Monday, November 28, 2011

MUCKing about.

I started a new medication a while ago, and for whatever reason, since I started taking it I have felt especially... playful. So I started hanging out on internet chatrooms with furries a lot role-playing involving some fairly extreme fetishes. Sometimes I fear I man be way to close to being a furry myself. Though I am not exclusively attracted to anthropomorphic animals, it is among the things I am attracted by (which to be fair, is nearly everything), and it is nice to have a group with so many... open-minded members.

It was when I was exploring this little dark underbelly of internet culture, that I was alerted to Voregotten Realm. Voregotten Realm is a MUCKwhich is a particular kind of text-based virtual world. And it's primarily focused on vore. What is vore you might ask? Basically eating people. Though there is a bit more to it then that. Although I am not really a fan of vore (Though I am a fan of unbirthing, which is a type of vore), there is a lot of other sexual stuff going on there too.

But what has occupied most of my time I think, is the building and scripting. Simply put, you can basically make anything you want. In some ways it reminds me of a text-based Second Life (which I already talked about). I have gotten quite good at the lisp-like MPI scripting that it uses, though I haven't touched the more advanced MUF scripting stuff.

Honestly Voregotten Realm's biggest problem is there is just not enough people on. Which is a shame because it has a lot of neat features. One of the most interesting I think are the "vp" and "wixxx" commands that basically let a player tell people what kinks they are into and what they are not. It also has a lot of interesting features I like. I also like the "bellyroom" system it uses to define what happens when you swallow someone, and works with... multible orifices. It also supports full ansi color on everything. I did try checking out another MUCK with more people called Tapestries (though I was slightly miffed that you cannot play a human, and I didn't really want to be a furry all the time, so I became a slime creature) but it isn't anywhere near as advanced, and most of my scripting I did broke. It's still pretty fun sometimes for just role-playing.

I think another problem though is MUCKs aren't so much games as scripted chatrooms. And while I do like the freedom of play compared to MUDs, it also leaves a bit less to do, especially if no one is on or you can't find anyone to roleplay with. Honestly I am tempted to script an optional combat system (or make one with the bellyroom system) just to have a bit more game that people can play if they want to. It seems more reasonable to have a creative role-playing with optional gaming extras then the reverse.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Internet Art is Deviant

The other day I uploaded a new picture to my deviantart account which is in of it's self is a rare enough occurrence and has a long enough of a rambling nonsensical description that it might be worth a blog post of it's own (you might be interested in the picture or description if your interested in my silly romhack). In fact I am not sure how many people even know or remember I have a deviantart account. It's certainly not something I pay a lot of attention too. In fact, I mostly only got it to be able to view mature images and decided to upload a few of the old things I had laying around there.

Part of the reason for my lack of attention is because I have long ago given up on ever being an artist, since the only art I seem to be capable of making is either simple pixel art or stuff about on par with the pictographs I use on this blog (minus the ones that are blatantly traced). Most of the work I have in my deviantart account is either collage work or pixel art (and the new picture I put up counts as both), and none of it is very engaging I think. But another big part is because I am very apathetic about sites like deviantart in general and the type of art usually hosted on them.

Now I make no secret of the fact that I like porn, mainly hentai, cartoon, and furry smut, all of which is drawn art rather then actual live action porn. But Outside of x-rated art though I find I very rarely take a interest in much art online. But there is another side to it too. I quite like art used in comics, videos, games, and such, x-rated or not (but it's still better as smut, of course). Really it's only static images that usually fail to hold my interests without smut.

I think the thing is, when a artist draws fanart, or even original art, of random characters who sit there and look pretty, it seems to lack any real context or point. It just becomes a image. It doesn't move me, it doesn't inspire me, it's just there. There are exceptions to this of course, especially for interesting landscapes or interesting character design, but mostly it seems to run a little flat. Smut of course gives me a reason to care for more then the image it's self, but it has to be real hardcore stuff. Simply having a pretty girl doesn't do much for me, and sexy pinup poses rarely work either. Sometimes nudity isn't even enough. I guess I have just been exposed to so much really smutty stuff that it takes more to really wind me up.

Having a story or a game to go along with the art does the same for the mind as smut does for the body. It gives me a reason to really care more then just pretty pictures. And it works in reverse too, in that the art that goes along with the story or game gives the story or game more style and helps craft the world with the art. In fact, music acts much the same way in this regard. I am not quite as interested in music when it's just music, but when the music is put in to enhance a story or a game, it becomes a lot more powerful (but music and sex results in too much bad techno). But I suppose a lot of the time, at least with art, there is usually a story there I don't know about. A lot of original characters made by online artists seem to have roots in roleplaying chats or in progress works of fiction (in fact so does Jiggles, on both counts), and a lot of fan works seem to focus on exploring different aspects or ideas not seen in the original work (homestuck fan works tend to do a great job at that sometimes).

But as I said, I am not an artist, I do not know the mediums and techniques, and I tend not to pay that much attention to style or ability aside from a vague sense of aesthetics and some basic skill. I probably just don't appreciate all of the details that people tend to obsess over in art. I like well done art better then sloppy and badly proportioned art, but I can't say that's something I look for so much as something I notice when done wrong.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Medication Misappropriation Mitigation

Note: Anyone here from smwcentral, or who doesn't care about it, can skip the first paragraph bellow if they want, it's mostly background info on this blog post.

There is a sub-forum on smwcentral that I often find myself drawn to for reasons that sometimes elude even me. It's basically a place for people to discuss real life issues which usually degenerates into emotional teens angsting over weather they should talk to a girl (hint: if your that torn up about it maybe your too emotionally immature to handle a relationship), although lots of people do bring up real issues. So, since I happen to have a real life problem (as opposed to the many nitpicks and gripes I have with various works of fiction, and political rants that no one cares about), I decided "Hey, why don't I post about my issue! It will give me an excuse to do more then bank my head on the desk at stupid teens and try to come up with meaningless advice for issues that don't have an easy solution!" So I started to write down my issue, and ended up with something much longer and less on topic then I intended. So I decided to post a short version and dump most of it here instead. This isn't the first time this has happened. And honestly if I keep making rants like this one it may be better off to do it more often or use PMs (I am sticking by my decision to post that there for now, even if I could have handled it better).

Anyway, I have been feeling sick lately. And when I mean feeling sick, I mean feeling dizzy and nauseous instead of just the headaches and sinus problems I have been having for years. I am pretty sure I know why I am sick too. About a month ago, I started taking Ritalin (or to be more exact a generic equivalent). Which I should add, was my idea. Yeah yeah, I know it was pushed on a bunch of kids that didn't need it, but it still has it's uses. I suggested it as a possible replacement to Adderall (again, a generic equivalent) that I dropped because I don't feel it was helping me.

I felt sick then, and didn't feel it was having the intended effect and wasn't exactly sure the sickness wouldn't go away as I got used to it. So this month, I doubled the dose and planed to drop it at the end of the month if I didn't have better results. I may stop it earlier then that now actually, but I think I can hold out till then.

It should be worth noting that I was long ago diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome (insert hugbox joke here). But really, I long ago decided Asperger's syndrome is just too broad and vague a label to treat, so I have mostly been just focusing on seeing if there is a drug to help me overcome my crippling inability to get shit done.

Said inability I contribute to the following factors:
  • Lack of focus.
  • Lack of satisfaction in completing tasks.
  • Pessimistic thinking.
  • Getting obsessive about minor details.
  • Dissociative thinking.
  • General inability to emotionally invest in things

So I am wondering if there is I haven't tried (Prozac, Wellbutrin, Adderall, Ritalin) that has helps with these problems. Because if not, I think I will just give up on drugs for now until some magical drug comes along and fixes all my problems. And maybe also a drug to transform by body into that of a little girl. Because heck, while we are on the subject of unrealistic wish fulfillment, why think small?

You know what the thing is though? I don't think I am actually "depressed" as such. Maybe I am medically depressed, as in my brain chemistry is out of whack, but I am not suicidal, I am pessimistic about the outcome of tasks but not about much else, and despite having to put up with a host of daily annoyances I think at the end of the day life is worth it. I contribute all this to a generally affirming philosophical outlook on life.

So it just goes to show, bullshit philosophical nonsense has more to do with your outlook on life then you might think.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Social Noise Reduction

There is a particularly common criticism of today's society I hear a lot. I am not sure what the term for it is, but I think it is a core part of the larger ideas of Postmodernism and Cyberpunk. The criticism is that nowadays, thanks mostly to the internet and mass media, people are bombarded with so many opinions, alleged facts, works of fiction, ideas, and memes, that people have become either terminally unable to separate the "signal" from the "noise" in the information we process, and/or are incressingly distracted by the trivial.

And yeah, I can see that. But before we go around claiming Ludd was right and throwing out all our communication technology, maybe we should consider that maybe PEOPLE are the problem, not the information. First of all, I think the problem with people being unable to tell the difference between fact and fiction is simply that most people don't have the critical thinking skills needed to parse information in an optimal way. What's more, most people don't have a broad enough perspective to realize that sometimes it doesn't even matter. People are often more interested in picking a side and being right then anything else. Sometimes, especially with controversial or heavily contested subjects, you just have to admit that some things may or may not be true. This doesn't mean you can't draw conclusions, you just need to think about logic in a different way.

As for people being distracted by the trivial, I actually take it as a sign that what a lot of people say is important, isn't really that important to a lot of people. That doesn't mean it isn't important in the grand scheme of things, but people so rarely look or care about the the grand scheme of things. I think, for example, kids getting distracted from school by video games is not a problem with the games. It's a problem with the school or maybe the parents. People shutting themselves in and playing MMORPGs all day is not a problem with the MMORPG. It's a problem with our society. As for the people who get distracted themselves, it's hard for me to make an argument that they are at fault if they honestly don't care. I mean, yeah, they are doing it to themselves but that is a choice. They pay the consequences for that choice. Though I may be bias because that is more or less what I am doing, allowing myself to get distracted fully understanding that there is a price to pay. Some times it's worth it, sometimes it's not.

I feel personally, like I have spent the last ten or so years of my life mostly just gathering information and working it out in my head. Trying to build a sort of cathedral of images and thoughts in a manner similar to how Carl Jung worked out his issues by writing his Red Book. I have been interested in that sort of thing for a while, probably ever since I was a kid and saw parts of The Wall, and perhaps even before that with my childhood games of imagination.

But, Carl Jung stressed the need to write these things down, so that they become contained and objectified, and I have done very little in the way of actual writing and art. I have a powerful urge to do so, which is part of what my hack was intended to do actually. To give my ideas and outlet and to make them more 'real' so to speak. I suppose in the back of my mind, there is a third criticism of today's society that saps me of the motivation to do much work on it. And that criticism is that there is so much of that kind of stuff out there. Stuff that both intentionally and unintentionally explores these themes I want to explore. And while they might not do it in the same way, they cover a lot of the same ground.

Lately I have been reading a lot of random webcomics and watching videos of a lot of random games. And it gets to the point where there are just so many works of fiction with so many themes and ideas, that even if a few of them still make me take notice of something or reevaluate my ideas slightly, I don't really think there is much room for me. Which is a stupid way of looking at it really. I talk all the time about being the butterfly that starts the storm, of how I would be happy if my ideas were remembered even if I were not. After all, I am sitting here writing this in a blog that I am not sure anyone actually takes the time to read. And maybe this blog is like my red book. Maybe blogging in general will help people deal with there problems just knowing, even if it is never read, that it is out there somewhere for people to randomly find.

I can always hope, and I guess hope is enough to live on.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

It Just Dosn't Ad Up

I was reading an old article criticizing Google's advertisement service, and while I think a lot of the criticism is somewhat valid, it strikes me as sort of like a business man getting money out of an idiot because the idiot was to spaced out to actually pay attention to what they were doing. I mean yes, it might be sort of exploitive, but I often feel like smacking the idiot almost as hard as I do the business man. But really, it's not surprising to me in the least, because as far as I am concerned, advertisement in general is more or less a scam. Especially on the Internet.

I mean, yeah, I can understand the basic idea (even if I don't like it), street vendors calling out in a crowded marketplace, shops putting up some posters on some walls, events being posted on a bulletin board for people to see, but any more then that gets sort of iffy. The problem sort of started with television and radio advertisements, which interrupts the programing every now and then to have some ad play. Despite it being a bit disruptive, I can understand why it happens. For television and radio, there is no real "product" to sell to customers, so they make money by letting advertisers run ads from time to time. But this sets up a strange triangle of relations between the broadcasters, the advertisers, and the customers which can end up doing more harm then good at times.

In general, the problem often becomes a mutual animosity or lack of respect because each of the players in the game have very different and mutually exclusive aims. Customers want content, and are generally not interested in sitting through advertisements to get it. Advertisers of course, want to convince customers to go out and buy stuff and are not interested in the content or the customer's wants beyond what it takes to get them to buy stuff. Broadcasters generally want to sell advertisement time, and often are only are interested in the content as a way to get customers to watch the ads, and don't care if the advertisers actually sell anything.

What all this leads too, I think, is an environment where the kind of more disruptive and exploitive advertisement practices thrive. If a vendor is being too disruptive or a business is putting posters or notices in the wrong place, customers are free to confront them in person or call the authorities. But in an environment where the very medium is owned by someone who uses it to sell advertisement time, advertisers are free to do almost whatever they want to get people's attention. They can funnel more and more money into something and make bigger, longer and more disruptive advertisements without regard for the customer's wishes.

But also, advertisers themselves are also a victim in a lot of cases. Street vendors can see face to face the kind of reaction they are getting, and a poster or notice can be placed in a position most likely to be looked at by someone who is already interested in finding the business it's advertising (though billboards and such are much more like tv/radio ads in this regard). But an advertisement that is just put out there randomly even if it's in a time slot most likely to be seen by it's target audience, has little guarantee that anyone who sees it will pay any attention or be interested. Often times it can just waste money.

But all of this is nothing compared to the sometimes downright abusive tactics in internet advertisements. Really for all that article above disses on Google, it might be one of the more honest and safe ad providers (I also think Project Wonderful is fairly honest and safe, or at least seems so, but I would rather they do everything via server-side scripts and not javascript). Part of this is because it's just so unregulated and doesn't have any sort of barrier to anyone doing what they want with it, and part of it is that there is too much information being gathered about people who browse it, but I think it's mostly just a lack of responsibility on everyone's side.

But it's more complex then that. With tv and radio, broadcasters and content providers are usually more or less identical. The broadcasters don't necessarily create the content, but they fund it's creation or buy the rights to show it (though I am not a fan of copyright, but that's a discussion for another day). Sure, often there can be a lot of strife between broadcasters and content providers on TV and radio, but for the most part they act as the same group. On the internet, almost anyone can create content, but not everyone can host it (or at least, host it reliably, quickly, or easily enough to be worth it for most people), and the people who can sell content creators space for hosting. So now, you have four groups of people and not three, each also with often mutually exclusive goals. The rift between web hosts and content providers is much deeper. They are no longer generally in the same group and this can come with all sorts of complications.

Not only are there more groups, the role of the groups is much less solid. Content providers often are also advertisers, and sometimes web hosts are as well, the people who browse the web can become content providers easily even if it's just in the forms of comments or forum posts. One particular absurdity I have noticed is that often content providers will advertise to get more hits to make more money with their advertisements to pay for hosting that charges for the extra bandwidth they use for the extra hits, and a number of the ads they use are for other content providers who are doing the same thing. It makes me wonder how such a system could ever work, but most of the sites that do that are just making enough anyway, even if they have to resort to donation as well.

And really, this would be all fine and good to the browsers to just have a banner or something, if it didn't end up attracting an even worse escalation of disruptive advertisements that used flash and javascript to be as disruptive as possible, and if it people with more ethical flexibility didn't decide to use well-meaning technical tricks to gather as much information as possible from the person browsing, or hackers using bugs and security holes on unwitting victims, or people taking advantage of stupid people by offering things through advertisements and directing them to malware or gathering their personal information, or any of the million other problems with internet advertisements.

Luckily, unlike TV where the best you can do usually is hit the mute button (or pay more for premium cable channels), there are programs to block ads, like this firefox plugin. The sad thing is, so many content providers only means of support is advertisements, although a good number of them do collect donations too. But it's kind of hard for me to feel bad for a lot of them to be honest, because again, I often feel like smacking the idiot almost as hard as I do the business man. I know most of these content providers have very little choice, but I can't help but feel that too many content providers don't think about what advertisements or advertising services they have. It's too often lately that sites just use advertisement servers they have no control over and that may do any number of underhanded things, or may allow the people who advertise to do underhanded things. I don't trust internet advertisements anymore. It used to be you could ignore them. Not anymore. Even Project Wonderful, which generally seems safe, uses javascript, and javascript and flash in ads is one of the main reason why they are allowed to abuse a lot of security holes (I also use the noscript plugin btw). So no. Of the sites I frequent, I made an exception for only one, and only because I am so heavily involved in the community.

And I feel bad, I really do, for all the owners of all the pages out there that I look at that rely on advertisements. But the fact is, it's an abusive relationship on all sides. I understand why it's necessary, but every once and a while, someone is going to walk away with a black eye, and it isn't going to be me. If you take that to mean I don't love you enough, I am sorry you feel that way.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Sex mess

I stumbled across this video presentation about a study about sexual attraction on the Internet which I found extremely interesting. If partly because it amused me that they found that she-male porn is outrageously popular with strait men. Men like dick apparently. IT'S SCIENCE!

Over all though I have some objections to some of the conclusions they reach. Not necessarily because I doubt the results, because it's pretty much mostly stuff I already knew just from poking around in the dark corners of the Internet, or most of the core theory. It just seems to me that they tend to segregate people, though I am sure that's not the intent.

It sort of reminds me of a forum discussion about gay tolerance that I got involved in arguing. primarily for the sake of my strong belief in free will, that the argument that people are born "gay" is wrong and ultimately just hurts the cause of gay rights activists.

I guess it's kind of a different topic, but I sort of generally feel the kind of clinical, detached, social or evolution based explanations for sexual attraction and relationships ultimately do nothing but encourage people to think of it only in narrow inflexible ways. It's like relationships as described by stand up comics and Ladder Theory are the only valid kinds, and it's impossible for men and woman to ever understand each other.

I once made a thread on the Homestuck fourms as a sort of rebuttal to the comic's own troll relationship system which every one says is much more confusing and complex then human relationships. And really I missed some stuff (like pet/human relationships) and it was probably not really very helpful, but my point was that you can't really divide relationships so evenly into strict categories, only mix and match descriptors to get a good approximation. I feel the same way about sexual attraction.

To say for example, guys like breasts, butt, dick, and feet, I think is misleading. Having a cue-based theory is a valid one, but I think it has to be a much more subjective set of cues for each person. Now I will admit, I like all four of those things, but I also like a lot of the more "female" cues, like confidence and competence, if not as much. And I am sure they are not saying everyone is the same, it just became a sort of self-enforcing idea when you say stuff like "this is what men like, this is what woman like". It's a standard that people live to because that's what people say is 'normal'.

And I suppose it again, for me, comes down to free will. I guess being free to be attracted to what you choose to be attracted to is a kind of an odd idea given that choice and attraction are on totally different levels, but I firmly believe people learn fetishes after being exposed to them, and people learn different ideas of attractiveness too. I guess that's the problem of doing a sexual study on Internet porn in the first place, because you can't tell if a fetish reflects an acquired taste or an intrinsic one.

I think with me most everything has been the former. I think my whole experience started with Ranma ½ which got me into anime, which got me into hentai, which got me into furry crap, which got me into all sorts of weird stuff. I mean if I had not heard of hentai, and not had this idea that that's what male porn was, I might be into fanfiction, and hear about shipping and do all sorts of that kind of crap. I donno. I just don't think my maleness really had as much to do with what I like as the cultural environment and expectations. I don't know.

I am a firm believer though, that men and woman are fundamentally the same, and the pressure of society as well as admiringly a few hormones decide their role more then anything else. Or at least I think people should look at it that way. The more you try to convince people men and women or straits and gays, or anyone and anyone are different, the more I think they will be different. And maybe that's not how life works, but I rather people choose to be who they are then just being born that way.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Accretion Risk

For a while now various threads of thought have been coming together in my head and half unbidden have merged to form the basis for a fairly interesting fantasy world. This is not something I really never intended to happen. I have enough to deal with with the existing fantasy worlds in my head already. What with my hack (which is more a small pocket dimension to be fair), and the world I have built up over the years in my dreams (which are related more then you might think) and all. I really don't need more. And thats not even counting the other ones that have formed in my head over the years that have been abandoned and slowly faded into little more then a memory. Now I fear another has sort of popped up in there. Well to be honest four of them (not counting two other realms that don't really count), but they all are so interconnected they might as well be one.

I think it started when I was playing Disgaea a year or two ago, but it probably was in formation in my head much earlier, as I have known about things like the six Buddhist realms for a long time (and of course basic Christian ideas of heaven and hell for far longer). The basic idea was just to do what has been done millions of times in fiction, with angel/demon worlds with the human world in the middle, but I added an additional major supernatural force: Fairies. Or fae. That is the oringinal mythological kind. In addition I came up with the idea that angels, demons (well humanoid ones anyway), fae, and even normal humans, were more or less the same thing, or at least had common ancestors. And slowly more ideas popped up, and it has gotten to the point where every fantasy related idea that isn't part of my dreams or doesn't fit into my hack has migrated to this newly forming world.

I have thought a lot of the cosmology of this world, some of which crosses over with the shared cosmology of my dream world (part of which I wrote about already), namely the Void and to a lesser extent the River of Souls. The Void is the emptiness outside all worlds (which I called such long before Dr. Who did it I might add, though I did get the name and some of the concept from somewhere else, though most of the concept is from experiences going outside levels in games and having distressing dreams about it). The River of Souls is more or less a spiritual realm or pathway that connects all worlds, and can be seen as sort of like FF7's "Lifestream" concept mixed with the concept of the astral plane, and works sort of like a river made out of the souls of the dead, which are pulled downstream and reincarnated elsewhere. The thing is, I actually usually use the term River of Souls in other contexts to metaphorically refer to the collective unconscious or noosphere, and the world that I came up with based on my dreams has a much less direct method of reincarnation, but they are more or less connected. I must say I find my dream world a lot more interested and less "constructed", which is one of the reasons I put off wanting to do anything with this new one for so long.

The way reincarnation works here is a soul will be swept down the current and either naturally reincarnated or resurrected in a new form, depending on the content of the soul. If it fails to find a fitting place for it, it ends up in the Void and is lost. In my dream world, if your curious, the soul returns to the archetype or archetypes that spawned it, along with all it's memories and traits, rarely for a strong willed soul that doesn't fit any archetype becoming a new archetype (which fits more in with how I think "reincarnation" of figures like the Dalai Lama actually works in real life, if a type of indirect memetic reincarnation counts, which is dubious at best). A big difference then is that in this new world souls can vanish into the void, where in the dream world souls always return in some form and the void instead only really destroys matter. There may also be a place at the "shore" where the River of Souls washes things into the void which will probably be called "The Realm of Forgotten Dreams" or something. Such a place is actually sort of important to my hack's story only I was originally going to call it "The Hall of Forgotten Characters", though that might be part of it. It's kind of a depressing place. Remember when I said I had a few worlds I had abandoned in my lifetime? Yeah.

Other then the Void and River of Souls being somewhat the same, it's a completely different setting though. Again there are four main realms, all connected by the River of Souls which can sometimes be transversed magically but usually only in a way similar to astral projection, as actual physical travel is both risky without a portal open on both sides, and even then has side-effects. Mostly the idea is that each world has slightly different properties.

The Human/Mortal realm is the only place where beings naturally are born, grow, age, and die. A being form any other realm who goes there will start to age and eventually die. In addition beings in the human realm are quite limited to how strong they can become (I thought of this as a fun way to explain the way demons in Disgaea can level up to level 9999 when the limit of most RPGs is 99). A being that is too powerful will not be able to enter the Human/Mortal realm (without dieing, being forced out, or possibly extremely rapid aging) unless it uses magic to make a section of the Human/Mortal like it's own realm (which also explains why final bosses then to stay put in a castle) or sealing/weakening their power.

In the Angel realm beings cannot be born, grow, age, or die. In addition emotion must be controlled, and they must have a degree of "unity of thought". This is more or less because the angel realm is maintained by the angels inside it. When there is peace and the angels get along, the angel realm is blissful and perfect. To much dissidence and strife causes it to break down and become unstable, so any threat to the peace is cast out. Angels increase their number by pulling souls out of the river of souls that the Angels think are worthy, and resurrecting them in new bodies. As such, Angels are interested in teaching and helping humans become like them. Even if they can live forever in the angel realms, after at least a hundred years or two, they often either become tired of their life and decide to reenter the river and become reincarnated somewhere else, or less often become rebellious and need to be cast out. The origin of the realm is that long ago the angel realm was actually created by an advanced civilization of humans as a way to live forever.

When the angel realm was first formed, the angels did not know of the instability caused by the clash of ideals, and after a while the instability built up and threatened to destroy the realm. in desperation, angels only means of saving the land was to cast out all that did not agree to follow a strict spiritual code, but there was dissident among some who disagreed with the majority's more strict ideals and could not or would not go back to the mortal realm. They had to be cast out by force, but thanks to either some trick of magic or blind luck, many of them found them selves in what is now called the Demon realm. Native beings in the demon realm are usually not born but simply come into being though spontaneous generation, and are usually mindless monsters. These monsters could and would consume each other and take on the traits of those who they ate. It was a brutal world, and many of the new angels were consumed. They also felt the hunger as will, and reluctantly also ate the flesh of the monsters they managed to slay when they could find no other recourse. The monsters that consumed enough angels and the angels that consumed enough monsters gradually began to become more alike. The monsters started to learn and the angels became stronger but less civil. The new hybrid race was born, but they found that if they reproduced, the offspring would be a mindless monster unless they consumed enough flesh of another of there kind. But a solution was found. If there offspring was infused with the right kind of human soul picked from the river, they would be born in a human form and have a human mind. Thus the new demon race was born.

The mysterious fairy realm is another matter entirely. Very few humans know much about it, and even fewer if any know it's origin. In truth, of the lost tribe of humans who went on to become angels, the rest of there race took another path. Instead of attempting to live forever, they decided instead to master reincarnation. What exactly happened to them I am not sure yet. All I am sure is the fairy realm is the result. Beings in the fairy realm will be reborn in a new body when they die with most of their memories intact. But over a few deaths they will become more childish and forgetful, and each bodies lifespan is much shorter then a human, only at most 20 to 30 years, except for kings and queens witch live longer. The realm seems to have been created by somehow magically sealing a large mass of land, possibly using standing stones, land carvings, and other strange magical artificial structures found in a region of the human/mortal world. It is said these places connect to the fairy world, as well as some deep forests or other natural places. Sometimes fairies leave their realm, on purpose or by accident and seem one of the few beings that can cross over at will (though powerful beings can't go far form where the worlds touch). Fairies often take humans back with them and if when they die they reincarnate as a fairy and are made kings or queens which they revere for being able to think more clearly and make decisions for them, but they usually only take those who dieing anyway or are not likely to be missed, and they have a preference for children, the very old, or the unwanted, who are less likely to want to escape back to their old life.

Aside from the basics, the human/mortal realm is actually probably the most developed, simply because so many ideas fit in there. There is probably a religion run in the name of the angels as their main way of recruiting humans to join their ranks, but demons are unlikely to need a religion as they base their choices on personality and spiritual power, and may be feared because of propaganda of the angels as well as for being often much less human looking. Angels and Demons likely need to convince humans to allow themselves to take their soul though (maybe it has to be a willing choice when the time comes), or even bind them (the deal with the devil archetype could be used, but I have no idea why a demon would need a deal, unless just thinking you are bound makes you unable to reject it when the harvest). There is probably a race of elves which are despondent of fairies, and maybe a few other races too besides humans. I thought of making a dwarf-like "dwarrow" race which actually look more like the dwarves in final fantasy series and have dark black skin, reflecting yellow cat-like, and whiisssper witthh hisss in thhhere vvoicce (but can actually yell very very loudly when they want to). All of these being things (minus maybe the black skin) that I think would be more logical for a race that lives primarily underground. They could see in very little light, use their voices for echolocation and long distance communication in tunnels, and so on. They would probably almost never appear in daylight. Hows that for a Our Dwarves Are All the Same subversion eh?

There are several ideas for games I came up with based on this framework over the time I was thinking about it. One of the first ones was the idea to make a game like a fusion of EVO and an obscure snes platformer called King of Demons. The idea was to play as a human girl who somehow got sent to the demon world and could gain new abilities by either eating enemy demons to gain demon body parts or abilities, or somehow purifying them to get angel parts/abilities, with probably a few fairy parts/abilities too but I am not sure how that would work. Probably couldn't really work with the setting in it's current form, but it might. Another idea was a mons game involving binding or creating spirit familiars which slowly migrated to the setting and started to become more like a general rpg, with the trainer character and other humans also fighting. Today I was playing a particular x-rated (and I am not ashamed to admit it) text game called Corruption of Champions which actually could possibly fit in well with the setting, and I was thinking what a game like that might be like.

In the end, I probably won't do much with this setting, because to be honest, I find it a bit generic and uninspired. It's just something I slowly found myself thinking about and before I knew it, I had planned it all out without thinking of it very much. It might be fun to play with, but I just want to work on my hack and eventually do something with my dream world. My hack story is fun to work with because it is subversive and metafictional. My dream world is fun to work with because it is entirely based of a lot of the dreams I have had since I was ten or younger, which fit together and build on each other surprisingly well, and it's more interesting that I consciously created very little of it (but I have overanalyzed how it works, like most of that reincarnation stuff is more analysis then anything else, but there is evidence for it).

I guess for a generic magical fantasy world with angels and demons, it's still pretty interesting.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Let's Interface

Six or seven months ago, I think some time in march, I came up with a plan. A crazy plan. A silly plan. A plan involving a series of games I always had a interest in despite not being the most refined or enjoyable series of games in the world. That game series is Pokemon. That plan is the one I began with a last desperate bid to get an event pokemon, and it is almost complete. On my birthday in July I received the second item, a brand new 3DS, and today (well yesterday now) I received the final item, that of a brand new copy of Pokemon White. Now it is only a matter of time till my plan is complete.

Quite a while ago

But all that crap is completely besides the point of what I actually wanted to talk about. What I wanted to talk about is a realization I made while playing Pokemon White and also with the 3DS. Well not so much a realization as a conformation, since it's something I have thought about before. And that is that computer interfaces are getting so much more... maybe not better, but more INTERESTING at least. How they look and how they behave, and what they do, from the 3DS's little "augmented reality" games to the pretty way the menus open up and fold out, as if the game menu was a device on the character's wrists, the way the 3DS organizes things and how the 3D works, all sorts of little details most people don't really ever think about.

A while ago, I don't remember when, I learned about what I have heard referred to as The Mother of All Demos, and event in 1968, where a team of scientists first demonstrated ideas about computer interfaces to the world. A lot of the way commuters work today can be traced back to that team. When I watched it I was awestruck. Here seeing some of the first ideas of how these things work take flight.

But more then the practicality it's also the look of the 3DS and of Pokemon's interfaces that gets me, and not only interfaces, and not only the 3DS. It seems the new "future look" is that cool sleek plastic ipad-like thing, and that seems to extend both to interfaces and devices.

I also have to say one of the things I really like about Pokemon in particular is how the newer games fuse the interface into the story and the setting in some way. Black and White's visuals have tons and tons of interesting technological devices, a lot of which serve some gameplay purpose. it did it the last game I played too, and to a lesser extent to the older ones. And as I alluded to before, pretty much the whole menu system and various new abilities and functions are actual devices your characters use. And I think that's super neato. I think Homestuck also deals with some fun devices come to think of it. Like the whole alchemiter thing. It's neat to think about what you could do with these hypothetical technological marvels.

( Side note: As an added bonus to my plan, my brother finally found my long lost copy of Ruby that he misplaced when I lent it to him (the fact he got it for me in the first place is besides the point). Which means, I have a perfect line of secession through Generation III, IV, and V, even if my Generation IV games are remakes of Generation II, so I don't get all the Pokemon from IV, but I do get all of them from II and probably most of Generation I as II also featured the regions and Pokemon of I. Why does this matter? Heck, I am not even sure any of my plan matters.)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Church of the Random Number God

One recurring annoyance I seem to notice with some kinds of games, mostly rpgs and roguelikes, is the annoying way they tend to use randomization. It is not that things are randomized that is really the problem (after all, roguelikes wouldn't be any fun if they made the dungeon layouts static, and combat should always have some small element of chance just to mix things up), mostly just the way they tend to get players stuck in loops, doing the same thing over and over for a chance at some rare thing or some event, and the fact that EVERYTHING is randomized even if there is no logic to it.

It seems that rpg/roguelike designers often put everything in the hands of the Random Number God, that fickle semi-deity that grants blessings to only the most lucky or the most boneheadedly determined of the players, and often curses just as many. How many pokemon fan has hunted for years in vain for a Shiny Pokemon? How many Nethack players have summoned hoards of water demons and ruined their sword trying to get Excalibur? How many old-school rpg players got mobbed by a billion monsters as they were desperately trying to get some place that they could heal? How much time is wasted by people killing the same type of monster over and over hoping for that rare thing it drops?

There are better ways to do these things. Why not let every few thousand encounters be a shiny? Why not have a particular place trigger the effect? Why not have enemies appear on the map? Why not enemies actually drop what they use, or have every so many encounters drop something? I like the way Dwarf Fortress pre-generates a world and it's history. Everything that exists in the game is there for a reason. The world is randomly made, but enemies all have populations and roam on their own. Things are built where they are for a reason, treasure always comes from somewhere, almost nothing is randomized in actual gameplay besides some combat rolls. It's a good example of randomness done right.

There should be no incentive to stay in the same place and do the same thing over and over. There should be no way most of the game boils down to luck. Randomization is a tool that can be used to mix things up, but it should not be the whole game.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Lately I have been reading some of the Discworld novels (well actually listening to the books-on-tape versions, but close enough). For those that have never heard of the series, it's basically to fantasy what The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy was for sci-fi. If you never heard of that either, it's a bit like Monty Python in space. If you also don't know who Monty Python is, you are officially dead to me you sad humorless person (or maybe humourless would be more appropriate). As a side note why are the British so good at being funny? Maybe it's because they don't have the misconception most Americans do that all you need to do to be funny is be as crass and stupid as humanly possible. Then again this guy is American so maybe there is hope yet.

Though really the humour aspect is only part of why I compared it to The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy. One of the things I admire about The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy is it's way of taking strange mathematical or scientific concepts, and totality running away with them and using them to engage in fantastic worldbuilding. Discworld does pretty much the same thing with fantasy concepts as well as mathematical or scientific concepts.

Some of the recurring themes, for example, have to do with stories and belief, as well as a hint of metaphysics and magic. Though I had not known much about the series before I started "reading" it besides the basics, it reminds me of some of my own ideas relating to memes and how magic works. Of course, my ideas aren't really that new, and I am sure some of them might have come indirectly from discworld. The idea of gods and other beings being born based on belief for example is one I heard before, and I am not sure where the idea originally came from (though I think maybe even some greek philosophers may have discussed it).

It also reminds me of Homestuck in the way the characters also become part of the worldbuilding and each event seems to be at least mentioned somewhere else in the series. Currently there are over forty books in the series, compared to The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy's six (5 if you refuse to count anything not written by the original author), and like Homestuck, although it started as basically a parody, it has become more serious without losing the funny bits. Unlike Homestuck however, the books are largely only connected by taking place in the same setting and involving a lot of the same characters. In any given book, events from other books are mentioned but the details are usually not very important to that book's plot. I have been "reading" the books essentially backwards for the most parts, and I don't feel I miss on that much important information.

I don't think the series is perfect however. One think I dislike is that it's conflict seems to fall into the mold of "smart vs. stupid". Good guys are clever people who are surrounded by not so clever ones. The antagonists, while there are a few truly evil people tend to be more small minded and self-centered. Of course most of the stories do not feature overt hero/villain conflict dynamics as much as having the heroes have some general goal that put them in conflict with a number of lesser antagonists which are fooled or dealt with. There is sometimes a central "villain" as well, but not always. One problem this causes is that the heros often end up looking better then anyone else. Of course, there are exceptions.

In general though I find the series witty and interesting. It's kind of surprising how a world carried by four elephants on the back of a giant turtle can feel so real and alive actually. Though maybe the voices in the books-on-tape version help.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Another Kind of Pussy

I came across this article today, which is apparently a more serious version of an extremely silly thing in some movie.

Anyway it talks about Sheepdogs, Sheep, and Wolves.

See, I think I am something else. I am a cat.

I am lazy and self centered, but not aggressively predatory unless I need to be. I avoid wolves when I can, find sheepdogs annoying but leave them alone of they leave me alone, and mostly completely ignore sheep. I will flee most of the time when threatened but I think I am capable of violence if cornered. Mostly I try and find ways to entertain myself, but do very little work.

I try to figure out these silly little creatures who work so hard. I look at the sheep, which are apparently as far as I can see, only exist to be sheered, or worse, made into a meal. I look at the loyal sheep dog who barks orders and makes a fool of himself. But you know, they DO keep the wolves away. I guess I can thank them for that. No one likes wolves.

And I guess sheepdogs may find my attitude disgusting. Every once and a while a sheepdog will bark at us cats and we may get into a little fight. But you know what buster? I don't need you... or I tell myself that anyway. I could leave and become a stray... but it's nice living here ya know?

So what am I going to do? I won't become a sheep. I am not going to be shaved or devoured. And I won't become a sheepdog. I don't do tricks on command. And I won't become a wolf, which have to hunt and kill for food. And I don't really want to extend this metaphor into uncomfortable territory by bringing vermin into play.

You know what is the funny thing is? I am probably kept as a pet. Fed some food every once and a while, and kept for sympathy. I am too fat and lazy to do any real work, and even if I could I probably wouldn't. This whole "society" thing? Yeah it's nice and all, but what about the cats from long ago who lived as predators. Even dogs are relater to wolves that have been taken out of the wild.

You know, I am not even sure what point I was trying to make. Except maybe this: This whole Wolf/Sheepdog/Sheep thing? It's not that simple. Not everyone is a happy little sheep that obey everything and need defending, and not all "evils" are aggressive wolves. And not all sheepdogs know what they are talking about for that matter. Of them all, ironically, it might be the cat that is the most adaptable of them.

And maybe this metaphor was way too furry.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Div-ided Over Tables

A debate has been raging for years and years on the web, the great tables vs divs debate. The idea is tables are meant for "tabular data", you know like spread sheets, and shouldn't be used for layouts. That's all well and good, but what it's meant for and what it does are two different things. It makes grids. Grids can be helpful for layouts. Hence using tables for layouts seems fine to me. When they are used right. This layout on my blog here for example, really would probably work better and be less hacky with a table. Just one. But then again with a layout like this it doesn't make that much of a difference.

And I know some people might bring up how screen reader software treats tables and blah blah. Personally I don't see what the difference is. Without the visual layout information it's all just blocks of text anyway. I feel sorry for blind for all the stuff they miss out on, but I really cannot imagine the difference, as long as it's done in a reasonable way.

But I think this whole debate is just a symptom of a more pressing problem, that webpages have become to reliant on complicated markup and stupid hacks. Or maybe that was always the problem since someone decided that making HTML as vague as possible about everything. Honestly it took me ages to get used to using divs and CSS. Mostly because I am always intentionally like 5 years behind. I hardly ever use CSS3 because it's just not supported enough. JavaScript I got used to, but lately I have been browsing with it off because more and more security problems are reported with it, and god does it annoy me how over used it is. For lulz I put a message in this blog when it's turned off the other day.

Here is an experiment for you. Using firefox? Go to the "View" menu. Go to "Page Style". Select "No Style". Notice a problem?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Vector Art is Doomed

Every once and a while I mess around with Inkscape and other vector art programs, but I find them lacking in many ways. Much of the reason for this is the way paths work. I actually think they should take a hind from Doom level editors (which are probably in turn based on CAD programs). Looking into the .SVG format it seems that the biggest problem is a lack of point or line objects.

SVG files define all the path info in a big block like this:

d="m 28.575867,107.0797 c -0.123355,5.53028 0.684603,11.10722 2.649974,16.27795 1.96537,5.17074 5.109136,9.92603 9.292245,13.54553 4.514219,3.906 10.122472,6.40535 15.917209,7.83924 5.794738,1.43389 11.795405,1.84498 17.764278,1.932 6.417683,0.0936 12.890473,-0.18795 19.126585,-1.7066 6.236112,-1.51866 12.259952,-4.33887 16.868082,-8.8066 4.61045,-4.46998 7.63175,-10.45068 8.97929,-16.7293 1.34753,-6.27862 1.07261,-12.84368 -0.30719,-19.11529 -2.314,-10.517816 -7.8188,-20.382009 -15.87312,-27.530932 C 94.938912,65.636775 84.32799,61.311069 73.558802,61.250674 61.69759,61.184155 49.967322,66.350885 41.745372,74.900291 33.523423,83.449696 28.840374,95.221251 28.575867,107.0797"

I much prefer the Doom way with vertexes, lines, and sectors. You place points, join two points to make a line, then have each side of a line be tagged for closed areas. The only thing doom lacks is curves, and that's actually easy to do, just make lines connect have up to 4 vertexes, two for the end points and two for the curve control nodes.

It may be possible to do some of this in SVG now with some javascript scripting actually, which would be handy for maps and such where a lot of lines connect at the same place. But some of the neat stuff you could do with a SVG-like format that uses this is interpolate the line width and color for each vertex. Mostly I just wish I could make solid shapes with outlines only on some edges. Oh well. Maybe there is even inkscape plugins that do a lot of this crap already. I donno, I didn't find any.

Maybe I just should learn to draw without relying on such silly tricks. I mean inkscape has a snap to vertex feature anyway.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Books of the Wanderers

The Books of the Wanderers are a collection of works on philosophy, religion, and politics believed by a number of people of the Wasteland area to be written over the period of hundreds of years by a series of reincarnations of a figure known only as The Wanderer. The texts themselves usually do not specify if this is true, but several discuss the possibility, and more recant texts even go as far as to say that everyone could count as a reincarnation, and that anyone can write a Book of the Wanderers that could be accepted as genuine. A recurring theme is that truth is something everyone must find themselves.

The books are usually not bound together in a religious "canon", and are sometimes updated to include new relevant writings following the same theme. Most all of the books are written anonymously and most without any explicit way of telling that they are in the same series except for occasional mention of the others.

People often make comments and notes on the pages and when they die their copy is passed on to someone else. When this practice started is unknown but it must have been in the last hundred or so years following the idea that anyone has equal authority to write one of them, as well as edit them provided the original is available somewhere to edit. With the discovery and reverse engineering of computers found in Ark Vaults and the advent of The Network, some have turned to Ziki-like software to share ideas.

There are many books, but the "core" set include:
"Metagenesis" (mostly about the possible origins of the universe and what may be outside it, as well as possible reasons it may exist)
"Archetypes" (primarily about the soul, including ideas about reincarnation, and parallel incarnation, but also discusses consciousness, the subconscious and the self)
"Protoethics" (about breaking down ethical and moral systems to their root components and examining them and commenting on their necessity and effectiveness)
"Law and Chaos" (much like "Protoethics" but with governments and political systems, also introduces ideas of Chaos Theory, and natural law)
"Memetics" (most recent of the core books, about information and ideas, including then controversial views about the connection between ideas and souls, and The Wanderer and other souls communicate or are incarnated though ideas)

Excerpt from the Book of the Wanderers entitled "Metagenesis":
In the beginning, it is said, there was Void.

It was before all existence, and before all time. It did not desire. It did not change. It did not exist. And yet it was. Void looked upon it's self, and saw Void. And in doing, it changed.

It no longer could be Void, it no longer wanted to be Void. It wanted to exist apart from Void.

To exist apart from Void was to divide it's self. But there was nothing to divide it's self by, no way to form a barrier between something and nothing, something did not yet exist.

And so the only thing that it could do was divide nothing by nothing, and the result was unexpected.

Is this true? I do not know. But how else could something come from nothing?

Born from Void was Chaos, that which could be divided and could change, a thing which was uncountable.

Born from Void was Order, that which could observe and could structure, a thing that was one.

Born from Chaos and Order was Time, that which could allow change and structure to exist together and could allow things to evolve, a thing which is finite.

Born from Chaos and Order was Space, which could allow observation and devision to exist together, and could allow things to move, a thing which is infinite.

And remaining always was Void, which could do nothing, a thing which is nothing.
Is this true? I do not know. But how else could these things exist?

It seems that which did exist looked at the Void it came from and desired to fill it with all manner of things and make a place filled with existence. Not all existence is pleasant, not all of it is good, but it is. Existence to fill the void.

A voice in the mind fears the Void. A voice that does not want to end existence.

A voice in the mind rejects the Void. A voice that wants to create new things.

And yet, in the back of the mind, somehow a there is a voice that embraces the void. It whispers to destroy, to end everything. To make everything go away and return to nothing. But if it was done, Void would find it's self looking at it's self again. It would create everything anew.

If all things come from Void, should all things return to Void?

I think not. Void should be feared, Void should be rejected.

Those that wish for Void to swallow all are ones who are in pain. Existence may be full of pain, but pain is not all existence.

But Void should also be pitied. Because Void can never be anything but Void. The very act of creation makes it so.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Phantoms of Substance

The other they I picked up a copy of Phantom Brave for the PSP. I owned the original PS2 version (well not the original PS2 version, the English version, but you know what I mean) but I never quite got along to finishing it. Largely because actually focusing on playing though the story mode and not getting sidetracked on making uberweapons which completely break the story mode battles and make them no longer able to pose any kind of threat takes massive focus. But I beat it this time, though shear willpower to get though it, and then played the new alternate story mode, and am now working on the original story mode again, and will probably play the alternate one again too cause I missed some stuff. Why you can't just skip to the part of the story you care about after you beat the game, or have enemies match your level to make story mode not so frightfully dull, I don't know. Nippon Ichi has never been fans of convenience when it comes to replaying stuff. At least you can skip most of the cutscenes.

But I still find myself in the same old trap of doing the same thing over and over for some menial virtual reward I really shouldn't care about. Last time I ranted about a Nippon Ichi game, I touched on some of the problems with them. But really most of the problems are shared by RPGs in general, what with the blatant grinding that makes about 90% of the game filler. I really think that games should be set up so you can basically always find something new without spending time mucking about, but on the other hand I dislike linear games that hold your hand and don't let you loose to really get a feel for things, or have no progression at all. Or maybe that's not really it either.

I suppose what it comes down too is I think a lot of games don't feel like they have any really depth or substance to them. But lately I have been thinking more about what I think "depth" and "substance" really means. I have been watching a minecraft video series by two guys who play together. The series starts off with a simple demonstration of some of the basic minecraft mechanics and survival, but after a while other players start getting involved and end up building a world and a integrate backstory for the two guys to play around with. They also play a lot of "adventure maps" made by people who come up with challenges, rules, and backstorys in a map for players. Not to long ago I was chatting with someone about Tower Defense games and why I didn't like them, even if they had upgrades and stratagy and things. I realized what it basically comes down to, why I find those minecraft videos so fascinating and Tower Defense games so utterly boring, is basically the act of exploration.

Exploration is at the heart of almost every game I like. It's one reason I like roguelikes so much, one reason I think why people swear that Super Metroid is one of the best games ever made, and the reason why, quite frankly, beat-em-ups, shooting games, Tower Defense games, Nippon Ichi games, and other arcade and stratagy games tend to annoy me. And it isn't just about exploring a environment either, it's about exploring gameplay as well (in fact I dare say I enjoy roguelikes like Nethack, and too a lesser extent, RPGs like the SaGa series for more for this reason then exploring the environment).

It works for stories too. I think this is one reason I like things like Homestuck and certain fanfics (which reminds me I was reading a interesting one not to long ago) is the exploring they do of places and ideas. And one reason I hate soup opera-ish crap (which BTW I think Phantom Brave's plot is dangerously close to with the whole "POSSESSED" melodrama thing), because they just give a series of unresolved hooks to draw tension and never really try and deeply explore any sort of underlining meaning or the character's inner selves.

So I guess when I am saying "depth" and "substance" I really mean a sort of exploration of something. It doesn't necessarily have to be something new it just has to be something you can really dig deep into and uncover stuff. It seems a lot of RPGs and other games think of a game's goal as something you work to, spending time and effort to get to the end, or to get some rare thing. I think it should be more something you explore. Not necessarily in terms of a secret that needs to be discovered, but in terms of a thing that is out there and can be transversed. It can be a subtle difference between the two to be honest, but there is a difference. Grinding is not exploring.

A game should not require you, and maybe should not even let you run in place for hours to get ahead. What if enemies didn't respawn for example, or most of your experience was related to progress and conversation not repeatable tasks (Planescape: Torment comes to mind). Suddenly it's a whole new type of thing where you can't stay in one place forever to get ahead. Suddenly both the player and the developer has to think more about what they are doing. And this can be a bad thing too, where you no longer have the option to just grind to get by That One Boss. How about have random drops have a counter so after so many enemies if it doesn't randomly drop, it will raise the chance until eventually it is 100%. That way fighting the monsters won't be a waste and if they don't respawn, or do different places so you can't farm them, then you can keep moving and not have to worry about grinding for them. There are many ways to subtlety change it so grinding isn't a thing anymore, while still rewarding effort.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Building an Identity: Part 3

The girl looked around and blinked.

"Would you like something to put on?" said Killo thoughtfully.

She blushed and remembered she was still naked. Around her body a white nightgown formed. She looked up at Killo, who looked impressed.

"My my, you figured out how to do that very quickly eh?" he said and smiled. "I guess I did put a lot of magic and stuff into you. You seem to be surrounded by a chaotic magic field that you can use." He looked her over and said "You know you sort of look like that AI "Aura" with that outfit." Her hair suddenly became white and Killo laughed "I guess you think so too, maybe you should change your outfit then". The girl concentrated and turned her outfit green and her hair turned blond again. "wouldn't want to be caught for copyright infringement would we?" Killo said and winked.

"Umm... excuse me..." The girl said meekly.

"Hmm?" replied Killo looking at her intently.

"Whats my name?" She said.

Killo thought about this. He started trying to combine "robot" and "golem" to make some feminine name. Rogola? Gobota? But he didn't really like those. But a name was important. Things with a name were more... real so to speak then things without one. At last he said "I think you should choose one yourself. One will probably jump out at you, if not now later. Don't rush it though, it's your name, it should be something important."

The girl nodded, and thought for a while but couldn't think of anything. Killo was looking at her with a slightly odd look in his eyes and she knew that look. She knew all about Killo. She realized that they were connected, which is why she heard her voice in his head, though then they had been deeply connected and now he had went back a little. Without him there there was a change she would have gone crazy. Then again without him there she wouldn't exist in the first place. And she knew he sort of wanted her. But she also knew that there was more too it then that. Killo was a pervert, but he was not a forceful one. He wouldn't force her to love him, or even encourage it. But all that she was thinking might have been coming from him too. She snapped out of it.

"I would like to see how powerful you are if thats alright with you." Killo said.

She blinked. "You wish for me to test myself in combat?" she said. All that robot part of her seemed to come to the forefront in a moment. Combat. Not as a serious death duel but just as a game. That sounded... fun.

"If you are up for it." Killo said.

The girl's mind raced. She wasn't really made as a weapon, but much of her archetypes involved them. And she had data and essences that could be used for incredibly dangerous attacks. If she did this and this, and that too... She smiled with glee. "Yes please!".

Killo brought her to a open room padded with metal walls. This was the labs "boss room". Castlevania had them, places for big fights between Dracula's most powerful minions and his enemies that tried to storm the castle. Killo intended to keep up the tradition of sorts, only more as a game. He could assure no permanent harm came to anyone here, either heros or bosses. Normal monsters were not really alive anyway and would repopulate as soon as someone left the room.

But there was no boss in this room. This was of course because, the girl WAS the boss. Thats one of the reasons she was made, and this fact made her smile. This was HER room. She could of course choose not to work for Killo, and do anything she wanted. She know he would understand. But here and now, she wanted to see what she could do. She could feel power flowing though her. She knew like Magaman, she could turn her arm into a blaster. She could also turn it into a sword. Or anything she wanted. Her "Chaos Matter Field", the short range magical disturbance surrounding her could be manipulated to change her outer appearance or to summon some simple objects.

Killo left for a bit and in a while Jiggles came in. Killo didn't follow but both of them could tell he was watching them. The nameless girl looked at Jiggles and smiled. "Hello, Miss Jiggles. It is a pleasure to meet your acquittance. Are you here to fight me for today?"

Jiggles looked at her and smiled back. "Pleased to meet you too! I hope we can become friends... are you sure you want to fight? I know some people like it but..." Jiggles said trailing off neer the end.

"If you are worried about my safety, I assure you I am stronger then I appear. I also assure you this is just a fun contest, but I do request you take this seriously if that is all the same to you." Said the nameless girl. She knew Jiggles. She had been born with a good deal of Killo's knowledge. Jiggles was a good first sparing partner at least. Even if she hates violence, she appreciates sparring. To her, a battle isn't violence if both people enjoy it and agree not to hurt each other too much.

Jiggles smiled and said "Okay then... please be careful though... I like to fight as a contest but I don't like people getting hurt". She put up her arms and stood in a fighting stance.

'Okay', thought the nameless girl as she began to draw power and put her plan in motion, 'I need a good fast weapon'. She turned her hand into a buster cannon. 'Now,' she thought 'lets add some aspect she won't expect... The homing power of a witch essence... killo gave me some?... yes, okay.' She charged her weapon with the essence. 'Now maybe...'


The nameless girl landed across the room.

"S-Sorry..." said Jiggles looking concerned "Um... I didn't go to far did I? I saw your arm change and felt some magic and I..." Let it be said about Jiggles, that as girlie as she looks and as sweet as she acts, she is fast as hell and hits hard when she needs to. She is also experienced and knowledgeable enough about martial arts to be a deadly force of nature. The reason for this is simple. She is a Catgirl. An anime character. And a bit of a magical girl as well. Any magical anime Catgirl that can't beat up a martial artist 5 times their size would be given funny looks.

"I'm fine." Replied the nameless girl. To herself she thought 'I was overconfident. I should have decided what weapons to use and prepare the magic needed before the battle. Jiggles is to fast for me to mix magics in the middle of a encounter. I have to be faster. Still I should be quicker next time I try if I have a plan.' She stood, and said "Continue" and began to rabid fire witch shots from her blaster.

Jiggles of course could avoid most of the shots easily but thanks to the witch essence they could trace her in that air somewhat. But Jiggles was still to quick for most of them. A few would graze her. Then Jiggles fired back. With a cry of "Nekodoken" she made a familiar hand motion and a red fiery cat-like ball of fire sped to the nameless girl and causing her to widen her eyes.

"What WHAT! How did you get THAT! And I hit you a few times! You shouldn't be able to throw that without full energy! Does... Not... Compute!" The nameless girl yelled in shock. Seeing Jiggles confused look she facepalmed and said "Sorry, incorrect analysis. I was thinking of Mega Man X not street fighter."

"Um..." Jiggles replied hesitantly "I am not sure I know what you are talking about but... anyway why do you talk like a robot? Aren't you more like a.. um... magical... thingy, sort of like me?"

The nameless girl paused thoughtfully and replied "I was constructed to be based on a robot girl archetype and so have acquired speech patterns matching the sort that would likely be used by an example of that archetype." she paused "In addition... I think it's kinda fun." She said with a big grin. Jiggles looked at the nameless girl a bit odd but said nothing.

"Also I should inform you this distraction has been utilized in order to subtlety change my weaponry to shoot what could be described as 'big frigging homing missiles of death'. Have a nice day." The nameless girl smiled.


And suddenly they were everywhere. Jiggles rolled into a ball and rolled forward under the missiles. She zigged, she zagged, and explosions erupted all around her. The nameless girl kept firing, and Jiggles jumped into the air and fired her fireball down on her. She dodged. Jiggles dropped back into a roll and changed directions by springing off a wall and the many missiles that were trailing her impacted a wall, but the nameless girl was in front of her, firing more more. Jiggles used her blast to knock them away and jumped up the wall and the new missiles hit it again.

On and on the battle went and both started using more tricks. Jiggles wasn't at all armed to fight at a distance besides her one "Nekodoken" attack, but she was fast and hard to hit. Even so the nameless girl could use coving fire to keep away and was able to fire a lot faster. Jiggles could occasionally get in close and strike and even a few times guided the nameless girl's own missiles to explode nearby, and she got lucky shots in as well. It was a good match. In the end they both had some cuts and scrapes and were breathing hard when Killo appeared and clapped.

"I think thats enough for today. You both look like you enjoyed the work out eh?" Killo said smiling.

Jiggles huffed and puffed and said "I am getting kind of sleeeepy... this was a hard work out!" as she smiled.

"E-Energy reserves down to 20%" said the nameless girl as she panted.

"You made that up. Your just trying to sound robotic again." said killo mirthfuly

"P-perhaps" Said the nameless girl smiling sheepishly.

"Um... Do you want me to heal you up? You have a bad scrape there on your arm, sorry about that" Jiggles said concerned.

"Negative, I..." started the nameless girl and trailed off as she looked at the cut on her arm. She stopped and went white. "I... I am bleeding..." she stampeded.

Jiggles looked worried. "Oh no! Is it bad? I'll help you..." she said as she went over to use her healing kiss.

But the nameless girl stared transfixed "I-it's not that..." she said. "I-I Just realized... I am part machine, I am not really all alive... so what happens, if I die? Or get seriously hurt? You can't heal metal can you? Can machines actually heal? I have a brain and a computer chip. One is just bits of metal..."

"Don't worry about that. It doesn't matter. Your body is magical, besides... even if you were a robot it dosn't matter... because..." said Killo softly

The nameless girl remembered "Because I am imaginary after all... this this whole thing isn't real is it... it doesn't matter if I am metal or flesh... it's all a game..."

Jiggles frowned and said "That doesn't mean you don't exist! I am imaginary too. And even Killo in a way, but we think we feel... our feelings are real!"

Killo shrugged and added " who can say what is real? Words on a page are a kind of magic, existence in a story is still existence. Just remember to hang on to that one thing. That you are you. Your Identity. Thats all you need."

The nameless girl paused and stopped crying. "Identity..." She felt something. Killo could feel it too. "That's it. Thats what it will be." she said.

Jiggles however was not directly connected and didn't understand. "Huh?" She said confused.

"My name... I will name myself Identity."

Identity smiled.

Building an Identity: Part 2

...Power detected...
...InitialidsfjdjŘŔΎΞŚяѕ↕┼◊╩ഭഫ ഹ ỒỔ ẽ Ә Ӗ Ӯ I̢̛̱̩̘̝͇͇̮̐̎̋̉̇̔̀̈ ͬͬ̋ͬ̋̾̏͗ͤ̓ͦ̽ͣ҉̡̤̬̘͕̯̯̱̩͓̺͓̗́a̧͗̌ͯ̂ͧͭ͏͢͏͕̥͎͚͓̗͚̮̻m̨̛̗̜̦̖̹ͧͮͥ̈ͨ͗̎̓̓̈̚̕ ̴̴̨̛͕͕͉̤̟͎̳̱͖͍̠͇̙̏̏ͦ̑ͬͧ̀ͅͅC̯͙̥͎̠̺̻̝̊ͮ̃̂̀̿͌̄ͦͦ͗͛ͤ̈́͘͠ḫ̨̢̧̤̲̥̝̺͂ͣ̅ͦ̿̑̍͆̊̄͘ạ̸̡̧̛͈̺͈͕̙̤͈̯̝͔̟̍ͦ̆̋ͫ̑̄̒ͩ̄͞ȯ̸͒̉̒̐ͦ̋̃̓̿́͢͡͏̟̟̩̤̳s̶̡̨̲͍̳͍̞̹̤̤̤̩̭̗̞̙̗̲͎̠͑ͮ̋̌͆͑͌ͨ̓͘͝.͐̄ͯ̎ͧ͋̑͋͛͆ͪ̽ͨͭ̽ͯ̚͘҉̕͏̳͕͎͖͖̰̥͉̱̹̣̭̠̰ ̛̟͇̟͕͒͋̋́͟͠Į̧̤͖͊͛͊̐ͪͨͫ̌ͅ ̛͉̼͓̱̣̙͙̯̼͂͐ͮ̂̂̆̃ͤ̓͐͂ͧ̎͗ͣ̊͢͜͡a͊͊͑͂͑͊͂̋̋̀ͩ̾͑ͩ͏͙̣͔̙̳̤͔͔̟̗̲̣̮͔̜̜̣͡m̠͎͉͙̬͍̗̞͉̰͙̙̘̽ͧ́͒̈͋͒ͩ̀ͬ͞ ̵̸̡̟̹̟̭̳͉̲̩̤͎̝̩ͬ̍̐̒ͮ̓̆̾ͯ̉̍ͯ̋̍͑ͩͩ̀̚a̅͗͐ͦ̑ͮͥ̏͆̐̀͂͢͡҉͖̝̙͚̰̞̟̗̕l͓̱̝͍̰̲͎̗͓͔̙̱̲͍̅̆̓ͥ̍ͨͤ̏̐̑͋ͣ͂́i̡̛̟̰̲̝̝̰͕͕̣ͩͬ̌̃̈́͑̑̌̒̎̊̀͟v̢͎̣͈̝͉̜̹̱̫̽͒ͫ̿̌ͫ̓́̀̚ḙ̢̢̠̲͓̳̹̜̦̟͙̘̠̬͇͙̹̋̒̊͗̽ͩͥ̂͐ͫ̈́̉̑̈̉͛̆͢͟͠

Light. Darkness.

She opens her eyes.

A yell of triumph.

A voice asks "Can you hear me?"


"... Yes."

T̢o̸o͟ m͝uc͠h b͝ac̶k̶gr̀o҉u̶nd͡ ̶n̴ois͜e͡

Don't worry. don't worry, I'll help

"Can you sit up?"


S̡h̴e͡ ... I sit up

Good focus on something solid in your mind. You are you.

T͟he ̵v̕o̴i͡c͡es̡ of chaơs̸ s̨ing͜..̴.̀

"How are you feeling?"

"... I don't know"


... It's everywhere... C̶̦̣̦͓̝̦͇̐ͬ͑̄̎̀́͞h̵̶̩̙̦͈̻̭́̍ͦͥ̿́̿̈͛̄ͨͥ̂͐͐̋ͫ́ḁ̶̷̢̠̲̼̦̘̺̳̺̞͕̫͉̣͇̈́ͤ̾ͨ̿͑̉͛ȯ̴̶͕̬̞̻͛͐͛ͧ̌̍ͥͩ̃ͨͩͧ̎ͨͪ̂ͨͣ͞ś̸̸̟̟͕͖͍̬͈̣̄͑̑͋ͥ̋́ I can't understand it...

So r͝an̷do̷m̴ and strange.

Don't worry about it... It may seem like that but

I am a machine I need logic and order
I ͘am̵ ͢aliv̸e̵ I͜ n͡ȩe͢d҉ e̡mo̕ti̢o͢n̛ a̵nd ͜dr͝ive͏

Aren't we all? What is life but a machine of flesh?
W͡h͡a̶t͟ i҉s̵ ͏a͢ m͢a̢c̸h҉i͜n̵e͜ ̢bu͟t ̕or҉de̛red ̵chao̕s?̡

C̨h̶a͘os͟ can be ordered... mathematical
Order can b̕e d̀ìso͘r҉d́er̸ed͡,͝ ̶un͜p̨re̷d҉i̛cta͜bl̷e͝.̧

"Can you walk?"

"... Yes"

I get up. I walk slowly.

"Tell me, can you feel this?"

He rubs his hand across my body lightly touching my n̤i̶͖̺̹̥̭̦̬p̯̮͢p̷͇̭͈̰͈͑ͫ̇̽̇̽̚l͖̝ͧ͂ͮ̓̄̄e͇̺͓̭̤̹͗̿

O̡̻̫̖̮̥ͤ̋́̏ͯ̏ͪ̊ͨͣ͆̔̈́̎̒̀ḣ̢̢͈̜̮̜̞̤̹̤̯̰͓̜̅ͣͯ̂ͨͧ̈ͅ.͍̝̪̝̱̬̞͇̯̇ͥͪͧ͆̋̋͒ͥ͋̅̐̌ͧ̈́̅͠.̨̮͖̯͚͚͉̤̲̻̏̄͂͐̀̈́ͥ̾͗̓̓̂̀̿̽͂̓̐ͤ͘ ̤̣͓͔̣̮̮̜͚̗͉̳͙̺̝̍̇ͨ̈͜͞͡͝ͅT̴̶̛̻͍͈̖͈̭̝̪̻͆͐ͩ̂͑͒ͬ͊́̕h̸̐ͣ̅̓̀҉̢̰̬͖͇͘a̷̵̮̱͇̹̰̲̝̣̳̳̪̼͇̩͇͂ͮͨ̆͗ͤ̔̇̅͘͞ͅt̢͕̖̤̺̪̱̙̰̬͚̗̖ͩ̋̄̃ͦͧͮͤ̃̐͌̍͗̈͊̽̚͢ͅ.̵̰̬̰͙̬͔̻ͫ̈́ͭ͂ͤͪ̎̌̆͊̍̉͂̀͠.͊̑ͭ͐͑͛ͩ͟͡͏̡̰̖͚̮͎̻̜̜̬̻̦̬̳͖͖͘.̸̡̟̩͙͓̞̘̟̪͚̖̗̤̥͛̇̿̇ͪ̽͘͜!̷̨̢̗̯͈̦̋̅̎͛̎͊́ͮͧ̊ͥ̅͒ͬ̉̚͢

He stops.

"... Y-yes"

Wh͜a͏t ̛w̨a͠s t̶ha͝t̴?

"Good." It's okay, I just wanted to make sure. You can deal with this. I will help you.
I won't̕ den͠y͟ ͠a̛ ͜bit ̵of o͟th͢e͠r̵ in͡ter͏e̷s̷t̷ ͡thou̧g͘h̛.҉..͟But that's besides the point.

I-I am b͏l̛u̸sh̶i̴ng̨...

"Okay, the truth is like this... Chaos and Order are not actually opposites or even enemies, they are like two sides to the same coin" or maybe two ways of looking at the same thing "Look at fractals or chaos theory for example, ordered logical ways of looking at disordered things." A butterfly flaps his wings and all that rot. "So don't worry about it. Your no different form anyone else, born from Chaos, but seeking to order things in your mind" I say born from chaos but your body is ordered into a form and sparked with chaos. "Your still alive, or at least as alive as anything else can be here" It's complected but we..

C̨̧̄̆͑̍͌ͮ̇͂̚͜͏̤͎͖̗͖͖̹͖͉̲̤̘̻̹̜̲̫̮ͅh̶̛̘͎̝͓͉̪͎̲̱̪͇̻͎̱̟̏̃̑̾̿ͮ̐͂͜ä̴̛͚̝̗̞̞̠̘̺͎͌̆̇ͭ̃̊̔͛́̌ͭͫō̈ͬͥ̈̍̃ͧ̋̃̂ͣ̇̿͗҉̛̳̝̭̬̺̕͝s̶̛͓̻̬̲̞̳̹͎̠̝͒ͦͨ̃ͬ̽̓ͣ͂͂́ͮ͜͠ i̻̭̹͎̟͓͙͉͢ś̵̰͉̺͝ͅ pa̶ŗ̛҉t̨ ̨ơ̡f̡̢ th̡e͠ mac͘h́i̧ne, I see... I understand... I see the Loręn̸ź atţra͡c͜t̢o͘ŗ and I see the pattern. I see the f͠ra̶ct̷al and I see the over all shape. H̸̶͇̥̮̟̱̠̮͔̱͖̞͗̾ͪ̾̀͞e͂̓̏̑ͨ͆̈̐̽̇҉̢͚͍̪̺̲̭̤͚̩̪̞͡ comes when I call not when I don't. I am a machine. I am Chaos. I am alive.

...Initialization complete?

Building an Identity: Part 1

Killo Zapit was tinkering in what is know as the "Mad Science Laboratory" which was located somewhere near the upper halls in the front part of Killovania. Probably. Maybe. It was honestly hard to tell.

Killovania was after all rather strange when it came to time and space. It was after all really a reincarnation of sorts of the famous Castlevania, Dracula's former castle in another dimension which had been described as a "Creature of Chaos", which was, after all, why Killo was attracted to it in the first place. So Killo, after the castle's last final destruction in that dimension in 2035, had decided to find the last remnant of the chaotic realm portal which was flung away during the final desolation and sneak in to resurrect the castle for himself. Of course he only was able to make a offshoot version, a variant, but that was enough for his needs.

Things had changed slightly in Killo's version, either according to his design, or as a mirror of his mind. The "Inner Quarters" had morphed into the "Concubine's Quarters" where many of the succubi, the strange maids, and other female spirits made their home, ready to serve Killo's ... interests. Though this was also one of the more sane and homely parts of the castle and no actual strange activities went on there (as Killo usually sent them to his throne room for ... that stuff), so Jiggles and some others also had rooms there.

The chapel area was completely abandoned except for a few ghosts and such. Why Dracula even had one, with his apparent hatred of god, Killo never understood. It didn't look demonic or evil, and Dracula dealt with a lot of demonic and evil things, but the chapel always bugged him. He guessed it was that way because Dracula still believed in God in his own twisted way, even if he hated him. Killo had no use for gods of any sort. So the chapel became "The Abandoned Chapel", a dark derelict place, with broken stained glass windows and icons.

Jiggles found it sad in some way. It looked to her like a reminder of some faith someone had once had only to be thrown away. Why it even was there no one but Killo would know, and if he knew he wasn't telling. Jiggles wondered if it was there for a time where Killo would regain faith in something more besides himself. Jiggles secretly hoped so. She wasn't religious as such, but she did believe in faith. She would sometimes come down there to pray, not to any real god, but just to pray. She couldn't be sure, but she thought maybe, when she did, the room seemed less derelict and sad afterwards.

The old "Alchemy Laboratory" had been changed and modernized and looked sort of like a cross between it's old self, the "Devil's Laboratory" in the rebuilt castle cultist made in the universe that the original Castlevania was from, and a old "Frankenstein" movie set. This was of course the "Mad Science Laboratory", and where Killo was currently tinkering, working on a project he had begun when he had first created this lab.

The project was that of a magic construct, a sort of combination of a robot, a golem, a living doll, and maybe a tiny bit of a Frankenstein monster. For most the very idea would speak of science gone mad, and man's hubris to create like a god. Killo of course scoffed at gods, and he wasn't exactly a man anyway. Besides, to Killo man's hubris was not in creation, after all man does that all the time. Man creates art, creates stories, creates crafts, and even indirectly creates the next generation of man. No man's hubris was, to Killo, thinking they could control it, thinking it was somehow theirs, and this hubris was extended to gods as well. Killo didn't intend to control his creation, only perhaps to guide it at best. Killo created for the joy of creation and the interest of watching the results.

Besides he had done it before, of a sort. Both Jiggles and her older "sister" were created in a similar way, but they had different archetypes and were made up of different things. Jiggles was, more or less, a cloned body given a part of Killo's "soul" and with an imprinted archetype, while her "sister" known as Blacky was actually made entirely with magic, gaining substance of a sort after. This project though was more creating a shell body out of mostly inorganic materials and powered and animated with magic. Not that it really matters though. The biggest real difference is that both Blacky and Jiggles were "cat-like" beings, Blacky resembling more a real cat, and Jiggles resembling more a anime-style cat-girl. This project however would be more robot/android-like, or perhaps golem-like, both in materials used, and in the archetypes it draws from.

It's not that how you make a construct is irrelevant, but archetypes are usually more important, especially for personality. An archetype could be in terms of personality thought of as a mental role model, or more likely, a collection of role models. But the magic also flows to make the body more like the role model, giving them similar powers and weaknesses. It is the construct really that decides most of the time, but it needs choices to decide from, and of course, if it's put into a body already quite similar to an ideal expression of it's form, it will tend to match that.

The body Killo was designing was that of a youngish girl. Of course. It had a metal skeleton-like robotic frame, a carved wooden and plastic doll-like exterior, padded with clay in some places, and covered with organic skin. In the robotic brain case was a electronic cpu of some sort wired with fleshy brain bits as well as other electronics. Some of the muscles and organs were fleshy as well, and the... sensitive parts were quite fleshy. One might marvel at the craftsmanship or be horrified with the use of what seems like human body parts, but both would be unfounded reactions for one very important reason: Killo cheated to make it.

[Exposition Dump Begin]

Killovania only came to be because Killo gave up a small part of himself to do it, although really gave up isn't quite the right term because Killo didn't really lose anything, as he can just multiply himself almost effortlessly. Anyway, that meant Killovania was not only his, but in fact, almost part of him. And since it was rejected from the timeline of the, as Killo would say, "canon" Castlevania universe, it was in effect, outside of any particular universe as much as Killo is. Witch basically means, Killo makes all the rules in it. Hence Killo can craft things simply by his will.

Of course it's not quite as easy as poof and anything he wants is there, because, as a general rule of magic, the greater disturbance to the status quo something is, the less "real" it is. Things popping out of nowhere tend to devolve quickly into nothing. The easiest way to get around that is to get raw materials and simply transmute them into something else. Another way is prototyping, taking a raw chaotic form of matter and exposing it to a "form" witch, like a material archetype, causes the chaos to tend to transform into a copy of it. There are other tricks too. Killo has learned most of them.

Also he obtained one inherent to becoming the lord of the castle, the control of the "souls" of all the monsters there. Really though calling them souls is not quite accurate though. A soul is a living thing, a consciousness. It changes and grows. But the souls of the monsters bound to the castle lost that part ages ago. What remains behind is more what Killo calls "essence", which is like it's archetype of sorts, but more specific. It's all the information that makes a thing a thing, so to speak. Monsters form and are destroyed and form again out of this essence, and they become the servant of the master of the castle. But it can also be used to call upon the abilities of the monster, and as a powerful form of prototyping.

But, even with all this, anything made with these techniques (besides maybe a existing material object form outside enchanted with something else) can not be trusted to work outside of Killovania it's self. It might work, it might vanish, it might fall apart, it might explode. Killo can sneak into other universes sometimes, mostly because he projects himself, either as a bodiless entity who watches from afar, or in a body that is half illusion and half real. If he focuses on an object he might be able to get it to manifest there, but he isn't very good at focus in any case. But things with a soul, they can be projected in the same way. Any thing with a soul here could be said to have a soul on the outside as well. You couldn't of course actually use this for much if you were a pan-dimensional evil conquer since it involves way to much to do in large numbers, but for Killo he just wanted to experiment.

[Exposition Dump End]

When Killo finished the shell, it was a mess. It was really a pile of material, much of it disconnected and piled on in layers that didn't make sense. The robotic skeleton was the most actively functional part, and it probably would have turned on if it had a power supply but wouldn't have moved because it's cpu only had a few very basic instructions and no real function besides to wait for input from the fleshy brain bits which were wired up but not really alive and showed no activity. The skeleton was really covered by a wood and plasic shell which was fixed with mud and had flesh on top and if it moved it would have all probably cracked and slid off. Outwardly it looked like a naked young girl with blond hair, but if you looked close you noticed overlaps and sloppy gaps in the skin in places. And it probably stunk a bit too.

This would change of course. Golems were made of simple inflexible clay after all, the magic changes them, it would change this girl. The magic began by taking the souls/essences of many suitably appropriate monsters into her. There were all sorts. Golems of course, both clay and iron had there essence. And of course those of some of those enchanted cursed dolls. There were even a few types of robots hanging around, and they had essence as much as anything else, so he added some. Some types of Angels too just for kicks, which yet again were odd to find in Draclua's former castle, but there were some. Witches too. Maybe Succubi and some of those maids. And those plant ladies, he had one in his gardens, they were nice. Maybe this and that.

He also decided to upload some stuff into the memory in her brain. Some copies of some games, like Mega Man X and it's sequels. Hell, Most of the Mega Man series. Sonic Battle had a interesting robot character too. That Astroboy GBA game? Sure. He stuffed a hard drive full of other robot related stuff in her head. After all, "data" and "essence" are about the same. He was a modern guy after all. He looked around shifty eyed and said to no one "These are all back up copies of course... I own the carts honest". There are some forces even HE was scared of after all. Or maybe he just thought it was funny.

Next he reached into his own chest and pulled out a bit of his own essence. This was of course, completely painless. He reached though her chest and placed it inside without disturbing anything. This would be her "heart" and power source. A part of his being that would always connect them. Each of his creations had a bit, after all, how else were you going to create something? You couldn't just will life into existence ya know. Well you could, but that will would be a part of yourself. Souls are easy to divide, but almost impossible to construct form scratch. With a robotic element it MIGHT be possible to make an AI, but real intelligent living AI's needed either far more programing skill then anyone had, a long time for simple genetic programing to develop the right complexity, or perhaps an extremely lucky break. And for an AI, while developing a full soul is possible, Killo was sure it would take a lot more tech then he had at the moment.

Anyway now came the last step, to pump her full of magical energy and let it change her. And since this WAS the mad science lab, he was going to do it in the mad science way. He pulled a level and the table rose up, while up above a thunder storm was raging, called by Killo's control over this place. Millions of metal boxes with electric tubes, dials, readouts, and other devices beeped and sparked, as Killo adjusted some random instruments. They were random too. Most of this equipment was just for show. "Live! Make my creation live!" Shouted Killo as he cackled madly. Killo was actually quite proud of his evil laugh. It was fun to laugh like this once and a while.

Lightning stuck.
The robotic frame drew power from it, turned on, and began to overload.
The wood seemed to spark and catch fire.
The dry mud blasted apart.
The flesh began to melt.
The essences and the heart Killo put there fed on the raw elemental energy.
Things started to change.

The robotic frame's circuits fused together in strange ways with the surrounding material.
The wood's fire glowed green or blue and changed rather then consume.
The mud became liquid and filled the gaps and expanded inside.
The flesh melted into the mud and changed it to be like flesh too.
The magical essence mixed into everything.
The Heart glowed and spread magic throughout the whole body.

There was a moment of flux where everything became charged with magic and glowed brightly. A moment of perfect chaos. Killo whispered to it in thought in a language without words:

"Chaos is Life. You are Chaos. You are alive. After a fashion anyway.”

“Become life, I have forged your body. Become Life I will share our souls. Become life and I will guide you.”

“Pretty please with a cherry on top?”

The light exploded for a moment then faded.
The table was lowered again.

The girl opened her eyes.