Leon's Microblog – September 2021

Funniest moment in Dynamite Headdy is when Maruyama is charging up a shot in the Super Finagler, and then the charged shot just slides out of the gun barrel and falls on the ground.
As for Youmu's "half-human half-phantom" meter, that just boils down to two details: in a team, the meter switches sides a bit faster, and the unlockable Solo Youmu gets to use both scoring behaviours (normally not possible for solo characters).
The youkai meter essentially serves as a "cooldown" delay that forces you to do either behaviour separately: you're only rewarded for grazing while focused, and you have to wait until the meter slides to the other side before you get those rewards.
Perfect Cherry Blossom (the previous game) has a scoring system that rewards both grazing and dodging while unfocused (i.e. at max. move speed). The problem is, of course, that it ended up forcing you to do both *at the same time*, which results in a truly nightmarish playstyle.
The Imperishable Night "youkai meter" is pretty poorly explained in the game itself, but having done some reading, it really just serves as a balancer for separately rewarding two risky behaviours: grazing, and dodging while unfocused.
I'm giving up. Sentience is too hard. I'm embracing limbofication. *puts on one of those head worms from Limbo (2010 video game) that make you constantly walk forward until you enter bright light, whereupon you turn back the other way*
The thing is, though, that in most RPGs, those flags largely "don't matter" – the main through-line of the plot can continue without them, so a chapter select menu can honestly just make arbitrary decisions for them.
Most RPGs have balked on the prospect because they are inherently "big player-state" games, with dozens of event flags, equips, inventory items, and so forth, making it non-trivial what should or should not be set when jumping to an arbitrary chapter.
Like… being able to simply crack the game open to a specific point is and has always been extremely important, not just for enjoying it, but also for treating it as an examinable corpus.
I've seen no one else say this, but the fact that Deltarune has a chapter select menu, AND lets you use it from a blank savefile, is easily the biggest UI/UX improvement it has to offer – not just to itself, but to the entire JRPG genre.
Never noticed this before but the current Zophar dot net SPC rip for Donkey Kong Country has precise composer credits for each of the individual tracks?? Also, wow, Eveline Novakovic (DKC3) sure did all the underrated tracks, huh.
When a long-winded fictional work suddenly whips out an in-universe ontology of fourth-wall breaking… that's when you know the author got bored with the recipe and started hedonistically grabbing jars from the spice rack.
Impressed that Cate Wurtz released a new comic whose name consists entirely of forbidden NTFS characters, meaning that the zip file appears completely empty in Windows Explorer, and can only be unzipped with something like 7zFM.
Really quite amazing how much Majora's Mask's time mechanic infused elements of Ocarina Of Time's formula with meaning and poignance without the developers really having to do anything.
Thinking about how Majora's Mask is loaded up with the same volume of perfunctory sidequests as Ocarina Of Time and other AAA games, but the time mechanic means that every sidequest is inherently transitory, and completing one is instead a bittersweet, slightly tragic moment.
When are they putting the Kentucky Route Zero maps into VRChat. I wanna hang around inside the Museum of Dwellings.
"After I'm done with one of my victims, I like to keep wearing their form for as long as possible. I think of it like, once I change back and their form leaves this world, that's when they become truly dead, right?"
Your fingernails only started to grow when nail clippers were patched into this world. On a hunch, you amassed as many of them as possible, and sure enough, in their presence your nails slid out at an impressive pace.
"I don't get it. I mean, I sort-of get paying $100 to look in Mister Mystery's Baffling Box of Surprises *once*, but after the fourth or fifth time, there shouldn't be any more surprises? Let alone why everyone says they "have to see" and they "need it to breathe"."
"It's not porn. It's a psycho-neurological arbitrary code exploit proof-of-concept that uses sexual arousal as the example payload."
"How much does a subscription cost in flesh-and-blood dollars?"
RPGs, action-adventures, etc. generally only get to use different textual modes, and first-person in particular, through strictly diegetic text, like the much-beloved log files and diaries.
Since playing a lot of VNs lately, I've become enamoured with first-person narration - not just dialogue or monologue, but full textual perception of the story - as a way of immersing you in a character's internality. It's a mode that generally only VNs have the power to wield.
Thinking about people saying that videogame RPGs have such a broad range of storytelling modes at their disposal… one mode, though, that I've noticed it usually lacks is first-person narration.
"If I am ever resurrected from the dead, I want you all to remember that the temptation to lie about the true nature of the afterlife WILL be very difficult for me to resist."
Glitch horror creepypasta that opens with the protagonist's friend pulling the "take a screenshot of the desktop and display it fullscreen in the image viewer and see if they notice" prank, but they inexplicably can still open files and folders inside the screenshot.
Notes on this: • This took 120+ attempts, three of which died at 01. • You can tell what random rotation each ring uses by seeing which bullet is stacked on top. • The fact that this is an old game that draws bullets above the player's hitbox adds a lot of extra frustration.
I love convincing myself of stuff. It's so goddamn easy.
I refuse to learn anything about Melty Blood out of a paranoid fear that doing so will spoil plot points for Tsukihime. If Neco Arc is actually an important character, I don't want to know about it.
Considering she finds all that stuff lying around in random caves and pits, I'd say it's reasonable that Samus isn't too fussed about losing all of her powerups at the start of the game for increasingly contrived reasons.
Much as I appreciate ZUN giving Youmu her signature charge slash in Ten Desires onward, I don't appreciate that he simply reused Aya's 5-second charge-up sound from Shoot The Bullet without speeding it up, so it ends up cutting out at a most unsatisfactory pitch.
You're currently imprisoned on the Ideal Frictionless Surface by your nemesis, armed with only an infinite straightedge and collapsing drawing compass to make your escape.
There are certain very special life experiences that make you feel like your Wisdom stat just tripled, and also make you realise that it's now currently at 3.
Guy wearing a shirt that says "Back Off – I Only Learned The Instant-Kill Karate Moves" and brags to friends that it's technically true because those don't exist
Footage of me training up for #Deltarune chapter 2.
Andrew Hussie putting a link to The Unofficial Homestuck Collection on his personal Linktree and labeling it "not broken" is pretty funny.
Recently I decided to try and curb my biggest procrastination habit, punching in a random letter in my Firefox address bar and clicking one of the autocompletes, by disabling address bar autocomplete entirely. I'm ashamed to report that this inconvenience is starting to pay off.
Can't believe Hidden Star In Four Seasons had tanned summer Cirno as one of the playable characters, and at the end of the game it turned out to be an oblique reference to the Dark Hadou (from Street Fighter lore), complete with sinister power manifesting on her back.
Something I forgot to mention about that new Higurashi demo version I mentioned yesterday is that, unlike the MangaGamer release, it preserves the original 07th Expansion company logo animation from the 00's.
But, of course, until then I'm kind of stuck in this intervening period where I've "played" ("read") the game, but not entirely, so I have this small complication that prevents me from fully engaging in discourse about it, or taking it apart.
Like, you all understand that I "could" go back in and get those bits, but all that stuff deserves its context and momentum? I can't just go see an epilogue without doing a whole second playthrough of the whole thing. I'd be wasting it.
Sometimes I'm bothered thinking about all the extra/epilogue content that I missed out on in games I've already "finished"… the last Kentucky Route Zero epilogue… all the Night In The Woods choices I didn't pick… various Dark Souls secret zones… Higurashi Rei…
("Supposed" is the thing, though, since it seems you need to turn Num Lock off to use 8 and 2 in the pause menu…)
Been playing Yume Nikki for several years, and I JUST noticed that the Effect commands are bound to numpad 1, 3, and 5 (and "wake up" to numpad 9) because numpad 8, 4, 6, and 2 are bound to movement and you're supposed to play the whole game with just the pad.
Well, it had a point, but I think now we can properly appreciate that those engines should've at LEAST had a way to grab keys by physical location instead of what ASCII character they might potentially produce.
*remembers when someone on TIGSource (Konjak?) convinced everyone to make their indie games use X and C instead of Z and X because then they'd work with QWERTZ and AZERTY layouts, and adding key rebind settings and UI was too much effort in the 2D game making engines of the day*
Note to others: this information is only really applicable for existing files on one's hard drive. For files that have yet to be unzipped, consider using https://ianharmon.github.io/mojibake-fixer/ instead.
Note to self for future reference: if you have a mojibake Windows filename that you know is Japanese in origin, there is a good chance you can repair it by opening Python, then running it as string S through unicodedata.normalize('NFC', S ).encode('ibm858').decode('shift-jis')
I'm not actually going to dive into this translation because some of this fanslator's other work has been criticised for very flat English… however, if anyone has any familiarity with this patch in particular, or wants to examine it themselves, feel free to give your reactions.
I downloaded a fanslation (http://pearsehillock.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/higurashi-no-naku-koro-ni-rei-v11.html) of Higurashi Rei (the little-known bonus episodes after the original 8) and this is the most fanslation politics thing I've ever seen.
*remembers that there were actually two MangaGamer releases of Higurashi, and the earlier one ALSO had different music to the current one* So as I was saying…
Anyway, I just discovered that the "new" PC demo version of Higurashi on https://07th-expansion.net/hig_gensaku#otameshi has new music in it that isn't in the MangaGamer full version, which is hilarious given that's currently the only PC version you can purchase in any language or region.
The question "which music is actually in Higurashi's soundtrack" is impossible to answer. It's like asking how many clouds are in the sky.
I can understand from the perspective that each of the 8 episodes' original releases were each expected to have some new music instead of just re-using the previous episode's tracks, but so many still like unnecessary/gratuitous inclusions.
This is going to sound mean, but Umineko has so many music tracks that it feels like a lot of them are "wasted". Like, I go through my playlist and regularly find ones that I have no memory of hearing in-game, and no idea what they would add to the game compared to other tracks.
There are two kinds of videogame OST track names
Additionally, the somewhat stingy resource system of Ten Desires means that you can realistically only get about 2 1UPs in the entire level (compared to three in several other games's Extra stages). This game really underprepares you for this Extra, more than usual.
So, the thing you have to understand about Mamizou is that most of her danmaku has A) subtly randomised direction AND acceleration, and B) difficult-to-read hitboxes. As a result, most of her cards are somewhat resistant to routing, and are very reaction-based.
Thrilled to announce that I've cleared the extra stage of Ten Desires!!!! It took a long time, but I've earned the respect of a tanuki.
"The basic structure of the DNA molecule has not been innovated on in over 4 billion years."
Here's my review of bullet grazing noises in shmups. * Psyvariar 2: welding torch * Touhou: ball bearings dropped into a jar * Deltarune: a printout getting flicked by a technician * rRootage: dentist's vacuum slurping up saliva
Today is day 1 of emulating SNES games with a TV-accurate pixel ratio instead of just 1:1. So far, so good. I ran Chrono Trigger and did NOT scream when I went to the world map.
*reads last sentence, makes extended low-pitched grumbling noise*
Sometimes you realise you've been accepting certain minor facts about the world without ever really interrogating them. Just now I decided to look up Wikipedia to confirm once and for all that, yes, tan() does, in fact, refer to the length of a tangent of a curve (see blue line).
*looks at the Touhou 12.3 boxart for the first time* I Can't Believe Cirno Is The Final Boss Of Touhou 12.3
Awhile ago I read this tweet, and then within the same 24-hour period I learned that Undertale's use of the word "determination" forms not one but TWO different puns. That was a very energetic time for me. https://twitter.com/mcclure111/status/1242589680224395265
Funnily, this means this mechanical system, simply by being underexamined and insufficiently scrutinised by the designers, ends up inadvertently providing character attention and focus (to the party's side-characters) that the textual story lags behind in.
Occasionally you get a game that considers the main character's incapacitation more important than the others, but by and large the combat system doesn't care who the main character is, in keeping with its origins in multiplayer tabletop, and in contrast to the story itself.
I've started to notice how strange it is that so many RPGs/JRPGs have a very clear narrative "main character", yet also use party-based turn-based-combat systems which privilege each party member equally, has them act autonomously, and mostly doesn't care who accomplishes what.
This is getting more complicated. It seems (for me) "Latest" behaves algorithmically (like Home) on page load, but subsequent added tweets are chronological? And the inverse on "Home". I'm this close to opening the Network drawer and staring vacantly at it (I already have).
I've noticed this on my account (the *labels* being swapped in addition to the setting) and now I'm just wondering what kind of bizarre A/B is going on and which timeline I'm going to have to use to pledge support for chronological order. https://twitter.com/abitofBaileys/status/1434506053828452355
This thing isn't even HTML-based. It's a .exe from 2006. It just implicitly assumes the Internet Explorer Flash plugin DLL exists on the system.
Just had a rollicking adventure trying to get an old Windows VN to play that was ABSOLUTELY working just fine a year ago, only to finally discover that it was throwing the error "Cannot create Flash ActiveX control" when trying to display the animated company logo.
The funny part is that the 16384 limit is seemingly due to limitations in WebP's lossy compressor, limitations which are absent from its lossless compressor, the one you'd use to convert from PNG.
I mean, I knew converting PNGs into WebPs made them smaller, but this is ridiculous.
It seems I have become mildly inconvenienced by the fact that WebP's maximum width and height are 16384px. Just for comparison: • PNG's maximum width and height is 2147483647px • The webcomic Crow Cillers contains at least six PNGs that are over 17000px high.
I recently updated my hard drive's MODArchive corpus to include the extras from 2008-2019. So, of course, the first thing I did was scroll to mid-2015 and check how long it took before "that" showed up in the fossil record.
FOMO stands for "Flash of Unstyled Content"
Graze bonuses in shmups like Touhou are like coins in Super Mario Bros., in that they're extremely small bonuses obtained by doing trivial things you're going to do anyway, but still feel satisfying for purely visceral reasons.
"How come characters in musicals always instantly think of songs to sing" is a clever-sounding but ultimately low-level question. "How come characters with spoken parts in songs always keep up the meter and rhyme scheme of the song they're contained in" is a bit more interesting.
I was very fearful of machines breaking, computers glitching, people being mind-controlled, and so forth. The Flowey boss fight in Undertale is one of my guilty favourite videogame setpieces, but if I had encountered it as a kid I would have instantly skeletonised.
I think it's funny how much I like well-done surprise/shock genre shifts, style shifts, glitch-horror, fourth-wall breaks, and stuff like that in games, but was really timid and afraid of them as a small child.
I love how gelatinous this entity is. Little-known tactic to make an eyeball visually interesting is to forego the false beauty of the orb, and make it half-anemone.
https://mtg.cardsrealm.com/articles/as-a-protest-pauper-preliminary-decks-have-only-basic-lands – Today in typical and usual Magic: The Gathering news: players of a certain unpopular format have been protesting a months-long lack of balance changes by entering online brackets with decks of only common land cards, and forfeiting to each other.
Something funny about this (left) and Garden Of Coloured Lights (center) is how, not only do they take inspiration from Rez for their audio design, but they both explicitly credit inspiration from rRootage, a game that only took inspiration from Rez for its /graphical/ design.
Each part of that combination was (and continues to be) enticing for indies because it offered a strategy for reducing art asset creation and art direction to "mere" programming, much as how action roguelikes' proc-gen reduced level design to mere programming.
Anyway… everyone remembers how the 07-12 period was dominated by puzzle-platformers in the shadow of Braid and Portal, but it's also hard to forget how much it was also dominated by generative music + abstract graphics arcade games in the shadow of Rez.
I tried replaying Everyday Shooter, but I just discovered that my keyboard has only 5-key rollover, so if I hold, say, up, left, W and A and simultaneously hit D and right, one of the inputs gets eaten. Remember, "Problem Exists Between Chair and Keyboard" includes the keyboard.
This is another confusing card that I used to hate, but it ultimately comes down to routing and timing the green bullets' unusual phase-changes. By the by, is there anything that screams "wonderfully gratuitous danmaku" more than those purely space-controlling blue bullets?
Those bullets passed into fantasy and entered Gensokyo.
Thinking about how the extremely common arrowhead bullets in Touhou (left) exist as a reference to one specific bullet sprite used only on the last attack of the last form of the last boss of Dodonpachi (right) and basically nowhere else in the Donpachi series.
*suddenly thinks about how much information is all at my fingertips* Oh my god
"The sky may be falling, but so is the Earth at equal speed."
It's kind of ridiculous how they gave videos their own HTML element ten-plus years ago, and it's still nearly impossible to just download one like an image, to the point where most people still need one of hundreds of variously monetised tools/bots for this.
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