Monday, August 30, 2010


I was browsing this page on TVTropes when I came across this image talking about why people hate furries.

Now a little background might be in order. On the Internet, several groups and communities have formed form the protoplasm over the years. Three of the most infamous are Goons, /b/tards, and of course, furries.

Both Goons and /b/tards hate furries. Said image was made by /b/tards complaining about furries. One of the comments where it is liked too on the TVTropes page is "4chan needs to have a speech aimed back, cause there's at least half a dozen reasons why they're worse". Of course most people know /b/tards are trolls, so doing so may would just be taking the bate.

Plus it's not as if they don't kinda have a point. Furries are not entirely the most well-adjusted people on average. I could go on with the problems they have, but thats not the point I am trying to make. Here is the thing though. The people who hate on furries don't do it because of that, they do it simply to gratify their own ego and/or make themselves look cool. Furries are mostly just easy targets.

I again have to point out being a troll doesn't make you cool or witty. Anyone can do it. Just go say something bad about something where you know people who like that thing can hear. Instant drama. I will admit you might derive amusement from it, like the first few times, but it just becomes old and tiresome to see a group basically bashed again and again because people think they are slightly annoying.

It doesn't help that the victims basically enables their behavior by giving them what they want. but it's not like I can tell anyone to calm down and ignore it anymore then I can tell trolls to stop trolling. Me, I stay away as much as possible from all the groups. They are all caught up in this cycle of hate that I rather not be involved in.

Though I have a secret lust for furry porn. What? I said nothing!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Fornaldar SaGa

I started playing the DS version of SaGa 2 the other day. No, it's not out in the US yet, and I doubt it ever will be. But I am playing it anyway, via slow as heck emulation and a incomplete translation patch. But it's still playable, and thats all that matters. That won't stop me from rushing and getting it if and when it comes out, but like I said, I doubt thats going to happen.

Anyway, for those of you unfamiliar with the SaGa series (and yes that is how it's capitalized), allow me to give you a brief description. If the Final Fantasy series was Square's pretty boy poster child (which it is), the SaGa series is Square Enix's lethal secretive high-class assassin with a secret passion for art (and the Mana series is the lovable bouncy tree-hugging hippy child but thats another story).

To use a more crude way of putting it, the SaGa series is totality hardcore, and I don't just mean in difficulty, though many of the games are a lot more difficult then Final Fantasy games in some ways. I mean that, while Final Fantasy holds your hands and strings you along a linear series of events, SaGa basically just says "look, there is stuff to do, go do it". While Final Fantasy usually uses a very normal combat system and makes sure to explain everything, SaGa just usually dumps you in a system that is totality different then other RPGs and expects you to figure it out more or less on your own. While Final Fantasy wows you with FMV and graphical wonders, SaGa takes a more subtle approach. It is, of course, for these reasons many people hate it, but it is, of course, for the same reasons many people love it. I myself love it.

And since there are way too many "Final Fantasy Retrospective" things online and not enough SaGa ones, I think I will say a few things about each game in the series. And you get to read it! Aren't you lucky?

Number 0 - Final Fantasy 2 (the Japanese one):
You might be wondering what Final Fantasy 2 has to do with the SaGa series (but you probably aren't, because your skipping this blog post, you bastard). Well see Final Fantasy 2 was the first game by square to experiment with a system of leveling up that did not use actual levels. While most agree it was pretty much a failure, the basic idea behind it would feature heavily in the SaGa games. Thus I like to count Final Fantasy 2 as SaGa 0... even though it actually is quite different in tone and only vaguely resembles it in game play. but it's my list so pppft.

Number 1 - Makai Tōshi Sa·Ga/Final Fantasy Legend:
The first SaGa game was made as a quick but quirky little rpg for the Gameboy, but was a color update for a system that was never available in the US. It has a basic story. There is a tower that leads to heaven, so you and your party climb it. Then you kill god with a saw. Then they go home. The end. Gameplay wise, you can choose a party of humans, mutants (also called espers), and monsters. Humans need to buy level up items, mutants/espers level up their stats randomly and can learn spells and such randomly as well, and Monsters eat meat of other monsters they defeat to change forms. YUM! Each item that can be equipped has a use counter that will decrease each time you use it, and after it is gone the item will break. One interesting feature is every party member has 4 or so hearts that decrease every time they die in battle, and once they run out they are dead forever (but you can always pick up replacements for most of them) This feature would be taken out for the next few games but come back in another form later. Overall, the first game is crude and not very polished, but it is interesting and forms a good solid base to build on. The biggest downside is monsters are too random and not very useful, because each form has set stats and abilities and you can only change between them semi-randomly if you eat meat, though there is a progression of tiers.

Number 2 - Sa・Ga2: Hihō Densetsu​/Final Fantasy Legend 2:
Still for the Gameboy, but recently got a DS remake that I am playing (in case you forgot). This time there are 77 pieces of a goddess statue that could give people god-like powers, and your father suddenly hands you one, jumps out the window, and vanishes for years. You grow up and decide to go find his sorry ass, and your class mates help. Gameplay wise, it's not that different form the first, but more polished, and in my opinion more fun. The major changes are that there is no stat-up items to buy for humans, instead making them level up semi-randomly like the mutants/espers, but faster and without the funky powers. Also now there is a robot player class that get stronger depending on what items you equip on them. The hearts however are gone and there is no permanent death. Also in the DS port I noticed that you actually could sometimes keep ability form other monsters which made them more useful. I never noticed this in the gameboy version so I think it was added to the port. This is probably my favorite of the gameboy SaGa games.

Number 3 - Jikuu no Hasha ~ Sa・Ga 3/Final Fantasy Legend 3:
The last of the gameboy ones. I admit I have mixed feelings about this game. On the one hand, it's story and setting is pretty interesting. In involves this thing that is flooding the past to destroy the future or some such thing and you have to do something or another to get somewhere and travel though time on a cool ass-spaceship. Said cool-ass space ship is the coolest part of the game really. It has tuns of upgrades, functions, and even weapons. But sadly, rather then stick with the interesting gameplay of the last two games, they scraped the whole thing and you instead get a generic level/experience system and normal equipment. Instead of having monster and robot party members you can install robot parts or eat meat to transform your human/mutant characters into them, but unfortunately the already clunky transformation method is even more clunky here, as you may randomly change at level up and lose any cool powers, and robot parts do the same thing. One sort of nice thing is you can equip spells for each party member regardless of form or race, which is nice, but kinda seems to easy.

Number 4 - Romancing SaGa:
The first game for the SNES, and it was also remade for the PS2. I am not sure how faithful the PS2 ports gameplay is to the SNES version because it takes a lot of ideas form the later SaGa games. Regardless, this game first introduced the "glimmers" or "sparks" that would teach party members new commands and abilities during the heat of combat. However gone are the different races or many of the quirky random sci-fi elements form the previous games. Now the setting is normal boring everyday fantasy, and there is little variety to the characters or the setting. The story has to do with an evil god, and some gems, and stuff, but honestly it's less about the main plot and more about the side-quests anyway. This also marked the point where your characters were no longer set from the start of the game, you would instead have to find people to join your party and quite a few of them could be hidden though out the world and there were many to choose from with there own personalty and skills, though anyone could more or less train in anything else.

Number 5 - Romancing SaGa 2:
The second SNES SaGa game. This one is probably the most interesting setup wise. Instead of playing a normal adventuring party of characters, you play a series of kings or queens who rule a little nation, and you spend most of the time expanding your territory by doing quests and slaying monsters. However, after a while, or if you somehow die, you pass on your skills and abilities to a new generation. The hearts form the first game return in the form of "Life Points" which do down if you get knocked out, or if you are damaged while knocked out. You cannot restore these except by very expensive and rare potions, and your party members die forever if you run out as in the first game. However, like the first game you can always replace them. Like Romancing SaGa you have to find most of your new party members which are more generic classes then actual characters. You also learn attacks for weapons and can "master" them where they become available to the next generation for free. All and all it's a very interesting experience, but the game is still the only one without ANY way of playing it in English. Oh well. I managed to get sorta far anyway just by winging it.

Number 6 - Romancing SaGa 3:
The last and many people think the best of the SaGa games on the SNES, and while I have a soft spot in my heart for Romancing SaGa 2, it's hard to beat this one. Gameplay wise, it is a more refined version of concepts done in Romancing SaGa and Romancing SaGa 2 with some extra twists and a whole lot of refinement. It doesn't have the generation system Romancing SaGa 2 did, but it is a good experience anyway and probably has more direction and plot focus, while still letting you wonder around doing things as you want. The story has to do with a death ellipse that kills every newborn child except one every 200 or so years, and that one child has always grown up to shape history. It has been 16 or so years since the last one and people are waiting for the child to appear. And so on and so forth. This time, it's more the characters then the side quests that make the story worthwhile. Each one has it's own little quest to do, and they all sort of meet up at the end. It still has the Life Points but now you can recover them at the inn, and should a character die, there may be a way to revive them, but I am not sure of the details of it.

Lucky Number 7 - SaGa Frontier:
The first on the playstation, and the best of the series. Period. Why? Ever since Romancing SaGa, there has been no monsters or robots or mutants. Now there are monsters and robots and... mystics? Well they are SORT OF the same thing. SaGa Frontier can only be described as taking the whole series, from the lovable gameboy ones with their strange sci-fi/fantasy mix and multible races, to the snes ones and their refined gameplay and storyline, and mashing them all together. Them maybe adding some Final Fantasy 7 on top of that. Also, monsters now absorb skills and shift based on what skills they have, making them a lot more useful. SaGa Frontier also features seven different storylines told from a different main character's perspective. To be fair Romancing SaGa and Romancing SaGa 3 also sort of did this, but all the story lines only really differed in the introduction as far as I know. In SaGa Frontier, they all have their own quests, different party members that can be picked up, and end boss. To be fair, two of the seven main character's quests are almost entirely sidequests that anyone can do with a end quest at the end, but most of the others have their own tasks to do. The one complaint I have with this game is the graphics often look washed out or low-res compared to other playstation games.

Number 8 - SaGa Frontier 2:
the second one on the playstation. Really this should have been called Romancing SaGa 4, becuase thats almost exactly what it is. Then again SaGa Frontier was going to be called Romancing SaGa 4 at one point when it feels more like SaGa 4. Anyway SaGa Frontier 2 is a huge disappointment to me. Once again, they did away with the extra races. Once again the setting is mostly generic fantasy. Although now it uses wonderfully painted watercolors for everything. The biggest offense of this game is instead of non-linear exploration, you basically go from scenario to scenario in a long continuous narrative with set parties. It does let you somewhat visit a few places in between this little "history lesson" with the last party you used, but it is quite limited in the opportunity to do so, which also makes the end of a game incredibly hard because you can't really build up very much if you rush into things. Still it's not the worst game in the world, it's just incredibly bland compared to SaGa Frontier.

Number 9 - Unlimited Saga:
For the PS2 and the last SaGa game that has been made, not including remakes. Unlimited Saga is unlike any of the other SaGa games, or indeed unlike most any other RPG. Instead of a normal RPG set up of a character moving on a map, the game plays more like a mix between a board game and a table top RPG. You move a miniature figure along the map space by space, and on each space there can be monsters, treasure, and/or traps. You also have many skills you can use to pick locks, disarm traps, and other things. Instead of dice rolls you use slot machine like reels for determining if you succeed or fail at an action. Combat also uses reels, and some abilities you learn take slots on them. Oddly enough, in this game your Life Points are your only real life and your HP is more like stamina, which can be annoying as enemies work the same way, and you can hit enemies over and over but unless you are lucky enough to hit a LP point or two they will never die. Level ups are done by giving you panels after quests, but the problem is, they are more or less random and you have to use them even if you have to get rid of good ones to do it. Even so, I liked the game. It was different and very much felt like a tabletop game and not a video game. Still it could have been better.

I guess I could have talked more about graphics and sound, or gone in more detail about gameplay, but screw it, I am tired.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Day's Dawning

The sun comes up
Some great it yawning

Coffee in cup
As the day is dawning
It's a




Some are that way.

In the dawning light
Between the murkiness

And the daylight
None are their perkiest
But they




I guess they may.

And in it flows
Sunlight though the curtains

Of all man knows
Only this is certain



Almost a


They need to make a dime...

And all the people who
Work the night shift

Return to bed
To rest their head

And all the people who
Work the dayshift


New day...

New day...


*Gutiar solo*

(Funny I wrote this originally as light jazz and it became rock somehow. I guess cause I started in a light jazz 6:00 am and moved to a power rock 8:00 am... not that it matters because I am going to sleep now :P)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

I have my Open Scorces

I wrote this as a post to SMW Central but it's a little to long and ranty, so it's better off here. I didn't really mean to make a rant, I just want to try and explain Open Source better because I don't think most people really understand what it is, and it's causing people to not want to use it.

There are a lot of programmers that absolutely refuse to make anything open source. Common logic that people seem to justify this with is that they will lose control over the project or that they will get no credit for their work (though I think most of the programmers themselves just say their code is sloppy and they don't think anyone could understand it, to which I say: "So?").

Here is the thing: That's not what "Open Source" is. Open Source means simply that the source is available. It does not mean you lose rights to it. It does not mean anyone can make their own versions of it. Heck it doesn't even imply people can modify it at all. It just means it's there if people want to peak at it to see how it works. I am not saying every program should be open source, I just mean it's not the same thing as "Free Software" where everyone can modify and mess with it and make subversions willy nilly. There are rules with what you can do with it. Hell even free software usually allows people credit.

Now I know handing you valuable source to the internet is scary and there are any number of people that can run off with it and make there own version, but really. Is a idiot who changes a program name or about page so hard to spot?

And yes. You shouldn't have to incorporate other people's code you don't understand that may break something into your project. And guess what? You don't have to. You are still in control. You never gave that up. If you see something useful that someone made with it you want to incorporate, you can do that too.

In short, disliking open source because of lack of creative or version control is bullshit, because you still have that. This isn't free software or public domain.

Or maybe you are just afraid they will make something BETTER then you can. But if they are prevented from uploading or using it anywhere except though you, it just means you get more work done on it. If your afraid people will steal your ideas or algorithms, then grow the hell up. Your ideas are not something you can protect or have any right to protect. Plus other people could probably make a whole new program to do the same thing. Yes the source makes this simpler to figure out how you did something, but you know what? This site is full of ASM hackers. Me included. And while PC ASM and such is different, it's still not THAT different. And thats assuming we can't figure out how to do the same thing in another way. The only thing protecting you right now is laziness. And that would protect a open source project almost as well.

Now I know this all is meaningless unless we can enforce this control. Guess what? We can. That is one of the reasons uploads and such are moderated and have a unloader and a author field. Yes it's not reasonable to expect full legal enforcement, but the rom hacking community we are part of can police it's self almost as well.

But it's not that I feel open source is the best solution to everyone's problem. It may in fact be impractical to package up the source, especially when proprietary libraries are involved (though I personally think some source is better then none). It's just that people seem to see open source as meaning no control, and it's not. Thats more free software, and even then, you still have some over what branches are official or not, and you still get credit.

Edit: I know no one cares but I was told of a good source of information related to this stuff here. Also helps explain how the term "open source" go to be misused.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Drama Club Beating

I was poking around and found a review/rant about Battlestar Galactica (as a side note you might notice I spend way to much time poking around sites like that). He is right. Battlestar Galactica is an awful awful show that should never have gotten any of the praise it did. And while we are at it, Lost too. And Smallsvill. And hell most TV shows popular today really. Though I never really watched any of them, just the small parts I have seen convinced me of that. And the reason why is simple. They are nothing but glorified soap operas.

And what do I think of as a soap opera? Simple. A show (or other work of fiction) that uses ass pulls and shocking swerves to insure the rule of drama is always in effect, and everyone was carrying as many conflict balls as possible (as a side note you might notice I spend way to much time poking around tvtropes too). The result is a story that, regardless of how exciting it may be to some people, is completely idiotic in the long term and exists only to lead into more drama for more stories. There is no build up, no over all theme, no goal people are working for, it's just a string of drama and plot with no over all point.

I have to admit I see fiction a bit differently then a lot of people. Most people think conflict moves a story's plot along. This I think is wrong. Conflict is a method to move a story's plot along. It's not the only one. I prefer a more high-concept approach based mainly on character development and world building. Simple conversation, even about random unrelated things, can work just as well for that.

A story is basically nothing more then a series of images that form a loose narrative that binds them together into a meaningful whole. It is not about drama, conflict, or struggle, it's about art: That is, gaining an experience from it. Yes they can have drama, conflict, or struggle IN them, but when you focus on ONLY that your missing the point. A story should, at least in my mind, deliver something more. Like the play "Waiting for Godot" directly confronts people with a sort of hopeless existence, or how fairy tales or aesop's fables were mostly concerned with morality or life lessons, but it need not be anything so direct and wordy. Comedy makes us look at things in a different way and makes us laugh, and yes, even drama has it's place to move us and make us cry or think.

But this soap opera style story of endless stringing people along, never thinking ahead, and constantly thematically going in circles, all without any overall vision or direction to do anything more then just be a series of exciting cliffhangers doesn't do that, at least not really. It just ends up being a series of stuff that happened and not a story. A story needs a point. A story needs something you can walk away with, or else it is just a waste of time.

I am also kinda of the opinion that any story that relies on a big reveal AT ALL, really should be rewritten. If you ask me, a good story is one where you can know all of it's secrets and it will still be a good story. In fact I find I can appreciate a story just by reading a summery of it sometimes. Sure the execution really is the key, but thats not really part of the story it's part of the way it's told. That said, the timing of how and when to reveal information can really matter to how the story plays out.

That is one of the things I wonder about for my own little hack story. There is a lot of information I can reveal basically right away and probably should, but it does sort of lessen the impact, and it does sort of make the process of discovering said information much less fun or interesting. For example the identity of some characters and the role they play, as well as how they fit into the overall little universe I sort of built for myself is something I could spoil right away without effecting their roles, but it's a lot more interesting I think to find out the same way I came up with it in the first place, as a bunch of disconnected things that slowly seemed to fit together in surprising ways. For example Jiggles herself started as a simple catgirl parody but quickly became much more psychologically important, almost spiritual. In fact not to long ago I realized she and most of the other impotent characters could fit on the "Tree of Life" used in Jewish mysticism... which will probably form the basis of a puzzle in my hack, because I dig crap like that.

By the way, this is post number 42. I sort of wanted to make a big deal about it with large font and silly animation, but I made this rant instead. Arn't you lucky?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Funnal Fans The Sea

I have been playing the DS version of Final Fantasy 4 lately (and I am sure that link was totally unnecessary for most people but hey).

I have to say that FF4 is probably my least favorite of the series. Yes I even like it somewhat less then FF8. I know FF8 is regarded as the worse of the series, but at least it was INTERESTING. FF4 is just boring gameplay-wise and melodramatic and annoying story-wise. FF8 is a clusterfuck of random bullshit true, but that's what makes it memorable. And FF7 is the best game ever. There I said it.

Anyway, the DS version makes the gameplay a lot less stale and boring by adding "augment" items (or whatever they are, they only show up as shiny sparkles on the map) that teach characters new battle commands, and allows departed characters (of which there is a lot in ff4) to leave behind some of their battle commands. This greatly improves character customization, and by greatly improves, I mean finally gives some. Of course, squares obsession with "equipping" abilities pops up again despite how that never made any sort of logical sense, but then nether do sparky somethings teaching you stuff in the first place. Also you can't ditch the item command, which annoys me because I need more slots damn it. At least it makes somewhat more sense then junctioning things to your attributes in FF8. I swear square doesn't even try and make their ability systems make sense since FF8.... but I digress, this isn't a Final Fantasy series retrospective, I have seen too many of those online.

I do notice though, when I am playing I constantly pick out flaws or missed ideas I would like to play with. Like "Oh why can't I use these pointless attack item things to learn spells or forge equipment or something" only to realize, FF8 did that (sorta) and I still found something wrong with it. Of course this kind of nitpicking is something I do for most any game. Thats one of the reasons I got into the whole game creation/rom hacking thing. It's just that good ideas don't make a game. There is still levels/maps, graphics, sound, and all that content stuff I struggle with in my hack... unless it's a Roguelike of course, then everything is generated randomly. I really should make one of those, except I would need mad programing skillz yo. And I am lazy anyway. Bah.