Erock does Chrono Trigger

Chrono Trigger is probably my favorite RPG of all time.

I bought it on the day it came out, having to sell half my SNES collection to afford it, and I sucked the marrow out of that game. I played through to all 14 endings, I got probably every secret, I did every side quest. My characters were all level 100 (Star Star). I could beat Lavos in one round, by the time I finally bored of it.

I still pick it up now and again, and grind through the opening Festival, doing everything I can to get Chrono acquitted at the later trial. I was convinced by the urban legends as a kid that it was possible to avoid the whole prison portion of the game. Of course, no, it isn’t possible, but urban legends in video games are still fascinating in their grip even decades later.

Pat Robertson’s take on youth suicide

He starts out unusually level-headed, concerned about something that is actually true and actually a very big problem — kids committing suicide. He correctly identifies pressure as one of the reasons. But then he goes off the rails on a spectacular fashion. Never mind that most of the pressure causing suicide is the stigma that forces them into the closet because they’re different from everyone else in one way, shape or form — no, Pat thinks it’s something else causing their premature self-inflicted deaths.

Is Uncle Pat just a motivated reasoner, trying to avoid any sort of blame for this “pressure” put on kids after all the damnation and hellfire he’s called down on gays (and feminists and atheists and liberals et cetera et cetera), or has a long life steeped in Jesus Juice actually pickled his brain?

Objectification vs idealization in video games

Escapist’s Jimquisition explains the difference.

I love that he caps it off with an exhortation to thank God for him. If I didn’t like the guy, I’d be tempted to say something like “you’ve just handed us undeniable proof of a lack of gods.”

And don’t forget that any suggestion that we have strong female protagonists in the gaming world will be met with a torrent of entitled bullshit.

Tropes Vs Women in Video Games: Damsel in Distress (part 2)

Anita Sarkeesian’s completely nonexistent series continues with a completely nonexistent part-2 for her completely nonexistent first topic, the Damsel in Distress. In this one, she specifically takes on the trope called Stuffed Into the Fridge. This trope almost always takes the form of a WOMAN stuffed into the fridge. Watch, to find out why.

But that’s not the biggest news about this. Apparently, it went up today, and within the first hour it was up, it was immediately taken down by Youtube because it had been flagged as containing objectionable content.

Think about that for a moment. People are so desperate to attack Sarkeesian and any attempt at injecting feminist commentary into video games, that they’re willing to silence her by marking it as objectionable. Not because the content is incorrect, or because the content is damning of the industry, but because how daaaaaare this mere woman criticize this immature art form that we love so much?

Sigh.

Mock the Movie: Super Mario Bros transcript

Taking a short break from OmegaCon — a tiny gathering of nerds playing board and video games for a weekend in Wisconsin — to post this nerdy video-game-related Mock The Movie transcript. Oh, and also sleep.

This movie did not hold up as well as I thought it would. Then again, I was like, what, 15? At the time I thought it was totally cool and exciting. And now… I could have done without, you know, all the millions of ways that it was nothing like the video games.
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The Best Amendment

So there’s apparently a “fourth-dimensional”, “massively single-player” game called The Best Amendment, which throws Wayne LaPierre’s words right back at him, and at you, the player. Remember when he said “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun”? This game puts that axiom to the test.

The object of the game is to collect little stars. You need so many per play-through to pass to the next level. Every time you pass to the next level, you are then competing against your past selves. You’re armed with one of five weapons — a hand gun, an automatic rifle, a shotgun, grenades, or a rocket launcher — and you have to kill anyone who’s collected a past star to get the required number of stars. And you have to watch out for your past selves’ shots, because they’ll kill you.

The more pacifist you are, the easier the game is. But without actually murdering any of the past selves, it’s impossible to advance. Funny that good and bad are not a black and white dichotomy in the real world. Since there is no objective morality, what you end up with is a mosh pit of people who think that they’re the good guys, firing guns at one another.

Hat tip to CA7746 for mentioning this, which otherwise would have entirely slipped by my radar. Pay what you want for it, there’s a Windows and Mac client, as well as a Flash version that will work on any platform supporting Flash.

Dys4ia: a short indie game about being transgender

Over on NewGrounds, there’s a a short autobiographical game by Auntie Pixellante called Dys4ia. It’s a pixelly, Flash-based WarioWare-style game, played only with the arrow keys, chronicling the experiences of a trans woman in rectifying her own dysphoria.

dys4ia

I don’t want to spoil it overly much. It’s short, not difficult (except maybe emotionally), and well worth your time. Go play it.

Father hacks Donkey Kong rom so daughter can be Pauline

Remember that Wind Waker hack I told you about recently, where a young girl’s father — who’d been changing Link’s gender on the fly for his daughter while reading it to her — decided to make things simpler for himself by hacking the rom script?

Another father was asked by his daughter if she could play one of her favorite games, the original Donkey Kong, as Pauline instead of Mario. So, he hacked the rom (very probably from the WiiWare version, judging by the 2010 copyright), editing all the frames of animation for both Mario and Pauline to switch their roles.

Doesn’t change the functionality of the game at all, just the aesthetics. In such simple games, only in a society that prescribes strongly-defined gender roles would the default hero be a man and the default “damsel” be a woman. And yet, in an alternate universe where this was released instead of the one with Mario (or Jumpman) as the hero, I wager it would not have sold as well because video games, even back then, were already being pigeonholed as a “guy thing”.

Who knows, though. Maybe, MAYBE, inverting the Damsel In Distress trope, making the girl the one with agency and the guy the one forced to helplessly stand at the top of the building with Donkey Kong, might have been a blow struck for equality and perhaps the video game industry would have turned out much different. Perhaps.

Thanks to the dozen or so folks who kept pointing this out!

Has a grad student invented the instant wound cure?

If this is true — and I have to admit more than a little skepticism about this, given the just-so story near the end — it could be the single biggest medical breakthrough in decades. You know how in Mass Effect, characters can take life-threatening damage and after one little button-press, they’re right back in the fight? Bullet wounds, rockets, whatever — just slap on your medi-gel dispenser button and your armor seals up the wound and lets you keep fighting.

A grad student has supposedly taken that Mass Effect equivalent of a magic healing potion, Medi-Gel, and turned it into a reality.

It is a synthetic version of the extracellular matrix (ECM) that holds our cells together and tells them what to do in the event of a bleeding injury, instructing them to get clotting. It also binds together with the damaged ECM cells of the patient, working with them to form a seal over the area of the wound.

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