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The Generation Gap

Posted by Lab Member 0579 , Jun 22 2017 · 0 views
writing advert
I really enjoyed seeing the response to The Legend Continues. It was like this big outpouring of love for Generation 2, and since it seems like a lot of talk about G2 (ever since it started) is very negative, it was a delightful change of pace. Just fans taking the ideas Lego has given us and playing with them, and complimenting each other on their ideas and effort. It was great.

So that sparked the idea behind Toa of Fire. It’s not long at all, clocking in at around 1400 words, and the setup is intentionally a little odd. But hopefully I was able to get my point across.

G2 certainly has its faults—I won’t deny that. But it is Bionicle. And it is loved.


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Eh, Oh Well

Posted by Lab Member 0579 , Jun 18 2017 · 0 views

So, when I finished Shooting Star Sonia 2, I said I had a few other projects I wanted to get off the ground in the near future. I’ve now officially given up on both of them. Just to pad my blog with content, here’s an overview of what could have been but probably won’t.

-The bigger one was an attempt at a new Comedy, “Synica and the Jade Mask”. A villager from the Region of Stone finds a Jade Mask that won’t let go of her face and amplifies her already negative personality (she’s jaded!), so she has to go on a journey to figure out how to break its hold. Along the way she would have encountered villagers wearing other such Masks of Emotion and come to learn of/face off against their creator, and would have been accompanied by Asuno, the armadillo-like Creature of Exposition! It wasn’t all for laughs—I was trying the approach of “write a story, and then also make it funny” since I don’t perform well with “toss in as many jokes as I can think of”. So I was actually going to try to come up with a mix of obvious puns and no fourth wall and general humor versus an actual plot and character development and maybe some thoughts on emotional/mental health. I know, right? Totally out of my league! Ah well, kicking it around in my head helped kill some time at work.

-The other one was OTC—a small Kingdom Hearts story adapting Final Fantasy V as a world in KH3D. It was just an excuse to get Sora and Riku to interact with the Warriors of Light and fight Gilgamesh and Exdeath, and I thought using the separated worlds from FFV as the different sides of the Realm of Sleep world would work well. Plus since it’s a dream, I could bring Galuf in and stab readers in the heart. And, well…Sora interacted with Bartz and Lenna pretty well, but I was really struggling with getting him to talk to Faris and having Riku engage Galuf and Krile. I dunno, I guess this has a better chance of coming together than the above comedy, but it’s seeming 99% unlikely right now. I might be better off trying a simpler idea, like an oneshot where Sora bumps into a few of them in a specific world. Faris would fit into Port Royal really well…

It feels like I’ve been dropping a lot of story ideas over the past few years. Of course, I’ve always had a problem with finishing ideas, and even what I do get out has execution issues more often than not, but…ugh. No, I should try to end on a positive note, so I’m gonna remind myself of what I have accomplished since ending SSS2.

-Glimpse of Horizons. The broader idea is going nowhere fast, but I really enjoyed writing this trial version, and I definitely want to use the powers I gave the protagonist in the future even if the rest of it doesn’t work out. It was nice to realize there is a plausible way to revisit one of the oldest concepts I’ve worked with, so that definitely makes this worth it.

-Mafia XXIX: Hotel of Okoto. I mean…the Chorus System, the only unique thing about this game, was an absolute flop, and I could only come up with short scenes, but still. Hosting a Mafia game with a theme that had plenty of jokes built in gave me some breathing room and I think it was fun overall.

-Second Star. I worry that I’m beginning to get burnt out on Bionicle stories, but The Legend Continues really lit a fire in me. Coming up with G2 Inika and how to present them was an awesome time, and it’s nice to know that I still have some passion left for this series tucked away somewhere. But, you know…I invested brainpower into naming all their weapons, and in the end I couldn’t find a good way to slip them in without it feeling obtrusive! I know I don’t have the focus/time/motivation to do a full story, but…well, does anyone want to collaborate? :P

Huh. Looking it over, that’s an accomplishment per month! Not so bad after all. Plus, I have something else that just needs a little revision and should be up in a matter of days…

Anyway, I’ve started on Shooting Star Sonia 3, though I’m not particularly far into it. I’ve also pinned down most of the ideas I’ll need for Wall of History, I just need to write up the history I’ll be handing out each round. With luck, I might actually be looking productive in late 2017!


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Thoughts on the Miitopia Demo

Posted by Lab Member 0579 , Jun 17 2017 · 0 views

Everyone knows I love (J)RPGs, so it should come as no surprise that when I heard about an RPG you can stick Miis in and watch their Tomadachi Life-esque interactions, I was intrigued. Now that the demo is available on the eShop, I picked it up and played through it, and figured I’d do a post about it because why not.

The gist, for those of you unaware, is that you are a traveler in a fantasy world inhabited by Miis. A Dark Lord has begun stealing people’s faces and sticking them on monsters, so you must form a party, fight these monsters, and rescue everyone’s faces. One of the main draws is that everyone here is a Mii. Whenever you are introduced to a new player character, or other key characters such as the Dark Lord, you are asked to cast a Mii in that role, and can do so either by importing one from the 3DS Mii Maker, using data from Tomodachi Life, looking through a list of Miis people have shared online, or just creating a new one right then and there. In a town, the NPCs are all automatically cast using a random selection of shared Miis, but you can change any Mii in the game from the menu. For the player characters you are also asked to choose a personality type, as well as a Job. (I didn’t realize it had a Job System going in, this made me so happy you don’t even know.)

Here’s who I ended up using:
-Pahrak, the laid-back Warrior
-Kairi, the kind Chef
-Ruka, the cautious Mage
-Riku, the cool Thief
-And for the Dark Lord, I skimmed the shared Miis and ended up picking someone’s Waluigi Mii

The various personality types have perks that activate from time to time. Laid-back characters can become “unusually focused” to power up their attacks, or hide behind an ally who takes damage for them. (I’m so sorry Kairi.) They also have an ability to avoid getting status ailments, entitled “Nah.” Kind characters will sometimes go easy on an enemy and not actually attack them, and the enemy will either strike while their guard is down (I’m so sorry Kairi) or be grateful and leave the battle. A cautious character will sometimes take a little extra time to warmup, powering up their attack. Cool characters, meanwhile, will sometimes aim for an enemy’s weak spot to do extra damage, and can also avoid damage entirely with a smooth sidestep. The Jobs available in the demo are Warrior (attack and defense), Mage (magic damage), Cleric (healing), Thief (speed, stealing, normal attack hits all enemies), Chef (attack and healing), and Pop Star (buffs).

There’s a lot of little things that go into this system, so I don’t have time to go over each and every one. Some things I’m a bit uncertain about, such as your Mii, the traveler, being the only one you actually control. The rest of the party is controlled by AI, though it seems a fairly competent AI, and you have some support options available separately from whatever Job your Mii is using. Shops, too, are oddly random—when your characters reach an inn at the end of each area, each character will pick something they want to buy (either a restorative item, their next tier of armor, or their next tier weapon), and you decide who to give the money to. It seems to be random, so if you really want that new sword for your Warrior but they want an HP Banana, you’ve got to go on another adventure and see what they’re thinking after that. Apparently, there’s also a chance that the character will by something other than what they set out to get, but I haven’t encountered that yet. You could say there’s an unusual lack of control here, but…somehow, the game is still a lot of fun. I guess the idea is you’re supposed to trust your party members to do their own thing and back you up? And I mean, that’s essentially the function of the relationship system: you can do various things to bring two characters closer together, and with each new level gained you unlock extra perks such as showing off to do more damage, warning of an incoming attack for a better dodge chance, and comforting someone after they’re hit to raise the relationship value even further. When everyone’s showing off at once, you can lay down some serious hurt.

Since this is a demo it’s obviously not super long. There’s only one town, and a handful of its NPCs have their faces taken and placed on boss monsters; once you defeat them you can go put the face back where it belongs to get a reward, and after restoring everyone in that town, you’re given a key item to pass the castle gate…only for the guard to tell you the demo ends here. But, the available areas will give you a few hours of gameplay, and even after reaching the gate you can still grind if you want. Did I mention the demo’s save data can be transferred to the full version of the game? And since one of the last areas is really good for grinding, I still feel like there’s a lot of value in continuing to play. My characters’ levels and equipment tiers are steadily rising, and more than that, a count of how many enemies you’ve defeated is kept, and at every 50 you get upgrades to your support options. When I do get the full version (which I probably will), I’ll be unstoppable!

(…Though, spoilers, I hear there are two points in the game where your level gets reset, so it’ll probably be short-lived. Not sure what to think about that…)

Anyway, for a relatively short demo of a seemingly simple game, Miitopia has some thoroughly entertaining content for you to play around with, and the transfer function is great incentive to delve deeper into it than you might otherwise. If I can afford it, I definitely want to pick up the full game when it comes out, and I’ll probably keep playing the demo so I’ll be more prepared when I do. It’s not perfect, but when you’ve got a mix of classic RPG flavor and Nintendo humor, how can you possibly say no?


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New KHIII Trailer

Posted by Lab Member 0579 , Jun 11 2017 · 0 views
Kingdom Hearts
Square Enix has been doing a Kingdom Hearts Orchestra lately, and apparently there was a show somewhere last night. They used this opportunity to display a brand new trailer, which can be watched here. I guess this technically counts as its E3 showing, sort of?

Thoughts


The end promises that at the D23 Expo next month (July 15th, specifically) there will be a new trailer with a new world, which sounds promising. Hopefully this will be the start of a more consistent stream of updates, eh?


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Pokemon Direct

Posted by Lab Member 0579 , Jun 06 2017 · 0 views

There were three announcements this morning:

1. Pokken Tournament DX! It’s Pokken on the Switch, adding in the fighters who have been added to the arcade version since the Wii U release PLUS Decidueye. Since I don’t have a Switch I don’t expect to be getting this, but it’s definitely interesting, and I look forward to watching how Decidueye plays.

2. Gold and Silver on eShop! I was hoping they’d do this. Gold was the first version I played on my own as opposed to sharing with my sisters, so Johto was my favorite region before Sinnoh came along. I’m very much looking forward to another trek across the region with my trusty Typhlosion again.

3. Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon! Not a whole lot of info at present, but Solgaleo and Lunala have new forms that sort of look like they’ve fused with Necrozma (or are wearing it as armor or something). I didn’t think we’d get these so soon, but Alola is great, so I am definitely not complaining! I really hope we can get those forms with pre-existing Solgaleo and Lunala, since I already bought both Sun and Moon…

This reminds me that I really need to transfer my Living Dex up to Gen VII. I’ve been meaning to do that forever…


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"Hiatus" Isn't Quite the Right Word

Posted by Lab Member 0579 , Jun 03 2017 · 0 views

Now that Hotel of Okoto is over and I've submitted my entry to The Legend Continues, this seems like a good time.

So, I’m sort of in the process of trying to obtain a new job and a new apartment, ideally by about August. This is all very up in the air right now, and I feel like I shouldn’t start on any more major commitments until I get this sorted out—if I have to take time to move and get new Internet service, it could potentially throw a wrench into whatever I’m in the middle of.

Basically, I’m not planning to host any games or start any big stories until August-ish. The biggest potential exception is a story of five short chapters I’ve been trying to do for a while but am currently stuck on. If I manage to finish that I’ll probably toss it up in OTC, but I don’t know how likely that is. And I mean, if I come up with a short story or two there’s no reason to hold off on that, but the chances of that happening are really pretty low, probably.

I’ll still be around, of course. Blog posts will be made, I might play some games…huh, I don’t really do anything else, do I? I’m not planning to drop off entirely. And I’ll still be working on stuff in the meantime: I’m hoping to complete work on the Wall of History game I mentioned and get a headstart on Shooting Star Sonia 3 so that I can kick them both off as soon as I’m settled. We’ll…see if that works out…

Anyway, I’ll probably make another post if there’s an update on this situation. Until then, returning to generic blog activity.


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Continuing the Legend

Posted by Lab Member 0579 , Jun 01 2017 · 0 views
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Like I wasn’t going to enter The Legend Continues. Come on. You can win The Artbook! Plus 2016 sets I wasn’t able to afford, so even if I get second or third it’s still awesome, but…mainly The Artbook!

Er, anyway, I just posted Second Star! I should probably say it’s…rather long. Around 4300 words. I didn’t mean to get carried away, there was just a lot that I wanted to get in and even after cutting back I still had a lot left. Please forgive me. I got excited by the mention of that legendary tome.

This story takes place a few years after the 16 story, and sets up a new plot concept with a new group of heroes. You can probably guess who from the title, but you may still be surprised to see who they’re fighting. Please check it out if you have the time!


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Crowning Achievement

Posted by Lab Member 0579 , May 31 2017 · 16 views
Kingdom Hearts, KHUX
So the new multiplayer mode of the KH mobile game just...isn't that good, IMO. I messed around with it a bit when it first came out and I just haven't even considered touching it since.

This week, they're adding a new avatar costume you can only get by playing said multiplayer mode

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These are the most beautiful costumes I've ever seen and I take back everything I just said. I am going to play multiplayer until I drop.

Not sure where they came from, but I'm really, really hoping they somehow turn up in KHIII or beyond because something this gorgeous deserves a canon appearance.

UPDATE: They are now mine


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What a Nice Surprise, Bring Your Alibis

Posted by Lab Member 0579 , May 23 2017 · 61 views
game advert, mafia
I’m hosting Mafia XXXIX: Hotel of Okoto!

Come play if you want.

It’ll be fun.

Seriously, you can keep voting even if you die.*

Try it out.

*Offer open to certain roles only, restrictions apply, results may vary


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Thoughts ZX, As Promised

Posted by Lab Member 0579 , May 19 2017 · 39 views

I caved and bought a new copy of Megaman ZX off Amazon. And it was actually new! It was in a case, and even wrapped in plastic. Rad. Anyway I’ve completed Easy Mode with Aile and most of Normal Mode with Vent so this seems like a good time to say stuff I guess.

My memories of the first time I played this are a little fuzzy, but I do think I’m benefitting now that I actually know who all the Biometals are based on. ZX as a whole is a neat progression from the Zero series—it capitalizes on Zero 4’s proposition of humans and Reploids setting aside their differences by showing a future where the races have grown close enough that you can hardly tell which characters are which species. It feels a good bit lighter too. There are serious threats and some fairly precarious situations, but the locations and people tend to seem a little more optimistic, so even if trouble is starting to brew again it still feels like the world has really developed a lot during the interim. I really like that.

And of course, this game is noteworthy for giving us a choice of protagonist! Differences between the two are typically pretty minimal (crawling speed, knockback), though there are a few that stick out more than others. In Aile’s story, Zero lookalike Giro says he’s already a member of the organization you end up working with, meanwhile in Vent’s story he doesn’t say anything of the sort. Plus, I noticed two or three very vague references to ZX Advent’s villain that only occur in Aile’s story. Basically Aile’s story is better. And when Vent beat Prometheus the first time, I got a scene that focused a little more on Prairie’s origins and essentially confirmed she’s…well, spoilers. So there is some value in replaying with both protagonists, especially with a certain bonus you get after clearing the game with both, but you don’t really have to if you don’t want to. Anyway, while Aile isn’t the first playable female character in the franchise (I only discovered this recently), this is the first time we’ve been given the option of a female character who actually drives the story forward and is treated on equal terms as the male option rather than being an unlockable bonus. Put more succinctly, she’s the first female Mega Man, which is still a huge deal. (And yeah, “Mega Man” is a gender neutral term here, more on that later.) This, plus a few of the characters introduced in Advent, make this series seem like it’s trying to break the gender stereotypes of the franchise, and now that I know this is important I’m even sadder it was cancelled. Aile’s great. We need another round of Aile.

Right, so, “Mega Man”. It’s actually a term/title in this series, referring to anyone who can utilize Biometal, with this game showcasing three at a time (the protagonist, Giro, and the villain...well, five if you count Prometheus and Pandora, but anyway). There are even more in Advent. I feel like this gives it a slight meta quality, since now we have characters fighting each other to determine the best Mega Man and we’re sort of asked to decide what we want that term to mean. Even before this you probably could have had a debate on that subject: while some of the series just have a character named Mega Man, that isn’t always the case. X’s name is X, but you’ll never hear anyone not call him a Mega Man. Since Megaman Zero is a thing, can we call Zero a Mega Man? And while MegaMan Volnutt is named MegaMan, the presence of MegaMan Juno in Legends implies there’s more to it than that. (Too bad we’ll never know for sure!) So having ZX begin to play with that is neat, I think. And I like the fun with acronyms in the Biometals’ M.E.G.A. System (Meta Encapsulated Granule Awareness)…though I have to say the Japanese version is even more fun. Since Mega Man is Rock Man in Japan, they get R.O.C.K (Rebirth of Crystallized Knowledge), and rather than shout “Megamerge” when they transform, they actually, honestly activate their powers by holding up their Biometal and shouting “R.O.C.K. On!” You can’t beat that. That’s just incredible.

And I’ve always loved the concept of Biometal. It’s a great way to bring back familiar heroes without technically reviving them or bogging down newcomers with needing all this backstory, and you end up with a good variety of abilities to play around with as you wander aimlessly around the map looking for the area you need to get to next. ZXA does give you a lot more forms to choose from, but while that’s fun they can be redundant or overspecialized, so you could argue ZX’s smaller selection is a bit better rounded.

Anyway, that’s an overview of my thoughts on ZX. I don’t want this to be too long so I’ll leave it there. Now I need to justify buying a new copy of ZXA so I can give more coherent thoughts on the series and its place in the timeline.






Recent Works and Writing Collections

Shooting Star Sonia 2: Tribe: Chapter 20 (3/13)
A Mega Man Star Force fanfic, with Harp Note as the protagonist instead of Mega Man.

Second Star (6/1)
Entry for The Legend Continues, showing my take on the G2 iteration of a certain Toa team.

Toa of Fire (6/22)
"Cancelled themes stick together!"



Full Library
One big collection of everything.

Okoto 579
A few connected G2 stories.

Divine Strength Collection
An original idea I'm trying to build.

FFFC Collection
Flash fiction from when we had contests for that.

Unsorted Works
What doesn't fit into the above three collections.

I Have Approval Now?!

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June 2017

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