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If Anyone's Interested...

Posted by Pahrak #0579 , Jul 19 2017 · 144 views

I decided to start on a new story, and now that I've finished a draft of the first chapter I was wondering if anyone might be willing to look it over and give me some feedback?

As some general information: this takes place on Spherus Magna after the Reformation, and mainly focuses on Vhisola. It's technically a follow-up to my previous story A Mind in Darkness, but you wouldn't need to read that in order to jump into this one--I don't really plan on any direct references to it, so really the only thing you might feel needs clarifying is why Vhisola and Macku get along. This chapter is just setting up the plot and Vhisola's reason for being a part of it.

If anyone wants to help me out, leave a comment and I'll start up a PM for everyone who wants to give it a read.


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Toy Story is in Kingdom Hearts III

Posted by Pahrak #0579 , Jul 15 2017 · 129 views
Kingdom Hearts
Trailer's here.

I'm going to need some time to put into words how unbelievably happy this makes me. For now just watch, I'll edit this later with more detailed thoughts.

But first things first, look at Sora, Donald, and Goofy. They look like constraction sets,

MAYBE...?!

EDIT: OKAY SO

-The trailer starts showing bits in Olympus and Twilight Town. We see Sora using a new shooter-style attack while rail-grinding, and some combination of Shotlock and Flowmotion to ascend a series of blocks. The dual gun Keyblade transformation, now named Double Arrowguns, reappears, and now shifts Sora’s outfit to blue, which we haven’t seen in III before. Seems this is a magic-focused form? Well, the super cannon upgrade is now called Magic Launcher, so…probably. I give Wisdom Form a lot of crud, but it still has some nostalgia for me, so yeah, I’m glad to see the blue threads back.
-The Rock Ogre Heartless is on-screen, and it still looks awesome.
-Aaaaaaaaaah, I love this. I love this so much. I’ve wanted a Toy Story world ever since I started playing Kingdom Hearts, and it looks gorgeous—I know they’ve been saying the Kingdom Shader is designed to make worlds look just like their respective movies, but it really does! I love it!
-And again: Sora, Donald, and Goofy look like constraction sets. A bit more on the Galidor side, maybe, but it’s still ridiculously endearing, and I love it. I would love it even more if Disney actually asked Lego to make these into constraction sets, but…that’s probably not going to happen, huh? There are going to be models released of these forms, apparently. Lego would still be better.
-Apparently this is an original story, where Andy and several of the toys have disappeared after Young Xehanort and the Heartless have appeared in this world. Not sure about timeline placement, but I’m super excited about this—the press release says this story was held to the same quality as an actual Pixar movie, and if that holds up, man…
-Look at that Keyblade! The guard is Buzz Lightyear’s spaceship box! The blade is a cactus with a rope and a bandana and a cowboy hat! It has the Star Command emblem and the sheriff badge! And it transforms into what can only be described as King Dedede’s rocket hammer, or alternatively a giant toy drill! Look at Sora massacre stuff with that awesome and whacky weaponry! I desire it.
-I can’t quite get a clear look at those new Heartless, but they look pretty cool. I’m excited to see what other new breeds might turn up.
-So you might be thinking “Okay, is the part member going to be Woody or Buzz?” The answer is “Both. Both is good.” The display shows both of them, plus Sora, plus Donald and Goofy. That’s a party of five, all at once. That’s incredible. I cannot wait.
-You go to a toystore and fight a bunch of mech suits. Beat them, and you get to jump inside the mech suit and use it to beat up the other mech suits. This is exactly the kind of stupid anime trash that gets me out of bed in the morning and I will love every second of it.
-Young Xehanort shows up. I don’t think he’s been turned into a toy? Not really surprising, Xehanort breaks the rules of worlds all the time, plus it’d be…kind of weird to see him as a toy…
-You know, back when KHIIFM came out, people dug through the files and found incomplete models for a Buzz and Woody Summon! Now it’s a full-on world, not to mention the very first Pixar world! This opens the door to an entire new group of world possibilities, and it’s the perfect one to do so! Gosh I hope they incorporate that lamp somehow, it’s only right.
-Can we fight Zurg? I really, really want to fight Zurg.

Thank God for this. I’ve been really stressed out lately and this makes me truly, legitimately happy. I just…I love this. I know I’m repeating myself, but I love this. So much.


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PSA About VC Gold and Silver

Posted by Pahrak #0579 , Jul 09 2017 · 126 views
pokemon
If, like me, you’re already thinking of which Pokemon you want to use when you get Gold or Silver on Virtual Console, I highly recommend checking someplace like Bulbapedia or Serebii to see where in those games those Pokemon can be caught, and where you can get the items necessary to evolve them. You just may be disappointed.

I first became aware of this when I thought this would finally be my chance to try out a Tyranitar. But as it turns out, Larvitar can only be caught at Mt. Silver…which you can only access after beating all 16 gyms, so…that’s not gonna work. And granted, Tyranitar is a pseudo-legendary, so that can’t be indicative of restrictions on other Pokemon, right?

Oddly enough, any Pokemon that needs a stone to evolve is pretty out of luck. The only way to get Leaf, Thunder, Fire, or Water Stones is to show specific Pokemon to Bill’s grandpa, who lives in Kanto. You can only get a Sun Stone by placing first in the Bug Catching Contest. Your best bet is a Moon Stone, which your mom might buy with your savings, or you can pick one up in Tohjo Falls right before you head for the League. So much for using Jolteon and NIdoqueen.

And I wasn’t really seriously considering it, but: Slugma. A brand new Gen II Pokemon. Can only be caught in Kanto. What.

To say nothing of movesets, that’s an entirely different thing that I’ve only scratched the surface of. My point is, I advise you to double check these things now so you won’t be surprised when you’re playing the game. I know it would’ve thrown me for a loop.


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798

Posted by Pahrak #0579 , Jul 06 2017 · 142 views

Finally got around to transferring my Gen VI Living Dex and everything I had in VC Red up to Gen VII. Getting everything organized sure took a while, which I guess is why I’ve been putting it off so long.

I already captured everything I could in Gen VII to keep the Living Dex as complete as possible, though there are still a couple gaps. While I have Rockruff and Steenee registered, I apparently neglected to get extras for the box, so I’ll need to breed those. Obviously I don’t have Marshadow yet, but the only glaring absence is the Litten family. I could restart either Sun or Moon, but since Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon are coming out later this year I feel like it makes sense just to wait until I buy one of those and start with Litten when I do. Marshadow will probably be distributed between now and then as well, so I should be back on top by the end of the year.

For the time being, I’m sitting at 798 Pokemon registered and I’m cool with that. Between all those, my Unown collection, all the Alola Forms, and everyone else I’ve got lying around, my Moon PC is bursting…and I’ve still got five boxes floating around in Pokemon Bank. Maybe I didn’t understand quite what I was getting into when I decided to finally catch ‘em all…


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Thrill of the Hunt X Hunt

Posted by Pahrak #0579 , Jul 03 2017 · 157 views

Recently my sister got super into the anime Hunter X Hunter, so I asked where she read the manga and spent the past two weeks getting caught up. I’d only barely heard of it until recently—it isn’t a particularly well-known series, which I found a bit odd since it’s been in Shounen Jump since the 90s. Part of that might be due to multiple hiatuses, and another part could be that it has some subtle deviations from shounen norms…which actually are a big factor in what makes it interesting.

One thing that stuck out to me really early on was that the focus is spread out more than you might expect. It’s become typical for shounen to say “Here’s the main character, we’ll just watch them 80%+ of the time”, but Hunter X Hunter doesn’t really do that. The supposed main character, Gon, spends quite a lot of time out of focus—for a big chunk of the fourth arc, he’s more of a secondary character while his friend Kurapika takes center stage to show off his flashy new abilities and take down some dangerous folks. Gon’s usually present whenever big things are happening, but he’s not the only one driving the action forward. Other characters matter! How neat!

Speaking of Gon…he loses a lot. The kid has heaps of shounen willpower, but it doesn’t do him any consistent good. He’s certainly had successes, some pretty big ones, and of course he’s a naturally gifted quick learner, but when the biggest and baddest opponents show up he ends up losing more often than not. I think there was only one arc where he defeated the villain’s boss? We’re told he has a lot of potential, but his growth and struggles are kept a tiny bit more realistic, and because of that he can’t just suddenly beat every arc villain after a night of training. I like this idea, but…it does make me wonder a bit why Gon is here at times. I don’t know, maybe I’m just not that invested in his character on a personal level.

There are definitely some engaging characters here, though. When I first saw Gon’s best friend Killua I guessed he’d become The Shounen Rival, but he actually turned out to be an extremely loyal and caring deuteragonist who at times feels more like the actual main character. Kurapika, who I mentioned earlier, carries a few tropes that remind me of a certain edgy ninja who turned into a massive disappointment, but Kurapika’s proved consistently interesting whenever he (inconsistently) appears. Heck, the most powerful villain thus far had fascinating characterization, but I can’t say a whole lot about that without spoilers…basically, the series has a great cast and actually gives us the chance to get to know just about all of them.

A lot of my feelings are pretty vague right now, but one other thing I’m more sure about is that the series is…well, saying it’s a slow starter would give the wrong impression. Having known about the special powers developed in the series beforehand, I was eagerly awaiting those to show up and was waiting for a while. The early arcs still have great tension and accomplishments and action, it just takes a while for mystic abilities to show up, and when they do it’s step by step over the course of a few arcs. First they learn the basics, then they slowly perfect the basics, then they learn some more details, then they really start to fine-tune those, then they pick specific abilities, and those slowly sharpen as time goes on…because of this, it was a while before I got to a point where I decided “Yes, this is very good”, but I’m a sucker for flashy fights so take my opinions with a grain of salt.

Hunter X Hunter is interesting, definitely. There are a few things that bother me a bit, and some of the changes in its formula come with some necessary downsides, but it evokes some genuine shounen vibes while still setting itself apart from the rest. Maybe I’ll come up with some more defined opinions after letting it sink in for a while.


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The Generation Gap

Posted by Pahrak #0579 , Jun 22 2017 · 77 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 Pahrak #0579 , Jun 18 2017 · 54 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 Pahrak #0579 , Jun 17 2017 · 175 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 Pahrak #0579 , Jun 11 2017 · 101 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 Pahrak #0579 , Jun 06 2017 · 79 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…






Recent Works and Writing Collections

The Principles of Flame (9/7)
A story meant to give some more details on the Kardata style used in the world of Olkir.

The Twins of Justice (9/12)
A story introducing the Temple of Justice into the world of Olkir.

Out of Bounds: Part V (10/26)
Vhisola and Ehrye trek across Spherus Magna in search of a promising rumor.



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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