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Dad says I cuss too much.

Dad says I cuss too much. published on

Man, pirating software is hard work. I have like a whole new respect for message board assholes.

I made Mom play the first chapter of Phoenix Wright the other day. She yelled inscrutable legal stuff at it the whole time and refuses to touch it again.

I also totally broke the blog the other day trying to do a test-run of copying it to a new server. I’m all grumpy at WordPress now. What is this forwarding bullshit you do? This is massively inappropriate, and the solution is fucking non-intuitive and for some reason broke all my Unicode characters. I’m not upgrading to this fucking 2.5 of yours until it’s been out at least three months and I know I can recreate all this work I’ve done messing around with PHP and hacking these fucking plugins to make them fucking work like I fucking want. Fucking.

The Mexican restaurant in town always has Star Trek playing. It’s really depressing to me I can hear a random line of dialog from Voyager and go, “Hold it, that totally contradicts that stupid episode where the Doctor’s fucking registry got corrupted or whatever!” I need rewrite privileges for my brain. That is space I could be using for kanji.

Apparently I was wrong.

Apparently I was wrong. published on

I started playing Apollo Justice last night. It looks like the torch singer dream did mean something. It just wasn’t apparent until I started the game. I don’t know what it means yet, but surely this will become clear as I progress.

(Seriously, I must have read some spoilers at some point and then got them lost in my brain, because the dream knew way too much about the plot.)

Kaiware suck.

Kaiware suck. published on

Last night, apparently in reaction to yesterday’s terrible dietary crime, I dreamed about eating sprouts. I had bought several varieties from the store, and I removed the roots and ate them. That was the whole dream. It was pretty vivid. I could taste and smell the sprouts and everything.

Figuring that my brain was probably trying to tell me something*, I bought some sprouts when I went out to buy curry stuff today. Unfortunately, I accidentally got daikon sprouts. Which taste like, you know, daikon. I hate daikon. I’ve covered them with kimchi and am determined to work my way through them today. My subconscious went to a lot of trouble on this one.

* Probably an unwarranted assumption. I had another dream earlier in the night where Apollo Justice was a 20’s torch singer. I don’t think that means anything.

published on

You’d think the people who localized Professor Layton would be paying attention to what the people who localized Phoenix Wright were doing. But I guess not. Evil women with mysterious doubles should clearly always be named Dahlia, and the double’s name should be that of a purple flower.

Anyway, this game is really cute, but I have to have scratch paper around when I’m playing it.

For writing class today, we made posters describing where we’re from, because language school is sort of like pre-school, but with more emphasis on vocabulary relating to intoxication. A scene from today’s class:

*I am dubiously considering the way I wrote “marijuana,” because I think it might be wrong.*

Great Artist-san: What is the kanji for “kami”?

Dragon-san: What? “Kami” for paper?

Great Artist-san: No, no, “kami-sama” – “kami” for God. I have to write “Brazil: God’s Country!”

Me: What?! No! America is God’s country! Don’t you people have TVs?!

Fuzzy-san: Hungary is obviously God’s country.

Great Artist-san: Is Taiwan God’s country?

Dragon-san, disgustedly: No.

I just upgraded WordPress in hopes that it will make comment notification start working. Thus far it seems to have broken my ability to preview in-progress posts and use the Open-ID thingie. Fuck you, WordPress.

I Just Beat That Game (I had to use a guide sometimes)

I Just Beat That Game (I had to use a guide sometimes) published on

The platonic ideal of a fandom-breeding piece of canon is a story that’s full of massive holes which, 1) nonetheless do not damage the story’s emotional structure, and, 2) could be filled in without making it collapse under its own weight.

That is an excellent description of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney.

This game has two of those particularly large holes. One is the one I mentioned before: that, though the game generally acts as though it is not aware of this, Phoenix Wright is a deeply unethical, self-absorbed, and, when unguarded, really creepy individual. He steals most of the evidence he uses in court, or else lies to or manipulates people to get it. He is capable of empathy, but rarely exercises it willingly or comfortably – whenever he is forced into some insight into another character’s inner life, he breaks a sweat, grimaces, and makes smart remarks to himself.

He’s apparently only really comfortable with dealing with other people’s feelings as weapons – that is, “motives.” In general, only when he’s accusing someone of a crime or a lie is he entirely comfortable in engaging their humanity.

What makes this more dramatic is the way he behaves towards the single character for whom he does willingly and consistently exercise empathy. Here, I shall cut for spoilers for episode 4 and up.

Continue reading I Just Beat That Game (I had to use a guide sometimes)

Video games are also important

Video games are also important published on

Oh, my god, Phoenix Wright is such a jerk. This is probably the most realistic thing in the game – that the trial lawyer in his early twenties who’s won all his early cases is a borderline sociopath with no respect for any of his colleagues, including, apparently, his genius mentor.

But I can’t figure out if the game realizes he’s a jerk. I think it sort of does? People mock him a lot. And the puzzles are set up so as to make him seem less observant outside of the courtroom than inside. Inside, when the player solves something, Phoenix’s dialog is such that he seems to have solved it himself. Outside, when the player solves something or triggers an event, the NPC’s, particularly Maya and Mia, tend to be ahead of him.

Which is kind of weird, in that outside the courtroom, the player does everything from Phoenix’s POV – you never see him, only the NPCs and the settings he’s moving around in. When in court, though, whenever the player makes a decision, the POV switches to 3rd-person, and the player watches him talk. Intuitively, this seems kind of backwards, but I actually think it works really well. (Though I cannot explain why – maybe I need to actually play some other adventure games before I try and start analyzing the design decisions here.)

Well, no, wait I have a theory – outside the courtroom, nothing Phoenix does really matters. The stuff that happens out there is just preparation for whatever case he’s working on. (“This blurry photograph is intriguing. I won’t show it to anyone – I’ll save it to use as evidence.”) The storylines always resolve inside the courtroom. Not showing Phoenix himself during the out-in-the-wild sections depersonalizes his actions by making it feel like the player is alone with the puzzles. This lessens the emotional intensity of these parts of the game. When Redd White punches Phoenix and threatens him in his office, it has less force than when Edgeworth makes fun of his skill at cross-examination in front of the judge. In the courtroom, you can see Phoenix and his facial expressions and reactions. That personalizes the proceedings, and makes it clear that This Part Is Real.

I guess this is why you can’t see yourself in an FPS or the Myst games – it depersonalizes the stuff you’re doing, and makes you concentrate entirely on whatever the game thinks is most important, rather than on your character. In the FPS’s, that’s the killin’, while in Myst, it’s the environment. And I can’t offhand think of an RPG, even a 3D one, even one of the ones where Protagonist doesn’t talk and has no personality, where you can’t see him/her on your screen.

(Wait – am I all a crazy person, or is the default view when you first log into World of Warcraft one where you can’t see your avatar? Or is it just that that was the way thegeekgene set it up, and I ended up with her settings…)


Objections published on

I have my Yarrr Card working! I played Diddy Kong Racing today. All those years of playing it on the N64, and somehow I had no idea that this game had a plot. I have no idea why this game needed a plot. The opening cut scene was long and unnecessary.

I think I at some point suggested that Mom play Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. I must now rescind this recommendation. Actual lawyers – or even people who live with actual lawyers – or even people who have read a John Grisham book – must never, ever play this game. These people will attempt to act in accordance with basic legal ethics, and will thus be unable to advance in the game. You play a defense attorney, and in the second section, in which you’re representing a woman accused of murder, you have to:

1) repeatedly manipulate a gullible police officer into giving you information and evidence

2) pump a witness for the prosecution for information

3) go through said witness’s things while she’s in the bathroom

It is also strongly encouraged that you,

4) tell a woman who lives on a mountaintop and doesn’t understand how lawyers work “yes” when she says, “Are… are you my lawyer?” (You’re not. You’re not a public defender. This game is down on public defenders.) One of the other dialog options is to say that it’s up to her, but the reaction I got when I did this strongly suggested that I should have chosen to lie.

Also, the game thinks that fuchsia suits are bad. Both the first two murderers wore fuchsia suits. I’m pretty sure Mom has at least one fuchsia suit, and whatever I may think of the choices she’s made in this matter, I can see that this game would only offend her.

I’ve been trying to try all the different wagashi at the Seiyu. Today’s was a pink thing with a leaf wrapped around it (I think it’s called a sakuramochi?). They were remodeling, so my wagashi smelled like industrial sealants. I ate it anyway and now fear I’ll never be able to eat a pink wagashi again without associating it with caulk.