Leon's Microblog – December 2021

Here's my monthly Higurashi recommendation tweet: you should absolutely, certainly play Higurashi if you thought the "hitball" arc in chapter 5 of Paranatural was extremely good and definitely deserved to be 60 pages.
These kinds of moments remind me that the universe is full of surprises and opportunities to create a unique, fleeting moment of wry humour.
I love spending half an hour trying to figure out how to download an m3u8 video from some social media site using VLC, having been informed that it can do this, only to discover that what I actually want is a command line call to ffmpeg, which, for some reason, can also do this.
Typical B3313 player experience
Me, 2020: Someday… I'll make a truly great Twine game. Me, 2022: Someday… I'll make a truly great Twine game that isn't about a spam filter having a mental health crisis through time and space.
"Sure, go ahead, play that Metroid Dread if you want a conventional experience. But, if you're willing to challenge your notions of what a videogame is, have I got the title for you…" *I produce something from my cloak, only for it to just be freaking Metroid 2 for the Game Boy*
This is going to sound like an extremely unlikely association, but B3313 reminds me of fan-expansions of Crowther and Woods's Colossal Cave Adventure that just add more and more rooms and treasures, with mind-boggling results.
Merry(?) Christmas(??) from the multitudes of spammers in "You are SpamZapper 3.1"
Enjoying some more streams of this ROM hack.
Reading the TCRF article (https://tcrf.net/Prerelease:Super_Mario_64_(Nintendo_64)) alongside this hack is great at revealing how many eerie design decisions represent actual research limitations. Such as, this textbox is blank because there's no footage of what it actually said in the real prerelease game.
"Leon, isn't this spell card just the boss pounding the ground to make debris fall down?" Good question. But actually, *pulls parachute ripcord and then jumps out window instead of the other way around, thus getting jammed and dangling outside*
Each B3313 area, much like the prerelease builds it's based off, is trying to present itself as "a floor of Peach's Castle", and the ways in which they compete with the canonical game, and with each other, is what makes this hack very distinct.
People compare this to Yume Nikki, and there's a strong structural and tonal resemblance, but they diverge in that B3313's constantly play off their subtle dissimilarity to the canonical SM64 castle, whereas Yume Nikki's are nothing but themselves (Mother 1 notwithstanding).
Dozens of extra floors extrapolated from the prerelease content, recreated areas from Mario 64 "beta" horror videos, subtly altered or retextured versions of familiar castle rooms, all stitched together with long webs of hallways and corridors.
Becoming obsessed with Super Mario 64 ROM hack "B3313" (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Z2K2NjEsaAFZTPi2fRF0b-i9CthKSQu4/view) after seeing a few streams of it. The premise is that it's a recreation of prerelease content (as seen in SM64's TCRF article), but it actually has a huge amount of hidden areas inside it…
"My heart sings when I think about the universality of the human condition and how alike we all are… no matter what era or civilisation we live in, every one of us is always going to say "Wait, WHAT?!" when something wacky happens."
Also, you get to confirm that the Orz theme has Scooby Doo as one of the samples.
Opening Star Control II (the Ur-Quan Masters)'s soundtrack in Foobar2000 is an incredible experience because you end up finding tracks named "Ur-Quan Kzer-Za" whose filename is "ilwrath.mod".
Me gently kissing my Smash Bros. tournament stream bookmarks goodbye because the meta has stagnated around one overcentralising top tier yet again: "Never know the cruel thorns of love."
You might think this is one of those cards that needs serious routing. Actually, I think it's best learned by familiarity. The important skills aren't really herding the orbs, but keen situational awareness and careful full-speed dodging. It's lots of fun if you just mess around.
"Flowers with no fragrance still attract their symbiotic insects through the visual sense. This flower, on the other hand, does the opposite: as a defense against herbivores, it is completely invisible, using only its overpowering aroma to attract bees."
What's the funniest thing Ralsei (Deltarune character) could turn into when transported to the Light World
How much of Python's popularity since 2010 do you think is owed directly to xkcd comic #353
Watching a normal esports stream
Note to self: curl uses -o <file> and wget uses -O <file>. Yes, there's a reason for this, no, you won't find it enlightening.
*fantasises about being a thousand-year-old vampire with an entire library of books I've personally read, and when asked about one, I always reply that I hate it except for 1 or 2 pages* Now that's the life
"Consuming processor clock cycles is a side-effect" – Forbidden certain-kill functional programming argument that was sealed beneath Purple Lightning Mountain because it was too powerful for mortals to wield
What in God's name is this custom checkbox animation
Amazing way to end a Lisp tutorial
Programmer Fads for 2022 and Beyond: • 2022: Gradient syntax colours • 2023: Editor/git/diff/grep filters that ignore in-file whitespace and display it in your favourite style • 2025: Non-monospace fonts (named "flex-width") • 2026: Comments in a readable colour again
Oh, not much, just listening to one of my favourite Umineko music tracks. "Wow, it's good. You must've loved it when you played the game." Yup, sure did. "What scene is it in?" No goddamn idea.
Metafiction is attractive to programmer-types because it suggests the possibility of extra channels of information. What if the structure of the narrative was also the narrative? What if the metadata was also data? What if the container contained itself? And so forth.
Every Touhou extra stage boss is just this page of Problem Sleuth
https://modarchive.org/index.php?request=view_player&query=186453 – I found this cool noise track, and I wasn't initially sure if the title is mojibake or imitation mojibake.
My MFW when I'm never going to be able to see the end of this translated webcomic I spent twenty hours reading even though large parts of it honestly suck
WAIT…… apparently this 1.5GB webcomic is A) still going to this day, and B) has 50 more chapters that just freakening haven't been translated at all? Even though this English port allegedly has 239 thousand subs? Bggrrrrrroooouuuuugghhhhh
"Meteors are technically aliens."
"Cold-blooded animals are so-named because they have to watch heartwarming movies in order to thermoregulate."
Is Higurashi (2000's visual novel) a soap opera?
Decided to crack open Flashpoint and take old immortal classic Tetoris for a spin. So far it's 5 minutes in and I'm about 10% toward clearing a line.
Getting back to this comic. More fun duo dynamics.
Thrilled to learn from Wikipedia that "thou", "thee", "thy" and "thine" were at some point used as casual familial versions of "you", "you", "your" and "yours", and fell out of English usage mainly because they were seen as too crass. I love it.
SMT demon wearing a T-shirt reading "I Only Like The Obvious Joke Answers" standing smugly with hands on hips during negotiation
Giggling in agreement at this part of an Umineko forum thread FAQ
I do like how you can see the design progression from this Koishi card in the previous game to here, even though the two cards are quite different visually. https://twitter.com/webbedspace/status/1420365139572785154
I did it… "it" being finding the zigzag key to solve this mystery horror movie of hallway chases and crushing walls. And, of course, it isn't a real nightmare if you don't wake up right before you die.
New baseball variant where instead of running the bases, a batter may opt to travel "the Path of Wonders", which is a tunnel alongside the diamond that no one is allowed to see into beforehand. Batters that don't emerge from the other side after 10 seconds are "out".
Me, having been banished to Hell As Depicted In 90s Cartoons, which is just a red cave where everyone plays polka music constantly: Honestly I didn't realise the accordion had this much range and versatility to it, so TIL I guess
The others in the series (which are still pretty good themselves) had a much wider print run and were much easier to find secondhand compared to the near-impossibility of this one, so I'm glad to finally put this tiny missing piece of my childhood back into place.
I've tweeted about others in this book series, but rather than a unifying theme like "the human body" or "a solar system", Worlds is pure ungrounded whimsy – a plane's passengers enter a Bermuda Triangle-type phenomenon and are whisked away to a series of psychedelic landscapes.
https://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-2853372220/view – Big news for Leon: a favourite out-of-print Where's Wally-like Australian children's book "Puzzle Worlds" from the 90s has been reprinted in ebook format, ending my years-long search for it.
"So I asked the checkout fellow how much to buy the shopping cart outright, and he said $120, but I got home and checked the receipt… and I think I might've been tricked into bribing him into letting me steal it."
*replying to a 30-tweet thread* Nice effortpost
Is EarthBound a "kamige"
"Is that a DXRacer" – me, seeing a baby carseat dumped on the pavement
FWAZOOM!!! Two games' Extra stages tackled in one day! Embodiment Of Scarlet Devil and Wily Beast And Weakest Creature. It's a mean streak like never before!
*plays Umineko* I've heard of a red letter day, but this is ri
When you retweet yourself
Even Mamizou's stage, which I'd previously observed is rather stingy with resources, at least lets you reasonably get 2 1UPs and 2 bombs, AND use the trance mechanic a couple times in the stage while getting said 1UPs.
For comparison, Yukari's stage in the next game has a lot of much trickier cards, but gives you 4 extra 1UPs (2 items and 2 point extends) AND four extra bombs, AND the border-of-life mechanic which is functionally 3+ extra bombs by itself.
So, it's a common misgeneralisation that Flandre's stage is one of the hardest Extra stages. In reality, that stage is one of the easiest in terms of cards, but the situation is complicated by the fact that there's only 2 extra 1UPs and 0 extra bombs in the whole stage, period.
COMMON "YOU ARE SPAMZAPPER 3.1" TRIVIA: "You are SpamZapper 3.1" is coded in "JavaScript".
MYTHIC RARE FOIL "YOU ARE SPAMZAPPER 3.1" TRIVIA: At almost the end of development I was contemplating renaming the main character from "SpamZapper 3.1" to "SpamZapper 3.14", in reference to certain mathematical analogies at the halfway point, but decided that was a bit much.
I've never watched the two big anime franchises Evangelion and Jojo, but what I do know is that Evangelion has one viral phrase that everyone incessantly parrots ad nauseam, while Jojo has at least three. So, I have a higher opinion of the latter simply due to the variety.
Some Touhou characters are commonly associated with numbers. For instance… 495: Flandre 500: Remilia 7: Alice 1/2: Youmu 3: Hecatia 17: Miko And, last but not least… 9: Hieda no Akyuu ("kyuu" 九 = 9)
And now for the best spell card in the series: the one where you have to grab the healing items before the boss does. Surprising similarities to Clownpiece's starry-stripey spell card, in that you'd rather just run down the clock and fail the spell instead of doing it properly.
…OK. This one's interesting because the only really annoying bits are the crossed knives and bubble at the end of each wave, but as the speed increases, they start traveling too fast to block you, so the focus shifts from dodging to simply fitting into the wave's centre lane.
To my credit, I clued in on what this card was asking me to do fairly quickly. I feel like most of its difficulty, though, is due to visual confusion caused by the circular bullets being drawn below the irrelevant ones… but at least it's different to Kaguya's other rainbow card.
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