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Sketch

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  1. Some of my favourite books, films, and games feature protagonists where you are encouraged to question their sanity - it can be part of the "unreliable narrator" framework. Hell, even some of the best music (see below) deals with the concept of insanity. Can you play with madness? So many examples. Some a century or more old. HP Lovecraft is all about this. Games admittedly don't do it nearly as much as film, but the entire concept is glorious. It encourages the view/player to experience a similar sense of paranoia as the characters. Are there really aliens taking over people? Are demons coming from another dimension? Is any of this real? Or is the character whose POV you see from actually just insane and imagining? My god, I hope we don't start "cancelling" media that examines characters who have a tenuous grasp of what reality is. I've written actual fiction novels which try get at the heart of how the human psyche can be manipulated in the way it perceives surroundings - our brains are little more than jelly sacks with no direct exposure to the outside world. All its sensory input is via external receptors and electric pathways, all of which can be affected or subverted. Anyone who claims these narrative frameworks are "ableist" should just block me now, because I think that point-of-view is in itself insane. It's utterly ludicrous. What are you going to do - ban the entire Silent Hill series? Every fucking character in that is batshit deranged. And I fucking love it because of that. Is this thread perhaps insane? Maybe insane people are suggesting we should not talk about insanity? Are insane people doing this to cover their own tracks? Perhaps this entire conversation is a conspiracy. What even is real any more? Seriously, the fact anyone might even take this idea seriously is deeply offensive to me. I am triggered. If a game developer wants to play with the idea of the human mental condition in strange new ways, let them. No one has an infallible grasp on their own existential being. To play with the idea of madness is to better understand the human condition, allow us to map the outer limits of human thought, to comprehend our inner selves in better ways. I'm just sorry not more developers push the envelope further. The human mind is not some beautiful god-created thing, it is dirty*, and broken, and strange, and the anti-thesis to logical evolution. I say get right down in there, crawl around in that mud, dig deep, and bring us media which questions: what even is sanity? What is it to be human? What is corporal existence? (* I don't mean sexually dirty - I mean it doesn't function like a pristine clean engine, more like one of those dirty diesel engines from 50 years ago.)
  2. You remember me from NTSC-uk? I remember you Welrain. It was around 2004 or 2005, and I'd written a couple reviews for the site. At some point you and I were having an argument on the forum. I honestly can't remember the specifics of the argument. You insulted me, or said something rude, which I took immense umbrage at, and it culminated with me swearing at you strongly. I can't recall if I told you to fuck off, or go fuck yourself; I've said that to a lot of people over the years; it might have been something else. The site admin in the private writers forum told me it was not appropriate for writers to swear at the readership and said I must apologise - I think I then told them to go fuck themselves, because I refuse to bow to anyone who insults me, ever, and I would rather quit being a writer there. It was a long time ago, over 15 years in fact, and I was young - but I'm happy to say that despite all that time I would still rather nuke bridges from orbit than ever give someone else the satisfaction of my apologising, especially after they had deliberately gone out of their way to offend me. In a pyrrhic victory I can at least still respect myself and live with my actions; there is only shame and self-loathing in capitulation.
  3. This thread is turning into "Help me identify that forum user!" How very gauche. What sort of barbarian comments on their own work in public. (You're probably right.) Anyway, Gabe, when are we going to get a proper Half Life 3 and will it expand the weapon roster to the levels of HL1? I found HL2 to be a bit of a weaponry downgrade, so to speak.
  4. Thank you... but you know who I am?! This means my forum anonymity has been compromised!
  5. You could load a longplay of it on YouTube, make it fullscreen, then move your mouse as if you were controlling it. Trying to move your mouse as the video creator originally did could be like a meta game in itself!
  6. Sort of like the Steel Magnolias of games? Or the Wonder Years? Yeah, I know what you mean. That slice-of-life Urban Americana. Also, since I am in a Steam thread, has anyone else been following this Blast Corps style game? Five years now and all we have is an amazing demo. I want it released! Apparently it's done, he's just polishing it. https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=659830464
  7. Would you put Twin Peaks in that category of TV? And have you tried the Deadly Premonition games? I also like the sound of Lake. It sounds like the kind of propaganda the Americans imagine in their minds when someone screams MAGA. When playing, do you ever think to yourself, basically the whole of America is built upon stolen land, and that 250 years ago those forests and that lake would have been inhabited by indigenous people, who have long since been herded onto reservations? (Just planting a little seed.)
  8. Cheers! Spread it around. I'm not on social media so not sure how best to get the word out. Speaking of SNES comics, does anyone else remember the Donkey Kong Country comic in the UK from around the time of the game? This guy on Reddit remembers it too. I've trawled the internet but can find nothing on this! I have it, but I don't feel like scanning the 50 pages or so. It's pretty big.
  9. Double posting because I'm currently scanning the Skyblazer comic. At 300dpi it should land around 50mb all in. I am super lazy however (already regretting starting this), so rather than upload to the web archive or some crap, if someone will PM their email I will send them a single zip file via WeTransfer to then disseminate this. Or preserve it somewhere. @Klatrymadon - do you want it? It exists nowhere on the internet that I can see. EDIT: SKYBLAZER COMIC IS BELOW Got bored. So here it is. I used File.io which apparently deletes it after just 1 download. So if you DL it, you have the responsibility of sharing it. Now that it's lunch time I'm going to pour a drink and might not return to this topic for months. Fly free files, fly free! https://www.file.io/download/CIFFL4beBv8D
  10. I'm happy to have gotten the system at such a good price (from this forum!), so as long as I don't actually play on one of the revised boards, I will just convince myself that the original revision is how Nintendo wanted the games played. o/ Skyblazer is in my top 5 SNES games of all time. Bought it from Choices Video for a fiver when they cleared out their SNES stock in the late 1990s. Loved it to bits. So much so I even paid over the odds for an old issue of Manga Mania that had a Skyblazer supplement comic (it's extremely bad - it's just the opening cut-scene turned into a short, cheaply made comic with terrible art - looks like it was slapped together by a PR rep in an afternoon). I've never actually come across anyone else who played it. Everyone in this thread should play Skyblazer. [do-it-do-it-now.gif] If you have trouble with the Github files for SGB (last time I checked it was still in beta testing, and not incorporated officially yet), drop us a PM and I'll send the configuration files over. You just drop them in the main config folder.
  11. Good to mention this. I sold my modded SNES years ago, bought a new modded one recently, and only discovered this fact recently! It's crazy that for decades I had been reading about how RGB SCART gave the sharpest picture, but for the absolute sharpest you needed the revised model of SNES which is then RGB modded. My recent purchase was the first rev, modded, just like the one I had years ago. Using a Retro Game Cables SCART it looks decent on my Sony CRT and I'm very happy with it. But I do sometimes wonder, what am I missing out on? If you've got a few fan-translations already then you're off to a good start. RHDN had 228 English-translations for SNES games. They also have hacks which fix up games or make them easier (Contra III for example - there's no shame in tweaking the difficulty in today's age). There's also a website which contains unreleased or prototype games. It has the word "Palace" in its name, and the word "Hidden". A cheeky Google should yield it. Do not mispell "palace" as "pants" - that's an entirely different kind of website. They claim to have between 239 and 241 prototypes of SNES games. The protos are not that interesting (just buggy versions of retail games), but they do have some unreleased games! Rayman, Mr Tuff, Lobo, etc. Also, with an FX Pak Pro you can put files on to emulate and run the Super Game Boy. Without a SGB cartridge. It does it all in chip. It's fiddly to set-up but a chap on here sent me the set-up files. You then just include your own private folder of GB games, and it runs exactly as it would if you had actual SGB with GB game inside, or a GB flash cart. As for fun cool obscure-ish games, I like these: Great channel on SNES games. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfBLXTwLoUpDAkHcHizW3Jg
  12. Am I the only one disappointed that Spies Never Die has enemies all with the same face? I'm still impressed how guards in Goldeneye all had random faces assigned from a pool of faces. It was a small thing, but helped the levels feel that little bit fresher. Compared to a game like Metal Gear Solid, where every guard wears a ski-mask. You know, not many games seem to do that - add a tiny touch of randomisation to enemy appearance. Thinking about it, they almost all seem to go with enemies which just recycle the same uniform (MGS, Deus Ex, Half-Life, NOLF, etc.).
  13. Excellent question! Though as Phillv85 points out, it's not so easy to answer. Since around 1990 Japan has had this weird inflation situation. Below I am attaching a chart I made in 2015. So the current inflation column is out of date for 2021 sadly. But in 1987 £1 equalled 236 yen in Japan, and $1.64 in the US. In 2015 the inflation on that £1 from 1987 was roughly double. Inflation the Yen was only x1.16. Prices for games varied a lot. The 1983~1994 Famicom Almanac lists all the prices for every game in Japan. Donkey Kong (1983) - 4500 yen Super Mario 3 (1988) - 6500 yen Deja Vu (1988) - 9800 yen So in 1988 the conversion from Japan was about £28 for SMB3 (6500 / 228). In 2015 the inflation would have put that £28 at around £57. However, the 6500 yen would be inflated to just 7475 yen in 2015. Which if you exchange at the 2015 rate would give you about £40. There's a big difference between £40 and £57 - and this is down to Japan's odd lack of inflation. For a laugh, if you converted the inflated 2015 yen value using the 1988 rate you end up with about £33. What does this mean? I have no idea. It's all number salad!
  14. I have in the past often forced myself through games to the end, even if I don't enjoy them - usually because I initially liked them, and hope it might get back on track. It depends. If a game is wretched from the first 20 minutes I just sell it on (Il Sturmovik 2 comes to mind - 10 minutes of my plane relentlessly crashing for no reason convinced me it was shit). No One Lives Forever - the FPS. Early levels are OK, decent even, it gets a lot of praise, but by the halfway mark the mandatory fails and confusing level design made me hate it. But I kept reading praise. it must get good. Eventually I started using the level skip cheat every time I got irritated. Finally burned through the last 10 sections last night, cheating all the way! Now I can put a line under it. I suppose I just want closure? I do this less and less these days though given my increasing age and decreasing free time. Whereas before in my teens I might slog through a game mediocre game just to know I've done it, these days I'll watch an hour long YouTube summary and pretend I was playing it. I also now have disposable income, and things like Steam sales exist, so I have more games than I can play before I die of old age.
  15. I watched the trailer, was thinking the same thing, scrolled down, and saw you'd already articulated it perfectly. The thing that always gets me with these types of games (complex RPGs), is whether it's videos or printed reviews with static screenshots, they almost never, ever show me what I really want to see: the inventory screen. The stats screen. You know, all the gubbins that make us love these games; the Excel Spreadsheet Simulator aspect of them. Sure, they don't look amazing. But the target audience of this is very specifically into that sort of thing.
  16. What I find interesting is the connections between R-Type Tactics and Metal Slug Tactics. Maybe I'm reaching here? The original Metal Slug was made by Irem. Well, Nazca, which was formed by Irem staff during a period where Irem was not making games. The director and planner on the original Metal Slug, Kazuma Kujo, was credited on R-Type II (I think he was QA), and then R-Type Final as producer, and then both R-Type Tactics I and II in multiple roles. He was basically the mind behind making R-Type Tactics. I don't know who the designers are for Metal Slug Tactics, or how the idea came about. I keep seeing DotEmu stated as the dev team. But I do wonder how the concept came about. Does anyone have first-hand sources? Was Kujo drinking beer with colleagues and someone said: "We should do a tactics game on Metal Slug like you did for R-Type!" That's just my speculation. But there's a clear line of DNA between the two tactics games. here's a fun little story and comic of Kazuma Kujo from when I met him, in PDF format. 24_kujo_F.pdf
  17. Aww shucks. You flatter me MK. So to give you a sincere answer: Ten years ago you would have thought me almost naively optimistic as to the potential for humanity to create a utopia for all. That five year struggle I had to fight single-handedly, my own personal Vietnam to get those books published, is a big contributing factor as to why all my faith in humanity died. Professional cons lied about me and tried to steal from me, my parents were doxxed, and my groundbreaking efforts were mostly ignored. I made no money off the venture, I made a few YouTubers rich, and had I the chance, I would not do any of it again. I hate my work - it was an absolute waste of my life. Which is sad, because I literally interviewed the creator of Metal Slug. We had coffee and cake in a posh hotel, he told me of his dreams when taking a nap in the park. All of those struggles coupled with seeing the public vote in Brexit, Trump, the Tory part again and again, that idiot Duda in my home country of Poland, Bolsonaro in Brazil (Portuguese Trump), the complete lack of cooperation with Covid vaccines, etc. Evil has won. It always wins. It will always win. It's like we're in 1945 and the Nazis have won, and now we all have to learn German, and everything will be awful forever. See that sign above your head, the words read: abandon hope all ye who enter. We've had counter-culture since what, the 1960s? Songs, and films, and books have railed against the powers that be, encouraging society to resist evil, and it means nothing. Myself and everyone in my school listened to Rage Against The Machine until our Walkmen broke. Society is still just as bad. You can try to resist, or you can close your eyes, accept the inherent worthless of humanity, and try to self-medicate using fun things like Netflix and videogames and other stuff etc.. I regard videogames as one of many tools for blocking out the horrors of reality. So if someone does not want to be burdened with the icky politics behind everything, I respect that. Maybe they struggle during their day more than you MK. Let them shoot their heroin in peace. Take Harry Potter and its fans. I don't care for it. But when I see fans dressing up as moogles, and talking gibberish, I don't judge them - I think to myself, they've found their happy place, they've worked out a self-medicating dose that gets them through their day, so be it. Ignore JK Rowling's rampant transphobia. Let the moogles shoot their heroin. This is why I wanted this thread split. Those of you with any belief can go to the politics thread, fight the Axis of Evil, maybe win, probably lose, and those of us who just want an escape can talk about how cool the little chubby tanks are. God those tanks are cute, like Bonaparte from Dominion Tank Police.
  18. Stumbled across this South African advert from the 1980s which uses what looks like a prototype N64 logo. Jump to 0.40. And then I went googling to see if the logo had been used anywhere before the N64 or after it. Basically a bunch of N letters in a 3D shape. And I found this: https://nintendosoup.com/the-nintendo-64-logo-was-almost-plagiarized-by-a-mongolian-museum/ Is the N64 logo unique? Not really. Feels a little unfair to jump on the artist claiming plagiarism when the logo clearly;y existed before the N64.
  19. Glad we could educate each other. For example, I did not previously realise that "boycotts won't stop evil, so let's just enjoy a fun game" is "pretending you're the joker". We're still friends though, right Chewy?
  20. Sure, as soon as everyone stops pretending they're Nelson Mandela for wanting to boycott it. This is not the hill to die on. This is why I asked for the politics to be surgically removed from here and put in its own separate topic (which I will promptly ignore). So that collaborators like myself can continue to indulge in the god-damned 'member berries.
  21. I see why I blocked you. But I was curious to read what you'd posted so checked. I don't regard this as remotely important to talk about - we are all trapped in a corrupt and broken world. This is not about that stupid comic above, of "why live in society if you disagree with it". I do not think those who feel society needs fixing should ostracise themselves from said society. I feel they should accept they can change nothing, push their empathic reasoning down, bury it in a little psychological box at the back of the cognitive cave, and embrace the pursuit of pleasure within an existence which is meaningless. It's about accepting that nothing you do matters and so striving to enjoy as much as you can while you can. I used to be an idealist who thought we would all end up in a Star trek TNG utopia, where humans help each other, but that's never going to happen. Life is hard, brutish, and filled with monsters, so I am going to eat my climate-changing steak, and drive my polluting car, and fly on aeroplanes, and drink imported wines, and play my blood-money developed games, and indulge my whims without any care whatsoever. And you know what? I will play that blood-money game and eat that climate-change steak, while sitting in an armchair with a leather covering made of panda ears. I refuse to compromise on my own pleasures when doing so changes nothing. At best your boycott will achieve nothing, at worst it will sink a game that I enjoy, and the evil men - which you have so much impotent rage against - will continue doing what they're doing without care. They won't even know you exist. Have you at least tried embracing pure hedonistic nihilism, @MK-1601 ? So I want to apologise for giving you the wrong impression. While I did type a few sentences on supporting the devs, @Treble actually gave a fine example of how to provide money to the devs without supporting this specific product (he's a decent chap - you should follow his example). Hell, I buy most games used anyway, because it's cheaper and maximises my pleasure in life. So my "support the devs" line was bullshit anyway (yeah, I am calling myself out). So really I would like to retract that part of my statement and give you a simpler explanation. "I don't give a fuck; I like Metal Slug." Note the use of semi-colon. I find it's a very underused punctuation in typed discourse. This discussion is getting heavily political. And politics leads to a lack of civility. I would be horrified to enter this thread later and discover that words got heated, things escalated, and someone ended up dismembered. Oh my god, did I just make a sick joke about the very thing we are discussing?! HOLY SHIT BATMAN! Can we spin this discussion off into a separate topic? Because all I want to do is come into this topic, eat the memba berries with everyone else, and talk about how great Metal Slug is, or how the video looks like Cowboy Bebop. Man, 'member Cowboy Bebop? I 'member! Man, 'member playing Metal Slug on Saturn with a RAM cart? Oh, I 'member! * And before someone says it, yes, I am fully aware that the point of the "member berries" story is to highlight the dangers of nostalgia, of the obsession with the past, of failing to ask critical questions. I know that. But I don't care, I am that danger.
  22. I don't support the Saudi regime. For me, my priority is bringing a bit more joy to my own life by playing a game I like. I suppose I could pirate it to deny them the money. But then you're also denying the team who worked on the game, who had no choice in who owns them. Or who bought shares, off people who bought shares, and then sold shares to the Saudi group. I had a look online and this is the difficulty with shares being traded around. It looks like they bought it from someone else. I once dated a woman who refused to use Virgin Fibre Optic broadband and also BT, because she saw Virgin and BT had advertised in the Daily Mail, which is a racist and awful paper, and thus getting the fastest broadband in the UK would be contributing to the DM's racist agenda. So she went with some crap slower less-reliable smaller internet provider who claimed to promote equality etc. This was nonsense. BT owns all the copper cable lines in the UK, so every third-party net provider has to license the use from them anyway. And why deny yourself the best internet connection, just because a fraction of your fee goes to their ads department, and a fraction of that goes to the DM? You could instead use that connection to do good in the world. As someone else said, they have their fingers in numerous pies. Lots of bad people do. If you live in London chances are you're renting a flat ultimately owned by one of several inhumane regimes around the world. Everything we buy is seemingly manufactured in China, a country that oppresses religious groups and annexed Tibet. The Crown Prince will be getting your money anyway, in ways you probably don't even realise. We live in a world of evil. Our small individual sacrifices change nothing. We as individuals mean nothing in this maelstrom of chaos. Seek your own personal pleasure where you can while you can. This is my personal creed: sardonic misanthrope espousing unfettered hedonism to stave existential nihilism
  23. I worry this might get me blocked by all 8 people here, due to being insensitive, but do things like this really bother a lot of people? Do you look at the history behind a creative work before you can enjoy it? Doug TenNapel is LGBT-phobic, but I'm not going to deny myself enjoying the Earthworm Jim games because of one person on the team. Likewise all the films tainted by Harvey Weinstein. The guy is a monster, but those films of themselves were great, so should you remove something pleasurable from your own life? Your missing out isn't going to stop the monsters. What about Hugo Boss, they designed Nazi uniforms? Unless the Crown Prince is sitting in the SNK office, demanding propaganda be inserted into the game, does boycotting it achieve anything?
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