Leon's Microblog – March 2023

Reading about Tetris 64 game modes
OK, I'm sorry everyone, but I just watched this again, and at 11:03, no more than FOUR pieces after garbage seals my combo trigger, I get a red-green to downstack it into a 2-chain. This game does not reward skill, it's all RNG, all of it, literally RNG th https://twitter.com/webbedspace/status/1641473979587383300
Like… based on just reading GameFAQs, even most people playing the relicensed versions had little idea what depths this game truly had. At least the Tetris Attack FAQs knew at the time that they were staring at greatness.
It actually really surprises and bothers me that a game as solid as Puyo Puyo, as foundational to the genre, still ended up basically unknown in the English-speaking world for the entirety of Compile's reign over the franchise. There should have been dozens of shareware clones.
OK, maybe I'm hard on five colour Puyo. On one hand, it does mean that you end up frequently getting deprived of the fourth colour for your chain trigger for potentially twenty pieces – but on the other hand, it occasionally means opponents anticlimatically die for no reason, so,
Here's my tier list of Worst QOL Features in this game compared to modern Puyo: 1. Five colours instead of four … (very large gap) … 2. Only one Next box 3. Single garbage going to random columns 4. Not being able to rotate 180 in a 1-wide shaft 5. Only one rotate button
The personification of my mental health wishes to proudly announce that I am banned from 1CC attempts of any videogame for the foreseeable future. *the crowd erupts into cheers as it slams a giant rubber stamp into my face, imprinting the words "NUH-UH-UH" in shiny red ink*
Puyo Puyo 1CC obtained! 勝ったわ!!!!! At last, (my) Puyo Puyo Hell has been brought to an end. This was the most painful 1CC of my life. Even at the end, after mastering so many techniques, I never did become consistent or ever stop losing to bad RNG. Today I almost cried.
🔴🟡🟢🔵🟣 Puyo Puyo 1 The End https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=330MI-zxEe0
Single clears sending a single garbage block instead of nothing is actually a masterful psychological ploy to trick the player into thinking that downstacking actually accomplishes anything and doesn't just make you lose slightly slower.
*no longer even bothering with the semblance of decorum and is now just ranting at the earlygame opponent sprites* Do you know how many 1CC paces I've been on, you low-exp mob? Do you know how much pwnsauce is in me?????? Do you know how many reds I've had to juice to get here
• Getting screwed by colour RNG • Your combo not working because you didn't do one of the twelve setup steps • Opponent does one thing and suddenly your whole board is useless • Dueling spellcasters My friends, the evidence is undeniable: Puyo Puyo is Magic: The Gathering.
They call it midgame because that's the quality of your gameplay during it. They call it lategame because your run is already dead when you get there. *I ignore the frantic beeping of my mood ring loudly reporting that I am medically mad at videogames*
The Puyo Puyo 1 Mega Drive manual is kind of incredible: it states that Arle is forced to unseal an ancient forbidden spell that can imprison monsters in a rift in spacetime, but it only works if the monsters are the same colour and in groups of four or more?
Today's Puyo 1 mystery: for every opponent, their puyos splatter like yours…… except the witch, whose puyos burst into stars. What gives? Did they give up implementing character-specific puyo splatter sprites after only this one?
*struggling to think of even slightly convincing johns for my earlygame chokes* The garbage puyos are too hard to see on that background
I'm going to declare to sundry and all that I have NO intention of learning to seriously play Tetris after this. I'm going to play the remaining Madou and Puyo Puyo games in release order, and by the time I hit Puyo Puyo Tetris (2014), I predict I will conveniently already be dea
God, this game is very good at what it does, but losing in it feels SOOOOOOOO BADDDDDDDD. At least in Petal Crash when your board is four-fifths locked up, it isn't because you manually built most of it into a monument to your own folly.
New 1CC attempt milestone!! I am now failchoking on literally every stage – including, somehow, stage 3, a stage that's completely optional.
Who called it a "powered 1x chain" and not a hit single
It's kind of funny that Madou Monogatari 1 was mainly created just as setup for the "main" story of Madou Monogatari, and yet it and it alone got four remakes and a spinoff.
*tweets "Garbage blocks in versus puzzle games more viscerally represent physical trauma from enemy blows than fighting game health bars do" and steeples fingers in preparation for the entire world's next move*
Which retro game fact is more fricked up: that Touhou 2 was released on the same day as Touhou 1, or that Madou Monogatari 2 is actually the first game and Madou Monogatari 1 is a prequel
Playing this crappy game and abiding by its prissy little rules makes you better at the game, and I hate that so, so much.
I'm glad I looked up Compile's Disc Station magazine on Internet Archive to find this Mucha-style Madou Monogatari art, first of its kind
It's spring in the north, and somewhere in this sin-drenched world, the cherry blossoms are in bloom. So please, celebrate by turning on the forbidden sixth colour in Petal Crash Online. And when playing, remember: they bloom so bright because there are bodies buried underneath.
Oh, yeah, also THIS exception… it being 8-wide feels especially deliberate because of how you can't fit three blocks lengthwise in it.
New personal best!!!
The greatest compliment I can give the Puyo Puyo garbage system is that, unlike in some games, it is designed to actually make games end. Unfortunately, it is also designed to make the losing player suffer as much as possible.
"Omori is the Persona of indie RPGs" – tweet that I am resisting posting with some of my might
"I can't fire this chain off yet… still need to juice the reds." – me, mid-combat in Puyo Puyo, expressing the necessity of "juicing the reds"
*searches "permission slip that lets me keep saying "What is this RNG???" every time something slightly inconvenient happens in Puyo even though I've been playing for 2 weeks and no longer have excuses"*
Ah, right… I forgot the other major exception is Magical Drop (1995) and its inspirations (7-wide).
Wondering if Columns (1990) is the origin of "6-wide" (the rule that non-Tetris versus puzzle game boards are exactly six blocks wide). Puyo, Panel de Pon, other stuff like Taisen Puzzle-Dama, all 6-wide. Only major exceptions are Wario's Woods and post-90's stuff like Meteos.
I appreciate the frankness and forthrightness of this error message, at least. (BTW the config file is >130KB of JSON, so this is not a trivial matter.)
That music's pitch really does just keep on going, doesn't it
There once was a sweet, pretty, and decidedly witty Leon who one sunny day decided to play a mean, heartless videogame named Puyo Puyo 1 in MAME
Wild weather out there, folks.
If Land Maker and Wario's Woods are games about eliminating colours from the board, then Threes (the iOS game) is about trying to add as many as possible.
I cannot freaking believe that thanks to emulator technology, making a NES demake of a versus game technically gives it rollback. Incredible. Milky way emojis pouring out of my tear ducts.
Versus puzzle game where when you counter (a.k.a offset) garbage, it gets sent to the graveyard from Magic: The Gathering. And you or your opponent can do a special chain to reanimate it from the graveyard.
The one good thing I'll say about the panic music is that it suddenly becomes hilarious when you fire off a chain and Arle starts shouting over it – a quality which single-handedly redeems all of its negative qualities.
Gamers in the 90s loved getting their names on a high score list that the arcade game's attract mode only ever showed for 1.5 seconds before switching to gameplay.
"Oh please let me have a SINGLE blue oh pretty please I am SUCH an adorable and sexy magician oh it's my birthday AND my wedding anniversary AND my divorce anniversary oh please a single blue would be so so nice" – me, to the game, before getting 8 reds, 12 greens and 4 yellows.
First KO of this dude on 1CC pace! I've been trying a combo extension by carpeting under the initial pillar on the left… the fifth extension with the reds here was an accident u_u; Also the freak RNG of getting that last purple immediately sure is something u_____u;;;
Sometimes I feel bad about the state of Panel De Pon as a series. The panels belong to the fairies, just like the puyos belong to Madou Monogatari and the Puzzle Bobble bubbles belong to Bub and Bob. It's their birthright.
You may have noticed that when you lose in Puyo Puyo 1, your puyos turn into angels, but not when the enemy loses. Why is this? The answer is that the enemy's puyos do not have souls : )
"As you see, only being able to rotate right means your piece will fall off right-side ledges, forcing you to build on the left… even though that's under your Next Piece column!" –me in my 1,200-dislike YouTube essay about how only one rotate button is actually brilliant design.
"Batankyuu" (バタンキュー, fig. "out like a light")in Madou Monogatari and Puyo Puyo is like if "pichuun" in Touhou was actually in the games instead of being a fan thing.
Puyo Puyo and Land Maker are games about developing powerful and conflicted emotional relationships to towering buildings.
I don't care about the random mob characters before stage 9 anymore… they are beneath me. *loses three times in a row on stage 5* I don't care about these losses. They are beneath m
Can I play Pentiment if I haven't played the previous four games. Just a little "vintage-style" tweet, to remind you of distant times.
I'm routinely getting frags on this guy on 1CC pace… glad I'm able to pull together grimy 3x chains like the one at 0:19. Soon, I'm going to finally be hanging with the Actually Likeable Characters.
Me, calmly, waking up after a week of suffering Puyo-inflicted emotions no human ego was built to withstand: "Ah. Right. I see now. This videogame is Like This because chaining is actually easy. Perfectly sensible."
Falling block puzzle gamers LOVE doing something called "charging DAS"
🌚Frantically dropping pieces because you need just one freaking more of this colour to fire the chain 🌝Placing every piece thoughtfully 🌞Frantically dropping pieces so your raisin-sized attention span doesn't forget where the last colour is even supposed to go
Feeling like I'm starting to make the slightest whiff of actual improvement… beginning to trust my ability to lay down the pieces and know how many of each colour must be above and must be below. (Of course, basic inputs still have room for improvement…)
I'm seeking expert Puyo help from the best place on the Internet to get it: the "Tips and Tricks" sections of the Mean Bean Machine guides on GameFAQs.
Thinking about how StarSweep is a match-2 game AND has Panel De Pon rising blocks AND player-dropped pieces with a "next" box… what a beast.
Petal Crash sequel where instead of just the right-up-down-left priority system for blocks pushed from two directions at once, you can hold a direction during the crash to give it Smash Bros. style DI (directional influence)
Fweeheehee… PECULIAR, isn't it… how dropping in a few credits to get to the end of the game is DERIDED as "credit feeding"… but shoveling in credits to grind hundreds of 1CC attempts ISN'T "credit feeding"… I just think that's DREADFULLY interesting…
Current gameplay status: Scientists are trying to work out if I am the actual Emperor of Choke City, or simply one of the many rose-scented courtesans waiting in their lavish bedchamber.
Live footage of me after I 1CC'd up to stage 9 of 13 and then proceeded to misdrop almost a third of my pieces
*no one mentions Magical Drop* Look… I'll get to Magical Drop… in its own time… please… have mercy on my misdrop-riddled body…
Playing versus puzzlers via Petal Crash has probably made me distrustful of falling block versus puzzlers… Panel De Pon I like. Puyo Puyo 1? Hmmmm… StarSweep is the only one I've genuinely clicked with, and that's mainly because you just teleport pieces onto the board.
Getting to the hour of the night where I put a cloth over the wall clock so that I don't have to see any more of its sass
I knew something was fundamentally off in this version compared to the authentic arcade experience. Fortunately, it gives you the option to fix it. : )
The enemies in this version SCREAM when they get smacked with a Bayoen??
Mars Bringer Of War is early-20th-century Megalovania
Very historically specific depictions of netplay
By the way, the game itself is https://macintoshgarden.org/games/pop-pop
Even the basic idea of having an outgoing garbage queue that can be prematurely wiped by game actions feels unusual… I understand it's this game's idea of a "chain", but having the option to just cancel a "chain" entirely to save yourself is still very novel.
I'd overlooked this game when I was a kid (mainly due to large parts of it locked by the shareware fee), but now I see a lot of strangely robust designs… having a magnet button to pull in the ball that wipes your outgoing garbage when used adds a lot of risk-reward and tension.
This shareware game's completely dialog-free versus CPU mode actually has endings?????????
Playing Puchi Carat
The 1994 PC Engine CD version of Puyo Puyo 1 has re-recorded high-quality voice clips, so it's finally possible to make out this one overpowered enemy from Madou Monogatari 3 saying 大激怒 (???) (lit. "great fury")
I think the big thing holding me back in Puyo Puyo at the moment is that my main strategy is trying to build the World Of Goo Corporation tower (a.k.a. "Chez Leon") when the actual winning strategy is attacking the enemy.
Currently grinding practice in stage 12 (of 13), which conveniently lets me listen to the vastly superior music track. (I can't really tell if the AI is dramatically better here or if the Jupiter gravity is meant to cover up its weaknesses.)
My face when the Puyo wiki uses the term "1-chain"
Puyo Puyo 1 only having one rotate button is actually meant to represent the effects of the cursed tile in Madou Monogatari I that prevents you from turning to the right. Send tweet.
I really, really want Undertale fans to play Higurashi (the visual novel)… all I can say is, if you have a favourite among any one of Undertale's main routes and endings, there's a Higurashi episode just for you.
*does a crappy 3-chain by accident while downstacking* Xross Dreams announcer in my head: "If the concept of epic had a face, it would be kissing yours right now."
Downloaded a tool to resize normally non-resizable dialog boxes in legacy Windows programs, and am pleased to report that it works beyond perfectly.
Others: "Puyo 1 multiplayer is unplayable because all garbage is uncounterable and a 5-chain is a guaranteed win, there's only 1 rotate direction, and you can't set the number of colours." Me: "Puyo 1 multiplayer is unplayable because you can't select a character to use."
It's fascinating to read about how action-puzzle games were inspired by real-world puzzles, even as they converge on similar matching themes. Tetris, jigsaw puzzles. Panel De Pon, the 15-puzzle. Puyo Puyo, dominos. Klax? That famously longevous puzzle, tic-tac-toe.
I can't freaking believe the rendition of the epic Madou Monogatari main theme "Try Out" used in Puyo Puyo cutscenes actually covers the full 2 minutes, even though all the cutscenes end after 4-8 seconds, and 94% of the song is completely inaccessible outside of the sound test.
On the same page: I'm fascinated the main concern of the Puyo Puyo developers was being seen as a "Dr. Mario clone", which is almost unbelievable today. But, it's scary to realise they're both "drop 2, match 4" games. Dr. Mario really did get so frustratingly close to being Puyo.
Me to the opponents of Puyo Puyo 1 story mode after two entire days of trying to play it: "Come on now. Enough of this. You've had your fun."
My face when they came up with this music for the FIRST dungeon floor of the game
………OK, who came up with THIS opening for the Madou Monogatari sequel, and are they still hireable
A great 3-chain of inspirations through history
It's a little-known fact that the arcade version of Puyo Puyo 1 does have a difficulty selector. To change difficulty, simply beat a level. Enjoy!
Having the authentic "Klax experience", consisting of finally looking up what Klax is, watching the attract mode, going "wait, that's it?" and then never thinking about Klax ever again.
*thinking with 100,000 watts of brain energy* Kumikumi in Puchi Carat is definitely a parody of Arle's famous pet, isn't it
My only comment about the visual design of Puyo Puyo 1 is that Carbuncle should wander around your playing field like Aifa (Land Maker character).
The other beginner-friendly quality both Panel De Pon and Petal Crash have is the piece spawner: because so many pieces spawn at once, you don't fish for one particular colour like a beginner would for Puyo and StarSweep.
Both Panel De Pon and Petal Crash have this beginner-friendly quality where one individual move has, on average, very low effect on the board, so a single flubbed movement doesn't usually have huge lasting consequences. This can't be said for Puyo, Tetris, or even StarSweep.
Mind still inundated with the Madou Monogatari 1-2-3 monster roster getting square-pegged into a competitive game roster… what a world… what outrageous fortune…
"Petal Crash has the sheer chaining freedom of Puyo and the not-a-freaking-1000-gravity-falling-block-game of Panel De Pon" ––me brainstorming a review of some sort
Live footage of me right now
~(>_<)~ ……I really just played Puyo Puyo 1 for over 14 hours………………
Based on pure observation (because literally no one else on the planet would be interested) I'm getting convinced this game has rank………
Welcome to my Puyo Puyo 1 frag vid *you suddenly realise after the video ends that this isn't frag vid music, it's just what the in-game music is like*
The Puyo Puyo 1 arcade service menu keeps track of continues on each individual Story Mode stage?? Yeesh, this is more sophisticated stat-keeping than most console games.
The Puyo Puyo garbage system is so funny. A 3-chain sends like two-and-a-half rows of garbage and a 4-chain buries four-fifths of the enemy's playfield. Diacute really is the most important spell in the game.
Arle and Ocarina of Time Link might be the two fantasy videogame characters who have distinct Child and Adult forms of roughly equal popularity.
Urgggguuuooooo… I want to 1CC Puyo Puyo arcade so bad… I like this game a lot… but this version has 10 billion gravity and a single misdrop swats my entire brain like a mosquito… uguuu…
By the way…… I kind of want a word with who apportioned the enemy roster in this game…… I just wanna know why the Draco Centaurus enemy, the third-strongest enemy mob in the game, was put in stage 1, while the entry-level Witch from the same game gets stage 8.
I think it's a little cute that the 5-chain sound is "BAYOEN!" because Bayoen is a spell for "deeply moving the opponent's heart", which fits into my idea of puzzle game chains as attacks of beauty (compare danmaku), even though that spell is kind of low tier in the actual game.
I'm playing Puyo Puyo. First day of playing this series seriously ever, and I can already taste the allure. This non-directional matching is so powerful, it reminds me of Petal Crash in the sense that I can do anything I want and it'll work. Here's the best chain I got so far.
*tries to write a sophisticated tweet succinctly analysing the design similarities and differences of Magical Drop and Money Idol Exchanger* ……Uhhhhhhhh………………………… um………………………… errrrrrrrrr…………………… a Fool and his Money are soon parted?????
If Higurashi was free, she'd be called Rika Furige *I receive precisely 1 like from a literal, actual cymothoa exigua inside a deep-sea fish's mouth, thus deluding me into continuing this bit* If Oyashirosama stole some original Higurashi CDs, that'd be kamigekakushi
The Diacute spell as an alternative to high-level Fire and Ice spells suddenly makes brilliant sense, too: by simply making the strength of your spells based on how much mana you can spend on Diacute, it scales perfectly across the early, mid and lategame of both 2 and 3.
The dungeon in 1 is a tower, and near the end you learn Warp, which teleports you up a level. Then, all the dungeons in 2 and 3 are descending caverns. The spell remains the same, but its meaning changes entirely – a design that's only evident when all 3 games are together.
You may recall I played two different remakes of 1, and the real version is so different… the whole point of this story is that Arle learns every spell at this magic school, and that's it. Those are the only spells you have in each of the next two games, from start to end.
1 and 2 are on single floppies, and 3 is on two. Each floppy has a 6-floor dungeon (or two with a 1-5) that you can beat in about 4 hours. That's all! Just three concise, cozy games that barely feel old.
Madou Monogatari 1-2-3 for the MSX… might actually be the best version. All three of them are really breezy and light… the puzzles are gentle, the encounter rate is surprisingly tame, and there's a few handfuls of genuinely good jokes in them.
I feel like Puzzle Bobble should be disqualified from being called a puzzle game. Yes, I know it has "puzzle" in the title, which is actually the only necessary criterion for being a puzzle game, but the billiards-like focus on aiming makes it feel too much like a sport.
It's also really funny, once you play Madou Monogatari 1-2-3 for the MSX, which is such a modest, humble game, very much like For The Frog The Bell Tolls, to think of these characters and this enemy roster becoming a competitive game brand.
I find it very amusing that Madou Monogatari got a modest first game in 1990, introduced a bunch of characters, and then, a mere one year later: Puyo Puyo 1. No messing around, just straight to destiny.
Highly Responsive To Prayers is the Wario's Woods of Touhou
Puzzle Fighter score players who keep the match going for over 4 minutes so that the ghost from Spelunky appears and turns all their gems into diamonds
Top 1 Non-Suspicious Copyright Lines
Finding out that Yoshi's Egg (a.k.a. Mario & Yoshi) was a Game Freak game is a more mind-rocking puzzle solution than anything in the game itself. I mean, listen to this. This is lategame Pokémon overworld music. It's so obvious I'm kicking myself. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jij5aODkBro
For those of you still starting out in Petal Crash, all you need to know is that counterpressure (clearing garbage and chaining at the same time) is fake and made up by top players. Don't worry. It doesn't exist, so you don't have to learn it. : )
Line delivery of the century.
Versus puzzle game that mysteriously has an undo key (like an actual puzzle game) but undoing brings enemy garbage blocks back in time with you, thus corrupting your history. You lose if the garbage blocks reach your first turn of the game, a.k.a "the top of the timeline".
I can't freaking believe that Wrecking Crew '98 has an equivalent to the Platinum Structure from Land Maker (an arrangement of pieces that has a cool unique sprite and wins the game when assembled, and whose threat distantly hovers over each game despite its sheer impracticality)
Welcome to my Wrecking Crew '98 frag vid
You know… if you think about it… *everyone else sprouts wings and flies away* Mancala is the first versus puzzle game… *their silhouettes soar past the full moon one-by-one* Your moves send garbage to your opponent… but they can use it to hit back at you and score big…
Some random B-tier MAME game: "Salutations, Leon. Shall you mind to learn all about me?" Me: "Alas, I have responsibilities as an adult I must attend to." Game: "Ah, but wait, I have a zany roster of Characters." Me: "Characters… I must learn everything about the Characters…"
Call me a stickler, but I still find it awkward when productions of Hamlet (or Shakespeare in general) take the swordfight parts (with no dialogue) extremely seriously and draw them out. I know it's part of the play, but… c'mon…
My unfavourite part of watching Twitch VODs is how the left and right arrow keys do something arbitrary based on which UI element you last used, and my unfavourite part of watching YouTube is how the numpad 0 key is next to the right arrow key and does something irreversible.
Today's versus puzzle game design idea: Panel De Pon garbage blocks should, when 2 or fewer panels are supporting it, crush and destroy them. Not just to avoid the bad-feel of losing due to a stray pillar, but also because destroying material makes the match more likely to end.
…Actually, I think I prefer this hacked Clear Contest to the official one… the sheer speed boost of clearing a big pool ("bouquet") of one colour means that you have to prioritise combos (to use the Panel De Pon term) a lot higher… "ARE CHAIN MULTIPLIERS UNNECESSARY DESIGN???"
It's official! Me, your pal Leon, can #BeatTheSkull AI speed in Petal Crash… when it's Strelitz… in Clear Contest… when I secretly changed the Chain Multiplier to "OFF", thus causing chains to have no benefit beyond speed. But, as they say in Hell: "Read the fine print, bub!"
"Tetris versus game that takes you back to the exact same RNG seed each round" sounds like a plot twist in the first third of a Higurashi game that makes Keiichi's eyes bug out, but there are actual arcade Tetrises that worked like this.
One little thing that vastly improved the entertainment value of this game was finding out that "Mt" stands for MEGATONS (from the minigame Megaton Punch)
Welcome to my Kirby no Kirakira Kids frag vid
Your free game only truly becomes a "furige" (フリゲ, lit. just "free game") once you add royalty-free BGM by PANICPUMPKIN.
Funniest horizontal shmup level design moment is when Parodius for MSX gives you a bunch of bells, which rotate through various powerups – ONE of which is "horizontal wraparound" – and then scrolls a completely solid impassable wall towards you.
I have held on to this roulette powerup for over four minutes, and I'm going to keep holding onto it until I lose a life.
When I got this Petal Crash 1CC, I told myself, there was one thing I was finally going to do… and now I finally have the right to do it.
5 days ago: the first Smash Ultimate tier list is released. Now: the Smash Ultimate community is in turmoil. Let this be a lesson once and for all: tires don exits
Naïve, shallow critic: "Peridot is the author-specific fetish character in Puchi Carat." Me, well-versed in the ways of the world: "Aqua is the author-specific fetish character in Puchi Carat."
So, how many people don't know that console games had attract modes because they were designed to be set up on shop window TVs by the shopkeeper, running their title screens on loop
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