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

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October 13th, 2019


08:21 am - Dream of Last Night - Oops
So in last night's dream I was back in high school and I was supposed to be running one of those elaborate MIT/Caltech-style scavenger hunts where every team comes back with a huge stack of random objects and conditions. Except I had actually lost all my notes.

I spent what felt like three in-dream hours powerwalking (no running was allowed, because if you ran a teacher who looked like Michael Douglas in 'Falling Down' materialized behind you for lectures and would casually snap your neck on a third offense) around the halls trying to find them, and just before waking up I realized that the solution was simply to have the opening of the scavenger hunt be "Find my notes, bring them back to me, but if your team finds them you get an exclusive peek at what the rest of the hunt will be".

I'm sure that wouldn't be abused at all. Solutions all around. *clap*

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October 12th, 2019


03:33 pm - Recordkeeping: Bad Water COMPLETE [IFComp2019]
So it's IFComp time and I'm kind of down, actually. There's a few things that've been weighing on my mind, and they leave me energyless and disinterested in video games. It's easy to see that, because my playblogging has slowed way, way down.

For that matter, IFComp this year is packed full of "two hour" and "more than two hour" games. I'm still not sure why you would enter a 2+ hour game in a competition that explicitly says nothing over two hours counts for your score. Maybe it's to protect a poor ending, maybe it's just for competition brand exposure. Whichever, I find it sort of fatiguing.

Still. I will do my best to give my earnest opinions on five games at least, as one does.

What do you have for me, random button?

Game 1: Bad Water

The description: A surprising new spin on the "wander-and-wonder" game genre.
A tribute to an obscure early 2000s indie game. Can you guess what it is?


This took me: 1 hour 30 minutes.
Spoilers below, be careful if you plan to judgeCollapse )

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October 8th, 2019


11:40 am - Recordkeeping: Animalia COMPETE
This is left over from last year's Interactive Fiction competition, which is going on again by the way and I will probably be judging again this year. At least five games, y'know?

But I didn't finish Animalia last year, because it's way too complex. It's a huge sprawling 80 Days style webwork of interdependence and edge-cases that can lead you to a satisfying ending or straight into the biggest screw-up you've ever had.

It's a simple premise. Charlie is a young boy who is giving a presentation on the forest of the Taiga. Charlie is also tied up back in the forest. The Charlie that's going to give his presentation is four animals in a carefully-designed replica human suit. You select those four animals and ... well, good luck getting through this one.

It's a weird, wacky, dizzying game that for-real took me this long to actually "win" in a way I was satisfied with. I kinda loved it. There's a LOT of weird stuff you can stumble into, the goal of this one is not so much to actually beat the game but to see what happens if you...

...and if you wonder What Happens If You but can't figure out how to If You, there's a tips page on the landing site. Which is a goddamn life saver.

Anyway this is free and web-available so you might enjoy running through it a time or two yourself. Me, I got IFComp 2019 games to play.

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September 30th, 2019


07:45 pm - Recordkeeping: Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon COMPLETE
A game about a grumpy demon hunter going on a quest to... uh, beat up the moon, apparently? and also hunt demons. He meets three other characters, they form a party, head into the castle, beat on demons. A good time is had by all.

This is a noncanon (I think) psuedoprequel to Kickstarter darling Bloodstained: Ritual of Giving Igarashi Money, which I have not yet played.

Apparently that's good. This was real good too, so... hey, good stuff all around.

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September 29th, 2019


10:30 am - Life With Sqrlmog And Her Brain
Brain: "Okay, first off, this is incredibly historically inaccurate. A lot of this stuff is edited around out of order to make for narrative impact."

Sqrlmog: "Uh-huh."

Brain: "Second, this is overexposed as HELL. Like, c'mon, you won't play Undertale but you'll listen to the most overexposed Broadway musical in history?"

Sqrlmog: "Fair point."

Brain: "Third, while I could have put this under "historically inaccurate", the NARRATIVE functionality of this musical is incredibly emotionally manipulative. It's a heavy-handed lean right on the audience's sense of empathy so hard it's a wonder the whole thing doesn't fold in half and snap."

Sqrlmog: "Mmm."

Brain: "...okay, so why..."

Sqrlmog, eyes spilling over with tears: "THE MUSIC GETS REAL SAD AT THIS PART."

Brain: "...why is there no fucking coffee in this apartment. I need it."

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September 27th, 2019


04:23 am - The Psychological Impact of Repeated Drilling
Second nightmare re: the dentist, tonight. I have an appointment on Tuesday, you see.

Mild nightmares, but cut anyway.Collapse )
So I woke up, went and brushed my teeth, opened a new bottle of mouthwash. It feels like showing up to a car wash with a napkin, but every bit helps, right?

Tuesday. Hopefully I'll be able to properly sleep at some point between now and then.

[EDIT: I finally got like ten hours of sleep which is nice. If I keep doing it at those hours, I'll sleep through the appointment.
It's always SOMEthing, isn't it?]

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September 26th, 2019


08:44 pm - Recordkeeping: Chip & Dale's Rescue Rangers 2
I'm sad that I resorted to spamming the "Rewind Time" feature of the Disney Afternoon Collection to beat this one, but ... what can I say, it got harder than I expected and I was out of continue credits.

All in all, this was a ... this was a sequel. It felt kind of like it was going through the motions of the previous game, with less detailed sprites and less memorable music. It was fun though. I played it on stream, and I could NOT remember what accents with which character. I'm pretty sure proud Australian Monterey Jack became extremely Texan for about fifteen minutes, for example. Chip kept turning into Goofy. Etc.

Solid enough game though.

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11:42 am - Don't care at all, ain't got no soul
The music in my head today is some unholy fusion between the title track from Swing of Death and the Scarlet Pimpernel version of The Riddle.

I don't know whether I want this out of my head or whether I just want this tune to, like, PROPERLY EXIST.

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September 20th, 2019


09:28 pm - Recordkeeping: Supraland COMPLETE
The Good of Supraland: Almost everything. This is a rich puzzle-exploration game in the vein of your Metroid Primes, with lots of running and jumping all over the map, finding hidden secrets and solving interesting puzzles that will probably make you feel real smart when you get them. This part is like, most of the game. It's great. Fantastic. Worth buying.

The Bad: ... However, all the intelligent, good, fun puzzle-solving is broken up by absolutely terrible combat. I have no idea why this game has shooting and swording in it. It doesn't do anything meaningful to the playtime except for padding.
It also ruins the flow and feel of exploration, because nine times out of ten you're going to do something elaborate and breathtakingly clever to get to a chest, only to discover it's a 33% increase in radius to that stomp move you never touch, or your bullets pew out 5% faster, or you get like one extra health point.

yaay. incremental numbers. woohoo.

Also it maybe gets slightly worse and more poorly clued towards the ending, or maybe I was just tired. It's a long game.

If you absolutely love solving all the things, though, this is the game for you.

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September 17th, 2019


04:33 pm - Clothing: I'm Doing Something Stupid - Can You Stop Me?
Lately I've been thinking about just wearing jumpsuits like all the time.

One piece outfit, nothing to slide down awkwardly. (I've been having problems with pants as my weight fluctuates, and I have like ... no hips so belts don't really work very well.) Varied colors. I don't care much about fashionable looks, but I do care about solid primary colors, so that suits me. I could look like Joel, Mike, Jonah, or Shinya Arino on demand.

Aside from the expense, is there any reason I shouldn't just buy like seven or eight jumpsuits and rotate one per day plus laundry as long as I can manage?
Where do you even GET jumpsuits, anyway?
(...is there a gender divide in jumpsuits? Are they gendered or unisex?)

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