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The Forbidden Codex of The Pink Beyond - A Sqrl's Journal

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April 22nd, 2019


03:39 pm - City of Heroes: It's Kind of Dead!
That didn't last.

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01:20 am - City of Heroes: It's Kind of Back!
I just logged out of City of Heroes for the evening. Made a couple of characters -- with some twiddling, you can put together a decent furry, although it's still awkward if you want them dressed up decently BUT want to emphasize the fur. I ran a handful of missions, hunted Hellions, remembered where some of the Badges are in Atlas Park. I tried out the experimental cel-shading option, which looks really nice indoors and a little strange outdoors.

Mostly I sat there in disbelief and wonder, because I was playing City of Heroes again. I cried, even.

Back in 2012 when the CoH servers were announced to be closing down for good, it really hit me emotionally hard. Since then, I've been wavering up and down on the subject.

I had started to let myself get convinced, you know? I was almost convinced that maybe the game hadn't been as fun as I remembered it. Maybe it had been taken down for good reason. It was an old game, it couldn't be that great. I just didn't know better at the time.

Friends and Russian spambots, I was wrong as hell. City of Heroes in our blighted year 2019 is still a great game. It's still fun, and NCSoft are still rat-bastard cartoon clowns for closing down a game like this. At the worst, the UI and fonts need serious scaling adjustments, but that's pretty much it.

They're wiping this beta server in a week, but if you want to get in before then:

Here is a topic that tells you how to download and install the game. Using the magnet link to a bittorrent file is a much faster way to get the game downloaded than via the launcher, but either way, it should work.

It's still City of Heroes. It's still kind of janky, the physics are weird, and everyone on the internet who has ever had nostalgia for that character creator is downloading and making characters because we don't know what's going to happen, maybe NCSoft will step forward and nuke this again, WE DON'T KNOW but for one shining beautiful stupid moment Paragon City needs heroes one more time and it's RIGHT THERE. All of it, all the way up to the Going Rogue expansion and even some stuff that they only showed off on livestreams because the game shut down around their ears while they were making more content.

For years I told myself, y'know... "Even IF City of Heroes were still up, I wouldn't be playing it. It's too old and outdated to be more than a curiosity."

I was wrong. I was wrong and dumb and I'm so glad to have been wrong and dumb.

I hope this lasts.

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April 17th, 2019


11:07 am - Dream of Last Night: ...???
Woke up to the power being out, so I went back to sleep.

Woke up again to the power still being out, so I rolled over and figured out how to get my phone to connect to the sky and dug around and found the wireless keyboard and ...

..oops, too long, out of memory error, no dream found.

So this is ... recording that I actually HAD a dream but have forgotten it.

Make something up, it'll make as much sense anyway.

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April 15th, 2019


07:06 pm - Recordkeeping: Escape Lala COMPLETE
A short pixelriffic pointyclicker where you're trapped in a cave and your goal is to solve puzzles.

I mean escape.

But mostly I mean solve puzzles, because you're not escaping until every puzzle in your way is solved and every piece of inventory is clicked on something else, be it in the world or elsewhere in your inventory. You can collect hint coins and I used a few, because some puzzles were not only not intuitive, but I think the solution for them in the gameworld either didn't exist or was extremely obtuse.

That said I solved a couple of puzzles by accident so there's also that.

Anyway this was twenty minutes of puzzles and not bad. Sometimes you just want to solve adventure game puzzles because you're there and so are they. This is for those times.

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09:24 am - Dream of Last Night: A tune.
Woke up with a piece of music that was on the radio in my dream still in my mind.

Daft Punkian "we can afford this lyric, one drum machine and a vocoder" sort of production values. (EDIT: Maybe Nine Inch Nails? Something.)


For this to have defeated me
I have to be in a state of insecurity
For this to have deleted me
I have to be in a state of insecurity
For you to have mistreated me
You have to be in a state of insecurity
There is no getting rid of me
You can't keep me in a state of insecurity


S'catchy, I'll give it that.

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April 13th, 2019


03:41 pm - Recordkeeping - Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team COMPLETE
This wasn't as spectacular as its sequel, but for a starting place and home base for the series to work outward from, it was pretty strong. Any mystery dungeon is better than no mystery dungeon and this sure was some mystery dungeon gameplay, with things not really getting difficult or engaging until the final dungeon's lengthy climb skyward.

The story was present and written decently, if pitched ... well, a bit young. (Yes, in this children's monster collecting game. I know.) There were still a couple of times where I was like "Oh my gosh you're flashing back to STUFF THAT JUST HAPPENED" but that's one problem that got WAY worse in the sequel, so things flowed very smoothly here.

Mostly I feel sad I never developed any strong emotional connections here. I just wasn't feeling anything. This is unlikely to show up in the end of the year awards, I'm afraid.

Does make me look forward to Super Mystery Dungeon though.

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April 10th, 2019


08:31 pm - Recordkeeping: Super Robot Wars T COMPLETE
After failing to beat SRW X, I was concerned that maybe I was burned out on the entire series for a while.

SRW T neatly clipped that thought off at the root. It's good, it's REAL good, and I played it nonstop until it was done.

Part of it was the series roster. Cowboy Bebop was a neat inclusion, Gun X Sword had the incomparable El Dora V team, G Gundam and Gunbuster and GaoGaiGar are three of my favorite series...

More importantly, this one felt like it had a theme and a storyline it wanted to tell with the inclusion of most of the series, instead of SRW X which felt strongly like "Uh, we're all here, now. I guess. Because... we have robots."

This was a deeply satisfying installment, and it feels good to have played through. Looks like I'm gonna keep on buyin' these every year, huh?

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April 6th, 2019


02:51 am - Life Without Context With Woof and Sqrl
Sqrl: "In the criminal justice system, there are two wolves inside you."

Woof: "Their battle will be broadcast on pay-per-view to pay your legal bills."

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April 3rd, 2019


04:16 am - Animal brain, no. / ANIMAL BRAIN YES
There's a tomato in the fridge, because we're going to have tacos later.

(I have not had tacos in like 20 years. That is a separate story.)

But, there's a tomato in the fridge and for some reason my subconscious is like "ARRRR LYCOPEAN SUSTAINS US. GO PICK UP THAT TOMATO AND BITE INTO IT LIKE AN APPLE."

And I'm like, "No. That tomato is for taco and also I am not going to slurpnomf a big juicy tomato, brain. That's weird. You're weird."

And my brain is like, "You're right."

And I'm like, "Thank you."

And my brain is like "YOU SALT IT FIRST. SALT IT UP GOOD. THEN BITE. BITE THE TOMATO. doitdoitdoitbitebitebitebite"

Not for the first time do I silently sit here in a darkened room and try to figure out what the fuck is going on in my head.

sigh.

[EDIT, HOURS LATER]

Sqrl: "Whatcha doing?"

Woof: "Cuttin' this tomato up for taco."

Sqrl: "...is it entirely cut up?"

Woof: "No, there's this bit here that's like... a third of the tomato, why?"

Sqrl: "...can I eat it."

Woof: "What, plain?"

Sqrl: "No, with salt."

Woof: "...uhhhh. Sure?"

*NOMF NOMF BITE BITE BITE*

Sqrl: "God damn it, that tasted really really good and I'm mad about that."

Brain: "AHAHAHAHA YESSSS I TOLD YOU LYCOPENE WAS VITAL TO OUR EXISTENCE."

Woof: "???"

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April 1st, 2019


09:54 pm - Recordkeeping: Lovers of Aether COMPLETE
Can I declare a VN complete when I've only seen two of the routes? Yeah I think I can.

So this was Lovers of Aether, the April Fool's joke dating VN from the makers of Rivals of Aether. I am of two minds about this sort of thing.

On one hand, I don't believe "lol it's a game where you don't hurt people you just talk to them and enjoy the writing ISN'T THAT HILARIOUS" is inherently a funny joke. Joke VNs are usually a low-ball pitch that only serve to re-enforce negative stereotypes about the genre. I love playing stuff like this, and "It's a visual novel now, that's the whole gag" is kind of demeaning to the genre as a whole.

On the other hand I'm a giant piece of furry trash who wants to date the absolute hell out of some fightgame characters, so here I am playing it in spite of ideological objections. And you know, it's okay? It's fairly basic, some characters seem to have more complex routes than others (there's a few that demand you live up to their standards, and with one the question is "how do you even get an inward angle here?"), but the art is sharp and the writing is...

...well, it's a high school full of fighting game characters.

Most of them are jerks to some degree until you get them to take their walls down and open up.

So I took the joke game seriously, yeah I'm an idiot, but I had a good time here and can see myself going back to try to 100% this. It's real short but sweet enough.

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