Leon's Microblog – August 2021

Pyra/Mythra (from Xenoblade Chronicles 2) being top 1 in Smash Bros. is like if the strongest youkais in Gensokyo were these two:
Some big web app? It's just AJAX calls. You can take those assets, or block them. Playing a game with limited save slots? Find your save files and back them up. Want its assets? Open some nearby folders. All sorts of abilities afforded by knowing where data is, or must be.
So, so much of being a programmer or a "power user" boils down to just knowing where all the data lives, or being savvy enough to infer where it would live. Simply knowing that the data HAS to live somewhere at all gives you a tremendous amount of power.
William Shakespeare literally wrote "infinite jest"
You people don't know what it was like being a non-American on English-speaking web forums in 2000. I had to pretend to know what MST3K stood for.
For those with eagle eyes, yes, the site did at some point upscale (by about 1.25x) and de-artifact the original double-decade-old JPEGs, and I really hope it was entirely automated.
Something that's never left my head is whether the New Years' Eve 2001 episode of Sluggy Freelance intentionally suggested that Bun-Bun the homicidal rabbit and the Sugar Plum Fairy (from The Nutcracker) had drunken New Years' sex as the calendar changed.
I should also mention that episode 8 has a long section dedicated to word puzzles, and you can see the translators being crushed into dust under the weight of their commitment to semantic accuracy, instead of just throwing them out and writing new puzzles.
I'm not just talking about things like Eastern name order or honourifics, but the tendency to leave a bunch of terms on the table that only makes sense if the assumed audience is one that's already invested in Japanese language and culture above a surface level.
Learning that Umineko's English translation was originally a fan translation from the mid-00's that got bought up by the publisher has single-handedly explained a loooooot of slightly unusual/dated decisions in it.
Imperishable Night has one of the only branching dialogs in the entire series, but it definitely makes the most of it
Touhou 12.3 is the canon game where Cirno fights Utsuho and wins
I recognise this reference, and I know exactly what it's saying.
Hong Meiling gets no respect in the canon. Every one of her few appearances is her getting made a fool of.
<--- Just got back-to-back loop 2 clears of MAME Donkey Kong (Japan) and MAME Donkey Kong Jr. (Japan). *you open this tweet, thus causing the ASCII arrow to instead be pointing at the Explore tab or something like that*
Every Extend has nice default high scores.
*suddenly remembers that six-year window in the 00's and 10's when everyone used "face-melting" as a synonym for "awesome"*
I know complaining about the Twitter social networking WWW site is an eternally overdone tweet genre, but, like… there really isn't any way to get this to list the accounts you've muted JUST the retweets of, is there
By the way, some trivia: The ten Famicompo Minis + Mini Classical + the original compo = 605 originals and 736 remixes. The four unofficial Pico compos = 326 originals and 808 remixes. Kind of shocking to think about.
Update: I have now created M3U files all (but a few) of the Famicompo Pico NSFs. Combining these with someone else's pre-tagged Famicompo Mini NSFs (https://web.archive.org/web/20210127195646/https://forums.nesdev.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=21128) means my foobar2000 Famicompo playlists now all have mostly-correct durations for shuffling.
The rule of VNs is that every zany VN idea has already been done. That means there's gotta be a VN out there that appears strictly linear and non-interactive, except that the ending changes if you advance the text by clicking on a character's ribbon every time it appears, right
Would the term "low poly animals" plausibly include the frogs from Mountain Of Faith that are literally just three bullets stacked up on each other
Millennials LOVE knowing the development names for Nintendo consoles
What's the one symbol you wish was usable in NTFS filenames?
I love ordinary magician hobbies.
One other thing I like about Reimu, the protagonist of Touhou, is how whenever she appears as an opponent, she ends up using some outrageous cards that feel not only far in excess of expected power levels, but also transgressing the design space of danmaku shmups altogether.
Today's epic, difficult-to-understand gaming achie…………waaaaaaaaaait a second…
Immediately after this tweet, I proceeded to capture all of Remilia's cards in this game >_> Incidentally, I know some of the cards in these side-games have stylishly late title drops, but this is ridiculous.
Today's epic, difficult-to-understand gaming achievement. Incidentally, this card is a very nice example of how limiting the bullets' range of angles and speeds can make an otherwise deranged stream manageable by allowing more gaps to open in it.
Holly crap…… someone remade THAT song from Higurashi… in NSF?!? 0_0
Now I'm trying to add track lengths to the NSFs from Famicompo Pico (because the NSF format can't actually store or compute it in itself) and I'm glad to see that the original submission page records each value with precision.
I hope this finally answers your questions.
Fine. I'll talk. A lot of people over the years have expressed confusion at the fifth room of my 2012 VVVVVV spoof "!!!!!!: The Game That Appears First In Alphabetical Listings" (https://fairysvoice.net/games/!!!!!!/). What you're supposed to do is something like this:
One of them seriously just wrote "yukidaruma", with no footnote, instead of "snowman".
Losing my mind whilst discovering that there's no less than three completely different English scanlations of Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou out there, and all of them have different glaring weaknesses.
Putting launch aliases to every Touhou exe in my ZSH runcom was the greatest shell config decision I've ever made.
Playing this reminded me that Glider PRO letting you glance ahead to the rooms bordering the current one is GREAT at pasting over the kind of level design mistakes that this predecessor is replete with. Sudden hard-to-react-to collisions are everywhere here.
Followed up my Glider PRO 1-credit-clear by playing a 1-credit-clear of the default house of Glider 4.0 (the 16-color predecessor). Below is the vaguely Wizard Of Oz-referencing animated ending screen (and the informative wide-monitor border).
From the Glider PRO house "SpacePods".
I also want to say that specifically giving Junior a loud thump anytime he lands after jumping is very funny as a contrast to Mario in the preceding game.
This has to be one of the least scrutinised levels Miyamoto ever designed. Despite surface resemblance to DK level 1, it feel like utter chaos, even on loop 1. Great ambient music though.
Leon procrastination status: I have now 1CC'd MAME Donkey Kong (Japan set, a.k.a. "the one with all the levels") as well as MAME Donkey Kong Jr. (Japan set also). *I am reminded that those games don't let you continue at all, so "1CC" is meaningless in this context* Anyway,
One other takeaway is that, as always, a platformer where all the platforms are literally invisible and only, at most, strongly inferrable, is a STUNNING idea that could only come out of a foundational concept like "a paper aeroplane game".
Something that made this experience quite funny is that this section contains two areas where an extra life is offered, but only in an inescapable pit next to a necessary switch, requiring you to take the life and then throw it away. Bold for a built-in map.
Just had the most intense, nail-biting one-credit-clear in a while, and it was beating Slumberland (the default map in Glider PRO, the 1994 Mac platformer) while doing basically the entire last section on 0 lives.
Unicode just added a new letter. Get a load of this: A
CRAFTING Craft these two tweets? • *reads Watership Down* You can just say "Ship Down", JSYK • Shoot-em-ups with 1v1 boss fights are an example of singular em >yes CRAFTING SUCCESSFUL You crafted: • Terminally online? Oh, like wget or curl >undo Crafting results are final.
Revisiting Momodora: Reverie Under The Moonlight and realising that the real Dark Souls influence beyond the setting is actually the extreme inconsistency in boss designs and concepts *remembers this is more like Symphony Of The Night influence just as I click Tweet* Nuts
Classic shmup mechanics that Windows Touhou does not have except like one game: * Rank (except the red one) * Mashing (except the icy one) * Checkpoints (except the unlimited-lives one) * Loop 2 Classic shmup mechanics that Windows Touhou does have: * Shot power * Extra stage
There are so many things in so many shmup rank systems that simply cannot be explained except with the words "credit feeding".
I've been doing some deep research on "rank", the shmup mechanic, and my main takeaway is that rank is the most convoluted, pathetic dark-pattern mechanic ever created prior to the invention of gacha. This is probably not true but I'm saying it anyway.
Thinking about Beatrice, the character of Umineko, in terms of Baudrillardian simulacrum (as popularised by certain memes) and going livid at the thought
This "self-remake" of the stage 6 track is pretty good. (This isn't on Bandcamp unfortunately) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icc088Xla-Y
This is another one where finding the right spot is key. That being said, it's still so visually intense that it feels like it fell out of the extra stage by mistake.
Can't believe the power of these cheat codes I'm finding on deep threads in the shmup forums
Gradius is very much the Super Mario Bros. of horizontal shmups, except that SMB3 and World never happened and it went straight to New SMB after the first one.
As always, do NOT play Umineko unless you're braced for fictional made-up nonexistent fabricated non-real characters to humiliate you, the player, in ways never seen before or since.
Every so often I think about Umineko's in-game conclusive explanation for who or what the villain Beatrice actually "is", just turn it over and over in my mind, and I get mad, at Beatrice, in a manner contingent with having been massively pranked.
Today in strange and eerie Everything2 nodes
This is an appreciation post for JUST the instrument sample test track from the Gokujou Parodius MAME ROM. I appreciate you, instrument sample test track from the Gokujou Parodius MAME ROM.
Me: "Parodius is so much more creative than Gradius, and so many other games, too… A masterpiece of aural and visual whimsy…" Parodius:
It's Charge Shot Chuesday
Gradius V feels like a constant arm-wrestle of tradition vs. actually good design decisions. For instance, for the sake of tradition, these rotating options still use the classic sprite design: a featureless translucent orb whose current orientation is impossible to distinguish.
Konami really did go ahead and let Treasure make a Gradius game where you can do this, huh
Touhou scoring systems in the 00's: Each blue item is worth a fixed amount, and you can raise that amount during a time-limited bonus period that auto-activates when you graze X bullets divided by how often you use focus shots Touhou scoring systems in the 20's: Collect the gold
https://docs.mamedev.org/commandline/commandline-all.html#mame-commandline-noburnin – Having defeated monitor burn-in once and for all, humanity had only one remaining desire: bringing it back in emulation now that it was cool and retro.
Having fun on the shmup wiki
I did it…… I did The Trick.
Checking out the ChoRenSha 68K composer's Bandcamp and immediately having important questions answered
After finishing the piece, the pianist offered the audience an accompanying work, containing "only the notes which had not appeared in it". The resulting cacophony provided them with a complete piano experience.
"Wizards describe physical laws only as "the spells that cannot be broken"."
Me when I really, really want to check out the VNs in VNDB with the "Surprise Genre Shift" tag, but I can't because that'd ruin the surprise
G-TYPE is one of the most fair Gradius-style games you could stand to play, mainly because almost all of your powerup investment goes into your Force Device, and when you die, your Force doesn't power down. Most of the sting is taken out of deaths.
Revisited my favourite crossover fangame of all time, G-TYPE. One of my favourite features is how it has a hidden boss rush mode that's only accessible by a low random chance of it replacing the title screen when you return from a menu on Hard difficulty… Very horror-like.
Honestly this game is way funnier than it ought to be (although the final "postgame" dungeon is a little too unironic to the point of tonally sticking out). Highly recommended if you ever followed @ffvii_blazed.
*wonders if I should try beating a Touhou game with no shooting* Hm *realises that means I'll have to play the whole game at 1 power* No ––– 7,976 comments: DonerKebabCountry2 [96 LeonKred] [8 months LeonPlatinum] ok a lot of you dont seem to get that the "mistake" is ON PURPOS
I've also been replaying Genetos… I forgot how good its final stage music is. Also, its parody of "present day" (2009) shmups is A) extremely spot-on, and B) as a result, an utterly unapologetic SELF-parody.
Counterintuitive opinion: I actually think every single ChoRenSha 68K stage having the exact same high-speed rail background, unbroken with cuts to black, is actually evocative. It's all just a long road trip…
This use of fixedwidth characters for drop caps among plain ASCII is one I've never seen before… I hate to admit it, but it looks good.
Me: "The music in the game's BGM folder is apparently an authentic X68000 format… I wonder if I could…" *I immediately find and install a foobar2000 plugin for that format in 0.25 seconds* Me: "Thank you, foobar2000 plugins."
At least I was reminded that the FM synth background music for this game is surprisingly peppy and bouncy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_w8SBUWuzek
Reading the shmuplations interview for this game (https://shmuplations.com/chorensha68k/)… Hearing about how the "secret" powerup collection method became a broken, overcentralising mechanic that overshadowed the powerups' original design is EXTREMELY familiar.
ChoRenSha 68K has an invincibility code?! Let me at it *I launch the game and immediately remember this shmup requires constant mashing just to fire normal shots* I have now been let at it
Having a great time looking up where the hitboxes on all those 90s danmaku shmups actually were
It was ultimately better in the long run because I could allow Harlowe markup and styling to be used inside the dialogs, but having to monkey with my story format's script compilation so that these HTML-based dialogs BLOCKED CONTROL FLOW really sucked.
On the subject of alert(), confirm(), and prompt(): in 2019 I had to rewrite the Harlowe macros (alert:), (confirm:) and (prompt:) (https://twine2.neocities.org/#macro_dialog) because certain Electron builds (that people were using to wrap their finished Harlowe games) had dropped those functions.
"Why does one zsh prompt plugin have its own website, open source logo, Discord server, and ETH donation wallet" – one of many questions that Leon will someday be above wanting to ask
When you can't select something in a menu in Yume Nikki
God, I forgot that running MAME in RetroArch means that when you hit 'P' to pause, MAME's pause and RetroArch's pause duke it out to see which one gets to actually pause the game, and unpausing one ends up pausing the other one.
(The answer as to why I don't just double-click the ROMS themselves is that they're all tied up in goodset 7zips, or are in MAME zips.)
Today I: wrote a script to turn my RetroArch favourites into a bunch of Windows shortcuts that launch 'Arch directly into the given game, and lemme tell you, programmatically making Windows shortcuts with multiple paths as arguments is WAY harder than you'd think.
Getting into a lot of eldritch trouble when I get to the end of the ritual and it turns out I've been confusing Yatagarasu (mythical Japanese raven), Yaldabaoth (Gnostic demiurge) and Yawgmoth (Magic: The Gathering villain) this whole time in an M.Bison-style name rotation thing.
How long did it take vampires to discover they only need to eat the blood
"Just so you know, if you're in some strange ominous dimension, and you abruptly see me, but I'm completely motionless and have a wriggling black scribble covering my face, DON'T be alarmed. Most likely, I'm busily trying to eat it."
So, like, did anyone actually say this
I just walked past a house with a Christmas tree inside
Learning so many Facts while browsing the Touhou wiki
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Suddenly thinking about how insufferable Touhou would be with the Gradius powerup bar. Two capsules unlocks the focus key. Five capsules gets you one option. Three capsules turns the options' shots into the character's actual weapon. You lose everything on death, naturally.
This game is good but it feels like they originally wanted the supernatural/magical elements to have a bigger role in the game, and had to pare them back when the game was scoped down to release. They're fine as-is, but feel more like background flavour compared to, say, KRZ.
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