Livestream of Zelda 2: Adventure of Link tomorrow! #DIYSciZone #GGC2015 #GeekGirlCon

I’m looking forward to Geek Girl Con‘s DIY Science Zone, where I’ll be volunteering to do demonstrations of buoyancy and water displacement all weekend on October 3rd and 4th. But between me and that weekend stands my Acts of Whimsey, torturous little tasks I’ve signed up for in exchange for us reaching certain fund-raising goals. Since we passed the $3500 mark, my next task is to livestream play through the entirety of Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link.

You might remember last year’s livestream of Battletoads, which, sadly, Twitch has expired off its feed. I still have the complete video though, in two parts, where I beat the game in about 16-ish hours over two weekends — with the only cheat being infinite lives. I’ll compile them and post them someplace, perhaps.

Zelda 2 is torturous, but not in the same way as Battletoads. First, the game is significantly different from every other Zelda game you’ve played. It’s a side-scroller, it has experience points and leveling, and Link moves like a dumptruck that can jump (without a Roc feather, even!). It also has a number of the most unfair and patently absurd challenges for a game of its ilk, including the first iconic battle between Link and his evil shadow doppelganger. Ganon never appears, and his name in the Game Over screen is spelled “Gannon”. Its clues are mired by the fact that they had to pack text into tiny 40-ish character boxes, which they couldn’t change from the original Japanese layout in translation for space reasons — meaning the translation is the equivalent of condensing several complete sentences into 1/3 of a tweet. All the nuance of “GET CANDLE AT PARAPA PALACE. GO WEST.” is destroyed — you’re supposed to FIRST get the candle at Parapa (which is northeast of start), THEN go west to the next town.

I will not use any cheats in this playthrough at all — no Game Genie codes, anyway. Anything that the game allows me to do (e.g. using the Fairy spell to fly through a keyhole) is not a cheat. I will, however, since it’s been over twenty years since I owned this cart personally, refer to a walkthrough fairly liberally so you don’t have to watch me retraversing areas over and over desperately searching for the next place to go.

I’ll also try to actually have the microphone volume up loud enough this time that you can hear me talk this time, but there’s a few physical aspects of the setup that I can’t really work around at the moment — my laptop has to be closer to the TV than to me, and I don’t have an external mic that’s at all viable. But I’ll see what I can do.

The stream starts tomorrow morning at 10am CST, and you can feel free to tune in on the blog post that I’ll post tomorrow at about 9:30.

If you’d like to donate to Geek Girl Con’s DIY Science Zone, to help the volunteer scientists with the materials they need to teach kids about science, you can do so right here! Surely showing the kids at Geek Girl Con how to extract DNA from strawberries, how cool oobleck is, or how to make a real comet out of dirt and snow, is worth a couple of your spare bucks, right?

Four Megaman games played with one controller

This is either a work of art or a work of madness. Apparently, via heavy use of speedrun tools that allow a person to frame-by-frame step through an emulated version of a console game, someone’s built a speedrun that uses one controller input on Megaman 3, 4, 5 and 6 simultaneously.

Advice: play this on Fullscreen, with the volume down. Chiptune music is grating enough to some folks that having four simultaneous tracks playing might just be too much to handle.

Tool-assisted speedruns are fascinating in that they often do some things that a human player could never pull off. This is probably only possible via manipulation of the synchronization in subtle ways — passing input to one game while another is in a screen transition or on the “weapon get” screen, or having one game walk into a wall while another is proceeding through the level, for instance.

This run found its genesis in someone joking that Capcom had basically produced the same game for every Megaman sequel. While they are certainly formulaic, the challenges all build off one another, and the Megaman games are traditionally grossly unforgiving which makes the speedrun all the more impressive.

Jed Henry’s video game samurai: Edo pop for gamer nerds

Ever wanted some artwork you could hang on your wall that would please both art connoisseurs and video game fanatics alike? Jed Henry has you covered. On his tumblr, he’s released three pieces of art rendering classic video game characters in ukiyo-e style, reimagining their most recognizable traits as the accoutrement of great samurai warriors.

To wit, Samus’ blaster is a severed dragon head tied to her arm:

Samus Aran from Metroid in ukiyo-e (Japanese wood-cutting) style

The other two characters he’s done so far are Link and Megaman, both of which are incredible. Can’t wait to see what’s next. He’s evidently planning a kickstarter in August, to which I’ll almost certainly donate what I can. I would love the hell out of large bamboo scroll versions of these.