Thank you, Mr Iwata.

The honest truth is that the news late last night that the president of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata, had died from cancer of the bile duct, hit me harder than dropping the man who is now my ex.

At the time I’d been thinking: he’s been a huge part of my life and there’s no way I’m going to be able to go back to things without him. Everything reminded me of him. It hurt, and I was losing my mind on a daily basis.

But that was connected to a distant abuse, a long manipulation. These are things I’m still washing off my skin.

This… Is different.

I never met Mr Iwata. The closest I’ve ever been is Nintendo Directs and the impossibly affable Iwata Asks. But thanks to his work programming so many of my favorite games, he has pretty much been a part of my whole life through his work. Even now there’s a stash of games and things around—I never was able to put down the sticks, as they say where I’m from.

And last night I saw the news, late, in a place that perks my “do a damn two second google search” sense, so I didn’t believe it until I did.

I’d be lying to you if I didn’t say it felt like I had just lost my favorite uncle. And when I found out how it happened I wanted to punch something. We can’t fucking do anything about cancer and it just takes from families, friends, the world.

So, once again I’m stuck in a room with things reminding me of someone out of reach. But again… This is different.

Mr Iwata’s work, both as programmer and president, has had such an impact on my life. Things that have brought me enjoyment,  things that he has said that have inspired me to no end—I will probably be making a compilation of things he has said to keep by my side to keep me going—and the difference is… These are things that I want to be surrounded by. This body of work is a worldwide legacy of perseverance, generosity, talent, humility, kindness, and humor. The world has been changed for the better for his influence. Really, there’s only one thing I can say:

Thank you, Mr Iwata.

In other news, I am a nerd.

I got hella bored today while doing laundry. Like, super hella bored. So bored, in fact, that I didn’t even feel like starting up a game of Civ at the time–but I wanted to listen to the music. Like, crazy wanting to listen to the music. But I didn’t have the soundtrack to the expansions, and I wanted to listen to the soundtrack to the expansions, and maybe some of the pretty idle, nothing-is-going-on, the empire is at peace right now-music. You know, the stuff that rarely makes it into the final OST.

I had an idea then: Like the time I got around Steam to launch Kerbal Space Program during the time a beta bug, I could get into the local content to see where it was and listen to it from there.

With a few clicks, I was in the file explorer and looking at the Vanilla music, found in .ogg format. Interesting, I thought, looking at it.

Granted, I have the Vanilla OST—it came with the Bundle—but after wandering around I noticed that oh hey, there’s the pretty idle music!

…let’s poke around a little more, shall we?

After about fifteen minutes of poking around, I found what I was looking for.

I am now in the process of deciding which device to put this lovely ear candy on to listen to while I get the writing done.

“Whoa whoa whoa, you nerd! How am I supposed to do that on a Steam game?!”

Hold your horses, I’ll explain it. It’s simple. DISCLAIMER: You damn well better not otherwise manipulate the files other than a cloning. I am not responsible for any bricked installs. It also goes without saying this is personal use only (don’t be piratin’ yo). They all start the same:

  1. Jump into your Steam.
  2. Right-click the game in the sidebar.
  3. Clck properties.
  4. Click “Browse local content.
  5. Find the folder with the music. DO NOT CHANGE OR MOVE ANYTHING.

After this you have a couple options.

Here’s a pair of methods:

SUPER RIDICULOUS EASY METHOD:

Sync the folder with the music with your Google music manager folder. Upload, refresh, boom, done, it’s in the cloud.

LESS EASY METHOD:

Clone the folder to the desktop, if space allows, and move it to a secure place—an SD card, a device, a sufficiently powerful phone. …depending on the device this could take a while. DO NOT MOVE THE ORIGINAL FOLDERS.

THINGS TO NOT DO:

DO NOT USE ITUNES. While it sounds like linking the original folders to the library is simpler, iTunes especially likes to tweak things’ metadata and can easily cause problems.

IN FACT, DO NOT USE ANY MEDIA MANAGERS THAT WILL CHUCK SETTINGS AT THINGS. Keep the entire process manual. It’s best you not have to need to turn around and reinstall anything, because—especially if you’ve got the kind of connection that I do—that can take hours.

Boom. =D Enjoy your new game music.

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Nintendo Hard a Turn-On? Hard Games Compared to a Certain Kind of Sex

This makes a strange sort of sense. I’m going to dive into this using one of my favorite genres as an example, fighting games. All games have the effect to some extent–I remember actually getting weak in the knees when I finally finished off Kefka in Final Fantasy VI, after so many attempts over the years ending with disastrous failures–but it’s most immediate in a brawler.

Anyone who, like I, has gotten into the habit of getting to the quickest finish at any given difficulty level just so that they can ramp it up higher to feel that struggle, that rush again, can agree with this, even if the Freudian interpretation of things is a little bit derivative. (Keep in mind that I am not an expert–just a gamer who remembers that very first huge, whooshing frisson of pleasure that happens right after you land that very last hit on a boss and that split second happens where the music just stops–just halts–and the explosions start, and your adversary becomes a slowly disintegrating pile of STUFF that isn’t going to exist anymore.) It’s a mini-chill of sorts, and in some cases it can feel better than sex. You’ve just grabbed this thing, pounded it into submission, and now it’s just watching you stand over its beaten body like some sort of more civilized barbarian.

In a way, it’s a primal return to the activities that helped shape civilization. We fight and destroy, and instead of looting, or fine slaves and wives/husbands to be had, we’re in it for nothing but that rush that we get from pulling off each victory. 

On the other side, each hit that we sustain in the fight is remembered, stored away as motivation for the rest of the encounter, and we return it–double–treble–sometimes more–each more satisfying than the last. It gets to the point where you think you’ll never get anywhere, and then–it happens. It’s different from game to game–maybe there’s a flash. Maybe the music stops abruptly–or maybe there’s an abrupt tonal shift in it. Or maybe you see that the numbers are in a range that can best be described as “Damn, no one could survive THAT.” Maybe suddenly there’s a TIME STOP–and you see that you can end it right here with a flashy finishing blow.

That might not be the same sensation as a sexual climax, but it can feel damned close. It’s a rush that is more than enough reason to make you pick up the sticks again, and again, and again. 

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LTTP LP: New Vid's up!

This week’s video is kind of short, I realize. I also missed it on Friday because…

 

OK, I honestly don’t remember Friday right now. I remember there was a nice little PTS-freezeup. But when the day ended I was DEAD TO RIGHTS. There could have been an earthquake—well, ANOTHER earthquake—and I’d’ve slept through it much like the last one.

 

Hey, maybe if I move to California, I’ll get more sleep. xD

 

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What happens when classic retro games meet snark?

Something like this.

 

Over the month of March, inbetween cracking back down and getting into a writing schedule again (being off my meds is a trip and a half), I’ll be crosstraining my creative mind by recording a playthrough of a classic favorite game of mine. Updates will be weekly.

A Note: I’m cutting a wisdom tooth right now, and beyond eating, I don’t plan on using my mouth for anything else, and that includes narration—lest I chomp a hole in my cheek with this new sharp pointy thing sticking out of my jaw. So the snark is purely captions for this game

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100 Things #25: Video Games

…No one who knows me at all is surprised by this. Prepare for a ramble.

I’ve been a gamer since almost before I can remember. One of my earliest memories is sitting in front of my grandparents’ 27-inch TV (because that’s what we called a big TV back then) while we all passed around the Nintendo Light Gun and played Duck Hunt. Big Dad—Gramps to most people—was performing quite well, knocking down ducks left and right, but then he got a run of bad luck when the ducks just wouldn’t pick one direction for long enough for him to be able to get’em. As rules established, the gun went to the right—Bigmama (Grandma) was next.

She began to wipe the floor with the rest of us. Effortless, she just pops ducks off one by one—bam! bam! bam! My cousin and I just looked at each other, our faces a matching “whoa”-oh. Big Dad points out something then: Bigmama’s not using the sight. On this realization, she ALSO stops, looks at the gun, notices the sight…says “Huh,” and keeps wiping the floor with us.

My cousin and I just sort of slide over to one side.


Another thing that anyone who knows me is that I’m a sucker for RPGs. I got into them because I needed something to do when I was sick. A trip to Phar-Mor, an old pharmacy, resulted in a crapton of medicines for me and my parents promising to rent me a console while I recuperated. I picked Final Fantasy Mystic Quest for one of my choices, because the box was pretty and because the guy at the check-out counter said there was a lot of reading involved in that game.

Being a huge reader, of course, I called “CHALLENEG ACCEPTED…” or I would have if that meme existed when I was five.


Gaming became an outlet for frustration then, as I dove into shooters and harder RPGs—nothing like shooting someone’s head off to get that bad mood knocked down. Putting a controller in your hands—it’s got this sense of power that I’d never really felt before, being the family’s runt preemie and having never really caught up to average. Even if I was spending most of my days being beat up by my cousins, or later in adolescence, my aunts, uncles, and even father—at night I could beat the living daylights out of whoever I so chose. Mooks had my family’s faces superimposed on their heads, and I’d pump them full of lead and lasers until I felt better. And then there were the rocket launchers…

In the game Perfect Dark, there were two kinds of rocket launchers. The first one was this normal run-of-the-mill rocket launcher that had two modes: shooting rockets, and shooting heat-seeking rockets. It was efficient enough and got the job done. But that wasn’t my favorite one. That title went to a weapon named the Slayer. The Slayer had two modes as well—really, every weapon in this game, even your bare hands, had two modes. (Barehand’s second mode was stealing the other guy’s gun right off of him.)
Anyway, the first mode of the Slayer was a standard rocket. A little slower than the standard rocket launcher, but with a bigger boom. Its second mode? Remote controlled camera-augmented rocket. You had to ‘drive’ the rocket to its destination, using the camera view to steer properly. So you could shoot a rocket, run it to the player who’s been getting on your last nerve thus far, and then aim the rocket at their face. …Your decision as to whether you let the rocket explode on its own or kicking its detonation button immediately.


I think that the thing that stuck with me more than anything else about video games is the potential for beauty. (Funny, seeing this after I wax rhapsodic about the wonders of exploding face rockets.) Games could have wicked scenery that distracts you from your mission. Games could have a storyline that makes you forget that it’s a game.

Most of all, games can have chillingly beautiful music.

I suspect that I am into the ambient genre thanks to video games—specifically the RPGs. People say that games can’t be art, that the music is just throwaway jingles. That a gamer is biased in this argument because it’s built solidly on nostalgia.

I refute that argument because the composition that had me BS-ing an allergy attack to explain the sniffles was from one of the games I had never played.

I’ll leave it with that: one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard.

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