Leon's Microblog – March 2024

This idea is hard to put into words, but: Void Stranger feels like a game that would have had the black and white sesame seeds in it, if Earthbound hadn't thought of them first. None of the other stuff from Earthbound, though, just those two seeds.
This has probably already been done, but has anyone done a Sudoku where you have to delete one of the printed-on numbers in order to make it solvable, and you have to figure out which one
The notion of puzzles having a "thesis" is very apparent when playing something like Patrick's Parabox, where it's obvious what idea each particular puzzle is trying to convey. Void Stranger puzzles, being inherently "cruder", are much more capable of misdirection as a result.
Something I've been noticing about Void Stranger puzzles is that, by having two apparent solutions to a certain constraint (e.g. certain statues) it can get a lot of mileage out of making one of the solutions "look wrong", or working against the puzzle's apparent "thesis".
[B052 - Hard] Presenting one of this game's best works of obfuscation. Everything from how you're supposed to make the final approach to the exit, to what's even supposed to be on the switch, is in need of investigation. If anything, I make this look too easy.
[B050 - Hard] This one took a little effort. Figuring out A) which direction to extract the switch and door tiles from, and B) most of the traps to the right are entirely unusable, was essential and pretty interesting.
Today I'd like to give morning salutations to whoever was responsible for this one star in B3313. They really did just put it there, cross their arms and say "your move, Mario brothers".
Rubbing my hands together as this videogame starts forcing me to use the five-tile two-wide Conveyor Belt Form (which I assume is named after some kind of slug, or possibly an amoeba)
They should've made Wario Vs Donkey Kong in the 2000's instead so that Wario and Cranky Kong would be forced to co-write the instruction manual and be at each other's throats constantly
Little known fact: Void Stranger becomes 30% easier when you set the music volume to 0. This is because the extra mental processing used by your brain's "banger lobe" gets freed up, *tries to summon polygonal Dr. Kawashima but instead summons Arino from the Game Center CX games*
[B038 - Hard] This is the first puzzle thus far that felt legitimately interesting to solve… the single tile left behind at 0:10 is a really nice touch.
Significantly, the repeating inputs for the "Conveyor Belt Form", for single-direction movement through void using 3 tiles, is five inputs long (in this case, ←z←→z), so as a result, such lines get "staggered" in a way that makes them more visually unique.
I'm transcribing the routes in a set of Markdown files, with pasted screenshots. The inputs are four-per-line because I believe it's easier to keep my place this way while keeping adjacent lines from looking too similar – reminiscent of how credit card numbers are divided.
B003 to B027 completed…! This footage was made using only my transcribed input routes, without looking at the screen. [MAJOR PUZZLE SPOILERS] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i86f95PSYj0 (I will not be recording multiple room runthroughs for subsequent areas)
One of my favourite memories of my first playthrough was the surprising pleasure of methodically working through the final set of puzzles, step by step, and I hope to extend this enjoyment to every remaining puzzle – and, in doing so, immolate them.
This is completing the game on essentially maximum difficulty, with the minimum of options. But, with the absence of pressure to find the endings, I'm… looking forward to this.
Here are the conditions of my challenge: 1) NO POWERUPS used in solutions. 2) If I know a room contains a 💎, I *MUST* collect it during the solution. 3) I must write down EVERY step as a series of ←↑→↓z inputs. 4) Everything else is ignorable at my discretion.
…So anyway, I'm going to do another playthrough. In which I'm going to solve each puzzle in every room, AND copiously write down the complete solution. Each room will be solved once more, and then never again. I'll fill the emptiness in my knowledge. I'll fill every ⬛️ with ⬜️.
Exhaustively traversing the entire game world is – intentionally – tremendously time-consuming, and having to continually re-solve puzzles in order to investigate something can get very demoralising.
Now, the reason why I can't "just" keep playing the game is because of its signature hostility to traversal: every single puzzle must be solved every time you enter it, the difficulty of each puzzle is HIGHLY inconsistent, and your powerups drastically alter the solutions.
I've tried to put the game away, for the past several months, but my lingering attachment keeps tugging at me. In short, I feel like I'm missing something. Something………………… NOMINALLY important.
For example, there are at least 4 NPCs I never figured out what to do about, not to mention a bunch of other combinations of optional items and potential easter eggs, as well as a bunch of stuff that I lost track of because they are seemingly only once-per-savefile occurrences.
Because of this, I can't bring myself to indulge in other people's playthroughs and experiences even now. This wouldn't bother me so much if I wasn't so attached to or appreciative of the game. I guess I feel… what's that word… envy, I suppose.
I've been feeling wistful about Void Stranger… I finished several endings awhile ago, but, even after that many hours, I still feel like I haven't seen the whole game.
I opened a Tarot Pack in Balatro and the only card inside was the Black Pierrot from Magical Drop 2 ;_;
Me the next day after I get so congested with allergies that it takes me until 8AM to fall asleep https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xu_Z1jvGwtg
Watching some Smash Bros.
It's sad that Trimming The Herbs was exposed as an illegitimate upload, but what's even worse is that two days ago a rando hacked an obvious bogus clear on the level, so now the few gamers who want to actually beat it for real won't even get the honour of the First Clear icon ;_;
[⚠️WARNING: COMPLETELY BANANAS COMPARISON DETECTED IN POST – PROCEED WITH CAUTION ] The normal music in B3313 is like Daily Passing By in Higurashi, and the night music in B3313 is like Daily Passing By (Celesta) in Higurashi
Theory: the proliferation of "on encounter" effects on Netrunner ice in recent years is analogous to Magic: The Gathering splashing "enters the battlefield" effects on basically every creature since the late 00's.
Ashes to ashes, herbs to herbs. TASes to TASes​… And dreams to dreams.
Reminiscing about an uncharacteristically beautiful level in B3313 and feeling nice…
https://sylvie.itch.io/sylvie-rpg – Played Sylvie RPG… Cute game! Very gentle difficulty once you get into it.
Thinking about B3313 music… This track is really good at expressing the feeling of being 30 hours into the hack and still finding new areas https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ix1V8szmZ-s&list=PLoXqKKf4801jzrvdiTctYebp-KMP5hKyc&index=67
lmao, Netrunner just let us sit for 9 months with an out-of-place "criminal" runner who isn't self-interested or even motivated by money, unlike most past examples, and then today they revealed, ah, all along we meant… that https://nullsignal.games/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/1493193154LIB_RWR_14-Scoop-sized.png kind of crime. Well played NSG
Magic: The Gathering put all the weapons from Clue in a recent set… pretty sly, Hasbro.
I like Balatro's Erratic Deck, mainly because it points you toward build possibilities out the gate, but now I just want a deck that's made of the contents of 20 Standard boosters, like Magic The Gathering sealed.
https://modarchive.org/index.php?request=view_player&query=180711 – Really effective retro-90s style from a 2014 tune. Great sample choices, too.
The Ushiromiya family is slowly being hunted down and killed by Beatrice, the Golden Witch of Rokkenjima… and the only way to stop her – and earn her 60 million yen in gold – is to beat the level "Trimming The Herbs" in Super Mario Maker…
Rouxls Lalonde. Is this anything
The world's best Super Mario Maker kaizo players have been seized by a new fad…… horticulture?!?
If they do manage to "beat" Super Mario Maker 1 and it ends up getting less press and prestige than that person who "beat" "Tetris", I'm going to be sore.
– Finally, while there's a lot of context you're not going to get when playing the hack (being a homage to/montage of a lot of amateur horror videos) I strongly recommend reading this TCRF article, in entirety, before playing to understand the main ideas: https://tcrf.net/Prerelease:Super_Mario_64_(Nintendo_64)/1995
– Also, if you do reach the final Bowser, the hack doesn't have a definitive "ending", but instead has a short, highly ambiguous end area followed immediately by a "postgame" level hub. You should consider simply beating the last Bowser to be "the end" for putting the game down.
My rec is that unless you want to "see absolutely everything", then do NOT collect more than 1 Red Star. Having 1 will unlock most star doors. The remaining doors can, surprisingly, almost always be bypassed using other routes (the door to the final Bowser area excepted).
The most noticeable modifier is that health regeneration (from 0.7) gets switched off, which I /personally/ consider to be very rude, considering how much fall damage you end up taking. There are also a few custom-coded bosses whose HP get gradually jacked up to annoying levels.
Here's some other bits of advice if you're going to play the final version of B3313: – One big change from 0.7 is a hand-coded "dynamic difficulty" feature, where collecting two or more "boss" stars (Red Stars) will apply increasing difficulty modifiers.
*playing B3313* Ah, I see – the idea was to make an "unfinished SM64 ROM" but they accidentally thought "unfinished" and "unending" meant the same thing. Understandable mistake,
*puts a Balatro red wax seal on the 6 side of a Dicey Dungeons die* Now we're cooking
People are wondering why Balatro's taken off. Is it the animations? The card variety? I'm here to say: it's the exponents. It's the line curving up to Heaven to uppercut God. That's the juice. It's why Puyo Puyo is still played today despite being a self-proclaimed form of hell.
Greatest tweet on whatever this website is called https://twitter.com/YOKU_YUKIHIME/status/1759875385871990955
*my room CO² concentration finally cracks 1000ppm* You see… the role of cringe-inducing jumpscares in amateur horror games… is a lot like cringe-inducing sex scenes in eroge visual novels… you may say they'd be "better off without"… but are they not lovable because of that…?
The thing is, this hack owes its existence to hokey amateur horror videos about "discovered" prototype SM64 areas. You can look up the wiki and learn that dozens of rooms are recreations of specific fake Blender mockups or whatever. They are, well, this hack's cultural heritage.
Here's my executive opinion on the jumpscares: yes, they're still here and are now even cornier than before, and a FEW are LOUD, but they're still relatively sparse… and, moreover, I feel like this hack sorta owes itself to include a few to pay homage to its creepypasta roots.
One thing I'd hoped for since 0.7 came true: the last area is Peach's Castle as shown in grayscale in the 1995 Ultra 64 patent. This to me is excellent focus of intent: B3313 is prototype SM64 as it exists in the collective imagination, conjured from what little evidence remains.
Currently feeling very "I would pay money for this if it were legal for them to charge it" about this ROM hack.
I finished the hack after 52 hours… It moved me, it surprised me, it rewarded me – even after having already seen so much. Please play it even if you've played 0.7. Please play it if you haven't played 0.7. Only don't play it if you've never played Super Mario 64.
B3313 is a funny videogame part 331 of 3
B3313 is a funny videogame part 33 of 13
Trying to go somewhere with purpose in B3313 is seriously like incanting a magic spell, but with doors instead of words.
Moonlight Sonata (1801)
This hack using the freaking Animal Forest Real Time Clock to add a day-night cycle AND change the instruments of several tracks, is a wacky idea that pays off hard. Far from horror-like, the night instruments bring a gentle tone that amplifies the dreaminess of the entire hack.
One slightly unexpected area to get a boost is audio – while 0.7 had a couple of original tracks that kind of got lost amid the mess of Inside The Castle Walls tweaks, this one brings several more originals with instrumentation that demands your attention.
The more I play this, the more impressed I get. This 1.0 actually feels like a full sequel to B3313 0.7 – despite including about 98% of 0.7's areas – with the number of new ideas and setpieces it brings. Do not be misled by the version numbers – this is an extremely real deal.
Other tweaks: most of the dialogue/text has been revised to be less on-the-nose (!) and grammatically smoother, and, best of all: almost all the stars have been de-duplicated, so completing a mission will almost always give you a non-collected star (a very common 0.7 complaint).
Compared to 0.7, it has a bunch of QOL tweaks to be more like a "real" hack, such as respawning outside the painting instead of at a fixed room. I was concerned this would make things more mundane and predictable, but there's so much going on here that I don't think it matters.
Me for the past 13 hours
The new final official full 1.0 version of B3313 just came out *an offscreen voice states that it was over a month ago* it literally just came out, so now I'm sinking deep into it.
Nintendo will never make a game this good ever again
It always happens. I'm all ready to get into bed, late into the night. But then. Unexpectedly. I have to get up and check whether Undertale really did have "Would you kiss a ghost?" as one of Mettaton's quiz questions.
I've had this game for only 4 days and I already need to delete it from my hard drive for executive function reasons.
https://modarchive.org/index.php?request=view_player&query=61481 – Comforting FM synth arpeggios… and yet it isn't a PC98 cover?
I still have this screenshot I took of another moment I caught live… Gotta give credit to the creator for live-patching new features into the feed, like the Ideology Meter… Even though the whole thing had loads of downtime, it still must've been stressful…
Twitch Plays Pokémon was 10 years ago… What memories. Being Australian, I was able to watch the winning run live– *everyone in the northern hemisphere closes the tab before I can continue*
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