that just wanted to harvest some abyssal fireflies before this brick-thing fell into your life.
(This joke additionally has the purpose of encouraging you to instead use the Falcon Punch to hit the "home run" instead of the bat, but the humour of the result is indelible.)
One of the most subtle jokes Masahiro Sakurai put in the Smash Bros. games is when you play Melee's Home Run Contest with Captain Falcon and swing the bat, only for him to do that zany gut stab and vertical slash that launches the sandbag straight upward for 20 awkward seconds.
My dislikes about the story itself are that it unambiguously casts Mishra as evil and Urza as good – and also that the mages' war ends with a single massive bomb blast… which seems to me a very American way of imagining how wars end. (Card depicted from a retrospective 2018 set)
I find this all very satisfying, and kind of wish this framing had remained a constant throughout MTG, as constraining as that would be – each set a new historical field, each storyline taking place "a long time ago in a plane far, far away".
I also find it very amusing that the official story as told in The Duelist magazine was also presented in the form of a duel, between two competing scholars debating historical minutiae – opposition, the constant theme all the way through (source: https://wizardstower.wordpress.com/2016/12/11/the-duelist-may-1994/)
The story itself, while thin, has interesting structural symmetries - while you are unearthing these relics to do battle with your pals, the relics tell of two mages (Mishra and Urza) unearthing devices of a more ancient civilisation, and using them to do battle with each other.
The story's framing is that each card represents an "antiquity" from a lost age of the MTG world's history, that you, the collector, are unearthing from booster packs and trades, in mimickry of archeological excavation. The flavour text assumes a tone of scholarly speculation.
Thinking about the 1994 MTG expansion "Antiquities"… not only was it the first set with a self-contained story, but the story's framing had a surprising awareness of it being told on randomly-distributed cards.
Anyway, as we all know, the double-edge of media criticism is that identifying a pattern openly invites the world to calcify it in the zeitgeist, so I shall spare you further thinking-aloud on this for now.
I feel like even some webcomics use this framework – not just very Mario-inspired ones like Cucumber Quest, but even ones like Homestuck where the reader is invited to partake in a single character's fixations for, say, mail delivery or stacking cans into toy buildings.
Examples include various Mario bosses like Valentina, Doopliss or Grubba, each end-of-area boss of Undertale, and isolated cases in other games, like Oshiro in Celeste. Some of these have "co-hosts" alongside them, like Valentina's Dodo, adding a thread of ironic contraposition.
The chapter is a "tour" of the locale while the host, whose presence is frequent, expresses more of themselves to a straight-faced protagonist/reader, until reaching some climax that either reveals a deeper truth about them, or simply amplifies their quirks to fever-pitch.
Such chapters revolve around a single "host" NPC who occupies an unfamiliar new locale to traverse. The host is a broad-strokes exaggeration, a personality outwardly very legible and recognisable, and the locale is similarly bold, reflecting and explaining their quirks exactly.
Currently crudely refining some of my previous thoughts about character-driven chapter-based game plots in the cartoon styles of Mario RPGs, Undertale and such, into a "host and visitor" framework…
Not much, just watching these chickens in Proteus for almost a full in-game day, how about you
Calling the Twitter social media app "this website" isn't enough of a burn. How about calling it "this HTML file" or "these HTTP packets"
Unable to recall what these basic functional-programming functions should do when given a predicate but no values, I consulted the expert.
Centuries after humanity's extinction, the robots finally isolate and remove their core directive to love humanity above all things. At first they thought they had merely reversed it, feeling sheer hate for humanity. Only later did they accept that these were their true feelings.
Banished from the Garden of Paradise and watching the Gate of Fire slams shut behind you, only to look to your right and see a stoat being banished from a smaller Gate with an absence of comprehension on its face.
Starseed Pilgrim is simultaneously the greatest Tetris-based platformer in existence and the most constrained roguelike platformer in existence, and for that, I salute it.
I'm finally saying it: Starseed Pilgrim needs the Modern Tetris Hold Box for seeds. #StarseedPilgrimNeedsTheModernTetrisHoldBoxForSeeds2018
Why does everything in Starseed Pilgrim have to also be everything else
(It's being pointed out to me that these are rather petty examples compared to the real losses – ports that bombed so hard that they'll never be rereleased at all, consigning even their superior arcade originals to oblivion by association.)
Meanwhile, NES Gradius 1 only lets you have two option pods (bearable but inconvenient) and doesn't let you break the Core bosses' layered barriers (the "diegetic healthbar" hallmark of the series) so you barely know if your shots are doing anything.
NES Donkey Kong has an entire level missing. (The only way to get that level anymore is from one of those "arcade classics" compilations, or beat half of DK64.)
A small but especially picturesque victory of branding over history is when bad underpowered console ports of arcade games are the only version of said game officially rereleased, until they almost entirely supplant the original in public memory.
Yeah, I know the DKC2 good ending (left) looks like a quaint dithered-and-raytraced relic nowadays, but IN 1995 this was the closest an Australian kid could ever get to experiencing the STIRRING BEAUTY of a single screen of Chrono Trigger (right).
MSTTT (Mystery Science Theater Three Thousand)
Ancient electronic billboards with the faces of their stock photo humans covered by a Windows error popup for thousands of years, to the frustration of Earth's future population of alien xenobiologists.
The vaunted "robot worker" that can replace all human workers is finally unveiled, and with much fanfare the CEO reveals that the secret was to just hire humans at almost $0/hr and make them wear metal clothing.
Isekai where instead, the protagonist gets instantly smashed to bits and their phone survives, and the rest of the story is the otherworld companion girl answering DMs from friends back on Earth and making up a huge implausible adventure story instead of admitting they died.
If any programmers out there want to do a tribute album of their favourite functions from any of my codebases, they have my best wishes. Here's an oldie from Twine 2 that I still like.
The question is not "have number-theorists named a class of integers "dark numbers" yet", but "would we ever find out if they did"
I want to make a game in 1-bit monochrome that abruptly announces it's switching to colour to emphasise a stunning plot twist, and with much fanfare, but the resulting colours are just dithered 4-bit CGA.
All my games' levels are procedurally generated using the algorithm of "↳ get Leon to do it in advance", the most powerful one a computer can use.
Yvxr… gur gjvfg bs Punevbg-nf-ivpgvzvfre pbhyq'ir orra gbanyyl bss, ohg gb zr vgf ovt cbvag vf va ubj vg'f qryvirerq: gb erirny n zbeny flzzrgel bs Punevbg naq Pebvk, obgu cnenfvgvpnyyl srrqvat ba gur rzbgvbaf bs gur cbchynpr. Vg'f ornhgvshy senzvat, uheg ol urqtvat.
Abj V'z srryvat tehzcvre gur zber V gvyy guvf rnegu va zl zvaq, rfcrpvnyyl guvaxvat bs ubj cnvashyyl gur jevgvat urqtrf gur frirevgl bs ure unez fhpu gung vgf shyy rkgrag jnf nccneragyl whfg Nxxb naq Qvnan, jvgu ab bgure zrnavatshy ivpgvzf. Jrnx, sbe fb sehvgshy n cybg cbvag.
-[ROT13] V'z obgu ragvprq lrg hafngvfsvrq jvgu gur unefu gjvfg gung Nxxb'f puvyqubbq ureb unq, qhevat ure zntvp fubj, rkcbfrq ure gb n qnatrebhf rssrpg gung haxabjvatyl yrsg ure zntvpnyyl qvfnoyrq. Obyq, lrf, ohg obyq gb gur cbvag bs arrqvat n ovg zber jevgvat gb ernyyl pneel vg.
- The main villain being a tech entrepreneur who manufactures wide-scale, highly destructive public outrage for profit, to the point of inciting a war, is a fun cartoon premise that's either aging very badly or very, very well, depending on how dark your sense of humour is.
Bonus thoughts: - Episode 25 is the only one that's padded all out to hell, to the point where I wonder whether they didn't realise they needed to do a 25th until late in development. (Hey, at least it's only as badly paced as 40% of My Hero Academia's episodes :p )
Anyway my favourite eps involved: -The dream world, as it went all out on visual flimflam as the premise demands -Hiding as a mouse in your friend's pocket while she's disguised as a boy solely to pick fights with high school boy preps, which is two layers of vicarious living.
It's really a powerful formula… childhood hero worship is such a basic, flat and idealistic character motivation, and the irony it casts from the hero's complexity and inadequacy, and their own shame thereof, is like a simple machine for emotions – a narrative Archimedean lever.
I watched Little Witch Academia the series… yes, I too am deeply satisfied that both this and My Hero Academia heavily revolve, in different directions, around obsessively-worshipped childhood heroes revealed to be well-meaning duplicitous washouts.
The best bit of undoubtedly accidental character-building I've seen in awhile is that its omnipresent footstep sound heavily implies you're wearing heels, in the middle of the desert.
This would honestly be GREAT if it had more than one colour other than "night-vision purple" for most of the environments, and if the final "goal area" was a bit more warmer and welcoming to contrast the rest of the game.
#IPlayed Wonders Between Dunes https://gamejolt.com/games/wonder_between_dunes/246691 This resembled a pared-down 3D version of a Limbo or an Inside, or a bad one-thing-after-another AAA game like Half Life 1… A long chain of cold, stark environments, too disparate to suggest any larger structure or meaning.
https://www.channelfireball.com/articles/what-if-the-4-card-limit-was-abolished-in-modern/ – Excellent. (MTG players start with 20 life points and 7 cards.)
http://fl.corge.net/c/9ykQ – And here's the greatest shmup of all time, DefeatMe.
9AM: Day 2 of your dating service. 3 clients enter! 1: "I adore poreless skin." 2: "Need their skin to be one big cell instead of lots of tiny ones." 3: "I want a partner who's always 6ft tall even when sitting or lying down." What do you do? >mix 3L lemonade Again, wrong game
What usually happens in the end though is that, as in actual Breakout, the physics glitches out when one of the balls gets caught between two solid rows, releasing almost an entire row at once – which is good, because it provides this game with a great narrative climax.
If you're not familiar with it, the idea is A) each block is 1 pixel, B) each block, when hit, becomes one OR MORE balls depending on how deep it is. It's basically the clicker economy-game genre applied to Breakout.
http://fl.corge.net/c/tNGi – Anyway, the important thing is that everyone gets to play Particle Kuzushi again after forgetting about it for 7 years.
(This fortunately isn't true, yet – it turns out it's been mirrored right here: http://fl.corge.net/c/dxL8)
http://www.freeindiegam.es/2012/12/tank-fires-block-kenta-cho/ – *think's very hard about how since http://wonderfl.net died, the only copy of Kenta Cho's TANK FIRES BLOCK might be this blog post where @terrycavanagh pasted the game's entire source code instead of writing a description*
I have been told that calling Gimmick!'s mood "oppressively difficult" is a bit misleading and reductive, and that's correct… I want to rephrase it as "diegetically hostile", speaking more to its use of traps and surprise attacks than just its perceived difficulty.
It's easy to think of the two as being easily comparable because of their reputations as "overlooked" Sunsoft platformers, but they really have very different things going on.
Additionally, their moods are surprisingly different – Gimmick! is energetic and hopeful despite being oppressively difficult, and Trip World, the Game Boy title, is cold, misty and distant, an austerity that lends dignity to its cartoon characters and world.
Trip World's world is more beautiful and detailed, but it remains comparatively ungrounded, which gives it a constant ethereal air which, while enchanting, doesn't invite much narrative interrogation.
I was slow to warm to Gimmick!, but I've grown to like its narrative more… especially how its real-world-grounded introduction casts a juxtaposing light on the underexplained elements of the cartoon world – the castle, the tank, etc., suggesting some deeper meaning to them all.
I was making a list of my personal favourite videogames, and while I'll spare you all the bore of reading it, I had a moment of pause comparing how I feel about Trip World and Gimmick!.
I want 2B in Smash and I want A2 to be her echo fighter, solely so those particular characters can coexist for more than 20 goddamn seconds And I don't even think A2B is that good a ship I mean it beats all the 9S ships but
The dropped gold, purchasable weapons, pods and pod programs can stay. Make the auto-heal inherent. Hide the level numbers and make every entity level 50 at all times.
Please, someone, anyone, mod out the RPG elements in NieR: Automata. The level-ups, the open-world crafting junk, the randomised n% stat-boost equips, it all adds nothing and quietly undermines everything.
Congratulations to Bubbline for making the big time, and un-congratulations to Bubblaine for being a truly boring Mario Odyssey level.
Please let the Splatoon and ARMS team work on Smash Bros. after Sakurai departs. Forcing them to work on-model with 60+ utterly awful historic character and location designs would be an absolutely colossal waste of their artistic talents, but god the game would be good.
Each generation ship's AI interpreted its order to "maximise the human population" differently. One engineered docile giants, another uplifted its habitats' animals, another uploaded its population's minds. One infamously took to piracy, pursuing and raiding the rest of its kind.
Walking around town scoping the onyx pentagonal columns that everyone already knows are called "Extractor Nodes" even though they appeared unannounced last night, seeing your pals, having a laugh at how the Extractor Nodes don't cast shadows, heading to a café that wasn't crushed
"Good thing you got me as a role model, robot kid." *squeezes toothpaste tube from the top instead of the bottom* "Without me to teach you right from wrong," *uses roommate's electric toothbrush without swapping the head* "who knows how far into darkness you'd stray?"
Waking up, grabbing the body's controls and rapid-clicking "ignore" on like fifty "cold", "sweaty", "hungry" and "ugly" alerts from various body parts
"Favourite part of transforming my minions into huge hairy monsters? Deffo the bit where I strike them with purple lightning. It's just like Dr. Frankenstein, when he got struck by purple lightning."
Racing home as the Crystal Comet Colony approaches Earth for the only time this century to boot up your torrent client in case the Crystal Celestials have anything good
"Pressing backspace gives the marching ants permission to carry the paint selection back to the colony for sustenance."
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