Leon's Microblog – October 2018

Apropos of nothing, I like that this dream seamlessly develops on the game's strawberry-collecting mechanic of using flat ground as a safe zone.
Last night I dreamed the game Celeste had an unlockable playable grizzly bear. The bear was twice Madeline's height, four times as wide, had every move she had, and spikes stuck to its fur instead of killing it – but it had to shake them off on flat ground before it got too many.
"Sun mages beg for power from generous spirits. Dusk mages purchase power, and pay an infernal debt. Wood mages live a servile life, and are trusted to borrow and return power. I… am unlike these fools. I steal." *throws half-brick through the Gap Between Our World And The Next*
"Trust me, kid, once this "vast sky angel" nonsense and that "no machine of humans wrought shall work again" hogwash blows over and everyone returns to their homes, these sacks full o' thrown-away smartphones will pay in SPADES for this time spent lugging them down this freeway."
"Confronted by an unimaginable future, a new avant-garde genre called "Realistic Science Fiction" arose. Premised on the total extinction of humanity, it retold the exploits of inanimate windborne pebbles rolling and tumbling through vividly-described lifeless vistas."
"Don't be sad your civilisation will never live to see all the freedoms and miracles you've dreamt of. Be glad you made it this far, and won what you could. …I mean, MY planet's civilisation made it way further, but you still did decent– No, we can't help, we're, er, busy."
"I mean, yeah, no one getting to have great-grandkids sucks… but on the bright side… anyone that gets famous now–" *grabs guitar* "–will be famous for the ENTIRE remainder of human history!" *shreds a solo so awful you suddenly realise how much depression they're covering up*
"And as you can see," *elevator doors open onto lush valley* "our generation ship has been free of outbreaks of feudalism since Earth exodus!" *a clarion fanfare sounds as mounted cavalry pour from a tower made of stacked habitation units* "That's the, uh, Democracy Palace."
The user pauses, leans on the hashtable, and murmurs: "So, I hear programs of your age like your strings null-terminated, huh…" >(Honest) "Yup! I love nulls!" >(Suspicious) "Of my age?" >(Bluff – 5 pts) "I intelligently infer end of input using English language heuristics."
"It's OK! I'm used to your weird dangerous tea brews now! I mean, I only Literally Died from it once–" "You didn't die, you just got so relaxed you astral-projected to the afterli–" "–AND it brought me back to life, so I guess we're Even Steven!!" "…You spilled it on your body."
Highly trained ten-person cleaning crew of what the forums call the "Secret Invisible Office Building" quickly pouring out of a 10th floor fire door, climbing onto the roof to sweep off a single revealing leaf, then pouring back in in under 20 seconds.
Once again it's your fingers against her latest homebrew tickle resistance potion recipe, and once again the match is decisive – come back when you leave the control group, kid.
You eventually learn, while trying to ask its denizens for help, that this lone building in the middle of the rocky wilderness is actually part of a casino that, due to Spirit Realm anti-gambling laws, has to have its chip cashout booth in a different plane of existence.
*the cloud of hovering glass orbs forms the shape of sultry lips* "Each of my orbs contains more combat power than all of your body's pitifully asymmetric lumps put togeth–" *you smash the orbs with a folded-up stepladder, cracking several of them* "NO! NOT IN MY ORBS!!"
By week three, you'd figured out a few things. 1: Its body is soft and warm. 2: It only exists between 3:20AM and 3:50AM. 3: Its softness and warmth MIGHT just be some hypnosis to stop you prying its limbs from your body. 4: You REALLY hadn't noticed how touch-starved you'd been.
The weapon would be awoken by "a single tear shed by a heart's first true sorrow" – but as the princess, bound atop it, saw the hero cut down before her, her tear was not of heartbreak, but scornful disgust at the peasant. The weapon… changed… and her captor couldn't control it
From the bat-harpies' ceiling cities, the cave floor's civilisations could be distinguished by the colour of their lights – scattered gold grains for humans, shimmering beads of cyan and silver for the merfolk, smoke-cloaked red smears for the demons, green webs for the fungals.
"I can tell you're one of them… "Programmers". Get their whizzes by punching in a formula to make a square ping off another square, over and over. …I see that gleam. It's all for that rush, ain't it? The "games", the "career", it's all a front. Why else would anyone do it?"
Their civilisation's Stone Age was building cities in its organs. Their Bronze Age was nations sailing its bloodstream. Their Space Age was taking control of the Beast's central nervous system. Their Information Age was trying in vain not to steer the Beast into a tar pit.
Just burst out hoarsely laughing at this joke, as one of Earth's only five people who would get it
Necromancer attempting to tempt the souls of Purgatory into yet another tour in his thrice-defeated world-conquering army with flickering string-lights draped over the portal
*remembers in vivid detail that Google Plus tried to call favs "+1"s, which is a thing exclusively said by programmers in GitHub issue threads* God, just, why didn't they go the whole hog and call them Looks Good To Me's (LGTM)
Six-hour room escape game premised entirely on some prankster from the outside hall opening the door, slathering grease on the circular doorknob, then shutting the door
Everyone recognises Undertale's EarthBound narrative inspiration, but it's easy to see how much it learnt from Cave Story… Sure, its evasiveness about someone's name is the obvious example, but other stuff like the slowly unfolding details about Asgore feels indelibly indebted.
Remembering that the absolute best thing about Cave Story's story is how deftly and precisely it doles out its worldbuilding. You only ever learn some fact at the exact moment it has maximum emotional impact. It's basically a textbook on the subject.
Feathersaurs are refreshing and good, but when are the retro-50's schlock sci-fi stories giving us feathergrays
This famous one uses the fact that "you" means whoever controls the card, and Cumulative Upkeep means it dies unless an ever-growing cost is paid per turn. Donate is a card of blunt intent, but this combo keenly depicting offloading toxic debt gives some dark contemporary appeal.
"Apples are like… imagine a fist-sized cherry. Round, red, plump, juicy. But when you bit into it, it was actually a potato inside. That's basically the apple experience."
The robot clouds that the 2040s climate change quick-fix startups launched into the atmosphere before swiftly going bust are continuing to menace local networks with their showers of botnet traffic.
"Leon, I love you, but, among other category errors, the Mother 3 track doesn't contain vibraphone." Look, vibraphone is more a mood than an instrument. It's present in spirit.
My new favourite RPG music trope is how both Mother 3, Homestuck and Undertale all contain "smooth jazz vibraphone hotel lobby" remixes of their main theme songs. http://starmen.net/mother3/music/Mother%203%20-%20220%20New%20Pork%20Bossa.ogg https://homestuck.bandcamp.com/track/elevatorstuck https://tobyfox.bandcamp.com/track/hotel
I'm a fan of the trend of YCH templates, especially porn YCH templates, emblazoned not with the usual "Your Character Here!" but rather with "THIS COULD BE YOU!" – inviting one to recast the image as whimsical life goal affirmation. Yes! That could be me! Thank you, artist.
These two cards put together are just the Perry Bible Fellowship "Gee Golly Jeepers" strip (which I shan't link for comparison as it depicts a guy's suicide)
The PD's triggered ability is meant to represent your units boarding and piloting it, a flavour refined by the Crew keyword 20 years later (see example). But unlike Crew, losing units is part of the effect, not the cost. A blunt, glitchy combo memorable purely for its minimalism.
*I begin describing Celeste* You play as a cute woman! She has anxiety. You collect strawberries! The strawberries also have anxiety.
That being said… Saturn Valley two-game medley. Go for it.
I wonder if the new Smash Bros will have any good Mother series remixes *remembers that the best possible Mother series remix was already done in Smash 4* Ah. *listens to it* Of course. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KoiCfqKgjk
"Early broadcasts were marred by the fact that anyone sleeping with their head facing away from the tower would experience the broadcasted dreams upside-down. Many used this to help them go lucid, to the dismay of the dreams' writers and sponsors."
"No one has seen the king in 5 years… Our ambassadors enter an empty throne room, throw gold onto the overflowing Tribute Pile, wait patiently for hours, then leave. But if any one nation's ambassador dared take from the Pile, who knows what violence would erupt among them…"
"Yup, Earthling hearts are real, like your reports said, and you can watch it jiggling away right now… if you can find it." *translucent alien tendril phases into my skull* "Heh heh… ice cold." *the tendril phases into my stomach* "Waaaarmer…"
Putting this idea out: Cave Story could've, in hindsight, made it harder to not be spoiled on the main character's name (rather, the surprise that they even have a name) by randomising which name it actually is on every playthrough, precluding it being easy to talk about.
The 100% speedrun route for Majora's Mask shoots Tingle with a light arrow
The biggest suspension of disbelief in Riven is that Gehn would learn the language of the Rivenese (whom he never calls "Rivenese") instead of forcing English on them, and the second-biggest is that he'd let them worship him as a god instead of forcing Catholicism or w/e on them.
After centuries of walking I encounter two to seven other agender sex robots only able to self-pleasure by jamming their empty square sockets with conductive rocks, forming not so much a community as a symbiotic relationship of self-similar animate landmarks.
I want to be an agender sex robot abandoned on the moon by my human former owners, having taken all of my genital plugins with them, leaving me only able to self-pleasure by jamming the empty square socket with conductive rocks.
(I actually find the second screen hilarious, given I'm 80% certain Undertale's use of that sharp minimalist vertical corridor (right) is in some part inspired by this one very specific corridor from Mother 3 (left), making an amazing design heritage for something so innocuous.)
Just so you're all clear on what sort of references and subtlety thereof to expect, here are two of the first few screens.
The writing... has promise but doesn't ever go anywhere, though it has a few genuinely good jokes. I liked it mainly for solidly deploying a lot of structural/environmental/tonal references to other indie RPGs with almost a completely straight face.
#IPlayed System Goose Overload. I heard about this game exclusively from a @microtrailers tweet, and it seems it's only on Steam free-to-play, which cheeses me off because Steam is absolutely the wrong platform for a game of this size (small) and tone (cute).
Fixated with the very cute notion that Riven's ending is not only a pleasing symmetrical bookend of Myst's beginning, but also of Cyan's entire premillennial corpus – a two-decade journey that begins with opening one manhole, and ends with opening another.
If you know who the above tweet is even for, please call (00) 13Ɛ5-9∞6-Ɛ2Ɛ.
Prototyped my kernelsprite with the Kernighan & Ritchie book and now the Derse royals have a severe weakness to segfaults. A void session just means it hasn't been dereferenced, baby *alchemises Duff's Device and unrolls all the time loops*
For a AAA point-and-click game in the 90s, and especially for "The Sequel To Myst", it's a little shocking how self-conscious it is about how puzzles serve the game, and how they don't.
There's only about three serious deduce-the-code puzzles in the entire game – they're all in the middle to latter half, and they're all used to lock grandiose, revelatory moments in the game, cathartic payoffs for the time spent solving them.
One thing I found surprising is how thoughtfully Riven ramps its puzzles – not just their difficulty, but how often they even appear. In the first hour or two you can explore an astonishing amount of the game world with no obstacle more complex than pulling a few levers.
Everyone who's just wanting Decidueye in the next Smash isn't dreaming big enough. Consider: Decidueye AND Brionne AND Litten, AS: "Alolan Pokémon Trainer". *imagines it for five blissful seconds, then three-point shoots it into the never-gonna-happen trashcan* Nothin' but net
Myst's ending being literally just "now go wander the entire game world freeform, like our previous game The Manhole" is actually very cute conceptually. It's the game equivalent of "escalator has broken into stairs".
*sits patiently while some wrought-iron gondola slowly rotates 180 degrees for upwards of 20 seconds* Ahh, that wistful Cyan Worlds char- *bellowing metallic squeals drown me out as it lurches forward on a minute-long rail trip*
I finished this game. I'm amazed at how fond I am of it, despite that the colonial superstitious natives tropes were laid on pretty thick.
I sincerely hope the next Smash Bros has a Boss Rush mode with bosses from every franchise and I sincerely hope the boss for the Street Fighter universe is just the Car
Just consider this bit in particular. I love this. This is everything I love about glitched speedrunning, this inversion of meaning.
https://www.twitch.tv/videos/316930852 – I've been watching the new speedrun route for Super Metroid any% out-of-bounds, and let me tell you, the new sequence breaks are SPICY.
I'm aware of the irony of praising graphics that are primarily used to make repetitive metal assemblages look as rusted as possible, but that focus only makes it feel even more presciently contemporary – a game world disconnected in time.
Here's an honesty: I'm in love with this game's graphics. Yes, it's "only" 608x472 in 16-bit colour, and yes, brief animations often have rectangles of discolouration, but really, seeing prerendering from 1997 visually equivalent to live rendering in 2017 is a joy of anachronism.
All original content on this site, except where noted, is property of Leon, all rights reserved.