Leon's Microblog – June 2021

*lifts up a four-leaf clover* "See this? Take one good look." *violently bites off the fourth leaf and spits it out* "…I make my own luck." *tosses it on the ground and walks away, whereupon a small forest rodent runs out and tries to put the clover back together*
"Welcome to the Darkness… to the World Behind…" *ushers friend through the Employees Only rooms and the loading dock to cut through to the back street*
I continue to be resolute that Extra stages with fixed hard difficulties are bad ludonarrative design (comparable to Celeste chapter 9 second half). They're also too punishing for casual play and too short for professional play. Just awkward and ill-fitting all around.
VAMPIRES / ROBOTS WEAKNESS COMPARISON Vampires: harmed by running water Robots: same Vampires: must count piles of small objects in front of them Robots: same, except they usually do it much faster
Extremely thrilled to announce that I've just cleared my first Touhou extra stage!!!!! "Leon, be honest. Was it Momoyo?" ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………yes
The Marisa B 10x damage bug in Mountain Of Faith is EXTREMELY good for the three people in the world who like Touhou games except for all the spell cards.
True if huge
That panel from the webcomic 1/0 where a cartoon character realises they inexplicably know about U.S. presidents despite living in an abstract toon world, except it's about me, an Australian, realising I can tell when an unnamed urban setting in a story is specifically Portland
I'm watching a Smash Bros. Ultimate in-person tournament, and everyone's so rusty, it's sad. People are just self-destructing constantly. *I am patiently reminded that everyone was like that before the pandemic* Oh
*speaking very sagely* You see, the yin-yang symbol embodies Reimu's character perfectly. It represents the counterintuitive unity of contradictory elements, and Reimu is a gigantic hypocrite,
"Three things covetously hoarded, and yet, in doing so, lost: a shmup player's bombs, a Souls player's souls, and a timid milquetoast's youth." – Ancient Wisdom
"You can't defeat me! I graduated uni with second class honours! That's one higher" *text in dialog box slowly scrolls to the next line for three entire seconds* "than third class!"
*accidentally clicks on the Like button inside a screenshot of a tweet instead of the containing tweet, thus causing the screenshotted button to light up* Oopsity whoopsity :p
As an accompaniment to the preceding track, here's a more official (and more instrumentally audacious) rendition of this melody from the later PC-FX version of the game. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOtB4fHdTT4&list=PLeKaE-gusMmagvFUEN2b6gAzfhtSNHBdt&index=3
https://modarchive.org/index.php?request=view_player&query=52654 – This is a good remix of a track from the PC98 mecha TBS game Power D.o.L.L.S, which I assume this musician only encountered via its DOS port.
https://tapas.io/series/KerBop-Filaments – Finally getting around to this webcomic, a sequel series to an old favourite of mine.
Woodland animals voluntarily undergoing uplifting to sapience to serve as legal representatives of their woods, knowing that they'll never be able to return to their old lives and will have to get jobs after this is over
This is a very fun spell card that's also extremely evocative, abstractly evoking both Momoyo's insect-eating trait and her mining trait… One of the best of this kind in the series.
I love visual novels very much, but every time they try to portray a frantic chase scene using only standing dialogue sprites, my head needs to take a nap in my palms.
A classic treasure chest-style D&D mimic refusing to believe that real treasure chests are NOT filled to the brim with mac and cheese, pointing to a blurry JPEG photo as proof.
"Debug mode means there's less bugs. It's right there in the name."
Five Heart Fragments collected! You have enough to extend your life meter. >use heart glue The heart glue won't pour from the bottle! >put fragments in bottle The fragments fuse into a heart gem inside the bottle. >put life meter in bottle You add the heart gem to the life meter.
Assembled the team and I'm going in You may never see us again
I just checked up on how the Smash Bros. Ultimate competitive meta is faring without major tournaments, and it's just a mess. It's a jumbled, mutated version of what it once was. People are actually playing Diddy Kong again for god's sake
"They say open pit mines are the most useless and futile of human ruins, but even someone as zany and sexy as moi can get up to mischief in 'em! For example…" *hurls a bowling ball and watches it roll down the slope for 2 minutes* "That bowling ball's NEVER getting outta there!"
Over sixty different hormones are constantly secreted to suppress the "death gland", which, if left unchecked, causes all of the subject's organs to metamorphose into brain matter, resulting in a slow and extremely revelatory death.
The Twitter player card in the previous tweet doesn't play the right track ._. The first track is good, but I also recommend the 4th track.
Not gonna lie, I would like story that does an in-depth play-by-play of one kid child armed with Unlimited Wishes™ attempting to achieve World Domination, complete with kaiju-movie cuts to frantic presidents and generals, rather than, as in this story, just kinda handwaving it.
https://www.pixiv.net/artworks/90511124 – Nice little silent comic.
Dismayed to report that this setting does not change the title screen or title bar to "Centimetre by Centimetre".
This game reminds me a lot of Katamari, in the sense of forcing you to have intense, ever-changing emotional relationships to inanimate objects.
https://dare-looks.itch.io/inch-by-inch – Playing this puzzle-platformer jam game.
Like… both are highly non-textual environmental games centered around wandering, and where everything you meet is abstract enough that simply attributing meaning to them feels like a non-trivial discovery. That, and they both use abstract sound effects in comparable ways.
This is going to sound extremely implausible and insincere to anyone who hasn't played both games deeply, but I mean this sincerely: Proteus is a Yume Nikki-like.
I relish webcomic paneling like this
Currently listening to a MODArchive mod with a "crowd cheer" sample that's so low quality that my mind keeps interpreting it as a vacuum cleaner.
Something that sticks out to me as a signature touch of this author is how often and rapidly he cuts between various factions (which is hardly unknown for this genre, but is a little exhausting if you're not mentally teed-up).
If I had been legendary Chinese soldier Chunyu Fen, and I had made the dreadful gaffe of mistaking an anthill for a vast utopian kingdom, I would have absolutely prohibited ZUN from immortalising this embarrassing event as a spell card.
The very light foreshadowing surrounding the ultimate answer to this character's identity (foreshadowing which is not to be found in the attached image) is deliciously perfect.
Mother 3 (2006)
https://tapas.io/series/A-BETTER-PLACE – Reading another action-packed webcomic by the Demon's Mirror artist. Know your wishsec vulns, people.
https://modarchive.org/index.php?request=view_player&query=126327 – Nice game-like track with very interesting, almost anachronistically modern instrument choices, especially at, for instance, 1:51 and 3:59.
Greatly admiring the framing story of Sideways Arithmetic, wherein a reader-insert character is overjoyed to be meeting the famous Wayside School characters, only to be mercilessly destroyed by ridiculously convoluted schoolwork.
Ugh… what happened… why do I feel so… opinionated… *glances at my hand, only to discover I'm covered in the toxin that makes you care about MP3 bitrates* No… this must be a mistake… the difference is inaudible… it's… inaudible…!
Who's the Tom Bombadil of Touhou *I am immediately assailed by an assortment of answers* Wrong. It's Kasen. *whistles merrily as I lock replies*
I hope you're all aware that the final Smash Bros. character is almost certainly going to be a Pokémon from Sword & Shield… I hope that's a mutual understanding across the board…
Out of curiousity, I decided to see exactly how big a text file containing the numbers 0 to 1000000 would be when written in English in alphabetical order. After running a short script, the resulting file clocks in at 58.5MB of ASCII. Mmmm :)
Rereading the Wayside School books at the Internet Archive
Deltarune fanfic: Susie tries on Ralsei's famous hat which turns his head into a dark silhouette when worn. However, due to inconsistencies in her sprite's palette layout, this turns her entire head bright orange.
Did you know? Leon can be used in battle! Simply navigate to Items > Trinkets > Figurines > Imprisoned Spirits > Leon and select "Restore Human Form". This will release Leon, which is rumoured to bring good luck and sunny weather.
Revisited the instruction booklet included in Undertale's 2013 demo for some reason. I forgot about this one extremely minor (yet nonetheless effective) terminology joke.
Who is this joke even FOR
Been playing part 2 of this game
Portal 2 is like… you know how when a subtle, strange horror game becomes popular and it produces an inevitable sequel that tries to desperately one-up all the horror? Portal 2 is like the equal opposite of that, where the comedy got dialed up instead and the horror vanished.
1) This room only has a ticking clock for BGM, and it gets more and more distorted as you advance in the queue. 2) I feel like so many AAA shooters have opened with "jokey" mundane bureaucracy quests that this sequence doesn't even come across as satire any more.
Metatextual subversion was invented in the 16th century by whoever wrote that kabuki play where an assassin disguises as a stagehand of the very theatre in which the play was being performed. Its second and final use was several years later in the videogame "Metal Gear Solid 2".
I am loving this tutorial so far.
The characters in this game say "dwarfs", and I started vigorously hoping that the singular would be "dwarve"… but, alas.
https://talesofgames.itch.io/barkley-2 – Playing the "leaked" Barkley 2 demo. I like this company logo concept.
OK everyone, there's eight minutes left. That's almost seven minutes to register your Itch account and one minute to make it substantially larger than your decade-old Steam account.
Now, you MIGHT be thinking something like "there's gotta be a lot of overlap between the two bundles." You'd be correct. HOWEVER, this second bundle has, among other things, CROSSNIQ+ and Mixolumia. I've played neither and have no idea if they're any good………… but now I can!!
Sometimes over the past week I've thought about how this thousand-game charity bundle is exactly a year later than the previous thousand-game charity bundle, and what depressing fact that says about the state of the world.
https://itch.io/b/902/indie-bundle-for-palestinian-aid – This game bundle is only available for 3 more hours, which means FOMO is at maximum. Buy now, and live with no fear of regret.
This tweet has been deleted by its original author and is no longer available. . So, you saw past my illusion. Excellent. Perhaps you are worthy. Come, try to defeat me! Be warned: I am impervious to all attacks. Only a single blow to my heart can fell me – if you can find it.
This is why, for instance, there's so many made-up and often "magical" terminal illnesses in pop culture.
Thinking about how often fiction writing involves wanting to add some plot device that exists in some form in reality but not wanting to actually research it, so the writer just makes up a fictional version that they're automatically an expert in, to the benefit of their egos.
Intensely studying VNs to figure out how they can have the first-person narrator protagonist loudly react to and overexplain every plot twist as it occurs without becoming completely insufferable
You ever think about how in 2065, ZUN is canonically obligated to make a sequel to Phantasmagoria Of Flower View while also being forced to explain why Reimu is still alive in it
Everyone, remember to drink water, check your water, stretch your water, backup your water, and, most importantly, moisturise your water.
Thinking about how fish are basically just blobs of flesh with mouths that constantly try to take bites out of each other
That being said, I've always really liked this webcomic's concepts (even though its influences are pretty loudly broadcast) and am glad and pleasantly surprised that it actually got developed into a full story like this.
The climactic chapter is very super adventure-story tropey (I say as if that's somehow not indicative of the rest of the comic) but I'm giving it some slack because its conclusion at least vaguely makes sense (unlike other examples I'll decline to name).
This particular chapter is way better than I remember.
https://www.monster-pulse.com/ – Catching up on that webcomic that just finished.
"We all know that every mental health problem is caused by a chemical imbalance. And so, after 2 years of experimentation, I now have a brain that generates equal quantities of each neurotransmitter at all times. Absolute balance. The closest a human brain has come to God's."
https://modarchive.org/index.php?request=view_player&query=142902 – A lovely example of the "drum loop with various ethereal notes over it" subgenre.
Playing this is re-convincing me that having the 1:1 pixel resolution be RPG Maker's default of 640x480, and designing all the rooms using it, is a mistake – not only is the character-to-screen ratio unnecessarily low, but "realistic" houses' rooms end up absurdly cavernous.
Dentist: "Remember what I told you about catching these things?" Magician: "Uhhh…" Dentist: *lifts out a bullet with tongs* Magician: "That's, uh, lunch."
Every time an Umineko superfan plays Higurashi for the first time and ends up liking it more, my heart's filesize doubles
I also like the follow-ups (which turn basic attacks into dual-techs) and their interface (press a direction from a time-limited menu after doing the attack), which undoubtedly save a lot of menu clutter and button presses.
On the subject of Omori's combat system: having fairly simple Pokémon-style damage multipliers, and tying them to 3 basic status effects, is actually great at making the statuses matter while also giving you an obvious "goal" in each battle (accrue a type advantage).
To be clear, Yume Nikki itself is about as immensely far, design-wise, from 10 Beautiful Postcards as Super Mario RPG is, which illustrates how fundamentally incompatible their elements are.
Thinking again about 10 Beautiful Postcards… moments like in this quoted clip feel like a much closer fusion of Yume Nikki's visual and structural tropes and Nintendo-style wacky NPCs than what either Omori or Anodyne 1 accomplish. https://twitter.com/webbedspace/status/1344866946328612865
The sprout moles (with classic 80s head-with-legs design), which serve as the game's resident goofy mascot NPCs, are in keeping with Mario RPG tradition, though the way the game leans so heavily on them brings to mind the 10's Paper Mario games and their tiring overuse of Toads.
Explicitly marking out the cutscene trigger is a cute joke.
On the subject of dialogue… Omori (this game)'s character writing is OK, but feels more than a bit waffley. The leadups to bosses in particular feels like they have twice as many sentences as what they actually need.
I personally think both Middens and 10 Beautiful Postcards take Yume Nikki's tropes in much more interesting directions than either of these games, and in particular incorporate dialogue and text into its "formula" much more effectively.
I do, of course, take umbrage at how much this game reduces Yume Nikki's tropes to "just" standard horror, far more than what Anodyne 1 does (and that game had a whole sequence of rooms where you stab people).
I said previously that the Yume Nikki parts of Anodyne 1 and the Nintendo parts of Anodyne 1 really pulled in different directions carelessly, and Omori at least uses them a bit more judiciously – the former for Omori in isolation and the latter for when he's with his friends.
Anodyne 1 had its share of painfully obvious Yume Nikki environmental references, and the ones in Omori feel even more direct, such as the starting room being a tiny rectangle with a faintly ominous door in the upper-left, and this nonsensical boardwalk maze.
I find the mashing-together of Yume Nikki with Nintendo a little amusing, considering that Yume Nikki already mashed itself together with Nintendo. It's all the same lineage, deep down.
Maybe I'm being a little cynical, but both these games pretty much flatly steal cute quotes from Nintendo games within the first 2 minutes (left from Link's Awakening, right from Pokémon Red), and each one makes my eyeballs spindash out of my skull and off into the horizon.
I'm playing Omori (2020 video game) and the degree to which this tonally reminds me of Anodyne 1 is unreal. Truly, top-down indie games with Yume Nikki and Nintendo influences are in a league of their own.
Feeling upset that everyone forgot about Pluto's heart so soon, because of how late it was discovered. Pluto could've had cultural prestige as "the heart planet" if it'd been glimpsed even just half a century earlier.
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