Leon's Microblog – April 2021

Me and the vaccine after we get the boys
The only constants are stuff like Greek mythology and Kafka, which I assume are united by the unbreakable adamantium thread of schadenfreude.
Thinking about how each handful of years has their own batch of zeitgeist factoids permeating the Internet. Right now it's the Sandia report messages, Tenochtitlan samurai, and some Modernist poems. In the mid-00s it was duck genitals, vampire watermelons, and Emperor Norton.
Knuckle pop cooldown meters in the lower right corner of your HUD
I've been brushing up on CSS 3D, and you know what? I'm glad you can now stab HTML elements into each other like daggers. Finally, they can be wounded.
This is Sakuya's funniest spell card in her entire series-long career.
Deltarune fanfic: the party asks for help returning to the Light World, and is ushered into a grimy storeroom with a taped-off circle on the floor labeled "light wold". It is entirely empty, but standing in it changes the pause menu UI to the Light World's, with no other effect.
"Merchantability" isn't actually a real word. It spontaneously appeared ex nihilo in software licenses in the late 1970s, and has been attempting to infect other English textual mediums ever since.
I actually think the big appeal is that diegetic branching retroactively adds "meaning" to all the branches, including "meaningless" dead ends, and thus "unifies" and "explains" the branching structure's purpose. (Could this be an evergreen cultural insecurity about branching?)
(I wonder how much of this is due to the fact that the diegetic branching narrative device tends to be a time loop, an extremely flashy trope that can subvert many basic presumptions about both human identity and game playing, including death.)
Thinking about how some of the games most celebrated for subverting game storytelling often do so by taking the typical branching narrative structure, and adding a narrative device that makes the branching diegetic, ironically re-linearising the medium of nonlinear stories.
Those nations on Earth no longer exist, but the generation ships they launched will carry their flags and their anthems for long, ghostly millennia – their residents believing them to be all humanity's flags and anthems.
At each of the forty-year Meetings of Sorcerers, a certain faction attempts to rename "sorcery" to "alchemy". Whenever they succeed, the next meeting, with swelled attendance, results in it being rapidly changed back to "sorcery".
Yukari working at the museum, specifically in the 「Office of Lost and Found」. Wow, Yukari jokes really do just write themselves. Almost like… there's no boundary between text and auth
The prospect of moving to Mars appeals to technology nerds because it's the civilisational equivalent of switching game engines during development.
Quick poll: assuming the programming meta-names "foo" and "bar" are derived from the acronym FUBAR, does that mean "foo" is a minced oath?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFGvSLSAtl0&list=PLJdguoogfsLfm7ZCzbGNCHOg4b_19kfGW&index=1 – Yesterday I was shown this 2019 viral video, and it made me physically upset with jealousy. My blood temperature changed. (Watch the next one in the playlist but not the rest.)
https://en.touhouwiki.net/wiki/Symposium_of_Post-mysticism/Interview – Regarding a trend in Touhou characters' power levels.
Fairy Wars: Remember shmups that force you to constantly mash just to fire your shot? It's back, baby! That aside, this game feels like a normal Touhou game but with odd-numbered stages removed, which means you end up starved for resources a bit. Very narrow victory here.
Has anyone on the Internet observed that the last two stages of Hidden Star In Four Seasons take place in the Backrooms
Because generating snow by actual snowfall would be too damaging for the colony's residential structures, it came to pass that the population believed that snow on Earth's original winter was pumped to the surface from underground, and called it "white lava".
Me: "It's like this. Embodiment Of Scarlet Devil is the Pokémon Red/Blue of Touhou. Perfect Cherry Blossom is the Mega Man 2 of Touhou. Imperishable Night is the Super Mario Bros. 3 of–" You, realising this information is useless and opening a Wikipedia tab for Okapi: "Thanks"
Sorry for the heavy use of forward-slashes in these tweets, which are due to me spending the weekend interning under the Board Of Directors from the hit video game Control.
The fantasy/otherworldly designs serve to peel off the real-world societal detritus of their gender, leaving a safe/untainted essence of masculinity.
I have a silly unnecessary theory that queers/minorities tend to sexualise/romanticise furry/monster-like men because those fantasy/otherworldly designs marks them as separate from real-life society, which indoctrinates real men with bigotry/toxic masculinity.
Oh you love Youmu? Well listen to this before you answer: if she was fully human and the ghost half of her body was combined with her human half, she would be AT LEAST six foot five. Scared yet?
PUNCTUATION STORAGE "Hi! I'm Caret Commacolon. I'm out on another adventure, but you can use this humble tweet of mine to store punctuation you aren't using. The next time it's retweeted, you can reach in and get the punctuation out! Saves you having to scavenge for more!" '?.,,
If the 00's had no culture, then explain THIS
I looked for a copy of the "Better Nate Than Lever" joke, and the first website not only added a meta-joke of using CSS to make it spatially longer, but also tacked on a crappy spam-email behavioural-psychology treatise about the joke. A full meal of mid-00's Internet garbage.
Unfortunately, the leyline running through your spreadsheet program has finally run dry. The Graphing Wizard slowly crumbles into dust before your eyes, their skull the last to disintegrate. The pile of dust forms a perfect curve for this month's expenses.
"If a caterpillar wishes to fly, it does not plan to do so inside a bird's belly."
Decided to talk a walk through one of my old Minecraft worlds… All the little buildings are just as they were… The memories are rushing back.
It's a common myth that Legacy Of Lunatic Kingdom doesn't have spell practice mode. In reality, the spell practice mode was packaged separately and released under the name Violet Detector. *after minutes of silence, a single ball of paper is hurled at my head from offscreen*
I've added another example story now, showing ways to style a page using just the (enchant:) macro and other macros. I might do another one that uses actual CSS, but this demonstrates what sort of styling features I've pushed into the macro language.
Today in web development
13-HOUR CLOCK A 12-hour wall clock with its numbers altered. The hour hand points between the numbers when the minute hand points to 13. Great at suggesting the impossible or unearthly, terrible at giving actual information, it symbolises your awful wizard friends like no other.
I will give her credit, though, for continuing the tradition of becoming playable in the very next game.
Seija in particular is so obviously a reprise of mid-00s "stage 5 boss with flashy visual/temporal effect" characters like Reisen, Youmu, and Sakuya, but is so uninteresting in comparison, mainly because her effect makes dodging harder instead of counterintuitively easier.
I don't enjoy being mean to Double Dealing Character, and I don't think it makes for entertaining tweet material, but let's be honest: it's the New Super Mario Bros. of Touhou games.
By the way, click through to find the secret final entry at the very bottom:
My problem with this is that there's too many memes (e.g. "hunter2") on here among real, fascinating phenomena. Also, where's "the function hashing mechanism was strlen()" https://twitter.com/suricrasia/status/1380751932587974656
On another note, I'm impressed with Junko's spell cards visually. I was a little sceptical of a boss whose theme is just "simplicity", but these do have a lot of character to them. They're also very different to Clownpiece's which are "simple" in a cruder, less elegant manner.
Legacy Of Lunatic Kingdom: this one is great as long as you select Pointdevice Mode, and DON'T select Normal difficulty or higher "because Pointdevice Mode will make it easy" (the power penalty per death will cut you up).
Yukari spell card named "Satire 「Clarity of Purpose and Target」"
Theme Of Eastern Story is such a funny melody to have as a game series's leitmotif… it's like the Amen Break of Touhou music.
*notices all the breakfast cereal is out of stock except for an unfamiliar brand* Weird flakes but OK –– BONUS WORD SEARCH: Can you find the animal hiding in the grid below? 𝙳𝚇𝙱𝚄𝚉𝙼 𝙵𝚈𝚄𝚅𝙴𝚁𝚈𝙻𝙰𝚁𝙶𝙴𝙳𝙾𝙶 𝙾𝚆𝚀𝙳𝙰𝙿
Within a minute of purchasing the world's only real-life optical illusion fork from an old witch, the middle prong fell out, and – you slowly discover as she smirks silently – you can't quite figure out how to stick it back in.
You try to pat a gamer on the shoulder, and your hand sinks into them like a gamepad trigger.
Also, the Easy difficulty for this game feels satisfyingly balanced… in addition to the unusually touching plot and internally cohesive cast, this might actually become my favourite game to play (which I would definitely absolutely NOT have said a week ago).
Undefined Fantastic Object: the UFO mechanic in this one is a little misleading (mainly because the UFO that gives extra life items is NOT the colour you'd expect) but once I understood it, it felt like a funner version of DDC's mechanic (ironic, as it predates it by 4 years).
Ten Desires: this game seems to give you fewer resources in return for the spell cards being easier than usual, which isn't that satisfying. Also, the fact that extra life and extra bomb items don't fall downward makes collecting them feel like a more awkward version of DDC play.
Double Dealing Character: this game's signature mechanic is so simple that it feels like a completely different developer came up with it. Yet, it's satisfying enough to make this feel different from the others. My respect for this otherwise not-very-memorable game has increased.
Current opinions… Hidden Star In Four Seasons: I managed to scrape through this with Aya, and then I discovered I'd badly misunderstood how much Season Release reduces your DPS (it really doesn't). Using it frequently makes the game resemble Giga Wing, I'm overjoyed to say.
Lately I've been earnestly playing Touhou easy difficulties to see what they're actually like. I'm proud to announce that my average number of bombs carried while dying is currently 7… and lowering!
[SPOILERS] Fb lbh gubhtug lbh pbhyq whfg tb nurnq naq purpx bhg guvf gjrrg, rira gubhtu V qvqa'g gryy lbh jung fgbel vg jnf fcbvyvat? Vzcrghbhf sbby! Lbh jub jbhyq frrx gb ehva fhecevfrf, or fhecevfrq gung V'ir frra guebhtu lbhe frys-nonfvat phevbhfvgl. Nssyvpg zl fvtug ab zber!
If I were an Undefined Fantastic Object competitive player, my strat would be to simply stop Rinnosuke from selling the Jeweled Pagoda to Nazrin between stages 2 to 4.
I'm watching a stream of competitive Lunatic-difficulty Undefined Fantastic Object runs, and I'm smilin' it up that the scariest and most feared spell card in the game belongs to Nazrin of all characters.
Authentic Usenet erotica disclaimer
Something I like about old PC games with bespoke sound engines, such as Cave Story, is how sometimes certain audio channels will slowly grind to a halt if you interrupt the game by unfocusing the window.
It takes great strength to imagine leaping the gap between this world's death and the next world's birth – to imagine that there is no gap, that the people of the next world are here with you, and you're sharing this same soil and this same sun and this same breeze with them.
Suddenly, all the narcissus flowers in your garden change back into identical handsome Greek men after thousands of years, just as your rich in-laws hop out of their car into your already-disappointing driveway.
(Screenshot is from the compiled JS source code because the lines can't actually fit onscreen entirely.)
Seeing tweets about indie game Easter eggs made me think about Assault On Crater Bulb (https://fairysvoice.net/games/Crater_Bulb/)'s news ticker, which is non-randomised, very hard to read during gameplay, takes 3 mins to cycle through, and which has a couple of personal favourites at the far end.
Suddenly noticing that there's more than zero similarities in the character dynamics of You And Me And Her (NitroPlus, 2013) and Ib (kouri, 2012), and having a microcrisis about whether that's the big reason why I like the former.
"THE PASSAGE OF TIME MARCHES CRUELLY ON" – Leon, whilst finally advancing the wall calendar one month forward to March on April 4th
I love listening to Koishi's theme (from Subterranean Animism) and thinking "Yes… This is me… I relate to this so much… I also have a wacky time signature…"
https://twine2.neocities.org/#introduction_example-stories – Alert to the Twine heads: I've added a pair of example stories to the Harlowe story format documentation that feature some common macros, as well as showing how you might implement a couple of complicated RPG-like features.
"I could learn English… or I could steal and destroy the King of England's crown, thus causing English to instantly disappear worldwide. One of these options would take less time than the other."
How come everyone remembers *gestures with eye movements to the image below* but no one remembers *the same gesture but a little over*
My only hint is that this puzzle, once solved, lets you win any game of the "Dragon Drop" solitaire program, regardless of its current state.
Playing some old shareware solitaire games reminded me of one of my favourite puzzle games of all time, Dragon Drop (http://minimalism.spacebar.org/compo/). The puzzle I most like in it isn't even the puzzle described in the in-game manifesto.txt, but a different one altogether.
Found a Kaleidoscope scheme literally called "Untitled", and when I click "About This Scheme", all I get is this?
On the subject, here's some cool music by A. Takano circa 1996 that you can now ONLY find neck-deep in the Wayback Machine: • https://web.archive.org/web/20170730085929/http://www007.upp.so-net.ne.jp/cbstudio/wtmh.mp3https://web.archive.org/web/20170730085935/http://www007.upp.so-net.ne.jp/cbstudio/ku.mp3
You might notice something in that video… high-quality audio files that I didn't know could be installed with this game until just today! You can still get the game and the audio from Vector, right now: https://www.vector.co.jp/soft/mac/game/se069056.html The download is a .sit file.
Having fun with a very underappreciated Mac shareware classic by A. Takano… a directly Gradius and Xexex(!) inspired shmup. Nothing in the Western 90s shareware scene was taking contemporary shmup inspiration, that's for sure.
Kaleidoscope (the 90s Mac OS utility) continues to be inexorably joyful software for someone like me.
OK, I know this doesn't sound that impressive (pun intended) but many of these 100+ sound effects ended up in multiple Macintosh shareware games in the mid-to-late 90s. The last one here ended up in two different games by itself.
https://macintoshgarden.org/apps/now-fun – Pleased to report that Macintosh Garden now has Now Fun!, an old UI customisation suite that, importantly, contains the Very Fun Sounds collection.
For a long time I'd appreciated this shareware solitaire game's cute little framing story (extending into the instructions)… however, when I actually tried playing it, it turned out to just be Worse FreeCell. Very disillusioning.(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baker%27s_Game)
Enigma (Macintosh, 1996)
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